Direct Action Ghost Backpack

Direct Action Ghost Backpack Review of 2019

I purchased the Direct Action Ghost backpack around a year ago, and since then I have put it through it’s paces. This Direct Action Ghost Backpack review is a summary of my experience with the pack, hopes for the next design, and more. 

Description of the Direct Action Ghost backpack

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The Direct Action Ghost backpack is a workhorse. It’s a 31+ liter pack, which is about an ideal size. A typical day on the move for me includes around 30 pounds of equipment and many miles of rough terrain. The Ghost handles this very well.

The pack comes in a variety of colors and camouflage patterns to match your environment. I chose the black color to avoid drawing attention in an urban environment. This color is also usable in forest and woodland settings without disclosing the location of the operator.

How much will it carry?

The pack is the size of a large day-size backpack. During non-emergencies, I use the Ghost to carry the following with no problem:

  • 15” laptop (in the laptop sleeve)
  • Full-sized notebook and pens
  • Knife, keys, wallet, utensils, lighter
  • Hefty lunch and 1L water
  • Rain cover
  • Extra warm layers
  • Full-sized headphones
  • Change of clothes

During a mission or training exercise, I may include the following kit in this pack with no problem:

  • First aid kit
  • 2L water
  • Knives (2)
  • Fire starting kit
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pens
  • Extra warm layers
  • Map and compass
  • GPS
  • Camera
  • Ammunition
  • Blanket or sleeping bag and small tarp (rolled and strapped onto the pack)

This pack includes a removable back pouch that’s about 3 liters in size—enough room for a couple lightweight layers or a handful of MREs.

Increasingly, I find myself using the pack without this attachment in place. The size of the pack declines, but the weight carries better since there is less stuff sticking out from the rear of the pack. It encourages more minimalism. The whole package is more streamlined this way. This is also a plus for maneuverability.

However, when you need to go big, it’s no problem to attach the rear panel. This expands the pack significantly.


The Direct Action Ghost review pointed out it has plenty of pockets for organizing your gear, but doesn’t go overboard like some packs do. The main backpack has the following pockets:

  • Main full-zip pouch (accounts for 95% of space, includes a sleeve and waterproof port for water bladder.)
  • Laptop pouch (enough space for a thick 15” laptop or thin laptop and notebook)
  • Sun/glasses, keys and wallet pouch (located top and lined with microfiber. I find it unsuitable for sunglasses when the pack is full.)
  • Outer thin pocket (located behind the removable pouch on the outside of the main pack body. This pocket is wide and tall but thin. Ideal for a tablet, thin books, maps, or other material that needs to stay flat.)
  • Inner mesh pocket (located inside the main pouch opposite the outer thin pocket. This is ideal for small odds and ends like knife, lighter, and so on.)

The removable pouch features a number of pockets and functions as an organizer for pens and other small items. This is ideal for organizing electronics, cables, and other small supplies.

Water bottles and attachment system/MOLLE

The pack features two pockets for water bottles or similarly-shaped items on the sides of the pack. These feature a zipper for expandability, and contents can be strapped into place via two straps.

However, these are among the worst-designed elements of the pack. They work well for shoes, tools, and items, but water bottles tend to slip out. This encourages one to keep water bottles inside the pack and keeps things streamlined.

The pack also features multiple Velcro patch attachment points, one of the top rear of the pack and a second on the removable pouch.

The laser-cut MOLLE system across the sides and rear of the pack, as well as on the waist belt, make it easy to attach other items, pouches, and so on. The system is tight, durable, and clean in appearance.

How it carries

One of the main selling points I noticed in the direct action ghost review was the full-size waist belt found on the Ghost. Frankly, the Direct Action Dust backpack looks a little bit better. I would have purchased that pack over this one but for the fact that it only comes with a thin webbing belt. When you’re carrying 30 or 40 pounds over rough terrain for miles and miles, you’ll appreciate the hip belt on this thing. It’s just a lot more practical as soon as loads cross 10 pounds.

Also Read: How Much Water Should You Carry in Your Bug out Bag

Durability and rain performance

The Ghost is a heavy-duty pack made of 500D Cordura with heavy-duty YKK zippers and sturdy Duraflex buckles. Materials appear like-new after one year of heavy use. The stitching is extremely strong and has held out well. I appreciate that the compression straps remove stress from the zippers when the pack is filled to capacity. This should increase the lifespan of the product.

The Direct Action Ghost Backpack is not advertised as waterproof, but it is highly water resistant. As I often carry sensitive electronics and live in a very wet climate, I carry a rain cover purchased separately.

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The Direct Action Ghost Backpack is an excellent pack for Everyday Carry (EDC) or as a Bug Out Bag (BOB). It’s durable, carries well, and should last for long years of heavy use. I highly recommend this kit for anyone looking for a good pack.

About Dan Stevenson

Dan Stevenson is a chief editor of The Survival Corps and an experienced survivalist who is incredibly passionate about everything survival and preparedness, be it in the great outdoors or in an urban environment.Besides his primary job functions at The Survival Corps, Dan has been recognized by the survival community for his extraordinary commitment and an insatiable desire to always achieve absolute excellence in everything that he undertakes. Being a survival expert for a very long time, Dan has acquired extensive knowledge and experience regarding preparing for camping trips, hiking, hunting and any other outdoor adventure and surviving in the wilderness. He also knows quite a lot about preparing for emergency situations in the concrete jungle when one would need either self-defense or other survival skills in various cases of crisis, such as a natural disaster. Dan’s remarkable knowledge and expertise, absolutely tireless work ethic, astonishing passion and commitment and unparalleled focus is what truly sets him apart from all the other survivalist enthusiasts. He is truly the lifeblood of The Survival Corps and we can honestly say that we wouldn’t be where we are without him. He is a professional and a true leader that anyone would love working with, both in and out of the office walls. He has an incredibly friendly and open personality and loves helping others, which is exactly where he finds constant inspiration and passion for learning more and providing people with tips and tricks for all things survival. He is curious, imaginative, creative and always puts other people first, never failing to really help them put safety in their lives. If you’re a passionate survival enthusiast, The Survival Corps is the right place for you, as Dan will never cease to amaze you with valuable information for helping you plan, prepare and survive both in the wilderness and in an urban environment.

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