The Mystery Ranch Blitz 30 is a great day pack for hiking, work, travel, school, and commuting. It is bomber tough like a lot of Mystery Ranch Packs and has a multitude of functional pockets and PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) attachment points to hang additional gear from. If you’re not familiar with Mystery Ranch’s packs, they’re very different from the “sacks with shoulder straps” that a lot of day hikers and ultralight backpackers carry for trail hiking. Instead, they have their own aesthetic which is more aligned for people who hike off-trail or work outdoors and need to carry specialized tools or equipment, from smoke jumpers, hunters, and wilderness photographers to wildlife biologists and forest rangers.
Specs at a Glance
- Gender: Unisex
- Weight: 3 lb 12.8 oz / 1724g
- Frame: Adjustable-Torso Length
- Access: Front Panel
- Pockets: 8 Total, 4 zippered closed
- Fits laptop: 17 in.
- Dimensions: (size S/M) 20.5 x 13.5 x 12 inches
- Hipbelt: Removable
- Sleeping pad straps: Yes
- Material: 500D Cordura
- Max Recommended Load: 25-30 pounds
The Blitz 30 has a front panel with three-way zipper that provides easy access to the pack’s main compartment.
The inside of the pack has a hydration sleeve to store a reservoir in addition to two open bottle pockets along the sides so you can store water inside the pack or whatever else you want to put into those pockets. These are real handy if you’re bushwhacking through brush and don’t want to have water bottles stripped out of the outside side pockets. They’re also useful in winter when you want to keep water bottles insulated inside the pack, but upright so they don’t leak. They’re sized large enough to hold 32 oz insulated metal bottles too.
When zippered shut, the outside of the front panel has three closed pockets. The bottom two pockets have internal dividers for storing pencils, pens, notebooks, or sunglasses. There’s also a pocket at the top of the front panel that folds over the top like a top lid, so you can also access the main compartment from above if you just want to stuff items into the pack or pull them out without unzipping the entire front.
There’s even a padded laptop pocket behind the shoulder straps that’s great for travel or commuting. It’s so comfortable, it’s very easy to forget that you have a laptop inside.
The Blitz 30 is a true rucksack that has a stiff back even though it doesn’t have a rigid metal frame or framesheet. The shoulder straps are S-shaped so they’ll be comfortable for men or women and can be raised or lowered to lengthen or shorten the torso using a simple velcro attachment. They have load lifters, they’re moderately padded, and have daisy chains on the exterior so you can attach your favorite pockets, electronics, or water bottle sleeves. The hip belt is a thick webbing strap and is removable, so you can easily use the pack with a climbing harness. The pack doesn’t have a frame, so the hip belt isn’t load-bearing and doesn’t need to be padded. Note: The Blitz 35 does have a padded hip belt with pockets.
The Blitz 30 makes a good winter pack because it is so easy to attach heavy gear to the outside like snowshoes, a helmet, or a foam sleeping pad to it. There are also two beefy compression straps on each side, sleeping pad straps at the base of the pack, and still more PALs straps on the pack’s bottom. One of the “winterized” features, I’m particularly bullish about is the use of large buckles around the pack because they shed snow instead of freezing up when snow gets inside them. It’s a real problem on backpacks that use small buckles in order to save cost and weight.
The Mystery Ranch Blitz 30 is a rugged rucksack that can be used in a wide variety of situations on trail or off, in the wilderness, and in more urban settings. The pocket layout and external attachment points lend themselves to all kinds of applications from a bug-out bag to a gym bag, while the sizing is perfect for airplane travel or the commuter rail. I wasn’t too sure about it when I first started using it myself, but I really came to like its organizational features (pockets) and the fact that I could use it for hiking, snowshoeing, traveling, and around town. If you find yourself liking the Blitz 30, but wish it had a padded hipbelt, check out the Mystery Ranch Blitz 35 which has a padded hip belt with hip belt pockets and a longer extension collar to hold even more gear.
Disclosure: Mystery Ranch donated a pack for review.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.