Review: Mission Workshop Sanction Weatherproof Rucksack


Last week we took a look at two high-tech bags from Powerbag. The PowerBag Messenger and the PowerBag Backpack both pack 6000mAh batteries and an interior system of charging cables so you can keep your mobile electronics charged on the go. The Messenger will be coming to CES with me and the Backpack will be used by Kevin during the week. Between the two bags we are hoping to avoid our annual tradition of struggling to keep our phones and tablets charged during the grueling days in Las Vegas.

But what if you want to carry lots of stuff, need to make sure it won’t get damaged if it rains and don’t need the added weight, bulk or functionality of a massive external battery? Mission Workshop’s new Sanction Weatherproof Rucksack may be just the thing!

The company sent one to us for review and it is one impressive bag. The Sanction comes with a lifetime warranty and, based upon our experience with it so far, that is a safe bet by the company. This is ONE TOUGH pack and it should last a lifetime… or two.

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From Mission Workshop:

The Sanction is a compact weatherproof rucksack designed to hold the daily essentials. Built to last a lifetime with waterproof fabrics and military spec. construction.

The Sanction also features multiple weatherproof compartments, urethane coated zippers, waterproof materials, and an internal frame sheet. Large zippered pocket fits laptop computers such as the 15in MacBook Pro, 13in MacBook Air, or iPad. Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty.

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As you can see, the Sanction is well-built and has a complex series of straps, loops to which a host of things can be attached, a handle on top and more. The two horizontal chest straps (one on either side) can easily be moved up or down so they are as comfortable as possible as they hold the bag securely in place.

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Here is a closer look at one of them.

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The Sanction has a clear shape and form, even when empty. This “structure” is created by the thickly padded backing. The dense material has a fair amount of “give” when you press down on it but is so dense that it holds its shape. As a result, the bag maintains its shape as well. It also makes the bag exceptionally comfortable to wear since this padding will keep anything in the main compartment from pressing into the wearer’s back.

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The outside of the bag has a fairly large pocket that is easy to access. The opening is secured behind and beneath a velcro flap that, once in place, isn’t going anywhere. (Note just how thick the Velcro strip is!)

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An example of the attention to detail taken with this bag (one of many) can be seen in the choice to have the actual opening to the pocket be a bit narrower than the overall pocket. This ensures that small items placed inside won’t spill out if the bag is placed on its side.

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And then there is the flap that covers the main compartment of the Sanction. It is big, comes quite a way down the bag and is secured by two strong clips.

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It too is secured with a generous supply of Velcro. It actually took a good bit of force to get it open the first time!

Under the flap are a number of zippered pockets and the opening to the main compartment.

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As you can see, the pockets are secured with a nice, YKK zipper. Since the bag is advertised as waterproof, the seams are waxed. This create a nice seal when the zipper is closed.

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In yet another example of the attention to detail, the closed zipper sits behind an extra piece of tightly woven material. This… is… one… tough… waterproof… bag!!

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This “under-flap pocket” is nice and deep. It is a great place to keep slightly larger items that you don’t want to throw into the main compartment.

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This is a rucksack so, of course, there is a large, cavernous interior space for stowing lots and lots of items. This is perfect for some clothing, a camera or other assorted items that don’t need to be placed in a highly organized space.

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On the flap, behind the main compartment and slightly above it, there is a zipper. This is yet another pocket that runs the entire length of the rucksack and is great if you want to keep something large separate from the items in the main area.


And finally, right in front of the main compartment, and easy to overlook if you aren’t careful, is a long pocket that extends down to the bottom of the rucksack. This is intended for a laptop (I figured that out when I saw a promotional picture that has a laptop in this pocket) but be warned, it is not padded.


Mission Workshop’s Sanction Weatherproof Rucksack is impressive. It is well-made, has tons of pockets and will clearly stand up to year and years of use and abuse. Since it costs $179 (and an accessory waist belt is another $30) that is a good thing. Yes, this rucksack is an investment in something that will last the rest of your life… and then some. In fact, it is so rugged that, while checking it out, I kept thinking to myself, “military grade build-quality!” It is for that reason that, during CES, this Sanction Weatherproof Rucksack will see heavy use as Francis lugs all his photography equipment around.


Yeah, CES is more fun when you have a “camera sherpa” along for the ride and a “camera sherpa” needs a great way to carry all his equipment! :)

You can learn more and order your own Mission Workshop Sanction Weatherproof Rucksack here on the company website.

MSRP: $179 (waist strap is $30 more)

What I Like: Amazingly well made; Not too heavy when empty; Tons of pockets; Waterproof; Can hold as much or as little as you want

What Needs Improvement: Expensive; computer pocket not padded


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1 reply

  1. I really love this bag! I got mine Thanksgiving weekend. It’s been built with love, that much is easy to tell. I’m finding it just a bit small for my daily needs, tho. I ordered the larger Fitzroy version, and I’m hoping it’s not GINORMOUS. I like to be able to make small grocery runs on my way home, and it was pushing it with the Sanction already carrying a book or two, some folders, magazines, ipod & netbook. I think this is better utilized as just a tech bag…