FN Herstal

Mystery Ranch BLACKJACK Packs

Named after the indigenous Mobile Guerrilla Force advised by US Army Special Forces during the Vietnam War, the Blackjack line of packs from Mystery Ranch is based on the USSOCOM issued Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) packs.

Commercially available in both Coyote and MultiCam 500D Cordura, BLACKJACK packs are intended for those who want the features of the SPEAR packs, but are not part of the program of record. The model designations correspond to the capacity size in liters.

Like the SPEAR issue packs, The BLACKJACK packs were designed as a complete military-based system with no design modifications to accommodate civilian use. However, there are slight differences between the two lines.

-SPEAR packs have ¾” buckles; BLACKJACK packs have 1”.

-SPEAR packs have a rainfly pocket on the bottom of the pack; BLACKJACK packs do not.

-SPEAR Assault has 3 compression straps on each side, Blackjack 50 only has two.

Mystery Ranch is also the first company to incorporate IR-compliant zippers into their packs.

All three packs use the same full carbon Mystery Ranch frame featuring lightweight bolsters and Dyneema-CORDURA laminate. This Military Light Frame (MLF) is a rigid, yet dynamic system, that moves with you. The frame consists of four vertical and three horizontal carbon fiber stays.
The MLF weighs 2 lbs lighter than its predecessor, the NICE Frame, by using different materials and construction methods and reducing the profile of the wing and belt.

It also features a Futura Yoke which easily micro adjusts to the torso length allowing the proper amount of stand-off between the back and frame. What’s more, the removable BVS (Bolstered Ventilation and Stability) system allows for a stable, secure fit over body armor.


The BLACKJACK 100 is a 100 L pack including a 23 L sleeping bag compartment at the bottom. It features four external pockets with top-open zippers. The top lid is removable with straps that allow it to be used as a bolt/E&E pack. To help support the taller pack, the BLACKJACK 100 uses a unique frame extension to stabilize larger loads.


The BLACKJACK 80 is an 80 L pack with four external pockets featuring top zips. It has full-length zippers on each side for fast access to the main compartment.


The BLACKJACK 50 is a 50 L, top-loading pack with two external pockets that each have internal, mesh pockets. The pack has full-length zippers on each side for fast access to the main compartment.

16 Responses to “Mystery Ranch BLACKJACK Packs”

  1. Jeb says:

    Just an opinion with little to no understanding of actual terms or policies in effect….but the “not with the program of record”, Mystery Ranch does realize and know that their SPEAR packs end up on the secondary market USED with pricing above even MSRP…so why the willingness to lose profits by ostracizing civilians and prior service who want a specific reputable pack from them?

    • cat_blaster says:

      Who is being ostracized?
      They can’t control 3rd party sales. If its for mil issue for a program they cant sell the same item direct at the same price they give the mil.
      What is your question again?

      • Jeb says:

        Who said anything about THEM selling something to us in regards to mil/civ sales and price differences? I didn’t. If they sold them to civ at full MSRP I wouldn’t care and would probably grab one up based on feedback from others. But I haven’t seen the SPEAR packs available for civilians…or anyone outside program of record. HOWEVER, when individuals within the program of record see an opportunity to cash in on the exclusivity of the item and charge ABOVE MSRP on the SECONDARY market…I have to question why doesn’t Mystery Ranch want our money. Some people don’t want a revision of an item, sometimes we want what has earned the reputation that inspired the revision. Some are willing to pay unrealistic prices for second hand used kit, I’d like to buy new kit at even full MSRP. What was your response in relation to again?

        • cat_blaster says:

          Oh I get it now, you want to be a cool guy.
          That’s cool. I would be willing to bet with the design differences between the mil and civ versions that socom demanded something MR saw as a liability, like proprietary 3/4″ buckles on giant bags perhaps?

          • Jeb says:

            Oh, your wanting to be a presumptuous mouth with nothing to add. Keep your assumptions as we are all capable of making them. Maybe, just maybe, I have a specific need for the bag and based on multiple points, it is the best bag for my needs. Regardless, there are other manufacturers who are constantly putting out innovative and quality kit that does want my money, and they will get my support when I find something of use in their catalogs.

            SSD’s Rules prohibit me from commenting on your presum

    • TominVA says:

      Are civilians being / feeling ostracized?

      I’d be interested to know what drove the design tweaks between the mil and civil models?

      I’d also be interested to know how often these packs are used by SOCOM? I’ve always had this impression that the SPEAR program buys gear the operators don’t / won’t use in favor of something else and then the gear ends up “on the secondary market…”

      • Eddie says:

        I’ve picked up a SATL Bridger off of a SOCOM contract that is in amazing shape, but I paid well under retail so I am actually happy with it. I don’t think it saw very much use at all. It’s a very good question to ask. You can buy unused bags of SOFLCS gear produced by Eagle and Safariland under the SPEAR program and it goes to show that more commercial or modified standard issue gear met the needs of SOCOM professionals (even though gear that was suited for the job was available.) They’re either buying too much, or they’re not allowed to use it. I think it’s just politics of not underspending for fear of budget cuts so SOCOM can stay prioritized. Ironic because these are the people we expect to do so much more with so much less. That’s what they’re trained to do.

      • Jeb says:

        To ostracize defined, is to literally ‘exclude’. Civilians are excluded from purchase of these through regular commercial channels leaving them to source second hand.

        The design drive can be as simple as one’s needs are not another’s needs and if not needed then done away with and still offer a product they can monetize on using their SPEAR marketing advantages.

        I know guys who’ve used them, others who’ve never even opened one up…guys who buy their own kit and others who use only issued…guys who badmouth everything issued and guys who swear by their issued kit. It’s a toss up. What is known is it ends up on the second hand market at retarded pricing.

  2. jjj0309 says:

    I know that NICE and Guide Light frames are compatible with Alice, but what about MLF? Is it compatible with Alice? Just curious, from the look I can’t tell.

  3. Ad says:

    I recall only ever contacting MR once and a person picked up the line immediately.


  4. SWTsoccs says:

    Mystery Ranch, killing it!

    Read about some of the early Vietnam MAC-V SOG, CIDG and Blackjack missions last year. Amazing stuff.