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Review: Mission First Tactical’s ACHRO Backpack Lineup

As a tactically focused guy who always tries to blend in (if they know you’re concealing, you’re doing it wrong), I always look for the perfect backpack that combines style and functionality. Recently, Mission First Tactical sent me samples of their new line of backpacks. I was intrigued by their promise of high carrying capacity, water-resistant material, covert aesthetics, and versatility as carry-on bags and EDC options. Over the past few months, I have tested all three of the original ACHRO lineup. I saw how well they performed as carry-on companions during my recent business trip to Orlando and later as my EDC for the past four months. (Spoiler Alert: I still use one today.)

Carrying Capacity

Let’s start with the most critical aspect of any backpack: carrying capacity. As a traveler, I often juggle laptops, documents, clothing, and other essentials. Mission First Tactical’s backpacks do not disappoint in this department. The B2-30BP-BL, with its 30-liter capacity and $179.99 MSRP, stands out as the behemoth of the trio. While on my trip to Orlando, the spacious main compartment easily accommodated my 15-inch laptop, toiletry kit, two changes of clothes, and even a few other electronic gadgets while maintaining a streamlined silhouette. It was easy to carry through the airport and around the convention hall.

Next in line is the B2-22BP-BL, with and MSRP of $149.99 and boasting a 22-liter capacity. Though smaller than the B2-30BP-BL, it still surprised me with its ability to house all my essential items comfortably. This bag is perfect for shorter trips or if you prefer to travel light.

Finally, the sling B2-SL-BL, with a sleek design and an MSRP of $89.99, carries a more conservative 10-liter capacity. While it doesn’t offer the same expansive space as its larger siblings, the B2-SL-BL’s compact size makes it ideal for commuters and those seeking a minimalist approach to everyday carry.

Features in Common

All three backpacks share several features that enhance their functionality and usability. First and foremost, their tough 600D nylon construction ensures durability and longevity. This material not only resists wear and tear but also contributes to the water-resistant properties of these bags, which I’ll discuss later.

All three bags incorporate a laser-cut MOLLE webbing system, offering versatility in attaching accessories or additional gear externally. This feature is particularly useful for those with specific needs, such as attaching pouches, water bottles, or tactical equipment.

concealed carry pocketIncluded in all three bags are also several concealed carry options, including a dedicated zippered compartment that fits a handgun and spare magazine perfectly. All the major pockets are lined with loop fields ready to receive a hook-backed holster or a Mission First Tactical Multi-Mount platform, one of which is included in each bag.

My only issue with the sling bag is it’s not quite large enough to accommodate my 15-inch laptop. It almost fits. It would be perfect if the pouch’s zippered corners were squared off. But they are angled just enough that the laptop corners barely stick out, blocking the zipper. If you carry a tablet, the sling is just the right size. But a laptop? Nope. The two larger bags hold a laptop with room left over, but not the sling. It’s more than a bit disappointing, but I adjusted and moved on.

The larger two bags also feature some of the largest water bottle pouches I’ve ever seen on any EDC bags. I have yet to find a reasonable Yeti or similar bottle that won’t fit into them. They’re yuge!

Water-Resistant Material

One of the standout features of Mission First Tactical’s backpacks is the water-resistant material. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), it had been a while since the last rain at home, so I had to rely on the good ol’ garden hose to test the material’s water resistance. But, it worked just fine as I watched the water bead up on the outside. The 600D nylon construction and a waterproof coating effectively repelled moisture, ensuring that my laptop and important documents remained protected. This feature provides peace of mind, especially for travelers like me who often find themselves at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions. Is it guaranteed to keep the contents dry? No, but I have no doubt it would resist rain at least long enough to get to cover, if not longer. Just don’t take it scuba diving.

Covert Look

bottle holderI was initially drawn to these backpacks because of their covert design. While they are undoubtedly tactical, they do not scream “military” or “gun guy” at first glance. The subdued black color and laser cut MOLLE that doesn’t stand out contribute to their covert aesthetics. This understated look is perfect for business travelers who want to maintain a professional appearance while benefiting from these bags’ tactical features. Or if you carry it as you EDC to the office daily like I do.

Carry-On Performance

Now, let’s talk about how well these backpacks performed as carry-on companions during my business trip to Orlando. The size and dimensions of all three bags conform to typical airline carry-on restrictions, making them ideal for hassle-free travel. I used the 30-liter for this three-day trip, and it exceeded my expectations.

The adjustable straps held firm under about 20 pounds of interior weight and a lot of jostling around in the airport and at the convention I was attending. One nice extra was the keepers on the end of each strap, letting me tuck the extra length out of the way.

The backpack slid easily into the overhead compartment of the plane, even when the compartment was packed with other passengers’ bags. Its compact yet roomy design allowed me to access my laptop, earbuds, and other essentials without the need to remove the bag entirely.

Carrying On

Mission First Tactical’s ACHRO backpack lineup offers impressive carrying capacity, storage features, dimensions, water-resistant material, and covert aesthetics. The 30-liter was a reliable and practical carry-on companion during my Orlando trip, effortlessly accommodating all my essentials while maintaining a sleek and professional appearance. It has now become my EDC bag, hauling my laptop and other goodies to work every day. It holds everything I need and more without making me look like the gun guy. Mission accomplished, Mission First Tactical.

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