I am not going to dive too deep into this bag, because while it is very interesting — it’s not something readily available for purchase as a new item. You can easily find them secondhand, but you are buying secondhand then. And, also, it’s not my favorite bag, it’s mostly just ok, so I don’t think it is worth a ton of time on it.
But, it is one of those bags I had been wanting to try for a while, so I snagged one at a solid deal — this is the Mystery Ranch Street Fighter — and why not help calm your wonder too.
Specs and Such
The bag is: 20.5″ x 13″ x 8.5″. That comes out to a weight of 2.6lbs and a capacity of 16L. It’s a rather compact 500D bag from Mystery Ranch with the design/style a lower profile that their more tactical line of bags. It feels like a cross between an EDC use and day hiking use pack, but more like a day hiking pack that works well enough for EDC.
The harness on this is a Futura yoke (adjustable) setup which feels really close to my ASAP straps, perhaps with this having a slightly wider strap profile over the shoulders, a little denser padding — hard to say with 100% certainty as this was not a new bag when I got it. That said, it’s pretty close to the ASAP harness setup.
There’s a small admin pocket on the front top, a very awkward pocket inside at the top of the bag, and a kind of almost laptop sleeve setup, but lacking padding. It feels like a gen1 take on the more common laptop sleeve you see from Mystery Ranch now — it works but is nothing stellar. There’s two external water bottle pockets and two hydration pass throughs. Simple stuff.
I’ve used this bag a few times going to the office and the size of it is great. It feels extremely nimble and comfortable on my back — even fully loaded. The water bottle pockets hold my coffee mugs really well, and leave very little complaints.
I’ll also note that I am a fan of the small admin section, it’s simple and easy to use and holds a good amount. Even the inside top pocket — as weird as it is — is useful for stashing away things you maybe don’t want to be readily found (AirTag).
But the main compartment is not as useful as I had hoped. This is where the hiking bag element comes in — it’s about a 1/3 (maybe more) zip down the bag for the opening, which means it is essentially a top load bag. And the bag really becomes a black hole, and given how shallow the design of the bag is, it can be hard to fish anything out of the bottom of the bag.
So if all you need to carry is a pouch, jacket, and iPad/Laptop — then you’re going to like this bag. However, if you are carrying more, as I do, then this bag can become a bit frustrating to get stuff in and out of.
It’s essentially this black hole of stuff you know is down there, but can’t really get to, and are constantly annoyed by that. In a lot of ways, it’s a minimalist bag.
Well designed hydration port, right there.
This is among the most comfortable Mystery Ranch bags I own — that quality is there. The build quality is also great. However, it’s not a bag I found myself wanting to use at all.
It looks non-descript, it feels great, and it’s a touch annoying to use with how I need to use bags day to day. I do think it would make for a very nice bag for day hikes and things like that, as they lend themselves well to a bag design like this and it will not look tactical in anyway.
But using this for EDC, that was a bit of a chore.
These are all over eBay, and if you post on forums you are looking for one — it shouldn’t take too long to turf one up. I am just not convinced you should bother given the other offerings, even within the current Mystery Ranch catalog, such as the excellent District series.