The Edelweiss is the biggest backpack from SSO's range. Designed for special mountain troops, and forces on long range missions.
This early type made from Avizent is almost the direct copy of the American CFP-90 alpine backpack. The CFP-90 has its origins from Löwe's Alpine Pack.
The Löwe Alpine backpack
The original Löwe backpack was designed for the special forces, using knowledge, from making civilian alpine expedition backpacks. Than the US Army carried on the production, using Woodland nylon material.
This early type Edelweiss has the same arrangement as the US type, with some minor modifications, and upgrades, such as the setting of the shoulder straps. On the CFP-90, this was a plastic element, which often broke, making the backpack unusable.
On the SSO type there is no such week point.
Later SSO made some changes on the pockets, and the pads at the back. This fact makes some misunderstanding among collectors, that is this backpack really an Edelweiss or is it an Ataka-3.
My opinion that this is an early Edelweiss class backpack. Ataka class backpacks are smaller, not stated as alpine packs.
As I mentioned this is an early type backpack, this means you can not find SSO label in it, but on the snaps there are the well known SSO logo and the plastic buckles have the Equipment St Petersburg sign.
Let's see the details:
The backpack is quite big its about 90 Liters. It has two aluminum stiffeners on the back side, so the backpack is quite tense without using a big aluminum frame, like on older types such as the ALICE backpack.
The top cover, has two pocket inside, one opening from the side, and one opening from under, both secured with zipper.
The cover has a waterproof lining. The Avizent material is not waterproof, so on such equipment you can always find black waterproof material where it is needed. All pocket covers, main section and the bottom of the backpack have this material.
On the bottom you can find a section for the sleeping bag. You can open this separately, it also has straps inside for secure the sleeping bag, and a separator to prevent other stuff falling down into this section if you take out your sleeping bag.
The Edelweiss has nice padding to give comfort to the user. The shoulder straps can be set to different size for different height.
On the outside it has several ALICE type attaching belts, this piece is dated before MOLLE times.
The SSO Edelweiss has different production runs, and types nowadays, this first type is a well made nice piece, with good features. You can carry equipment for long range missions, it will be enough place for everything needed.