Note: Mystery Ranch provided this backpack for review.
I’ve had the Blitz 30 for quite some time now, and I’ve used it in a wide variety of scenarios. It’s a bag which really surprised me for how versatile it can be. While this is a new offering it is along the same lines of the popular 2 Day Assault — which means it has many of the lessons Mystery Ranch has learned in all its various military bags, but distilled into a more affordable offering for those not going to literal war zones.
I really like a lot of things about this bag, but there are nuances and caveats here. Like the 2 Day Assault, you’ll need to first be good with the military vibes, but if you are, then you are left with a really nice bag and one which more easily spans a wide gambit of use than the 2 Day Assault.
Materials & Size
It compresses very well when needed.
This is a 500D Cordura bag, utilizing an adjustable yoke harness system. It comes in at 30 liters, but does come in a larger 35 liter option (albeit with changes). I’ve found that it packs a little smaller than many other 30 liter bags, as the two front pockets are large in volume which pushes the main compartment to more like 26-28 liters.
Left to right: 3 Day Assault CL, Blitz 30, ASAP SB.
The harness, as far as I can tell, is identical to that of the 2 Day Assault. Which means the foam is a little softer than what you would find in the military/Made-in-USA variants of the Mystery Ranch bags, but in line with what you find in the smaller hiking packs. This means that the bag should be very comfortable at lighter weights, and I found that it was bearable when loaded with 30lbs in steel plates. For most people, this will feel comfortable. But for those with an ASAP or 3 Day Assault, the padding will feel less robust. The zippers are all Aquaguard, which is always welcomed.
All in all, this is a wide and tall bag, with a harness system which beats 90% of the bags on the market. Good stuff, great materials.
What It Is For
The question with this bag is: what is it for? While the 2 Day Assault is very much an EDC style bag, this looks too big. The thing is, it really isn’t much larger than the 2 Day Assault and it has some serious tricks on that front too. I would say this is a tactical looking bag for someone looking to only want to own one bag which can move from the woods, to the office, and handle traveling too.
And the reason this bag can do all that is because it has some really awesome features which allow it to compress down really flat when not full so that it doesn’t take up a ton of volume, or look too large for the office. While at the same time it is loaded with features for EDC and hiking. I found that the 2 Day Assault does not compress nearly as well as this bag — in fact this bag compresses better than any bag I can think of.
Where It Excels
When I first laid eyes on the bag, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I am a fan of a lot of Mystery Ranch gear, but I am a super fan of the adjustable yoke bags which have a tri-zip setup. That setup is killer. But this new horseshoe opening is equally awesome in practice, becuase you don’t lose much of what makes the tri-zip great. You still retain the great little quick stash pocket that the tri-zip bags have at the top of the bag, while getting easier clamshell style access to the main section of the bag.
The Blitz also has a laptop sleeve which is accessible as a top load from inside the bag, or externally through a side zipper. This is a killer feature, and an oddly rare one on Mystery Ranch bags. The laptop sleeve is also loop lined, which not only makes sliding your gear in and out smoother, but gives you a spot to attach hook-backed pockets if you need to. I do wish that loop was on the face of the laptop sleeve as well, as the value is lower for me on the inside of the sleeve.
This bag is also a water hauler. It is hydration compatible with three spots internally, and with two very large side water bottle pockets externally. It feels like overkill, but this allows you to travel with a water bottle, but hike with a bladder — tons of flexibility there with low downside.
Let’s talk about those absolutely fantastic compression straps. There are six compression straps on this bag. Each compression strap reaches from the back panel over the zipper, on to the front panel. So many bags get this wrong and setup the straps in a way where they will not fully compress the bag because they do not reach around the sides — these straps are legit and they fully compress. There’s two on each side (top and bottom) and two at the very bottom of the bag. Not only can they suck the bag nearly flat, but they also allow you to stow gear/rolls at the bottom of the bag like you would for a hiking bag. I love this.
This bag does have a few things which are not ideal. The first being that the lower side compression straps gover over the water bottle pockets. Which means when you use those straps, it’s hard to impossible to use that water bottle pocket. This is a damned if you do/don’t situation for sure, as the 2 Day and 3 Day don’t go over these pockets, and thus the bags don’t compress as well. But when you are wanting to use a water bottle and heavy compression, it’ll be a trade off.
Because of how close the top lid pocket is to the main compartment zipper, it’s easy to get tripped up and unzip the wrong compartment — this could easily be remedied with differentiating the zipper pulls, but it trips me up a lot on this bag.
The looks of this bag can get a little funky depending on how loaded out it is. For example, if you have the two front pockets full, I find that the bag looks a little bulbous. This would be fine for hiking, but was off putting for me when I used the bag for EDC, so I tended not to take full advantage of those two pockets — and those two pockets have a lot of volume.
A part of me feels like this bag would be even better without the PALS on the front two pockets, purely for aesthetic reasons, and that’s coming from someone who EDCs an ASAP.
Those Two Front Pockets
Ok, let’s talk about the most noticeable feature on this bag: the two large front pockets. They are both clad in webbing on the exterior. The top pocket is setup to be a true admin pocket with a key lanyard, and small pouches for your gear.
It works well, and has a ton of volume — more than you are expecting.
The bottom pocket is simply massive and I found a little trickier to use. It has elastic loops, which are spaced very wide to hold your gear. I struggled finding things without clips which held well in these. And the this pocket has to be somewhere around 2 liters in volume. Just huge.
No matter what I tried, I found that the bottom pouch held jackets or Shemaghs best — everything else didn’t quite work well. And the top pocket was best when paired with a smaller pouch in it. Be careful with too much weight in these, as then it can make opening the main compartment a little trickier or more cumbersome at times since they are a part of the flat you open.
Webbing along the bottom are nicely sized for grabbing the bag.
This bag rings in at $249 which is slightly higher than the 2 Day Assault at $199. Overall the Blitz 30 is the more versatile bag, and offers really solid features. The 2 Day Assault wins on aesthetics for me, but I found the 2 Day Assault hard to fit in a slot for use. The Blitz 30 has fit in a lot of roles for me, and I’ve found that I really enjoy using this bag.
If you like the looks of this bag, it’s a fantastic buy, and the Forest color is a really nice green, while the black has some great orange accents.