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Mystery Ranch 3-Day Assault BVS

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This is the Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault BVS Pack. BVS is the acronym for “Bolstered Ventilation and Stability” system, a Mystery Ranch pack feature that adds stability for wearing the pack over body armor. I was given this pack a couple of months ago at a SureFire/5.11 Tactical writers event in SoCal. Since I haven't worn or used any of the Ranch's gear before, I was not sure what to expect – BLUF, it's nice.

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Unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to do much that really allows a thorough T&E anymore, so I took some pictures, wore it on a couple of day hikes and once on a trip as carry-on luggage. Then I passed it on to one of the guys who could give it a thorough workout.  I'll give you a quick overview and my initial impressions, then share the full review when he (and his son – more on that in a bit) has finished it.

The 3-Day Assault BVS holds 2,000 cubic inches (about 33 liters), weighs about 5.5 pounds and uses a tri-zip opening design that is unlike most other packs out there. I was leery of it at first for a number of reasons but soon moved past my hesitation. The zippers are solid, with a good bite and I did not have any trouble with them pushing open from interior load pressure even when partially started.  The stitching looked pretty rugged, though I was not able to really test it strenuously. The pack frame, like the padded waistband, is adjustable to the torso size of the wearer. This and the pack's comfort are actually what I noticed first up front. I was able to load and wear the pack without discomfort, then hand it off to my nephew, who could put it on with a quick adjustment and wear it equally comfortably. The BVS system, while designed to make the pack ride better over an IBS or plate carrier, may actually have contributed to the comfortable ride.

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The pack also features an internal Futura Ruck frame, Futura Yoke, internal sleeves and ports for up to 3 hydration reservoirs, radio inputs/outputs/antenna routing ports and PALS webbing on the the sides and interior.

MSRP varies on features, from $345 to $409. Purchase one or read more here. You can download the spec sheet on PDF here.

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There are certainly things that might come to light with additional wear and greater familiarity, but overall my impression of this pack is overwhelmingly positive. Is it worth an extra $20 to $40 over the standard 3 Day Assault? I cannot say that with certainty because I haven't worn that pack (it has the same features but lacks the BVS system) but for the money I'd err on the side of what I now know I like. I'd buy the 3 Day Assault BVS, even if I was never going to wear body armor again.  Stand by for further evaluation by a former Explorer-turned-infantryman-turned-LEO/tactical officer and a Boy Scout Second Class who've been taking turns with the same pack.

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