What comes to mind when you see the words “Mil Spec”?? At best slick marketing executives throw those words around as if they bestow upon their product some heroic qualities. At worst consumers willingly divorce themselves from reason and pay extra for “mil-spec quality.” I’m not discounting there are high quality items that are technically mil-spec. The term Mil-spec merely means an item adheres to a universally compatible set of basic specs agreed on by all branches of the military. Think, least common denominator. The Marketing execs dirty secret is that “mil-spec” doesn’t actually mean “used by the military.”
Diatribe aside, the only spec that matters is real world is quality in the form of craftsmanship, usability, durability and a company that stands behind the product. If certain groups of pipe hitters and snake eaters recognize these things in a product and incorporate it in their load out, that’s icing on the cake. The Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack BVS (3DAP-BVS) is one such product.
Mystery Ranch is the bellwether of corporate humility. On their site, you won’t see any mention of this pack’s true lineage. Top tier warriors swear by Mystery Ranch packs, as if their lives depend on it. Consequently, because that is exactly the case. You won’t find the careless use of Mil-Spec, since Mystery Ranch far exceeds that standard. Though, the military doesn’t keep statistics on this type of thing. Arguably, MR has more bags down range than probably any other company.
As Mystery Ranch founder and head designer Dana Gleason told me, the 3 day Assault Pack is designed to be “the last word in assault packs.” Like all Mystery Ranch packs, the 3 Day Assault Pack BVS is built entirely in the USA. It is also compliant with the Berry Amendment. All Textiles and components used in the pack are grown, reprocessed, reused or produced in the US. Any tools used in creating the bag are produced in the US as well.
Mystery Ranch’s choice of materials matches their uncompromising design. Built of 500D Cordura Nylon, the 3DAP proves time and again to be durable enough to survive any mission you can throw its way. Coated in DuPont Teflon, the pack can also take what ever mother nature puts in the way.
Transferring and distributing the pack load is done via an internal frame. This is constructed of a comfortably unobtrusive HDPE(high-density polyethylene) sheet. This provides rigidity, yet is is still surprisingly flexible. The Futura Yoke is ergonomically designed to wrap around your shoulders rather than hang off them like lesser packs in the sub 2000 CU IN category. A choice of 3 different yoke sizes ensures every end user can fit in the 3DAP. Fine adjustments to the load lifters and chest strap as well as the ability to micro-adjust the yoke to more precisely fit your torso length make this pack arguably the most comfortably fitting bag in its class. The BVS is the icing on the cake for those who find themselves in body armor more often than not.
Warriors, as well as Mammoth competitors, value functionality above all else. After all, if a pack hard to use or fails to accommodate a wide variety of gear, it will get tossed to the wayside. At the top of the pack, Mystery Ranch designed two differently sized pockets for immediately accessible items. DOPE books, gloves, glasses, anything small that you’d rather not dig through a pack to find, fits nicely into these. In front of these pockets, there’s a good sized Velcro swatch for identification and patches.
The Y shaped, 3 zipper design allows for easy access to contents. Unzip the upper portion of the Y and the lid peels back. The allows you to reach into the interior without having to unbuckle the compression straps. To reach all the contents of the pack, merely unbuckle the compression straps and pull down the third zipper to open up the entire main compartment. Additionally, there’s a urethane coated zipper just behind the yoke. This allows direct access to any radio and/or hydration bladders stowed in the interior pockets. The zipper also serves as a “port” for hydration tubes and antennae.
Zippered pockets and sewn-in pouches make organizing incredibly easy. Mesh pockets on either side of the bag are perfect for food, ammo or any number of loose items you want to keep in place. Exterior pocket are perfect for Tripods, breaching tools and short barreled rifles. Rows of webbing along the back allow for the attaching MOLLE compatible items such as holsters, mag pouches or any number of the small storage bags Mystery Ranch offers. Their Rip-Stop, Radio and KAB (kestrel) bags I found to be particularly useful.
Making use of as much space as possible, MR integrated elastic pockets on the sides of the bag, which are perfect for water bottles. These pockets are a little hard to get to with the pack on. Rather than redundantly using them to carry a water bottle (opting to use my hydration bladder instead), I found them useful for small weapons carry and tripods.
Another unique feature of the bag worth mentioning is the stowable hip belt. When not needed, each side of the hip belt stores neatly in a snap shut compartment. A well positioned hip belt transfer heavy loads to a stable base. This allows your hips to take some of the weight off your shoulders. At first the padding of the hip belt seemed a little Spartan. However, it proves to be more than sufficient for carrying loads at the higher end of the bag’s capacity. The hip belt’s lack of bulk also allows for fast unrestricted movement when the action picks up. Speed of use is extremely important at Mammoth.
In conclusion, no other Mid-size pack comes close to the Mystery Ranch 3-Day Assault Pack. At $399 it is definitely worth the price.
Features and Price make it an ideal pack for the Mammoth Regular guy.
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