Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review: A Stylish Pack with Military Roots for Modern Commuters

In this Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 review, we investigate this unique companion bag to learn whether it's right for your everyday carry. 
mystery ranch rip ruck 24 review
mystery ranch rip ruck 24 review

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Mystery Ranch is one of those brands that nearly everyone in the EDC community has heard of. They make incredible military and first responder packs that offer tremendous value and practical innovations without forgetting where they come from.

The Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 branches out from the company’s traditional products with a tactically-inspired commuter bag suitable for EDC or travel use. We couldn’t stop ourselves from reviewing this attractive little pack.

In this Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 review, we investigate this unique companion bag to learn whether it’s right for your everyday carry.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24

Quick Overview

The Mystery Ranch Ruck series of packs nods to the company’s military heritage without sacrificing modern, in-demand features. The Rip Ruck 24 is a rugged yet stylish pack well suited to the demands of modern commuters yet equally effective in high-stress environments.

Functionality

8.5/10

Style

9.0/10

Dependability

10/10

Value

9.1/10

What We Like

Stylish tactically-inspired bag that effortlessly threads the needle between tacticool and commuter
Rip-Zip pockets are effortless to get into
Comfortable to carry even for long periods

What We Don’t Like

Kind of small for the price
Seriously, where’s the water bottle pouch?

Want more bag and backpack options?

Gear up for your everyday adventures with the right backpack or bag. Check out our review of the best EDC bags and backpacks.

What is the Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24?

The Mystery Ranch Ruck series of bags is the brand’s jack-of-all-trades bag built to be a highly adaptable multi-role pack. Its design maintains hard-earned lessons from past packs while still incorporating the most rugged materials and in-demand features and functions.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review

The Rip Ruck 24’s mission is to be the go anywhere, do anything bag that you can use to replace that closet full of specialized packs. It’s a commuter pack, a travel pack, and everything in between.

Key Features

  • Rip-Zip quick access pockets allow near instant access to the main pocket and front facing accessory pockets
  • DWR coated YKK zippers move smoothly and add to overall water resistance
  • Integrated laptop pocket allows full use of main compartment for essential gear

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 18.5 in x 11 in x 10 in | 47 cm x 27.9 cm x 25.4 cm
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs. | 1.04 kg
  • Capacity: 24 L

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Design and Style

Mystery Ranch as a brand comes from the military and first responder world. The Rip Ruck series pays homage to classic military ALICE packs and special forces bags. That heritage is evident in larger bags such as the Terraframe but significantly toned down in the Rip Ruck 24.

The design can be described as “gray man meets SpecOps.” The tactical expertise of the designers is clear, but they worked extremely hard to create a pack that offers significant functional benefits but doesn’t stand out the way a massively overstepped and bulging military pack would.

The thing that catches the eye most about the Rip Ruck 24 is the strategically placed zippers. Mystery Ranch is famous for its Rip-Zip system of pocket closures, something we’ll dig into more below, and the style of the Ruck 24 is clearly built around these critical systems.

It’s available in several colors, primarily earth tones, each with a large silicone Mystery Ranch logo on the front. If you’re not one for blatant branding on your gear, Mystery Ranch was kind enough to stick its logo smack dab in the middle of a hook-and-loop fastener patch so you can cover it up with a morale patch of your choosing.

Rip Ruck 24 design and style

The Rip Ruck 32 (larger version of the bag we’re covering in this Mystery Ruck Rip Ruck 24 review) is arguably more practical as a multi-role bag, but it achieves that practicality at the expense of anonymity. It’s got significantly more webbing and straps and adds a padded hip belt that, while a substantial gain for comfort, makes the Rip Ruck 32 visibly a much more practical, tactical bag.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24
$169.00

The Rip Ruck 24 offers two main compartments: zip access to a laptop and document sleeve, a zippered mesh pocket, and plenty of space for your must-haves. Works as a professional carryall, travel bag, or school backpack. Rip-zip opening makes for rapid access, volume expansion pocket & weather protection zippers. PALS webbing and daisy chain attaches accessories. Two exterior pockets for quick access and organization.

Buy on Amazon
02/19/2024 07:43 am GMT

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Usability

Reviewing a commuter bag comes down to a few key factors. For the Rip Ruck 24, we focused on capacity and pockets, organization, comfort and wearability, and adaptability.

Capacity and pockets

The Rip Ruck 24 has a 24 liter capacity divided across several internal pockets and external pockets. It has a main pocket accessible by a magnetic-closure Rip-Zip pull tab. Rip-Zip is one of Mystery Ranch’s primary differentiators for their bags and packs.

