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Mystery Ranch Backpacks 2013 Hunting Catalog

Mystery Ranch Backpacks 2013 Hunting Catalog

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Published by Adam Foss
The 2013 Hunting Catalog featuring our entire line of hunting backpacks and accessories.

The 2013 Hunting Catalog featuring our entire line of hunting backpacks and accessories.

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Adam Foss on Jan 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Based in Bozeman, Montana, Mystery Ranch has had a decade’s long heritage in hunting. Our Internal Frames, from the old Dana Design Terraplanes of the 80’s and 90’s to the Grizzly and Kodiak today, share a robust framing that controls the outlandish loads required to pack in a camp - or pack out a trophy. Built in the US, we control the quality of Mystery Ranch packs obsessively – these are tools to use, not toys from the sporting goods store. It’s no secret that much of our gear, like the NICE Frame packs, are influenced by our Military Packs. Carrying unreasonable loads in unreasonable terrain and circumstances is second nature to us, around the world and in the backcountry of Montana. This is why our military influences, moderated and edited by Mark Seacat and our in-house crew of hunters, are a better starting point than commercial gear that’s built to be marketed more than to be used. Thanks for looking at our catalog. You can find much more at www.mysteryranch.com, Facebook, or just visiting our plant in Bozeman, MT. Dana Gleason Principal/Designer

Cover Photo: Steven Drake, Seacat Creative




6-7 8-9 10-11 12-13

NICE Metcalf NICE Crewcab NICE Longbow/ NICE Loadsling NICE 6500 NICE 7500

14 15 16-17 18-19

Dragon Slayer Big Horn




Photo: Steven Drake Seacat Creative; Adam Foss with Metcalf

Kyle Christenson on designing the Metcalf At Mystery Ranch design is a communal ongoing process. We strive to wow our customers by integrating their ingenuity and feedback directly into our products. Our direct sales approach gives us immediate access to those who use the product creating a tight feedback loop for development. The NICE Metcalf is no exception, as it has been developed by hunters that not only use our gear, but use it hard! The NICE Frame was selected as platform for a mid sized hunting pack but only if we could incorporate two major requirements. Light weight and increased frame height on the NICE Frame have resonated amongst the hunting community for some time now, so each was to be addressed as critical criteria. To accomplish a lightweight NICE Frame our first comparative analyses was to the NICE Longbow, our lightest NICE bag to date. Through critical examination of access and internal pockets, we concluded that a significant amount of weight could be reallocated to framing if we removed several layers of fabric and zipper from the pocket structure. A top loading pack with a full length access zipper maintains the needed functionality, and saves the necessary weight to address framing. With a new look at materials and construction, pure carbon stays were introduced for an integrated frame extension. This combination of new materials and simplified features have come together to create our best hunting product yet.

Mark Seacat on developing the Metcalf We’ve been working on the development side of the Metcalf pack for a couple years. In order for a hunting prototype pack to make it to “Product” status at Mystery Ranch, there has to be EXTENSIVE field testing. We built six prototype bags, for six of our best development guys. Steven Drake, Adam Foss, Kiviok Hight, Kurt Rued, Mark Seacat, and Bobby Warner all put Metcalf’s to use exclusively this year. These guys had incredible seasons. From the Mackenzie Mountains in the NWT, the high country in Colorado, and eleven different mountain ranges here in Montana, these packs were put to the test. Dall Sheep, Mountain Goats, Mule Deer, Antelope, Yukon Moose, Mountain Caribou, and Elk were all packed out by these guys using the Metcalf… the resounding feedback… “The Metcalf is the best Mystery Ranch pack I’ve ever used.”

