Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 Review | Durable 24L EDC Backpack With A 3-ZIP Opening (UA24)


– The Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24, or the UA 24 for short is
a durable 24 liter backpack that is pretty great for travel as well and has a super
comfortable harness system. I’m Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, where we use our expertise
and real world experience to provide practical
resources and honest opinions guiding you towards smarter travel. So, if you’re new to the
channel, consider subscribing. Let’s jump right into
the Mystery Ranch UA24, a bag that I have personally been testing for the last two weeks
including four flights in Detroit, Michigan,
Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, California. So let’s jump in and check it out. (upbeat music) Overall, the Mystery Ranch UA 24 has a pretty streamlined look, especially when comparing it to other bags in the Mystery Ranch line. Aesthetically, their
line can run the gamut, so overall they have kind
of more of an outdoorsy and tactical look. This one, there’s not ton
of external molle going on, but if you do look at
some of their other bags, there’s a lot of like
PALS webbing going on and it looks even a little bit more militaristic than this one does. But generally, slim profile on
this one, not a lot going on, smooth exterior, and we like
that, especially for travel. At the time of this review, this bag comes in four
different color ways. There is black, indigo,
ivy, and the shadow color that we have here. Sadly, the UA 24 doesn’t come in any throwback color ways yet. The main fabric on the
exterior of this bag is tough and durable. It is a 500D Cordura nylon. From a branding perspective, we have the Mystery Ranch
logo going at the top here, so generally, some subdued branding that is about the same color as the bag. Although the logo is a little bit big, we like that it’s not
really screaming at you, and it doesn’t stick out too much. We think the Mystery Ranch
UA 24 has a unique look. Some folks like it and some don’t. So we decided to poll
our Instagram audience over at Pack Hacker to
get their thoughts on it, and here are the results. Make sure to follow
@packhacker on Instagram. We’d love to have you be
a part of future polls. To wrap up the hardware, we
have durable YKK AquaGuard zippers going on throughout
the entirety of this pack, and some are number 10s,
really big and beefy, number eights as well. Just a good variety of
high quality zippers. And then, on the strap adjusters, we have nice, high
quality Duraflex as well. So, Mystery Ranch doesn’t
really mess around with durability and quality. Everything that you see going
on with this bag is solid. And for those of you wondering,
this is fully packed out, and the bag does not stand on its own. (upbeat music) Moving on to the external
components of this bag, kicking it off with the harness system. Now, this is one of my personal
favorite parts of the bag ’cause it wears high on your back. It’s super comfortable
and super adjustable, which means that it works well
with different body types. At first, this bag felt a little bit weird before I got everything
fully dialed in and adjusted, but the more I used it,
the more I traveled, even having it on for
prolonged periods of time and completely maxed out in capacity, you really start to realize
how comfortable this bag is. Starting with the straps, there is some seriously thick
and dense foam going on here. So I’d say it’s about a
half an inch in thickness, and it’s really dense as well. There are load lifters
at the top that adjust in two different places so
you can get the right fit for you, and they are properly
anchored to straps as well. So you can kind of cinch these up and then you can wear the
bag up high on your back. Additionally, there is a
semi-flexible frame sheet at the top here that can move and flex as you’re adjusting these
load lifters as well. Heading down the rest of the straps, there is a thin row of
PALS-like webbing here, and that’s gonna be for the sternum strap. Although it looks like there
are five different sections, there are about three sections
that fit these sternum strap inside of it comfortably. Now sometimes we have
gripes with this style of sternum strap because
it can easily fall out, however, the plastic
hardware that Mystery Ranch has selected for their
sternum strap is wide, and it sort of just stays in place even while this sternum
strap is being jostled around while you’re in transit. Moving down the rest of the
straps at the bottom here, we have some really beefy Duraflex buckles that just glide while
you’re adjusting the straps. And the only con here is
there’s really no elastic keeper or anything like that to
manage this excess strap. So, definitely not a
dangle-free experience. Wrapping up the rest of
the harness system here, we have this back panel
that’s nice and padded, about the same density
if not a little bit more than the straps. And then we have this
mesh paneling here as well that can help with additional airflow. No option for a hip belt in this bag, but you may not necessarily need one especially at a 24 liters
and the way the pack carries, it’s just so comfortable,
even when loaded out to the maximum capacity. Moving on to this handle at the top, it sort of just seems
like an afterthought. The positioning of it is
towards the back of the bag, which makes it a little bit
harder so when you pick it up, it’s gonna kinda, gonna do this
and it’s gonna be, you know, sort of flailing all over the
place, so that’s one thing. And then secondly, there
is no padding here at all. So you know, maybe they could
have used some foam padding that’s in these straps here,
maybe a little bit thinner. Even I know a lot of companies
just kinda sew this over, so it feels a little bit more padded while you’re grabbing it. But overall, like the positioning of this and the material this is made out of just seems kind of tacked on last minute. It definitely gets the job
done, it’s just not amazing and doesn’t really match
the quality of the rest of what this pack has going on. Wrapping up the exterior features here, we have two exterior water
bottle pockets on the side. Now it’s important to note
that these pockets themselves don’t really have any stretch. The pro of this is that you
don’t get a bunch of extra kind of shape and space going on in the exterior of this pack,
so if you have like a big, massive water bottle that’s
really going to stick out. But, in order to put a
bigger bottle in here, the main capacity of
the interior of this bag needs to be a little bit
more on the empty side if you wanna fully
utilize the outer pockets for a large water bottle. (upbeat music) Kicking it off with the pack interior, starting with the laptop compartment. So, there’s basically
a little nylon webbing grab handle here that you
can use as you’re zipping this compartment up and down, which is a nice, handy little feature. Now this is a number 10
YKK AquaGuard zipper, which means two things, one is that it’s really, really durable. It’s about the most durable
zipper that YKK makes, especially for the luggage
and backpack class. Number two, adds a lot
of weather resistance for your tech gear that
you wanna put inside. So if we open this up, we
have that curved frame sheet going on here, that we
can kind of pull back, there’s some nice flexibility there, ’cause you wanna get to your
laptop or your tech gear on the inside. Then you have two little
divider pockets here. So, the one in the back is for your laptop and that has a false bottom, which means that the design of it kind of stops right about here. So if you drop this, you know, abruptly, your laptop bottom isn’t