It uses a paired set of zippers that run parallel to each other and allows you to pull open the pocket with a single motion. The primary and two accessory pockets on the front of the Rip Ruck 24 have Rip-Zip systems.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review

There’s also a dedicated laptop compartment at the back of the pack with a padded laptop sleeve. Thatâ’s a must-have for commuter bags as far as we’re concerned. It would have been nice from a travel perspective had Mystery Ranch gone with a clamshell fold-out design for the laptop pocket, but then again, it wouldn’t match the aesthetic of the Rip Ruck.

We thought the Rip-Zip was superb and worked as intended. Honestly, though, they lose some of their immediate value in transitioning from military and first responder users to EDC commuters and those traveling.

It’s easy to see the benefits Rip-Zip provides for those who need instant access to life-saving equipment and gear without having to look at the pocket, but if you just need to grab your spare phone charger, there’s not a ton of time savings or functional benefits.

Organization

The Rip Ruck 24 offers a surprising amount of organizational support. There’s a single internal zip pocket and a mesh sleeve designed primarily for documents or other small and thin items. Other organizational add-ons are a pair of pen slots in the main pocket just above the document sleeve and a floating laptop sleeve suitable for a small laptop or tablet.

The front accessory pockets are good for smaller items but don’t offer much dedicated organizational support. That’s honestly not surprising for a 24 liter bag and doesn’t significantly hamper the overall utility of the Rip Ruck 24.

Rip Ruck organization

One missing feature that we consider as a serious flaw is the lack of a dedicated water bottle pocket. Let’s face it, everyone who owns a commuter pack carries a water bottle.

Being forced to put our Hydroflask inside the main compartment is both inconvenient and a serious loss of space inside the main compartment. External water bottle pockets are available on other Mystery Ranch models, however. 

Comfort and wearability

The Rip Ruck 24 is a surprisingly comfortable bag, particularly given our experience with other tactically-inspired day packs. The straps are bog-standard in size, pattern, and function, but the molded backplate was well-padded for a bag this size and offered a firm yet comfortable wear.

It’s not incredibly adjustable from a fit perspective, but the straps you can mess around with are easy to get to the proper levels of tightness and stay in place exceptionally well. The sternum strap and waist belt help secure the pack to your body for comfortable carrying (and a “special forces” look). 

Why the extra straps? Unlike most backpacks, the Rip Ruck 24 is designed for comfortable daily use. The waist strap and sternum strap conform the bag closer to your body so you can more easily haul heavier loads on a daily basis. 

Back straps, sternum strap, and waist belt

We were impressed with how wearable the Rip Ruck 24 was for those with larger frames. Most sub-30L packs fit comfortably on people between about 5’4″ and 5’10”. In this Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 review, we had one of our 6’1″ reviewers wear the bag around for several days and he had no complaints. The Ruck 24 is one of the most comfortable tactical backpacks out there.

Mystery Ranch brand

Adaptability

The Rip Ruck 24 is marketed as a do-anything pack that works just as well as a daily commuter pack bag as it does in high-stakes travel environments. Overall, we think that’s reasonably accurate.

The laptop pocket is plenty large enough for laptops up to 15.6″ and bulkier items, with the primary and accessory pockets offering enough space for a day’s worth of gear with room for some snacks. As a travel bag, it’s suitable for day trips and maybe an overnighter if you pack light.

There’s not enough space in the Rip Ruck 24 for more than one outfit plus toiletries and other essentials. It does work great as an accompanying bag with a rolling suitcase or similar. Sadly, it also doesn’t have a water bottle pouch, so you’ll need to carry that separately. 

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review

There’s plenty of room for the essentials while moving from plane to train to your destination. The external pouches make it easy to grab your items quickly without digging through the large rear compartment. 

The PALS webbing and daisy chain are nice in theory, but honestly more of a stylistic touch than anything adding significant functionality. We strapped an extra gear bag to the outside of our Rip Ruck 24 to try it out. While it worked fine from a functional standpoint, it changed the look of the pack substantially.

Mystery Ranch Ruck Durability

One place where the Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 shines is durability. Mystery Ranch chose high-quality and highly durable materials at every step, then overbuilt the Ruck with doubled stitches and seriously sturdy zippers.

The body of the Ruck uses 330 Robic fabric, a rip, abrasion, and tear resistance nylon variant commonly used in MilSpec applications where reliability is mission critical. You’d have to work at it to damage this fabric. We dropped, dragged, and stepped on one during our testing, and it not only didn’t tear or show other signs of damage, it actually did a bang-up job repelling dirt and water.

