Note (3/10/21): The maker of this lived just south of Kyiv, Ukraine. He evacuated from the area after the war started, and thus currently is not able to sell/ship things. I wish him the best.
A little while ago ‘Walkman Backpacks’, a seller on eBay, released a laptop sleeve which is made to be installed into the Mystery Ranch ASAP — my favorite backpack. I had held off getting one while I waited to hear from a few I know who had them. I finally gave in, as the Aer Tech Folio I had been using, started to feel a little cumbersome.
I reached out to Igor, the seller, directly and had him make me standard laptop sleeve, but also a custom Admin Pouch with a hook back for it. They all came in a while back and I have fallen in love with this setup, and it’s proven versatile too. Let’s dive in…
Materials & Execution
Both of these are made out of different materials, but they could also be made out of almost any Xpac or Nylon offerings. When you order custom stuff, you get what you want (typically).
The laptop sleeve is a 500D black nylon outer shell with a PALS webbing grid on the back, and some clips for attaching it to the PALS in the bag. On the face it has a full panel of loop velcro. The zipper runs across the top and slightly down the sides about a quarter of the sleeve. Opening it exposes a bright orange ineterior in what feels like a lighter fabric. I inquired about different options for colors, but it was a bit silly in the end as the loop covers most of the visible area and is only available in black right now. Overall, this laptop sleeve is really nicely made, but the loop is a little lower in the pile, so it won’t feel as fuzzy and thus not as sticky as some loop you might be used to. In practice, I’ve not had an issue sticking my pouches to it and having them stay put for the duration.
The admin pouch was modified design of some existing options, making something very thin, with some pockets inside, one exterior pocket and a hook backing to stick to the loop on the laptop sleeve. I had mine done in X51 Multicam Black, which is Xpac with a nylon face. The interior is also orange like the laptop sleeve. It’s very nicely done and works exceedingly well — super happy with this. The key on this was that I had it made to specific dimensions so that it fits inside of many things (like my Hill People Gear Belt Pack I use as a sling) so if I need to pull it out and toss in into something else, that’s very easy and quick to do.
All in all the materials are top notch, as is the execution of all of this. I’m impressed.
Of course, none of that matters if it sucks to use this gear day to day, but this setup has been working really well for me. And I’m a big fan — it’s hard to resist getting more.
The laptop sleeve is the big add, as it is designed to fit in this bag. It sits a touch off the bottom of the pack, has some nice padding, and is all around nicely done. It is very secure in the bag with the clips and I have no flopping about. It is oversized for my iPad Pro, but it does fit two iPad Pros (one naked, one with a Magic Keyboard attached) at the same time. The width can be a little tricky, as the keyboard cover can get a little hung up pulling it out on the zipper, but you really just need to remember to unzip it a little more than you might assume and you are good to go.
You can get this sleeve made in a custom size, but you’ll need to specify those dimensions yourself. Otherwise, this larger sleeve fits my stuff really well, holds it securely in place in the bag, and pads it nicely. The only downsides are: the loop could be a little more fuzzy to help with hook pouches sticking even better; and the zippers are a little tight to move around the corners, but they are breaking in well and I bet are no longer an issue in another month.
The loop isn’t even a large concern for me, I keep three pouches stuck to it, and not a single one has fallen off. However, the top edges of the admin pouch do sometimes start to pull off when it is crammed full and I tug downwards at the zippers. It’s never come more than maybe 1/4” off, but if you plan on placing something very heavy in it, you should be aware of this. I imagine if you are running hurdles on a track it might come off eventually, but for me it’s survived my strenuous elevator rides from the car.
This is even better than I had hoped for. It holds a tremendous amount of gear and it is very nice to be able to pull it in and out of the bag as needed. The corners, again, can be a little tight but they are getting better and better to use. I was worried it wouldn’t stay put stuck up at the top and carrying all my random stuff, but so far it’s not been an issue at all as I mentioned above. This little pouch is the ideal size, keeping a very low profile in the bag, while being large enough to hold the gear I need and keeping it accessible.
It also looks killer, and this style admin pouch is quickly becoming my favorite type: slim, and wide. It’s very easy to stuff it full of gear, pull it out of the bag, and drop it in another bag. A few items which are too expensive to own multiples of live in this bag, so that I can toss them in and out of other bags since I use many.
In the Bag
Here’s how I set it up in the bag:
At the top is the admin pouch, and then two further pouches at the bottom (both from here). The mesh pouch has another pouch in it I can pull out without needing to unzip the full zipper on the bag, so I have quicker access, to less frequently needed gear. While the zippered pouch has gear that I like to carry, but infrequently need to get access too. To really get at that pouch I need to fully open the ASAP.
What’s great is that these all can then be used in other bags that have a loop wall — including the laptop sleeve as I used MALICE clips to attach a 5.11 Tactical hook adapter to the sleeve so that it velcros to another loop panel. It’s a neat way to have a very modular bag setup — and I am becoming a big fan of hook and loop bag setups.
I didn’t get it before, now I do.
Both of these are awesome additions to the ASAP. My main wish for the ASAP was a great laptop sleeve, and though this isn’t perfect (no outside access, adds more bulk than a built in one would) — it is very good. And a very good laptop sleeve is better than many bags.
I also don’t lose a spot to attach pouches — but actually gain more area for that. And the admin pouch itself is fantastic. These are must haves for anyone wanting to use devices with an ASAP.
Best backpack got even better? Pretty much.
Side note: you can make a GORUCK bag loop velcro inside too.
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