TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

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Mystery Ranch is one of the biggest names in outdoor backpacks. They make a wide range of hiking, hunting, wildfire, and military bags. Recently I found myself in need of a dedicated backpack to haul my writing gear to the range. The 2-Day Assault Pack looked like a good option so I picked one up. This review will cover my experiences using it on and off the range over the course of the last year.

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Disclosures are an essential part of any review, and they are very simple for this one. I bought this backpack and paid retail price at a local store for it. I don’t have a relationship with Mystery Ranch other than owning one of their hunting packs and really liking it. 

Background

I am a sucker for nice backpacks. My wife bought me a Mystery Ranch hunting backpack for my birthday and it quickly became a favorite. I have become familiar with their lineup and have spent more time than I would like to admit on their website looking at options.

As I was packing up for SHOT Show 2023 I came to the realization that I did not have a backpack that I wanted to take. To be clear, I have many backpacks. However, I didn’t have one that was a good fit for my writing activities.

I stopped by a Sportsman’s Warehouse and they happened to have the 2-Day Assault Pack (aka “2DAP”) in stock. I was familiar with its features and I added it to my cart but failed to buy it half a dozen times previously. I tried on the L/XL version and promptly bought it in the store, loaded it with my laptop and writing gear, and flew to SHOT.

Features

My requirements for a writing bag were fairly simple. I needed it to hold a laptop, pens and paper, and various things I always bring to the range when I’m working on reviews like a Magnetospeed chronograph and first aid kit. The bag also needed to be durable and sturdy enough to hold the sharp and heavy things that go hand in hand with shooting. Comfort would be a big plus as well.

The 2DAP checked all of those boxes. Its laptop compartment is protected and has a secondary sleeve that is perfect for a tablet or legal pad. The overall size of the pack is big enough to hold a full day’s worth of gear. 

One of the highlights of this bag is the laptop storage pocket. It is accessible from the outside of the pack via a side zipper. This is a huge convenience factor for getting a laptop or tablet out of the backpack without fully opening the bag. On the front of the laptop sleeve is a smaller pocket that I generally use to hold a tablet or legal writing pad.

Another nice feature is the internal organization pockets. There are two mesh zip pockets at the top of the bag for small items. There are also two vertical stash pouches that sit along the main zipper. I mostly use those to hold ammo or silencers.

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack
TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

What’s In The Bag?

My 2DAP is my mobile office when I’m on the range working on reviews. My list of range gear has grown over time as I have written for TFB. Currently, it includes:

  • Eye & ear protection
  • Magnetospeed chronograph
  • First aid kit
  • One or two spare AR and Glock mags (because everything seems to use those)
  • Pens
  • Permanent markers
  • Notepad
  • Laptop
  • Assorted hex and torx wrenches
  • A paint can opener (for cases stuck in the chamber)
  • Auxiliary power pack
  • Gun oil
  • Water
  • Camera tripod
  • Staple gun with extra staples
  • Paper targets
  • Target stickers
  • Gerber multitool

With all of that in the 2-Day Assault Pack, there is still usually room for some ammunition and snacks. I also generally have one or two Nalgene bottles in the side pockets as well.

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

How Does It Perform?

I love this backpack. My first outing was SHOT 2023. I carried it for four days, including range day, which devolved into a windy rainstorm. My gear stayed nice and dry in the rain, and the 2-Day Assault Pack was comfortable to carry for multiple long days on the show floor. The heavily padded straps ride well and do not cause any pain points.

At SHOT Show I kept my laptop, phone and laptop chargers, pen, notebook, water bottle, and a quarter zip jacket inside. That left plenty of room for the merch that seemed to accumulate throughout the day. The small top pockets were nice for things like chapstick and ibuprofen. For my particular needs, it is a great fit. I can carry all of my writing gear, a laptop, and range essentials.

In addition to use as a range bag, I also took it hiking a few times. It is comfortable and doesn’t dig or poke anywhere thanks to the very padded straps and back. However, all of that padding also traps heat and it got very hot under the straps and along my back. It was comfortable that it was worth it, though. This is not a great choice for an ultralight hiker though. Rather than the lightweight fabrics popular in that scene, the 2DAP is made from heavy Cordura with MOLLE webbing. It is not obtrusively heavy but it also does not prioritize lightweight construction.

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack

Conclusion

If you think this size of backpack would fit your needs, the 2-Day Assault Pack is a great pick. While it does have “2-Day” in the name it would be a tight squeeze for actual overnight work. It has become my constant companion whenever I’m shooting. Mystery Ranch makes good backpacks and the 2-Day Assault Pack is no exception.

TFB Review: A Year With The Mystery Ranch 2-Day Assault Pack



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