Mystery Ranch backpack

Mystery Ranch’s new 24-liter Urban Assault pack uses two zippers across the top to open it much like a traditional backpack. A third zipper splits the middle of the pack, allowing you to expose all the internal storage capacity.

What new can be done with a backpack? Sure, you can add a few more pockets here or there, maybe include some better padding on the straps, but the basic blueprint is set, right? Think again.

Designers behind Mystery Ranch's 24-liter Urban Assault pack came up with the ingenious idea of creating a three-zipper system to better access what you've got stored inside. Use two of the zippers across the top to open it much like a traditional backpack, albeit with an agreeably larger opening. The third zipper splits the middle of the pack, allowing you to expose all the internal storage capacity — no more searching for something stuck in the bottom.

Of course, for this to work, you need high-quality zippers and sturdy construction, and Mystery Ranch, a company best known for its rugged backs for the military and outdoor guides, doesn't disappoint.

The other clever idea is to create a separate compartment for your laptop with its own opening, making it easy to remove it in the airport security line. The pack also features comfortable straps, an exterior pouch for a water bottle, and enough internal pockets to keep anyone organized.

Yes, it's on the pricey side ($165), but for anyone who travels much, this pack will be well worth the investment.

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