Recon: Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk II
Finding the right pack to suit your own personal missions in life is an ongoing quest for some people. Personally, a pack that worked for me last year may no longer work for me in 2017.
Our lives shift, our bodies change and we evolve, so there’s no reason why our packs shouldn’t either. this can be your excuse why you need another pack to add to your arsenal. If nothing else, Trying out a new pack is just a way to get from A to B a little differently.
Or perhaps a company you’ve had your eye on releases something you just have to try!
Direct Action is a Polish company that creates designs based on the concept that their products fit together and they all serve a specific function…like a well-trained tactical team.
The Direct Action Dragon Egg MK II backpack is no different. Each aspect of the pack was designed, well thought out and integrated with purpose. This is a feature rich pack that has a lot going on. It has TONS of organization.
Not sure where the name Dragon Egg comes from. Finding a dragon, that mythical beast is impossible, but obtaining the yet unborn offspring of such fiery characters of lore is unheard of, and even more illusive still….building and offering a well-designed pack at an affordable price! Well now you can rest, because we have found the DA Dragon Egg!
This is the first 3-compartment pack that I have ever laid eyes on and let me tell you, I may have to rethink all my other packs now. With many layers of construction and organization, let’s start from the outside in.
With a whopping 1.5” of padding it’s generous and plush. The DA Combat Vent System or CVS has channels to allow lots of ventilation and almost guarantees to keep your back mostly dry. Trekking around in the humidity of Florida, the hot points of carrying a pack are evident almost immediately. I found this system to be one of the most well designed and most effective I have ever experienced.
Beyond the padding, it has a rear compartment that can hold up to a 15” or 38cm laptop or radio, that is protected on all sides by a padded sleeve and can be secured by an elastic webbing tab to keep things in place. The frame sheet also helps to protect the sensitive electronics and sets a solid foundation for the rest of the pack to be built on.
There is a tab at the top in case you’d rather use this compartment for a hydration bladder. Inside is the second and largest compartment. This area uses an almost full clamshell opening or about 2/3rds, approximately.
There is an elastic pocket for a hydration bladder and another attachment point if you choose to carry your water here. This area is where you will carry the bulk of your heavier items, gold bricks, a puppy, clothes, personal items, etc.
In this area is a generous 11” or 28 cm. mesh pocket for smaller personal items. I stored headphones, a small pouch with meds, a small dopp-kit, an energy bar and a few other loose things. It is good for things that you will use when you get to where you are going….meaning, you can pack this area tight with things you don’t need to get at right away and save the rest for the admin pocket.
The admin area is decked out with pockets and spaces for small item organization. It’s divided into a larger area that is good for magazines, maps, notebooks, etc. That pocket has a zipper mesh pocket on it with the pen spaces. Yet another pocket has two larger spaces for electronics such as a radio, GPS, or battery pack for your mobile.
This entire compartment still leaves room outside the organizational areas for loose items, like a sweater or a beanie or more. This pocket opens up even more than the other, leaving only about 4” or 10 cm of the pocket without a zipper. On the lid of this admin pocket is another mesh pocket for more items. This pack has more organization options than IKEA.
On the front of the pack at the top is a smaller pocket lined with soft material, good for sunglasses, goggles, a mobile phone, small camera etc. This is a great space for items that you will be in and out of frequently for things like reading glasses, or phone charging cable.
Outside, on the face of the pack, running top to bottom is a daisy chain of webbing sewn in a way that makes it easy to attach carabiners or lashing other items like rope. On each side of the pack are two plastic quick release clips with webbing that cover two of the three zipper compartments, to cinch the pack down or to attach longer items like a tripod or bedroll.
DA uses the laser cut MOLLE on all their items and they do this for weight savings and a lower profile look. It achieves both of those well. The pack weighs in at 3.5 lbs or 1.58 kg! Smaller packs in this category weigh 4.5 lbs. or more so this is definitely a selling point.
The 500D Cordura and lack of actual webbing keep this pack light and nimble. Standard webbing absorbs water, so if you get caught in the rain, your pack will drain off better. There are drain holes for the MOLLE panel too.
The little details on the pack really finish off this piece of kit nicely. Tubular heat shrink zipper pulls, the woven Paracord drag handle and D-rings on each end of that handle for clipping on items quickly. The aforementioned laser cut MOLLE give the pack tactical capability with add on pouches, but not so much in appearance that you would turn many heads in public.
The finishes on the pack are top notch with the 500D Cordura, YKK Zippers and plastic by Duraflex. It just feels like a very solidly manufactured pack.
It seems like a much smaller pack and it’s surprising that it holds up to 25L in capacity. At 19”x10.6”x7” or 48x27x18cm it’s not an overly large pack, but because of the organization and the profile of the pack, it can make up the space.
An optional waist belt is easily removed but with the size of the pack and it’s center of gravity, I didn’t need it.
The little details on the pack really finish off this piece of kit nicely. Tubular zipper pulls, the woven Paracord drag handle and D-rings on each end of that handle for clipping on items quickly. The aforementioned laser cut MOLLE give the pack tactical capability with add on pouches, but not so much in appearance that you would turn many heads in public.
DA markets the pack to elite operators and law enforcement. But it’s also perfect for those of us plain ol’ civilians that demand a pack that meets the same standards of those who put themselves and their gear in compromising situations. Maybe it’s the laser cut MOLLE or the small footprint of the pack, but it just looks cool and modern, almost out of a sci-fi movie about elite operators in the near distant future.
At $129 this pack is very affordable for the size and feature set and is offered in several colorways, including Pencott, Multicam, Black, Coyote, Shadow Grey and others.
David Massey Senior Contributor & Recon Specialist
David Massey is from the USA and works full time as a MultiMedia Producer, Photojournalist and writer, creating imagery for an aeronautical university and shooting freelance assignments wherever they may be. He’s traveled to Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America in search of a good story. More…