Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack | Eyes On

Mystery Ranch founder Dana Gleason's tiny counterpart (Mini Dana) packing up goodies for Mad Duo
| August 18, 2019
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

Slim and Swinging Dick have been doing a lot of teaching lately. This usually means one of the Minions is housing them while they drink all available booze, smoke all their cigars, and bring strange women back to their house. It’s one of the small things you have to put up with when the Duo comes to town. The Duo are a little like the hipsters of the tactical industry; they knew most of the movers and shakers of the industry before they were cool…and that includes the man behind the 3 Day Assault Pack BVS from Mystery Ranch.

In any case, they’ve been at my place for a while and sometime during the middle of a 3-day bender (theirs, not mine), Slim told me he’d arranged for Mini-Dana (Dana Gleason’s 1:6 scale counterpart) to ship me a Mystery Ranck 3-Day Assault Pack.

Evidently, that’s one way the Mad Duo differentiates a 3-Day pack from other rucks: it’s perfect for a 3-Day bender.

(Mini) Dana Gleason from Mystery Ranch sending the Mad Duo a package at Breach-Bang-Clear HQ.

Mini Dana putting in some work ensuring, ensuring the package is shipped in time for the pack to arrive before their next class (they’ll be teaching some of the RCMP ERT).

Now who, you may ask, is Dana Gleason, and why does he need a 1:6 scale counterpart?

Well, let’s talk about that. Dana Gleason is the HMFIC at Mystery Ranch — you have no doubt heard of Mystery Ranch, and if not you need to choke yourself. Mystery Ranch was founded back in 2000, but its lineage goes back much further than that. It all really started back in the late 1970s at Dana’s first company, Kletterworks. That’s where he met Renee Sippel-Baker (this was 1978), starting a chain of events that have spanned more years than I’ve been alive on the earth.

They later founded Dana Designs, which you (if you’re one of the cognoscenti) were the packs to have. In 1995 though the idea of retirement was floated and they ended up selling the company. Much like most creatives though, retirement didn’t seem to suit them. It’s boring. They needed an outlet for their ideas and along came Mystery Ranch. There’s a lot more to that story. You can read more of it in our Mystery Ranch Packs article.]

Mini-Dana's pen (or Sharpie) is mightier than the sword.

Pen be damned, the Sharpie Magnum is mightier than the sword, especially when wielded by someone just twice its size!

Why would you employ a 12 in. (1/6 scale) tall action figure clone of yourself?

The answer is simple: miniature warfightin’ guys and gals like the Mad Duo need good gear too. Dana (the big one) says it’s hard to design and field things for people that are only a sixth your size, let alone sew all those tiny details, but they manage to get it done.

This allows Mystery Ranch the ability to provide badass gear for both full-sized and motivated action figures going into harm’s way as well as the outdoor enthusiast.

Think we’re kidding?

1/6 scale action figure rucksack: Mystery Ranch

Anyway, the package arrived and the fight was on to see who’d be first inside.

The Mad Duo getting started on the Mystery Ranch box from (Mini) Dana Gleason

It didn’t take long for Slim to get mad – Swingin’ Dick has never been big on patience.

Swingin’ Dick insisted they open it with one of my custom “House Morningwood” Benchmade knives. Slim, who is equally bloodthirsty but typically less reckless, agreed.

This is why I never have any cool gear despite it being far too large for them. They’re like crows, always collecting things. They don’t even have to know what a tactical gadget is to want it.

Climbing and doing parkour to get into the Mystery Ranch box

The box was a lot bigger than either of ’em, but they’re used to that. It’s one of the reasons they learned Parkour.

With the box open it was obvious that whatever was inside was built to fit me. Despite this, Slim continued to insist that he too had something in there. He said Mini Dana had promised!

Good climbing gear is important when you're just 1:6 scale

I snapped a quick picture as the Duo realized something did in fact await them at the top of 3 Day Assault mountain.

The box was perched on the edge of the table, so the only safe way to get what was theirs was to bust out the climbing gear. The surface of Nylon Cordura can give way easy. One wrong step could send them tumbling headlong for the floor, possibly resulting in a knee joint breaking or a hand popping off and the cat stealing it.

And no one wants that.

