This review was written by Josh Bonin. Josh is a full-time student at the University of Maryland studying Criminal Justice. Josh works for the Maryland Police Department and is a dedicated pack/gun nut.
Mystery Ranch is well known for their military style packs as well as their hunting packs. The brand started in 2000 and came from the original company known as Dana Designs, both are founded by Dana Gleason. Mystery Ranch is currently expanding into more every day as well. The ASAP is a 1200 Cubic Inch, 20L pack that functions exceptionally well as an EDC, primarily for outdoor use but can be used as a range bag too. It comes in coyote tan and Multicam® at this point, and features 500D Cordura Fabric. One of the best parts of the ASAP, as well as others made by Mystery Ranch, is the patented 3-ZIP design which allows top access like a roll top pack and front access like a clamshell pack. My personal favorite fact related to the ASAP is that it is hand sewn in Bozeman, Montana in the USA.
I have taken it on a few day hikes and would say that is it my most comfortable pack for single day excursions. The Futura yoke, which can be adjusted easily using the plastic piece that is in the back panel, allows customization to personal torso height. I am 6’ and ordered a M/L and it has a good amount of play down and a few inches up in height.
The ASAP takes a weight load very well. While it only comes with a 1” nylon webbing strap (which I have removed but picture the strap attachment points), it does have load-assist straps. Also, if you adjust the yoke to fit you right, the weight will sit just on your lower back so with good posture it does not feel too heavy, even without a beefy waist strap.
The ASAP has a double zipper on the top just behind the straps. This allows for a hand to fit into the pack to access something from the top if it is small, but mainly for a water bladder hose. Since the zipper opens from the left of right, the hose can be ran on whichever side the wearer prefers.
You can also see that I have wrapped the standard carry handle that is 1” nylon webbing in a king cobra paracord knot. The basic strap is comfortable and plenty strong, I just find it more comfortable and a great way to store paracord.
The ASAP features U.S. made YKK water resistant zippers with a heavy duty nylon, paracord type piece weaved through the zipper. The ends are tied off and melted to prevent fraying. With the zippers being the most critical components holding the pack together all along the front when loaded full, it is nice to see these giant, durable YKK zippers.
The top of the pack has a very large Velcro panel to add name tape of patches of the wearer’s choice. There is a pocket on the top that opens towards the users back making it easy to slip the pack off and get into this pocket, rather than a front access pocket where you have to flip the pack around.
I threw a pretty standard size flip black pocket knife in there to show general size. There is an additional, smaller pocket within the top pocket. It is perfect for keys, wallet, knife, sunglasses, and any other small EDC items one may have and need easy, quick access to. Below is a picture of my Hellbent Holsters Combat Wallet to show general size.
The inside of the pack features two side pockets with a 1” nylon compression strap over it. These straps can get in to way when loading the pack from the top, as things catch on them when trying to push the item into the pack. Each of these pockets fits a standard elongated 3L water bladder.
The back panel includes three rows of MOLLE, 4 columns high to add any accessories the user might want in the pack. Personally, I do not use them because it is placed right in the middle and can interfere with different items you may want to pack, BUT it is nice to have them there. They also include a loop at the top middle of the pack for yet another 3L water bladder, meaning this can easily hold 3 3L bladders comfortably.
You can get a glimpse of it above but I have added a better picture below. There is a tag in the ASAP that shows the sign of on the start date, builder, and inspection of the pack. It has absolutely nothing to do with the pack functionality itself but is a nice touch on top of it already being hand-sewn by Americans.
- 500D Cordura
- Built in America Lifetime warranty
- Plenty of MOLLE
- Futura Harness
- 3-ZIP Water Resistant Design
- $$$- Expensive at $245.00 for Coyote and $282.00 for Multicam®
- Internal organization is lacking
- No Laptop Sleeve
Overall, the Mystery Ranch ASAP is incredibly functional; it has a ton of MOLLE on the outside to accessorize, some internal organization, customizable yoke, and is hand-sewn in the USA. The 500D Cordura provides a durable fabric without being too stiff while also weighing it at only 3 pounds. Mystery Ranch has done a great job creating a solid outdoor daypack. I do not recommend it if the user needs to carry a laptop due to the lack of a dedicated compartment and padding on the bottom of the pack. They do have a 3-ZIP dedicated to urban EDC and laptop carry which is called the URBAN ASSAULT. It is much less expensive at a $150.00 dollar price point and comes in many colors, but is made in the Philippines and does not have MOLLE. It can be found here: http://www.mysteryranch.com/urban-assault-pack
The ASAP can be found here: http://www.mysteryranch.com/asap-pack