Everyday Carry

The Drop: Mystery Ranch Catalyst Series

Authored by:
Jonathan Tayag
The Drop: Mystery Ranch Catalyst Series

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  The Drop: Mystery Ranch Coulee 20 Backpack

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.

The search for a quality everyday backpack with zippers that won't fail like cheap school bookbags is the quest that gets a lot of people started down the road to everyday carry. And one of the best options is the bags from Mystery Ranch that feature their hallmark tri-zip design. Take the new Catalyst Series, for example. With EDC-friendly capacity, Earth-friendly recycled construction, and a tri-zip design, you can rip it open repeatedly for easy access to your bag's contents without breaking it.

The Mystery Ranch Catalyst Series features a durable three-zipper design that you can find only on their bags and packs. This design leverages three YKK water-resistant zippers that come together at the center of the bag. You can rip the top part of the bag open, keeping the sides intact for a top-loading experience. You can open the center zipper only for a duffel bag-style opening when needed. And when you need complete access to the inside of your bag, you can open up all three and lay the bag down flat for easy loading and unloading.

The Catalyst itself also features 500-denier recycled CORDURA nylon construction. This environmentally-friendly design makes it less wasteful and more sustainable than buying a bag made from more technical (and expensive) materials. But as it is still an ultra-durable CORDURA nylon, you can rely on it to keep up with everyday life's bumps and scrapes. It's also inherently water-resistant, but you should add a rain shell cover if you intend to stand out in the rain for an extended period.

The Catalyst is unique in bringing its tri-zip technology down to an 18-liter size, perfect for short excursions to the office or the great outdoors. The larger 22 and 26-liter capacities add side water bottle pockets for enhanced utility, interior organization pockets, and a dedicated laptop or tablet sleeve.

What we like: If you opt for the smallest 18-liter size of the Mystery Ranch catalyst, you can get the smallest bag in their lineup that features the unique tri-zip opening.

What to watch out for: The sleek and minimalist design of their 18-liter bag forgoes water bottle storage at the side. The series also lacks a waist strap for added stability with larger loads. Mystery Ranch has better travel, hiking, and military options if you need to carry that much gear.

Final verdict: The small size and environmentally-friendly design of the Mystery Ranch Catalyst makes it an excellent choice for everyday carry. If you're tired of bags with zippers that fail when you look at them, choose and rip one open when you get it in the mail.

Check Out the Catalyst in 18L

Check Out the Catalyst in 22L

Jonathan Tayag

Senior Contributor

About the Author
Jonathan Tayag is secretly an information technology and corporate security expert who prefers to moonlight as a creative event and commercial photographer whenever possible. His varied experience and substantial travels have led him to seek, without even thinking about it at first, the best gear for the best use at the best price available. Before the concept of EDC (everyday carry) firmly took hold, Jonathan already spent untold amounts of time optimizing for the best-in-slot pieces of gear, from cameras and lenses to pocket knives, pens, and bags and packs. In November 2015, Jonathan joined EverydayCarry.com and has since written numerous articles and guides to help impart his knowledge to the community as a whole.

Jonathan's photographic works have appeared on numerous online websites, print, video, and television outlets for over a decade. Jonathan's previous clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Red Bull, ESL, Razer, and several other endemic and non-endemic esports sponsors and brands. His work also features heavily in online competitive gaming communities, especially those of the StarCraft and Fighting Game genres. You've likely seen his work if you've spent time in a stream or in-game chat over the years.

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