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Direct Action Ghost: First Impressions (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Myrddraal, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    Hello,

    I ordered the Ghost pack from Direct Action last Friday and was pleasantly surprised to see it waiting for me when I got home yesterday. There is a lot going on with this pack...I'll do my best to cover everything but I'm sure I'll miss a feature or two. I apologize in advance for my crappy photography and stream-of-consciousness writing style. So warned and onward!

    This pack is like a 3 day assault pack, a grab and go satchel and a battle belt with suspension all rolled into one piece of gear. With any luck you'll see what I mean as I go through the elements of the pack.

    I was immediately impressed by the packaging. The bag was carefully wrapped in a Direct Action tote bag that I'll probably never use but was still a nice touch. I gave the pack the usual close inspection for loose threads and errant stitching and found no obvious flaws. The pack is very well put together. It is much lighter than what I'm used to with tactical packs, given that it is made from 500D Cordura. It feels like it will take just as much abuse as any of my 1000D packs but only time will tell. I like the overall appearance of the pack more than I expected. The pics on DA's website make it seem a little boxy but I don't find this to be the case:

    [​IMG]

    The ranger green color is pretty accurately rendered on DA's website. I find it to be closer to foliage green than some other manufacturer's gear I have in ranger. The following two pics show the color in comparison to two different foliage green Maxped pouches:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One of the main features that led me to choose the Ghost over the Dragon Egg is the detachable admin pocket/beavertail. This part of the pack is one of the elements that makes it so flexible and modular, as it detaches to become a standalone grab and go bag, complete with its own carry handle. The organization of this pouch is fantastic:

    [​IMG]

    The top most pocket is a slip pocket secured by a Velcro strip in the center. There is a key tether with a high quality clip above. The outside of this pocket has 4 pen slots and a zippered mesh pouch. This is my only gripe about the admin so far. I wish it had at least one slot large enough to accommodate a flashlight or multitool, rather than 4 pen slots. I may just pull the stitching out of one and make it one larger slot. Below is another slip pocket, with a pouch on the right with a paracord/Velcro retainer like the one found in some of the Camelbak admin pockets. To the left is a padded pocket that seems like it was made for my Galaxy S4. Opposite these is a large zippered mesh pocket on the outside flap of the detachable pouch, similar to the one in the main pocket.

    On the back of this pouch is a 7x10 matrix of their laser-cut molle system, and a zippered pocket, both of which are visible in the first pic. I'm really liking the new molle so far. It's a little harder to weave attachment straps through but I love the low-profile appearance. It also feels much more rugged than standard sewn loops, especially since any outward force won't be putting stress on seams. A row of stitching runs above and below each row of slits for added strength.

    The pouch clips to the main section of the pack via 4 straps (1 on each side and 2 on the bottom) that double as compression straps. These are very effective at cinching the pack down to a nice low profile when the pack isn't full. The lower half of each side is also attached via adjustable and removable shock cord:

    [​IMG]

    On the inner side of this pouch, facing the main section of the pack, is a small slip pocket which fits my nexus 7 with folio case perfectly. On either side of this slip pocket is a single column of loops that retain the extra webbing that allows this pouch to be attached to another piece of kit via pals webbing:

    [​IMG]

    There is an extra set of buckles for each of the compression straps if one chooses not to attach the pouch. The top set holds a length of webbing that I imagine is there to act as a shoulder strap for the removable pouch:

    [​IMG]

    The back side of the main section of the pack has a 7x9 slot molle panel and a zippered pocket very similar to the back of the removable pouch.

    [​IMG]

    Above this section is a small, microfiber-lined picket for sunglasses, electronics etc., a Velcro panel and the DA logo:

    [​IMG]

    The main pocket of the bag has an elastic pocket closest to the wearer's back. It's large enough to hold my 15" laptop, though there is no padding:

    [​IMG]

    Immediately above is a hanger for a bladder. It's simply a loop of webbing that closes with a SRB. It should work with most hydration systems.

    The opposite side had yet another zippered mesh pocket:

    [​IMG]

    At the top of the pack is a fairly typical carry handle and the port for routing a hose with a Velcro flap to secure it:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure why they didn't use the paracord handle featured on the Dragon Egg. I love that idea for a handle and I'm a little disappointed they didn't use it on this pack, but the handle is perfectly fine.

    The next pocket is the hydration pouch. It is just large enough to fit a 15" macbook pro, but not quite enough for my 15" PC laptop. I could barely zip it up, but I will definitely carry my laptop in the main compartment. There is also a pass-through opening for access to the bladder hanger. The flap of this pocket has what feels like an HDPE framesheet which is non-removable.

    [​IMG]

    The back is well padded with a nice thick slab of closed-cell foam on each side. It's quite comfortable and should allow decent airflow:

    [​IMG]

    At the base, under the lumbar pad, is the pass-through for the removable hip belt, which secures by Velcro within. This setup is very similar to the one found on the TAD packs. They've included a Y-shaped suspension harness which attaches to 3 nylon buckles on the waistbelt so it can be used as a battle belt:

    [​IMG]

    I doubt that I'll ever use this feature, but it serves as an example of how much thought went into making this pack as versatile as possible.

