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First Look: Mystery Ranch Three Day Assault Pack

In my decade long full-fledged attempt to feed my bag addiction, I’ve never tried anything from Mystery Ranch.  Many regard the Montana-based equipment company, born out of the imagination of renowned designer Dana Gleason, to be the pinnacle of production bag making here in the United States.  Kifaru and some others might disagree, but there’s no question that Mystery Ranch is well-regarded.

I’ve always wanted their Three Day Assault Pack, but I resisted due to cost.  The 3DAP is a 2000 cubic inch (33 Liter) tactical assault pack that leverages a 3-zip design for easy access and Mystery Ranch’s patented Futura Frame for a custom-like fit.



I finally pulled the trigger this past month and purchased the pack in Black.  


Mystery Ranch 3DAP Pack

Mystery Ranch 3DAP Pack



Mystery Ranch fans will recognize that I’ve added a small removable “Stick It” pocket to my new pack.  


3DAP with Removable Stick It Pocket

3DAP with Removable Stick It Pocket


Don’t get excited – I didn’t order it from Mystery Ranch.  The Stick It is still discontinued and extremely hard to find.  A special thanks to Eric Blackstone for sacrificing for the cause by giving up the Stick It off his personal pack.  Eric was fairly compensated (and further down the path towards his next grail), but I was still very appreciative that he was willing to let it go.  Before that, I had contacted vendors in five countries in an attempt to source one.  

Why all the fuss?  I’ve used transporter tails on packs like the Triple Aught Design Litespeed, Camelbak Urban Assault, and Vertx Gamut enough to know they are extremely useful for stowing hats, gloves, and other gear for easy access outside the pack.  I wouldn’t want a 3DAP without one.  I hope Mystery Ranch reconsiders and starts making them again.  The Stick It can even be used with other MOLLE compatible packs.  It’s an awesome piece of kit.   


Mystery Ranch Stick It Pocket

Mystery Ranch Stick It Pocket


I also added a Sling Pocket to carry my phone or Sunglasses (pictured below on the right shoulder strap).



Based on Mystery Ranch’s suggestion, I ordered a XL and I’m glad I did.  It took me a hour of messing with the frame, waist belt, shoulder straps, and load lifter straps to dial it in completely, but once I had the yoke and straps adjusted to my liking, the fit was very custom pack-like.  




Having just received the 3DAP, I don’t have a fully formed opinion on it yet.  At 18″x11.5″x8.5″, I was concerned that the pack would be a little short for my height and I wouldn’t be able to properly use the load bearing waist belt (in the above pictures, it’s stowed and tucked out of sight).  The Futura Frame adjustments along with the load lifters took care of that.  I was able to extend the frame enough to get everything in the correct position.

Every aspect of the 3DAP is overbuilt with the intent of handling a heavy load out.  I’ve heard others describe the yoke as “overkill” with lighter loads.  I haven’t experienced that yet but I need to carry it more.

The Tri Zip opening is awesome.  You can flay the pack fully open or run it as a top loader.  It will be hard to go back to my other conventional packs after this.         

The Mystery Ranch Three Day Assault fills a gap in my bag collection as a weekend hiking pack, bail out bag, and large EDC for days when I need more capacity.  A full review is coming soon.  Stay tuned.      


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12 Responses so far.

  1. Alan says:

    Enjoy the new bag, it’s a great piece of kit. I had two of them but found them a touch heavy with all the accoutrements and bought a Sweet Pea instead. Same size, lighter and with a lighter version of the Live Wing belt. Also, it’s orange which I like for high visibility for travel.

    You nailed the Stick It as a great addition, I use mine on an ASAP as well.

  2. Alan says:

    What size Stick-it is on your 3DAP?

  3. Alan says:

    I’ve never seen another size, I have them on both of my ASAPs but haven’t tried them on the Sweet Pea or 3DAP yet.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Alan, it’s very confusing. Evidently there is a large size that was made specifically for the 3DAP and larger packs. If you have them on your ASAPs and they’re not covering the area where the three zippers meet on the tri-zip then you have the small.

  4. Dean says:

    I’m interested to see the detailed review of this bag. I’ve had one for a couple of years now and it gets most of my EDC carry even though it’s a bit “Tacticool” for carry back CONUS. After reading all the reviews of GoRucks and other bags nearly as pricey on the site I’m happy to see Mystery Ranch get some love.

  5. Ed Bertain says:

    Are you aware the Stick-it Pouch is no longer available at MR? I called to buy a Black ASAP with a Stick-it and they said they are no longer available and have no others in stock? I need the combo to secure a helmet. FYI

  6. Jason Dellinger says:

    Welcome to MR. Once you become accustomed to their Futura shoulder straps, everything else will seem flimsy. I have several MR packs, the two current favorites are the ASAP configured for scouting/early season mild weather hunting and a RATS pack for everything else.

    Definitely check out a RATS pack. It’s a chameleon in that it has great organization, double zip front panel open, Velcro lined interior, and several very unique features. Also it can be mounted to the NICE frame for major load carry. If MR would make a “clean” version (no tourniquet holders, no included Velcro pockets) for civilian/edc use it would be a sure winner.

    First time visitor to your site, great job! I’m definitely staying in touch here.

  7. Jerry W Horton says:

    Any follow up on the 3DAP? Was curious what you thought of it over the longer term. Thanks in advance,

    • Blaine B. says:

      Jerry, sorry no. In the end, the pack just wasn’t long enough so I could never dial it in. I thought I did, but carrying it proved otherwise. Therefore I couldn’t really effectively field test it. I’d consider giving the Front a try since it’s longer than the 3DAP. Better pocket setup also for what I need. But the 3DAP was definitely a no-go.

      • Jerry W Horton says:

        Thanks for the reply. I’m debating about the Front. Did you find laptop carry any easier with it? Other than that it looks perfect.

        Thanks for the reviews. I really enjoy the insights.

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