LBT8007-A & GWA Citadel... same thing?

Tier One Kit London Bridge Trading 8007a vs GWA CitadelNot long ago, London Bridge Trading introduced the LBT-8007A 22L Day Pack, as a larger iteration of the LBT-8006A.
At first glance, the bag looked solid, had cool features and was unknowingly and familiarly pleasant to my eyes.
Upon further recon, I finally got it. IT LOOKS LIKE A GWA CITADEL!
Needless to say I was intrigued, as this new LBT was $95 less than a Citadel, and seemed to be pretty much the same thing.
Now, I've owned a GWA Citadel since early 2018, when not many knew about the bag. I've used them on trips, camping, office and Vegas (not for work).
Knowing and currently owning a couple of Citadels, comparing the two would be easy.
So there I was, drop time came, twenty minutes went by, and decided to call LBT. Lucky for me, the webmaster was nearby and announced 20secs to drop.
The bag launched, I bought it and eagerly waited for it.
This is not to be taken lightly as when one is such a gear "aficionado", not many things can tickle you pink.
Long story short, the bag arrived and below you will find what I think are pros, cons and my opinion, for whatever its worth this late at night.
 
How to read this "blog"
My intention is to write like I speak, keeping things simple and concise.
Pictures are worth a thousand words. I'll save you the reading, and will comment on what CAN'T be seen. The rest is easy!
 
Main Pack Profile:
stepbrothers will FerrellEdit Image
They were never brothers.
- Bottom pocket on the LBT expands slightly, however the Citadel's Tweave Durastretch is much more pleasant to touch and use.
- Zippers are easy to pull on both. The GWA shrink tubed paracord zipper sliders with Acetal end clips are clearly superior to the LBT's.
- That's a LOT of loop on that LBT.
 
Back Panel & Straps:
Left: LBT-8007A | Right: GWA Citadel G2Edit Image
Left: LBT-8007A | Right: GWA Citadel G2
- The GWA ventilates better, as well as providing increased comfort while wearing. The LBT's is more rigid, and quite honestly feels like s%^t to the touch.
- Straps are softer on the Citadel, however I experienced less shoulder fatigue with the LBT on a 5mi, 20lb walk.
- Quick release buckles look cool on the 8007A, I just don't know what use you could give them.
- If you pay close attention, you can see the excess strap rolled on the LBT. There's A LOT of it, both on the shoulder and side compression straps.
 
Side Pockets & Compression Straps:
The compression straps on the LBT get in the way of the side pockets.Edit Image
The compression straps on the LBT get in the way of the side pockets.
- The Citadel's side pockets are also Tweave Durastretch, quite more pleasant to operate.
- Compression straps on the LBT are somewhat inconveniently located, obstructing access to the side pockets.
- I personally would prefer the GWA without a label. In my opinion, it feels like a cheap touch on an otherwise incredible bag.
 
Top Access and Carry Handle:
The Citadel is pretty, but that label....Edit Image
The Citadel is pretty, but that label....
- I like the hydration hose port on the LBT, but there is no bladder sleeve (pack features 3 anchor points, see below)
- The Citadel features a GORGEOUS, bright red laptop compartment with divider. BY FAR my favorite feature.
- If you take a close look at the handles, and imagine what grabbing both is like, you'll know exactly what I was going to write here.
Gear Whores Anonymous GWA Citadel Pack Tier One KitEdit Image
The laptop compartment is FIRE.
- There are two compartments there. I've both a 15" MBP and 13" MBA in there, no issues.
 
Inner Panels:
London Bridge Trading Tier One Kit GWA CitadelEdit Image
This is where the LBT really lost me. Whatever THAT is, should not be found in a $200 backpack.
- The Citadel was my first "modular" pack via Hook/Loop. Many have followed, and in the example above, failed.
- The hook material on the LBT provides subpar adhesion for hook/loop accessories, especially if heavy (mags/laptop sleeve)
 
Inner Front Flaps:
Craftsmanship and finish are the main differentiators.Edit Image
Craftsmanship and finish are the main differentiators.
- Not much to say here. The difference is night and day, however I would personally prefer a mesh top pocket on the Citadel, but no-one asked me.
 
Conclusion:
The end of my short lived comparison concludes that the GWA Citadel (and I would say ANY of its iterations) are considerably superior to the LBT.
Not that country of origin is a factor, but for the $95 difference the Citadel offers better craftsmanship, materials, durability, execution and its made in the USA.
 
For official specs on both:
 
That is all for today. Thank you all for spending some time here.
 
- Vic

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