Victory! Slim now has his own 1:6 scale Mystery Ranch pack

Success! Neither Slim nor Swingin’ Dick know how Mini-Dana managed to get both a full size and a scaled size ruck into that box by himself but they’re grateful nonetheless!

Damn, Mini Dana sure came through. Now Slim and I can put our respective packs through their paces at the same time.

All that aside, if you have never heard of the Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack or have failed to gaze upon the badass beauty that is Dana’s Tri-Zip design, you have been living under a rock. The top zippers allow the pack to operate like any pack you have used for years. Open it up and cram things in: just remember that having available space doesn’t mean you gotta fill it with unnecessariables! The true magic, though, comes from the vertical zipper on the rear of the pack. This allows you to access items buried at the bottom of the pack without pulling everything out.

The 3 Day Assault was designed to carry sustainment gear like ammo, batteries, water and even a radio. It functions absolutely true to its design and countless users will attest to its amazingful amazingness.

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Pack with Futura Harness

The Tri Zip design is iconic. If you’re lucky enough to have a pack featuring Tri Zip, you’re lucky enough to have a Mystery Ranch pack. And you already know much of what we’ve been preachin’.

The 3 Day Assault BVS (Bolstered Ventilation System) ruck also utilizes the Futura harness. The Futura harness makes the pack configurable, so it will meet a wide range of user size – that means it’ll sit right where you want on your back no matter your height. And while we are speaking about backs, let me point out that the BVS is designed to work easily with armor plates. The two easily removed bolsters on the pack are meant to “hug” your plate. This will keep your pack from sliding around while you ruck. Anyone who has had a pack twerking and shifting on their back during a hump will understand the significance of that! While geared up the waist strap stows into two purpose-built pockets on the side so it doesn’t interfere with things like your belt rig.


Mystery Ranch packs have many innovative features - like these bolsters

The bolsters are removed with the simple press of a button, located on the Tri Glides contained within.

This is a pack meant for assaulters. It’s built with purpose-driven features. For instance, the waist strap is minimal because it was never intended to be used as a pack to haul All The Things and the kitchen sink. They have plenty of other packs if you need that sort of thing (like the Overload, which you will hear about more at a later date).

I am really impressed with the 3 Day pack and want to thank Mini Dana and Slim for hooking me up! It makes my vanishing booze cupboard much more bearable.

You will get the full report on the 3 Day Assault BVS in a couple of months, and hopefully me, the Duo, and Mini Dana can meet up again for some drinks and good conversation at SHOT Show.

More to follow.

A Mystery Ranch pack purpose built for assaulters

The pack contains all the tools required to adjust the height of the Futura Harness.

Mystery Ranch Packs designer Dana Gleason

1:1 scale “full-size” Dana Gleason in his happy place. Mini Dana is probably underneath there inspecting something.

3 Day Assault Pack specs

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

    • HDPE (high-density polyethylene) Internal Frame to provide rigidity while remaining flexible. The Futura Yoke easily micro adjusts to the torso length allowing the proper amount of stand-off between the back and frame.
    • BVS – Bolstered Ventilation and Stability system– allows for a stable, secure fit over body armor and can be easily removed.
    • Featuring the classic Mystery Ranch 3-ZIP design for easy, rapid access to the interior.
    • Three rows of MOLLE on front panels
    • Internal sleeves and ports integrate up to three hydration reservoirs
    • Zipper port for radio and antennae access
    • Radio inputs, outputs and antennas route easily through the three urethane coated zippered ports
    • Velcro on lid for identification and patches
    • Waist belt stows away when not in use
    • Bolsters can be easily removed
    • Built of custom spec’d 500D CORDURA® with Teflon® and PU coatings for maximum durability, UV, and weather protection
    • Water-repellent, IR Compliant YKK® zippers
    • Berry Compliant

Learn more on the 3 Day Assault BVS page. Scroll down for a video and close-ups of the pack.



Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack


Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault PackMystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack



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1 Comment


    been a pro ruck user since 1979. used the all. small ALICE, large ALICE, SPEAR, TT MALICE (favorite large pack) Gregory, the last 2 USMC packs (hanging on the gun vault wall, they suck). this MR is hands down the best on hand. just wish I could afford more.


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