Photo:Mark Seacat Seacat Creative; Kyle and Luke discus the new Designed Metcalf


3” Extension

NICE Frame Extension
To tame the unruliest loads, it helps to have a little more frame. So we added a frame extension to the Metcalf which gives you 3” of additional height beyond the top of the NICE Frame. Two carbon fiber bars integrate with the existing structure of the NICE Frame to provide a little extra lift off the shoulder pads and to allow the bulk of the load to rest on your hips. Luke Buckingham; Ranchhand



Wt: 5lbs-12oz- 6lbs 15oz ( 2.64-3.14 kg) Foliage Coyote Multicam Vol:3600-4500 cu in (63-74l) Named after the 254,000 acre Lee Metcalf Wilderness just south of our home in Bozeman Montana, this is the lightest weight pack available for the NICE Frame. From day trips to week long adventures, the Metcalf does it all. The Metcalf incorporates both a Top Loading shroud design coupled with a full-length side access zipper entry. Eight compression straps on the main bag ensure your load isn’t going to shift… regardless of load weight. Fully loaded with the included NICE Lid the bag reaches 4500 cu-in capacity. Full compressed, you won’t even know it’s there. It’s the perfect combination of heavy duty load-hauler and lightweight hunting pack. As always, we utilized 500D cordura and our time tested sewing standards to withstand the abuse of hauling boned out meat, or full bone-in elk quarters, season after season. For the ounce-counting backpack hunter, the Metcalf easily handles your food, camp, and equipment for a week long wilderness mission.



CREWCAB Compressed to Frame

Photo: Steven Drake Seacat Creative; Kyle Christenson with Crewcab



CREWCAB With side pockets full

CREWCAB With 2 small and 1 large load cell, side pockets full

CREWCAB With NICE Daypack Lid, 2 small and 1 large load cell, side pockets full

Wt: 8 lb 4 oz (3.7 kg) Vol: 1900-5000 cu in (31-82 L)
Foliage Coyote Multicam

NICE Load Cell


The Crew Cab is a variable capacity pack made up of three separate compartments and multiple components that can be configured to carry loads that vary dramatically in size, shape and weight. The Crew Cab can be collapsed into a compact daypack or expanded for three to four day backpack hunts. The Crew Cab’s integrated expandable platform area is perfect for hauling Mystery Ranch Load Cells, Pelican cases, shed antlers, weed control sprayers, entire antelope, or even multiple elk quarters. When fully compressed, the Crew Cab is a low profile 1900 cu. inches that will not interfere with active motion. Fully expanded, the Crew Cab can reach the equivalent of a 5000 cu. pack. For Backcountry Hunters and anyone looking for a system that can do it all, this is your pack.

Wt: 9 oz (Small), 10 oz (Large) Dimensions: 7”x13”x 6” (Small - 950 cu in) 12”x 13”x 6” (Large 1450 cu in) See Page 16


Wt: 6 lbs 8 oz (3kg) Vol: 2400 cu-in (39l)
Foliage Coyote Multicam


Photo: Steven Drake Seacat Creative; Steven Drake with Long Bow

The Longbow is a compact and lightweight pack for the NICE Frame system. Its 3Zip design provides top or front panel access. Six internal pockets (including 1 zippered mesh pocket) inside the main bag and a separate zippered lid pocket provide great organization for optics and personal gear. It is hydration reservoir compatible with built in ports that route the hose directly to your shoulder pad. This pack is ideal for scouting, day hunts or lightweight backpack hunts where every ounce counts.


The Load Sling is the most basic method to lash objects to the NICE Frame. Its wide range of adjustability will conform to any load you are attempting to carry be it Jerry cans, chemical weed sprayers, bone-in quarters, meat bags, shed antlers or pony kegs.

Longbow Bow Carry Longbow seperated from frame for load hauling

Wt: 5 lbs 3 oz (2.6 kg) Vol: 2400 cu-in (39l)
Foliage Coyote Multicam


NICE 6500
Wt: 9 lbs 8 oz (4.3kg) Foliage Coyote Multicam Vol: 6500 cu-in(107l) For the serious backpack hunter, the NICE 6500 is the perfect complement to the Crew Cab Bag in the NICE Frame System. The Crew Cab maxes out at around 5000 cubic inches which limits it to trips that are less than a week long. At 6500 cubic inches, the NICE 6500’s volume is ideal for week-long to ten day trips into the backcountry or for that Alaska sheep hunt you’ve always dreamed of. A classic top loading design with dual draw cord shroud increases weather resistance and allows for upward expansion. This bag has enough features to organize the largest loads and is ideal for long hunts or extended missions.