gonna slam to the ground. So that’s a really nice feature, love when bags do that and include that. And on the front of that
there is a small pocket for your tablet as well. There is some slight
padding on the laptop pocket which we like, as well as
small elastic on these sides to kind of keep everything
a little bit stretchy. Now one thing that we
noticed in usage of this bag is that the laptop pocket can sometimes be a little bit stubborn. A 15″ MacBook Pro with no case on it is sometimes harder to flip
in and out of this pocket, so whether this fabric on the
sides is kind of folding up, things like that. Sometimes it’s just a little
bit stubborn to get in. And maybe it’s because this is
positioned a little bit lower on the bag itself and like we
get why it would be that way just so it doesn’t get in the way of this kind of curved
frame sheet at the top. However, just note that it
can be a little bit stubborn to slide a laptop in and out of here. Moving on to the top of the bag here, we have have this top flap drop pocket. So, this has a number eight YKK zipper, again it’s AquaGuard. The large zipper is super
durable for this application, but we like that Mystery
Ranch is kind of killing it with fire as far as durability goes. So that opens right up
and then you can see there’s this mesh material here. So, this mesh material leads
into the main compartment of this bag. Again, really love this top pocket here. Good for toiletries, computer
charger, a tech pouch, anything you need you quick access to, these are always nice
to have in the airport just to take everything
out of your pockets, quickly shove them in here and then just go through security. Now on to the main event of this bag, the tri-zip or 3-Zip that you see in a lot of Mystery Ranch bags. And this is our first Mystery Ranch review with a product that has this 3-Zip, so we’re excited to dive
in and really test it out. The top of this vertical
zip is sort of hidden by these two side zippers, so
if you wanted to open it up kind of duffle-style, you
could unzip these a little bit, then get access to that top zip there. Now it kind of opens up like a duffle. One of the great things about the tri-zip and having softer materials
on the inside like clothes, is it seems like you could
just really compress it down. So if you have this number 10 YKK zipper, grab onto the bottom here and just really rip that zipper closed, it’s gonna compress all your clothing and everything inside very easily. Now I’m gonna show you quick
how I had this thing packed out on my trip. I had the Tom Bihn 3D
Organizer clear pouch going on the top here for toiletries. I had a couple more in here
than you see inside of the bag. That was going on there. And then, two small Peak
Design Packing Cubes. So one at the top here,
just pull that out, and then one kind of at the
front of this tri-zip here. So this just had all of
my clothing inside of it. Again, just really nice to have
that additional compression. You can see here that we
have two cubes stacked up. It handles that really, really well. Pull that out, and then
there is a medium sized Peak Design Packing Cube here, and I’ve actually got a suit in here, ’cause I was at a wedding. So it fits all that
really nicely and again, just like really, you can
kind of cram it in there with this massive zip,
which is really nice. And there’s a ton of
organizational features on the inside as well. Didn’t take advantage of all of them and everything it has to offer, but there’s some clever
stuff going on in the inside. On the interior wings of the bag, we have this zippered mesh pocket going on with some good ample space at the top to put in smaller items. Maybe if you have cords, SD cards, just kind of like Kleenexes, just little things that
you wanna access to and you always wanna know where they are. These mesh pockets are good for that. And then at the front of these wings, we have two water bottle
pockets going on as well, which are good for holding water bottles. Now something to note on
all these interior pockets, with this, they do use that
interior liner material and they don’t have any elastic going on on the outside here either. So, it’s not really gonna
hold things in very tightly. So just note that, it’s just
the liner, not a lot of stretch no elastic at the top. On the back panel there is
some interesting organization going on as well. So, there’s a space in the
back here for flatter items, say if you have like a folder or documents that you wanna take with you,
you can pop those in here. And that goes down to about here, the bottom of this admin panel. So there’s ample space there. And then, there’s also a
zippered compartment as well that you can open up. It has the same depth
as the pocket behind it. In front of that, two liner
pockets on these sides. So this one fits a Tom
Bihn Pouchkin really well. Kind of using that as a little
first aid kit on the road. One on the other side
are the exact same size, and then two pen,
pencil, or stylus pockets going on right in the middle. The beauty of all this organization is that it lays flat
when you don’t need it, or if you don’t wanna
utilize it, but if you do, you can kind of pick and
choose what you wanna use. And definitely, you can
just fill this thing up with big packing cubes and
kind of compress everything and jam it in. (upbeat music) At the time of this review, I’ve personally been testing
the Mystery Ranch UA 24 in Detroit, Michigan, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, including four flights. Generally this bag is very comfortable to carry for very long periods of time. And fits under an airplane seat quite well due to the 24 liter capacity and size. The lower profile exterior of this pack as well as the lay-flat
water bottle pockets are great for travel and just everyday use ’cause there’s not a lot of extra stuff going on all over this pack, and there’s no exterior stretchy pocket, which means that it will retain this shape even as you fully fill out the bag. The look of this bag is a tad
more on the tactical side, and the versatility, functionality, and comfort is really there. So to wrap this thing up
with some pros and cons, there are some high quality materials and construction going on with the UA 24 for some great durability. The pack is very comfortable
and has a great harness system that’s customizable to
different body types. Unique 3-Zip or tri-zip design creates multiple ways to access and you can really get inside of this pack without having a fully clamshell design. Now on to some of the cons. The laptop compartment can be
a little bit slow to access, the sides can kind of bunch up and make it a little bit hard
to easily slide your laptop inside, even something as
thin as a MacBook Pro 15″. The top handle seems a little bit unsolved especially compared to the
rest of the attention to detail that’s been paid on this bag. There is no elastic or stretchiness on the interior pockets to
hold the items in place. (upbeat music) The Mystery Ranch Urban Assault
24 is an excellent addition to Mystery Ranch’s other 3-Zip bags. There is a lot of attention to detail put into the way this bag carries, and you can really feel
it after you’ve had it on, fully loaded for a long period of time. Although we have gripes
with the laptop compartment and some of the interior pocket design, the pros greatly outweigh the cons with this excellent, well
thought out, and comfortable bag. This bag could be a great choice for you if you prioritize
carry comfort, organization, and durability while not minding a slightly more tactical look. So there you have it, our review of the Mystery
Ranch Urban Assault 24. We would love to hear
what you think of this bag in the comments below. Thanks for keeping it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel. We’ll see you in the next video.

