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The Drop: Mystery Ranch Coulee 20 Backpack

submitted by Jonathan Tayag

It’s a big EDC market out there, and tons of awesome gear is released all the time. We made The Drop to help you discover the latest and greatest essentials worth a spot in your EDC.

Mystery Ranch makes some of the best hiking and outdoor backpacks in the business, and their Coulee range exemplifies that. These bags feature Mystery Ranch’s signature tri-zip design, allowing quick, rip-open access to the pack’s internals. The trail yoke harness also makes for a comfortable ride even when the bag is packed to the brim. But because these bags have tended to be designed for extensive multi-day treks across the field, they may be too big for some. This year, Mystery Ranch introduces the Coulee 20, a sized-down and much more EDC-friendly daypack version of the Coulee. This brings this bag’s convenience, comfort, and stability into a more suitable package for carrying in an urban environment.

As the name implies, the Coulee 20 features a twenty-liter storage capacity. Aside from the easily-accessed main compartment, the top zippered lid compartment allows for small item storage of daily essentials. The included waist belt offers stability and pockets for storing items that would otherwise crowd your pockets. The smaller size and 2.6-pound unloaded weight make this bag perfectly sized for everyday use, even if you don’t go out into the wilderness often. But when you do, the internal compartment still keeps compatibility with hydration bladders, and there are additional stretch-woven pockets on the sides of the pack for water bottle storage.

What we like: Mystery Ranch has brought one of their best and most comfortable hiking pack designs and sized it down to provide the best results for urban carry. The tri-zip design is a joy, especially if you’re used to traditional top-loading bag styles.

What to watch out for: If you carry a laptop, this bag has less padding than other designs. Additionally, the hiking bag origins of the harness mean it will ride a bit higher than a traditional bag. This makes it much more comfortable to wear long-term, but it may look and feel awkward on your back.

Final verdict: Whether you’re looking for a new hiking day pack or you’re looking for a bag to carry your gear around in and out of the city, you’ll enjoy the practical comfort and stability of the Mystery Ranch Coulee 20.

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