Mystery Ranch has been busy this month releasing new packs. Add another to the list. The new Mystery Ranch Invader is a smaller version of their Outsider Messenger/Sling bag.
Those who are familiar with my philisophies on bag design known I’m not a huge fan of the Sling format. Particularly large slings. People tend to load them up (or pretend in reviews to load them up) when in reality they don’t handle weight well and in turn they aren’t all that fun to carry.
Despite my misgivings, the Invader shows promise. They downsized the bag by 20% to 1,272 cubic inches, which is a more manageable and maneuverable size for a sling.
The wide seat belt strap is thickly padded. The strap can’t be switched to one side or the other (which would have been a nice enhancement by MR), but that’s not a show stopper. The backpanel seems to have some structure to it in order to provide padding for the laptop compartment, which can accomodate up to a 15″ device. And the carry handle is also a nice touch.
Based on a limited number of reviews on the Outsider, if the layout is similar, then the Invader will have a decent amount of compartments/organization for a small-ish pack. And despite being made out of 500D Cordura, it’s also relatively light at 2lbs, 6 ounces.
Every once in a while, I see a sling that tempts me to try the category again. The Mystery Ranch Invader is one of the those bags. The Invader is available as a pre-order with an early June ship date.