REVIEW – Mystery Ranch ASAP

ITEM: ASAP Pack
MANUFACTURER: Mystery Ranch
DESCRIPTION:
A tri-zip assault pack, for up to 1-day use. The harness system is designed to be attached to combat body armour should the need arise.
It could be described as a smaller and simpler version of the same company’s 3 Day Assault Pack.

REVIEW NOTES:
This pack was graciously supplied by Mystery Ranch for review.
I have received no financial compensation for the review of this item. I have done the review (like many with supplied equipment) with the proviso that I will be painfully honest in my assessment of this item.

The ASAP has not been fully field tested due to real life getting in the way.

 

SPECIFICATIONS:
Dimensions
Height – 50cm (19.75in)
Depth – 18cm (7in)
Width – 26cm (10.25in)
Volume – 18L (1100 cubic inches)

Materials
– 500D for the main pack body
– Fastex buckles for the harness
– Webbing and mesh in various places

 

ATS RAID on the left, Mystery Ranch ASAP on the right.

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Compared to it’s bigger brother, the Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack.

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LAYOUT:

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FRAME AND HARNESS –
Like most of the Mystery Ranch range, the ASAP uses the Futura yoke system that allows the back length to be adjusted for wearer comfort and for compatibility and commonality of replacement items with the rest of the range.
The straps are contoured with a 3-dimensional structure with a plastic stiffener in them that interacts at the shoulder to maximise comfortable load transferrance and prevent the load from turning the strap into a piece of string under a high load.
The harness has a sternum strap, and top tensioners to really ensure wearer comfort. Also fitted are elastic and velcro loops to manage hydration bladder hoses and radio handset cables.
There is a very lightweight and low profile hip belt. This has no padding, and can be folded away in the specially fitted pockets to prevent snagging.

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The harness is lined with a mesh material to reduce heat retention and such problems as chafing. It’s actually two layers. The first layer is hydrophilic (water loving) to draw sweat away from the body. The second layer is hydrophobic (water hating) to dispel the drawn sweat into the atmosphere.

The ASAP can be mounted to CBA (Combat Body Armour) by means of the removable buckle system. Here, it is shown attached to an Eagle Plate Carrier fitted with an aftermarket cummerbund.

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The quick detach buckle system is shown below.

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Detail of the top detachable female buckle.

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RUCKSACK –
Mystery Ranch’s signature tri-zip arrangement has been used. Whilst I’ve never been a big fan of zips on a fighting load or any pack for rough field use, but the Mystery Ranch arrangement has proved itself to me on a couple of trips now. The ability to open up the pack to easily access the contents is a nice ability to have in the field or for everyday use.
Due to its size, the ASAP does not have tension relieving straps that it’s bigger brother the 3 Day Assault pack possesses. Although to offset this lack of tension relieving straps, the main body zip uses the seams from the other two zips in the “Y” as a means to control the zipper pull.
On the outside of the rucksack body are PALS rows for attachment of pouches and other accessories to customise the load carried.

 

The lid has a zip accessory pocket secured via a zip for small sundry items. There is a velcro pile section on the lid for morale/ID patches.

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Below the lid is a double-headed zip allowing access into the pack without having to open the main body zips. This allows hydration bladder hoses and radio antennae and handset cables to be routed through to the wearer.

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Inside the rucksack has some internal organisation to better stow the load.

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On the main back panel is a sleeve that accepts the Mystery Ranch Spadelock panel which allows different a series of different internal pouches to be used. So far, there is a laptop panel and a velcro panel that can use pouches that are easily removable, currently available. The Spadelock system will be further reviewed in more depth at a later stage.

The outer surface of the Spadelock sleeve has MOLLE channels for user defined accessories. This can include MOLLE pouches, or a harness for manpack radios.

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The two outer panels have a pocket that will accept such items as Nalgene water bottles and smaller items of clothing. At the top of these panels are tie-down loops to secure sensitive items that can’t afford to be lost.

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PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

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As I’ve mentioned in several of my reviews of Mystery Ranch equipment, I’ve never been a big fan of zips on my bush gear. Having said that, the proprietary tri-zip arrangement is proving itself to be a useful and hard wearing item the more I continue to use them.
The size of the ASAP is ideal for very short range use, as an “Assault Pack” as the military calls it, where extra items and equipment such as ammunition, cold weather clothing, communication equipment and other mission essential items need to be carried supplemental to the normal fighting load.
For other, more normal usage, it is ideally sized for a day’s outing in the wilds or the urban jungle to carry some extra items.
The ASAP has been taken on training walks around my neighbourhood. I’ve also had opportunity to use it on my new job, carrying such daily required items as a raincoat, my wallet, keys and lunch whilst riding in cramped truck cabs with other big burly blokes.
As a small day pack, it’s quite nice.

For me, this pack is going to be pressed into service as a nappy bag for the arrival of an impending baby.

 

PROS –
The ASAP is a really good option for those wishing to carry a smaller daypack.
The tri-zip layout allows full access to the contents that the smaller pack size in any other design would otherwise inhibit.
This smaller size and easier access to the contents, in conjunction with the Spadelock panel system makes the ASAP an option for specialist applications such as a medic’s aid bag, or carrying manpack radios. This smaller size may be more suitable than such dedicated packs as the Mystery Ranch RATS (reviewed HERE) when being shoved into confined spaces such as vehicles or large patrol packs.

 

CONS –
Due to the size of the ASAP, a lot of the details and features of the larger 3 Day Assault Pack are deleted in this design.
I don’t think the addition of the very lightweight fixed hip belt is needed, since something so lightweight tends not to be that affective. Given the nature of the size of the ASAP, and the way this class of pack tends to be used, I think changing this feature into a removable hip belt, able to be taken on or off as the user requires would be of benefit. This would allow an end-user to configure the pack for their usage, especially if being attached to an armour carrier is a requirement.

The smaller design of the ASAP also lacks the external fastex secured straps that aid in relieving stress on the main zips. I’m not sure how the zips would handle long term overloading.

 

SUMMARY:
I find the ASAP to be a really nice little pack for a small amount of essential gear, especially those who don’t suffer from chronic over-packing.


Posted in Civilian, Military, Mystery Ranch, Short Trip, Specialist by with 5 comments.

Comments

  • MTBradley says:

    Nice review. I’ve been interested in an MR pack but I’m a big sweater and worried that the foam backing would end up weighed down. What’s your experience been like with using MR packs in hot weather?

    • 22F says:

      G’day mate,

      So far, in hot weather, I’ve had no problem with the mesh back on MR packs.
      Whilst I’ve been doing training walks with my Wolf Alpha in Townsville, in temperatures over 30degC, with very high humidity, the foam hasn’t soaked up much.
      I’ve been sweating like a pig, since in Townsville I spent a great deal of time working out of an airconditioned office.

      Out scrub, for multi-day walks, usual precautions against prickly heat should be taken, but nothing too excessive.

      Hope this helps.

      Mick

  • MTBradley says:

    I sweat like a swine myself, so it does, thanks!

  • joe says:

    Hi, in this picture, what size of the yoke that you use? i’m 175cm tall (5″9′) and I’m using small yoke but funny thing my heart said it didn’t feel good.

  • 22F says:

    G’day Joe,

    You’re about my height mate. The harness on my pack is actually a Medium, and fits quite well.
    I’d suggest trying a Medium harness and see what happens then.

    Cheers mate 🙂

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