As many of you may know, I’ve been writing for The Loadout Room for over 2 years now and would like to introduce someone new. My wife Brandie, has been my steadfast partner for over 20 years now. She’s the Mother of my 2 sons and is always up for whatever crazy adventure we conjure up. And I’m sure many of our readers have similar relationships with their better halves as well. With several manufacturers now catering more specifically to women, what better opinion to have on these items than a woman’s. 5.11 Tactical is one such company pioneering this avenue and the MIRA 2-in-1 Pack is their new women specific backpack. Below is her review:
I’m pretty methodical whenever I embark on a mission. In addition to being a clear Type-A personality, I’m the mom of two very active teen-aged boys & wife to a former Army Ranger. I’ve got to be ready for damn-near any adventure, along with all of the possible gear/accessories/supplies/snacks that goes along with it; Sherpa comes to mind. The MIRA 2-in-1 Pack by 5.11 Tactical proved to be Mission-ready for me, literally.
5.11 Tactical is globally known & respected for durable, high-quality gear tailored to serve the law enforcement and public safety communities. Expanding on these stalwarts, 5.11 is broadening it’s offerings to consider the unique needs & challenges of conceal carry, including women-focused solutions like backpacks, handbags & purses. The MIRA 2-in-1 Pack managed the burden of my loadout on a recent Mission Trip to Honduras. While conceal-carry may have been a good option considering travel to this locale is discouraged by the State Department, mine was a mission of peace & seeking personal spiritual growth under the tutelage of a Lay Dominican in action.
Not only well-built and functional, as expected, the MIRA 2-in-1 Pack is attractive. Labeled as “garnet”, the color is rich & classy, feminine without being too girlie. At 5’7” with an average build, the backpack adjusted well to my frame and fit comfortably. Functionally, the bags contains two major components: a backpack and a detachable CCW-ready crossbody messenger bag – hence the 2-in-1 name – brilliant! The designers at 5.11 truly struck a chord by solving the age-old “purse problem”.
The main compartment of the MIRA backpack is roomy with a large laptop/iPad pocket in the rear and two zippered pockets on the front flap, keeping gear organized. This is where I stash my travel snacks & TSA-approved liquids. A coast-to-coast zipper opens the main pack with ample room for a waterproof shell, sweatshirt, noise cancelling headphones, along with several books & travel documents. A zipper at the top of the pack provides easy-access to a small fleece-lined pouch, perfect for sunglasses. Additionally, the front flap features a wide flat pocket, right-sized for my passport & paper boarding passes (Honduras is a little behind the technology-curve of e-tickets). And, of course, two mesh pockets on each side for hydration bottles & the like.
While the MIRA 2-in-1 Pack hauls the bulk of the necessary gear, the removable messenger bag is a clever solution to the “purse-problem”. Never heard of the “purse problem”? Let me tell you, it exists. Carrying a purse & a backpack is just silly; not only redundant but awkward. But, almost worse than carrying both, is trying to schlep around a too-big bag as a purse. Oftentimes, you need a smaller option: enter the 5.11 MIRA crossbody bag.
The MIRA crossbody bag accompanies me on every outing of our mission; from visiting the sick & and homebound throughout the village & mountains, to the monthly medical mission, and even brick-laying for a new church. This bag is the daily workhorse carrying the essentials: wallet, passport, first-aid kit, cellphone & iPad, battery back-up, chapstick, sunglasses and surprises for the children. With pockets, pouches & dividers, the crossbody bag provides a place for everything. Including a handgun in the covert magnetic CCW pocket.
5.11 MIRA 2-in-1 Pack Specs courtesy of 511tactical.com
- 2-in-1 backpack/crossbody bag
- Adjustable chest straps
- YKK® Self-healing zippers
- Hook and loop accents
- Main pack: 18″ L x 11″ W x 6.5″ D
- Crossbody: 10″ L x 9″ W x 3″ D
- Durable water-resistant exterior
- Removable crossbody bag
- Laptop compartment
- Dual interior pockets
- 2 exterior mesh water bottle pockets
- Hook and loop patch on front panel for morale patch attachment
- MSRP $129.99
I’d highly recommend the MIRA 2-in-1 Pack; it was a perfect choice for my Mission Trip and would function well for any travel. While I wouldn’t use it as a daypack for hiking. Primarily because other backpacks I’ve used like the SOG Scout 24L do a little better job of distributing weight between my shoulders and hips. The MIRA 2-in-1 Pack from 5.11 Tactical provided me with a solid Mission-ready solution at a reasonable price.