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Carry Awards

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

Hall of Fame | Carry Awards X

by , June 6, 2023

Our Tenth Annual Carry Awards welcomes an industry-shaping backpack into the Hall of Fame

Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

Every now and then, a pack comes along that shakes up the entire industry. And after the 3 Day Assault Pack (AKA 3DAP) was born, the term ‘access’ in carry design would forever be considered differently.

You can read all about the invention of its 3-Zip in our archives (part 1 and part 2) to learn more about this wildly functional method of access first born from a ski pack concept, but the 3DAP is the pack that brought it all into the spotlight, in one rugged, battlefield-ready package.  

Hall of Fame | Carry Awards X

For me, there really has been no other pack that has captured my personal and professional interest and fascination more than the 3DAP. From the moment I set eyes on it, it has been “the one”. Arguably, this is because the 3DAP really came to be at the exact same time that I entered the world of softgoods design, 20 years ago, at the turn of the 2000s. 

Dana Gleason, founder of Mystery Ranch, was a design idol of mine. And still is. And he’d just come off Dana Design and was diving headlong into his new project, Mystery Ranch. Then, putting all his knowledge and experience into his next crazy venture, the 3DAP was born. 

A visionary industry titan and a personal design hero, releasing his latest and greatest offering from his new brand? An offering that would influence main-compartment entry for years to come.

For me, the 3DAP was the absolute pinnacle of backpack design. What a pack could be.

What specifically makes the 3DAP amazing? Though it has slightly evolved over the years, it more or less has kept the same overall design and purpose: a pack for military forces to contain 3 days’ worth of assault gear. 

Hall of Fame | Carry Awards X

These packs have been to some of the most hostile environments on earth. There have been more than 100,000 units made, purchased by the US military for some of the finest and most elite special forces units (SEALs, etc.). They are designed not to fail, and to comfortably carry loads for hours while keeping the carrier agile. A perfect example of ‘fitness for purpose’ in carry design. 

Each 3 Day Assault Pack is expertly made from Cordura nylon in the USA by some crazy amazing human at Mystery Ranch’s manufacturing facility in Bozeman, Montana (lovingly nicknamed “The Ranch”).

Combine that military toughness with an incredibly unique 3-ZIP access as well as the beautifully executed and comfortable Futura harness (which just might be my favorite load-bearing harness ever made) and you have damn near perfection. 

Hall of Fame - Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault Pack

The 3DAP has inspired me and many others, capturing our curiosities and passion. And to honor the big guy himself and everyone else at Mystery Ranch who played a role… this award is for you. 

A sincere congratulations and personal thank you. The 3DAP has securely cemented itself as a timeless icon of pack design for eternity. Welcome to the Carry Awards Hall of Fame, 3DAP. Enjoy your well-earned crown!


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