RD-54 Backpack – Modifications (Soviet A`stan Gear #3)

Referring to my last post regarding the RD-54, its background and fundamentals, let us continue our journey and take a look at some interesting modifications done to this iconic backpack.

With time passing by and soldiers using the RD-54 daily, many Soviets combatants felt the need to do modifications to their backpacks. In most cases the carrying capacity seemed to be insufficient or it`ll be more comfy to wear certain items attached to the RD-54 instead on the belt.

One of the first and most common mods was the removal of the magazine/grenade pouches of the front straps. These removed pouches were often used to create custom chest rigs from scratch (by combining several pouches from different RDs – this will be covered in another post in the future) or were attached to the RD (or other backpack) or just worn on the belt (seldom).

Let`s take a look at an interesting detail in the following picture: the guys using the end-straps from the RD-54 (pouches removed) to carry grenades in the “loop” that still can be found there: (click all pictures to enlarge)


One of the second most seen modification was the addition of more pouches to the side or rear. Unused RDs have been cut to pieces and their side pouches were attached to other RDs, making it a 5-cell RD-54 (one main compartment, four side ones). Besides this, AK magazine pouches (mostly 4-cell ones) were attached to the rear, straps, belts and canteen covers to the side or rear. Check these nice examples with some extra pouches attached to the rear:



Here we see mostly AK 4-cell magazine pouches on the back holding water canteens:




In summary, almost everything was possible and mods were totally up to the user. Check this awesome pic showing two! RD-54s sewn together and an extra mag pouch on one side (perhaps on the other side, too):


Perhaps also a “doubled” RD-54 (hard to tell from this crappy pic), but with 100% added canteen(s)+cover(s) on side(s):


A good example with an extra side pouch mounted to the rear and trouser belts forming frames for plastic flasks left and right:


At the end of this post, let`s take a look at my own modded RD-54 which I really like. The pack was filled with several Airsoft related items and some reenactment gear (BBs, loader, Gbb gas, snacks, Gorka jacket, plastik flasks, R-392 radio (here with folded antenna), flares and a plash palatka on top):

This took me around four hours of hard needle work but it was worth it! I am really happy with the result! 🙂


So get up your lazy asses and go mod some RD-54s yourself! Enjoy da ride! 😀



~ by geardoshit on May 17, 2015.

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