Initially introduced in 2016, the Dragon Egg Mk II® by overseas manufacturer Direct Action® (DA) is one of several versatile backpacks offered by the vendor. The Dragon Egg itself is intended as a lightweight medium reconnaissance backpack that can also double as an EDC pack. It’s 500D Cordura material, rubberized zipper pull tabs, and NIR coating (color dependent) is used throughout and offers significant durability.
From the front, the Dragon Egg’s exterior has a slightly curved design that allows for additional storage of items in either the administrative compartment or main storage space. On the front is a laser-cut MOLLE/PALS compatible field on which both sides have daisy chain webbing for use with bungee cords or other retention accessories. At the top is a soft 5” (L) x 3” (H) velour lined pocket that is zipper secured and intended for small electronics or sunglasses. On top of the velour pocket is a 5” (L) x 3” (H) (female) hook-and-loop field for identification or morale patches.
Behind the front exterior is a dual zipper-secured administrative compartment that opens to the bottom of the pack. The admin compartment includes; two slip pockets for paperwork, a small mesh pocket for loose items, three pen sleeves, and two accessory pockets of different sizes (one secured via a hook-and-loop flap and the other utilizes a pull tab and shock cord retention). Oppositely, a second larger mesh pocket is on the interior of the opening side. At the top of the admin compartment is a key retention lanyard.
At either side of the pack is an elastic storage pocket designed to fit a full-sized hydration bottle that is secured via hook-and-loop, with a pull tab at the top to assist in opening. The pockets also include an additional laser-cut MOLLE/PALS field on the exterior, and a single drainage grommet. Both sides also have top and bottom compression straps that facilitate in securing the weight of the backpack closer to the body.
At the top, the dominant feature the Dragon Egg has is a reinforced carrying handle woven inside of 2.5 meters (8 feet 2 inches) of 550 paracord, which is in turn anchored by plastic D-rings. The reinforced material also ends in another plastic D-ring on either side. The access slot for a hydration tube is located just above the shoulder straps.
The bottom of the Dragon Egg has nylon loops and straps, secured via slide-release buckle, for a sleeping bag or shooter’s mat. Additionally, there is a single drainage grommet in the center of the bottom.
The Dragon Egg’s backpanel includes a rigid padded insert for added support to the pack’s frame and against the body. It also provides insulation for the laptop/radio storage compartment that measures 9.5” (W) x 15” (H) and accessed at the top of the backpanel via its dual zipper.
On the exterior of the backpanel are two bands of DA’s proprietary CVS-Combat Vent System® that is an enclosed air channel foam design that aid in moisture wicking and improved ventilation. Both shoulder straps are contoured and feature the CVS foam for added padding. A fully adjustable sternum strap can be relocated throughout the length of the shoulder straps. A slide-release buckle at each strap also provides immediate disconnect should it be required. At the bottom is a removable waist belt that is secured via a slide-release buckle.
The Dragon Egg’s main storage compartment is zipper-secured and has an internal hydration sleeve and zipper secured mesh pocket. It should be noted the main storage compartment only opens 2/3’s the height of the pack due to the associated external side pockets.
- 25+ liter capacity
- Made of durable 500D Cordura®
- All zippers are YKK with rubberized tubing on pull tabs
- All slide-release buckles are Duraflex®/WooJin
- PenCott™, Kryptek™ and Multicam® camouflages are NIR treated
The Dragon Egg Mk II is available in 15 colors or color combinations that include Mk II Crye Multicam (featured), Adaptive Green/Coyote Brown, Black, PenCott variants, Woodland, and Urban Gray.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): At $139.00 USD for a mid-level backpack, the Dragon Egg offers a great level of functionality, quality materials, and durability at its offered price. Closest market competitors would be Tru-Spec’s 3-Day Backpack ($131.95), the Huron Assaulter’s Sustainment Pack ($229.95) by TYR Tactical, or the Exigent Circumstance Pack ($281.01) by First Spear. Other market alternatives are readily found, but often lack the extensive hardware, design, or lack the quality materials with such weather and abrasion resistance.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The CVS padding on the backpanel and shoulder straps were immediately notable for their comfort when the pack was fully loaded. The CVS material aided in mitigating body heat despite the humid Midwestern temperatures. The paracord-wrapped carrying handle was also very comfortable in the hands due to its width and rounded dimension. However, the most positive aspect for comfort was the Dragon Egg’s ability to keep the center of the pack’s weight up high because of its domed design. Alternative packs often have a sack-like design to them wherein all the weight is consolidated at the bottom. If not worn properly, or there is no waist pad, this can have an adverse effect on the body. But as the Dragon Egg is tapered on the top and bottom, the load was more evenly distributed along the upper torso. It also had the added benefit of being more maneuverable while wearing a plate carrier and gun belt, because of that taper.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): With 500D Cordura (treated for a low Near InfraRed (NIR) profile), genuine YKK zippers, and Duraflex slide-release buckles it was be hard to imagine a pack with more durability built in. Add into it that the CVS foam padding had a protective fabric on the exterior to prevent being compromised, and that bartack, X-pattern, and double-pass stitching was readily noted throughout made for a high level of improved reinforcement over other market packs. Typically, these marks often reveal vendors with extensive experience who are marketing their products to end-users who thrive in the field, and that is reflected in the Dragon Egg Mk II.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Dragon Egg was ideal for a light-moderate pack that was at home for a day on the range, day hike, and short camping trip. The elastic pockets and extensive laser-cut MOLLE/PALS compatible fields offered the added benefit of expanding on the pack’s functionality be adding accessories or additional pouches. The angled zipper of the main storage compartment made accessing it easy and allowed for the user to readily see the bottom of the pack. Another positive in the functionality of the Dragon Egg was its consistency in hardware, specifically the rubberized pull tabs on all the zippers. Other vendors that do include similar features often only do so on the main storage compartment and not throughout. The Dragon Egg did this on all zippers and it allowed for tactile grip on all enclosures. About the only negative from a functional aspect was the Dragon Egg had a storage capacity of 25 liters and it would be nice if DA had a larger variant of the pack.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At 3.49 pounds, the Dragon Egg comes in under the weight of Tru-Spec’s 3-Day Pack (3.8 pounds), but above the weight of TYR Tactical Huron (1.50 pounds) or First Spear’s ECP (1.74 pounds). This reflects the differences in lightweight materials and minimalist designs by all the vendors, and each should be balanced against the needs of the user. As it stands, the Dragon Egg is of average lightweight design considering its enclosing materials still makes it ideal for day hikes or extended light field work. It would be interesting if DA would make a larger 3-Day pack of the same design as it would put it on more even footing with larger packs while still keeping a lot of the same functionality.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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