The Ruck has a lot of zippered pockets, which makes Mystery Ranch’s use of YKK DWR coated zippers an even more applaudable choice. They’re big, beefy zippers with large pull cords that can be ripped open repeatedly without issue. We think this is a nice touch. 

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review

Mystery Ranch backs up all its products with a lifetime warranty against defects in material or craftsmanship. They stand by that warranty and will work to make any problems right.

Who is the Rip Ruck 24 For?

The Rip Ruck 24 is for those who want a daily use commuter-style bag that still packs in some legit tactical chops. It’s a tough, rugged bag that nods to its military heritage without going all tacticool on us.

Everything on the Ruck has a practical purpose and a clear design philosophy. It’s a bag with intention in every stitch that lets its wearers blend in seamlessly while maintaining a state of readiness that encapsulates everything EDC is about.

Are there other bags that do what it does? Absolutely.

There are few bags, however, that manage to effectively combine tactical features and design ethos with practical day-to-day considerations as well as the Ruck does.

It offers a different style proposition from most commuter bags, one more in line with what readiness-focused EDC folks or those with military experience are looking for.

Is the Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Worth It?

The Mystery Ranch Ruck isn’t a value-priced pack by any means. It’™s made from high-quality materials to exacting standards by skilled workers.

That adds up, giving the Rip Ruck 24 what initially appears to be a pretty steep price tag for a bag of its size. Looks can be deceiving, though. If you’re comparing the Rip Ruck 24 to a Jansport or SwissGear college backpack, you might think that it’s way too expensive.

That misses who Mystery Ranch is competing with. Commuter bags in general are getting pricier and pricier by the day. The Rip Ruck 24 is highly competitive with similar purpose and size bags from brands like Tom Bihn, Aer, and even legacy pack makers like The North Face or Patagonia.

The Rip Ruck 24 isn’t the cheapest bag of its type, but it’s a solid value for your dollar.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Alternatives

In all of our reviews, we like to recommend alternatives in case this product isn’t right for you, and this Rip Ruck 24 review is no exception. There are a lot of commuter-style bags to choose from. Here are a couple that offer different style and value propositions to the Rip Ruck 24.

Nomatic Backpack

The Nomatic Backpack solves the same problem as the Rip Ruck 24 but does so from a totally different design perspective. It’s a sleek and streamlined commuter and travel backpack with a tech-focused organizational design.

Nomatic Backpack

Where the Mystery Ranch Ruck maintains a connection with its military roots, Nomatic went ultra-modern with its pack. Its water-resistant tarpaulin construction is exceptionally sharp and lacks the defined pocket spaces of the Ruck.

Both are good bags and will get you where you need to go, but they come at it from very different design standpoints. If you’re looking for an EDC pack with a robust tactical heritage, the Mystery Ranch Ruck is the clear choice. For those who prefer a more upscale look for their commute and are willing to pay a premium for it, the Nomatic Backpack is the way to go.

You can find out more about the Nomatic Backpack in our full review.

Osprey Nebula

Osprey has a long history of making high-quality hiking packs and other backpacking gear. The Nebula is the company’s versatile and exceptionally well-made commuter pack that offers much the same purpose proposition as the Rip Ruck 24.

Osprey Nebula

The Nebula is a 32-liter pack with significantly more organizational features and 50% greater space than the Ruck 24. It’s made of slightly less durable materials but is also a bit cheaper than the Ruck 24 despite its larger size.

Where the Rip Ruck 24 is clearly a tactical bag first and a commuter second, the Osprey Nebula takes great pains to be a commuter and travel bag first with some outdoorsy features rolled in.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24 Review Final Thoughts

At the end of our Rip Ruck 24 review, we can confidently say that the Mystery Ranch Ruck series of packs nods to the company’s military heritage without sacrificing modern, in-demand features. The Rip Ruck 24 is a rugged yet stylish pack well suited to the demands of modern commuters yet equally as effective for those looking to travel in high-stress environments.

It’s a tough, dependable bag that offers some interesting tweaks to what most commuter bags are doing.

Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck 24
$169.00

The Rip Ruck 24 offers two main compartments: zip access to a laptop and document sleeve, a zippered mesh pocket, and plenty of space for your must-haves. Works as a professional carryall, travel bag, or school backpack. Rip-zip opening makes for rapid access, volume expansion pocket & weather protection zippers. PALS webbing and daisy chain attaches accessories. Two exterior pockets for quick access and organization.

Buy on Amazon
02/19/2024 07:43 am GMT
Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

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