24 thoughts on “Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 Review | Durable 24L EDC Backpack With A 3-ZIP Opening (UA24)

  1. It looks SUPER comfortable higher up. I got the play with this at our local REI, and it took a bit to get used to the zipper configuration, and I wonder if being used as a daily, if it would get annoying? Regardless, I like the look, and I'm glad to see them in more retail locations like REI. Also, good to know you can slide a Bellroy sling in that bad boy!

  2. You guys ever check out the kelty tactical 30 liter redwing model.very similar bag style. Basic but I think a good enough competitor

  3. It looks like they took all the complaints about the 21L UA and tried to fix them with this bag. My biggest gripe with this bag is that the outside bottle holders use up space on the inside of the pack. a 32 oz bottle or two will put a big dent in the capacity. Also, those two upper internal pockets can only accommodate items that can bend as the pocket itself bends when the pack is zipped. Did you find that the pack tends to "kick" you in the lower back? My 21L does. I really wish they included the option of a belly strap.

  4. Try some Quechua backpacks like the NH500 Country Walking 20/30L or NH100.
    Incredible channel 👍 helped a lot in purchase decissions, thank you! 😁

  5. Really good looking pack, love that gray too. Think I'd have to try out that tri-zip to see if I like it, but I'd give it a shot. Also think I'd sacrifice the streamlined exterior to have some elastic water bottle pockets. Or some kind of side zip or something.

  6. Reminds me of a Tardis, way more space inside than it looks. You wouldn’t be able to squish it all down like that with a clam shell opening.

  7. Recently saw this pack on sale at an REI. I think the price was around $140 and I almost pulled the trigger. After watching your video, I regret not making the purchase.

  8. I got the 27 mystery 2 day assault for edc. I dropped a 511 Molly panel in to supper organize. With edc rations I have room for a light sleep kit. A strong poncho that is fitted to be a hammock and a swagman role. It's got Molly on the sides and back so that gives it some expandability.

  9. calling those inner pockets "water bottle pockets" seems like a bit of an oversight. these could be used for a lot of things— umbrella, large power brick, chargers etc.

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