Testing the Tri-Zip system, the signature of Mystery Ranch backpacks, has been on top of my list for last couple of years. I really liked the design, but I simply didn’t need another backpack. I already had 16, 20, 30 and 42 L sized packs from different manufacturers. I was also under the impression that MR backpacks were fairly heavy. However, my gear acquisition syndrome finally came to the ‘point of no return’ and I ordered a Mystery Ranch ASAP Pack with removable Stick-It pocket to try it for myself. The question now is – why did I wait so long?

The Mystery Ranch ASAP Pack is a small backpack with a big harness system, which means that the volume of 18 liters is combined with Futura Yoke harness (which can support a backpack 3-times the size). It’s made of 500D cordura, which should survive virtually anything in regular outdoor and/or military use.

The pack opens via a Tri-Zip system, which is made of 3 zippers creating Y-shaped opening. The YKK zippers are rubberized and weather sealed. The vertical zipper goes well above the meeting point of the horizontal zippers, which increases both the rigidness and security of the pack. Just bind the two horizontal zippers with a grimlock and you’re very safe in the city crowd. There is no way anyone could open the pack quickly and without alerting you. This is a trick worth remembering. The zipper’s action is smooth, but requires quite some force (imagine a vault door), which is again very good for security purposes as the zippers won’t open by themselves even when jogging, jumping, or moving about.

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(featured image courtesy of motusworld.com)