Mystery Ranch makes packs for people who are going to work them hard and put them away dirty. They’re working packs for working people, and their 2 Day Assault Pack is a great design for anyone who needs to reconfigure their pack for the day’s mission, whether it’s climbing, load hauling or saving lives. If it’s not the perfect pack, it’s damn close.
Perhaps the most important thing about the 2 Day Assault pack is that it comes in the correct color, which is Foliage Green. Repeat after me: Foliage Green is the correct answer to any question that starts with, “What’s the best color…” Also available in black, forest green and gray for the sub-optimal crowd. Seriously though, the 2 Day is a 3lb, 1,648ci pack that is built like a tank and seems to do most everything well.
Start with the organization: not too much, definitely not too little. Accessible from the outside the top lid has two zipped pockets, the top one sunglasses or smartphone sized and the bottom one a little bigger with a mesh bottom, and two elastic bottle pockets with drain grommets (bonus drain grommet on the bottom of the main compartment), plus a long side zip on the back to access the laptop sleeve inside. Also on the inside there’s a tablet sleeve on the front of the laptop sleeve, and both are suspended off the bottom of the pack to protect your electronics from a hard stop when you drop the pack on the ground. There’s a hang loop above these pockets for a hydration bladder, and you can use the side zip as a tube route.
Rounding out the interior organization are two 6×6 inch zipped mesh pockets up high on the sides, and two open bottle pockets on either side down low, useful for radios, sat phones or whatever. Access to the main compartment is by Mystery Ranch’s very nifty three zipper configuration, where you can just rip the top open and/or unzipzip the middle top to bottom. All zippers are bombproof and basically waterproof. The ability to splay the main compartment open allows you instant access to everything inside, which really lets you get flexible with how you pack things: critical items don’t have to always be at the top of the pack anymore. This feature is just as useful in a hotel room or on an airplane as it is in the field.
Back to the outside, there is MOLLE on the front, top sides and bottom of the pack, so attach any of six billion different MOLLE accessories until you’re dialed in just how you like it. Speaking of dialing it in, there are two front compression straps that are beefy enough to carry loads on their own. Did someone say carry loads? That’s not a problem with the 2 Day. The padded, contoured shoulder straps are stout enough to be used on a pack twice this big, which is good because the day will come when you overload it – just because you can. It will still be comfortable to carry, and you can engage the basic webbing hip belt if you need to. The sternum strap has a good range of adjustment, and the buckles on either side of it have a very useful small elastic keeper that can quickly secure hydration hoses, radio cords or any small light item less than an inch wide.
So how do we love the 2 Day Assault Pack? Let us count the ways: configurable to the nth degree, comfortable with loads large and small, the perfect amount of organization and the ability to access all of it any way you want. Plus some velcro on the top for your morale patch. It’s just a fantastic pack that will do just about anything you ask of it.