    The straps are pretty standard. They don't have very thick padding but are wide enough to distribute the weight well. They remind me of the straps on my TT Urban operator. There is an included, removable sternum strap and two bands of webbing, along with a D loop, for pouch attachment or hose routing. The straps are fixed at the top:

    [​IMG]

    Now, on to one of my absolute favorite features of this pack; the side pockets. These are exactly how side pockets should be done. When not in use, they flatten almost completely and are secured with a small strip of Velcro:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When open, they will accommodate a 32oz Nalgene. There is even a zipper along one edge that allows the pocket to bellow open even more, but the Nalgene fits fine with it zipped up:

    [​IMG]

    Finally! I've been waiting for someone to make pockets like this my entire EDC life!!!! Woo hooo! They are just that awesome. Another example of DA's attention to detail. Oh, speaking of which...even the zipper pulls are great. I usually change them out for my own paracord. These are staying:

    [​IMG]

    And every. Single. One is like that. Even the ones on inside pockets. The zippers are YKK and were smooth out of the box. Every strap also has a velcro loop at the end for strap management.

    Well, I think that about covers it. In general, so far, I feel that this pack is an amazing value for the MSRP of $159.00 ($179.00 for specialty color ways like Kryptek). Especially considering the modular capabilities. I do wish that it had a padded sleeve for a laptop, but I will just stuff my neoprene laptop sleeve in the elastic pocket and it should work fine. I would have loved to see it offered in Kryptek Typhon but I really love the ranger green. Anyway, please let me know if you have any questions or pic requests. Below are more random photos of some details you might like to see.

    Take care my friends! I hope this will be helpful for some of you.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by Myrddraal, Mar 25, 2015
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Loaded Pockets

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    Very nice review. These pictures were definitely needed as their isn't much info on these packs online currently. If it wasn't for some other bag coming out soon I think I would of picked one of these up. For now I will hold now though.
     
  3. resnikov

    resnikov Empty Pockets

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    I'm currently deciding between this one and the Dragon Egg but after seeing this review really think its going to be the Ghost I get.
     
  4. vinniec5

    vinniec5 Loaded Pockets

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    nice Bag and +20 on the color. Ranger Green is the Shiznit. I'm always on the lookout for rare RG Mil Gear. RG changes shades in different light and can blend with a lot of colors of gear. It is the "Predator" of the green palette:ninja:
     
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  5. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    I had the same indecision, so I ordered a dragon egg too. I think I have a problem...
     
    Nighted and resnikov like this.
  6. Hi its me

    Hi its me Loaded Pockets

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    I ordered both messenger bags at the same time so your not alone lol
    I need to get some pics of my messenger bags up,they won't be as nice as your though!
    The ghost looks great by the way,may get one later.
     
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  7. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    I'm looking forward to your first impressions. I got the dragon egg yesterday and it's a great bag. I'm bummed though because my laptop doesn't fit well. I can squeeze it in but then a Nalgene won't fit in the side pocket. I like it so much that I'm going to keep it for another use, though.
     
  8. pgauti

    pgauti Loaded Pockets

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    Excellent report !
     
  9. steel_6

    steel_6 Loaded Pockets

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    Great review, thanks! I've been waffling between this and the TT Urban Operator. I'm finding it real hard to justify another purchase though, with a Rush 12 and a Linchpin already fighting for top spot.
     
  10. Cpl Ledanek

    Cpl Ledanek Loaded Pockets

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    good review
     
  11. JHGM

    JHGM Dinosaur Supervisor

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    Been waiting for a good set of detailed pics on DA's bags for a while now...

    Thanx for taking the time to do this Myrddraal

    [​IMG]
     
  12. BullseyePrecision

    BullseyePrecision Loaded Pockets

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    Got an update on this pack?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  13. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    Yes. I still love it, and it looks as new as the day I got it, even though it has been hiking, camping and backpacking. A friend of mine is borrowing it this weekend for a combo goruck/ingress event. I expect it will perform admirably.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited by Myrddraal, Apr 1, 2016
  14. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • Sponsor - Home Craftsman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    Outstanding review, thank you!
     
  15. BullseyePrecision

    BullseyePrecision Loaded Pockets

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    Have you been using it for an EDC bag? I'm thinking about getting one and it would be my primary edc bag. You have any pictures of it loaded out?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  16. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    I used it as an EDC bag for a few months, and I think I will go back to using that way once I get it back from my friend (assuming he's willing to give it up!). Some people might find it a bit large for EDC, but the bag does compress down nicely. It's pretty well loaded up in the first pic, but I'll try to take some more shots of it when I have it back. Have you decided on a color?
     
  17. BullseyePrecision

    BullseyePrecision Loaded Pockets

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    I like the Kryptec highlander, or coyote. They have some pretty cool colors. It's hard to choose.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  18. panzer

    panzer Loaded Pockets

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    nice review! I had no idea it came with the suspenders to use the waistbelt as a battle belt! NICE!
     
  19. Z2KCT

    Z2KCT Loaded Pockets

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    How did it perform in the goruck event?
     
  20. Myrddraal

    Myrddraal Loaded Pockets

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    My friend said it did very well. He loaded it with gym weights and a water bladder and mentioned that the harness was very comfortable.

    Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk