It's time for an upgrade.
That beat-up old backpack you bought back when you started college is becoming more of a liability than a dependable gear hauler. Now that you're a functioning adult (well, sort of) it's nice to have a bag that will double as a laptop hauler when you're headed to the office and a jacket and snack receptacle when you're biking down to your favorite bar. The Mystery Ranch Urban Assault Laptop Backpack will handle the rigors of your day-to-day life with a convenient 3-Zip design, built-in tablet or laptop sleeve, and durable Cordura fabric that won't wear easily with time—unlike that old beater pack that's been dropping paperbacks left and right.
- A simple daypack ideal for work, travel, and everyday life
- Convenient 3-Zip design grants quick access to essentials
- Burly Cordura fabric withstands serious wear and tear
- Built-in sleeve fits laptops and tablets (up to 15in)
- Lid pocket with key clip
- Based out of Bozeman, Mystery Ranch designs packs that last
- Q & A
Everyone Fancies Themselves a Critic
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I see reviews that are all over the place with this bag. I love it. But I am honest about what it is and what it is not.
I have a pack "problem" as my wife puts it, however, I know their utility. I carried several different varieties in the Marine Corps and many different ones afterwards. I have dedicated packs for many different purposes from travel, every-day-carry, range time, moto-adventure, etc. I know what size pack I need for which activity and I know what quality is. I am not a "gear whore" and prefer a thing's utility over brand name, however, some brands simply shine. Mystery Ranch makes a high quality pack. That is all there is to it.
-I have no gripes with the zippers, they are all YKK, and while some waterproof/water-resistant zippers can be more finicky than others, I haven't noticed anything about these that would be considered sub-par.
-There is not a single frayed thread or visible cut end anywhere on the pack (that's a clue you're dealing with a quality nylon goods manufacturer).
-The straps are ergonomic and have just the right amount of padding for having the pack almost empty or weighted down.
-The strap suspension system is nice and takes the strain off the upper seam of the shoulder straps, which is a common fail point in packs that are put through their paces.
-I can't imagine why someone would want more pockets or accessories for an "every-day-carry" (edc) pack, unless you hike 50 miles a day to work. It has plenty of storage for daily routine. (I can fit a laptop, tablet, notebook, jacket, water bottle, phone charger, pens, keys, gym clothes, and STILL have room for more if necessary)
-As many people have stated, the three-zip system is great. Being able to get to the bottom of the pack if you are going to pack it for a trip is a huge plus.
-One of the major concerns is that it has no external water bottle pocket. I am not using this as a hiking pack and therefore haven't seen this as an issue. If I'm carrying coffee to work it usually stays in my hands. If I have a water bottle, same thing, but if I need to put it inside the pack, it's easily accessible. Non-issue in my humble opinion.
-The top pocket is great if you are on a plane or bus and need access to your phone or chapstick or a pen. The mesh pockets are a plus as you can identify what's inside easily.
-This pack is low-profile and relatively snag-free. It doesn't have a lot of webbing or external pockets to get hung on things and is more aerodynamic if I want to wear it while riding a bike or my motorcycle.
-These packs have a firefighting/military provenance but this particular pack (aside from the multicam version) doesn't scream "tactical". Keeping a low profile is a good thing these days.
-Finally, it looks good. It's a cool looking pack that you'll get compliments on. The tri-zip is unique and if you're into packs for the aesthetics, you can't go wrong here.
Overall, it does what it's supposed to do. Don't let naysayers tell you that you need an 80L pack for daily pursuits. This has plenty of room, is sleek, and utilitarian. If you don't know what a liter measurement is on a pack, go to a local store (even Walmart) and check out the packs to get a better idea of what size the Urban Assault Pack will be in comparison.
Mystery Ranch Failed
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
It seems Mystery Ranch should stick to making technical bags for actual work because this item as a commuter bag fails miserably. The zippers seem cheap compared to other Mystery Ranch products and they constantly are hard to open. For a daypack it lacks any real storage and the main pocket is hard to get too. For Mystery Ranch supporters I get it but unfortunately this bag just sucks.
Great day bag!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is my first bag from Mystery Ranch and I'm completely sold on the 3-zip design. Makes it super easy to both pack and access everything in your bag no matter where it is. Additionally the straps are super comfortable, only 'Con' is just how small the bag is. Would love to have a slightly bigger version (Like the 3-Day assault bag, but without all the tacti-cool features) for weekend trips.
Is there a hydration port in this bag? I know the asap pack has a pass through, but I like the lack of molle on this one and the interior looks a little more organizable.