Fully Compressed 6500


Photo: Steven Drake Seacat Creative; Issac Deuling of Arctic Red River Outfitters


NICE 7500


Wt: 9 lbs 11 oz (4.4kg) Vol: 7500 cu-in (123l)




This is the largest pack we make for the NICE Frame System. It is ideal for guides, serious backcountry hunters or basically anyone who needs the largest pack a person can feasibly carry. It has the same classic features that adorn all Mystery Ranch expedition packs providing plenty of organization and features for long trips or extended missions. Complete with side zippers that provide access to the main bag, a removable lid that converts to a daypack and a separate sleeping bag compartment. Beware, this pack is HUGE and not for the faint of heart!!


Wt: 4 lbs 4 oz (2kg) Vol: 2300 cu-in (37.7l)
Foliage Coyote Multicam

The Dragon Slayer is a hunter’s choice for light and fast day missions. Based on our popular 3Zip design, the pack provides quick front panel access to four internal pockets, (two sleeve pockets and two zippered pockets) and two zippered lid pockets perfect for holding essential items such as knives, food, or tags. Eight sets of external compression straps paired with auto-locking buckles allow for a multitude of strapping configurations. The pack’s 80 lbs internal framing capacity can handle everything from elk quarters and boned out mule deer to shed antlers and tree stands. At 4lbs 4oz with a capacity of 2300 cubic inches, the Dragon Slayer has everything a hard charging day hunter could want, and nothing more.



Wt: 5 lbs 13 oz (2.6kg) Vol: 3000 cu-in (49.2l)
Foliage Coyote Multicam

Long before its inception, hunters were utilizing the Big Horn’s older brother and MR employee favorite, Big Sky, for single and multi-day hunts. We’ve taken the Big Sky’s popular 3Zip design and geared it directly to hunters. The Bighorn has the same 3Zip design, internal pocketry, and framing of the Dragon Slayer. With an added 700 cubic inches and Stick It Pocket this pack is perfect for bivy hunts and can easily haul heavy loads back to the trailhead.


NICE Load Cell
Wt: 9 oz (Small), 10 oz (Large) Dimensions: 7”x13”x 6” (Small - 950 cu in) 12”x 13”x 6” (Large - 1450 cu in) These gear bags have internal compression straps to hold your gear in the bags. The bags come in two sizes and are designed to work with our Load Hauling packs. One Large and two Smalls work best with our Crew Cab.

NICE Daypack Lid

Wt: 1 lb 3 oz (0.5 kg) Dimensions: 4”x 7”x 12.5” (900 cu in) Compatible with an H-harness, this lid is designed with two separate pockets for your gear. It attaches to your existing pack and removes to double as an escape and evasion pack with enough room for survival gear and a hydration system.

Spandura Duffel
The Spandura Duffels utilize a large swath of a very unique fabric called Spandura. Literally spandex threads wrapped in Cordura, Spandura fabric has the durability of Cordura yet stretches like Spandex. Lining each side of the main zipper with this fabric allows these panels and the zipper to easily stretch and close over the worst overloads. Each duffle is lined with stiff foam so it keeps it shape for easy packing. Interior pockets and exterior end pockets for smaller items. These duffles are a must have for serious travelers. No Rancher travels without one. Small Wt: 1 lbs 9 oz (0.7 kg) Vol: 2200 cu in (36 L) Medium Wt: 1 lbs 13 oz (0.8 kg) Vol: 3400 cu in (56 L) Large Wt: 2 lbs 3 oz (1 kg) Vol: 5600 cu in (92 L)

One Man Duffel
Wt: 2lbs 13oz (1.3 kg) Vol: 8000 cu in (131 L) Designed for travel and large enough to fit almost anything. Folds into its own storage pocket when not in use.


Olive Drab






Bottle Pocket
Wt: 3 oz (85 g) Vol: Sigg or Nalgene Designed to hold a quart-sized Nalgene bottle. Can be mounted on the waistbelt or through PALS webbing.

Quick Attach Strap
The Quick Attach Accessory Strap is for the user who needs extra compression, but doesn’t have any buckles to attach the compression to. Our Quick Attach Buckle was designed to support up to 200lbs, but also be completely removable. This buckle can be attached to any loop of 1” web which makes this the most versatile strap we produce.

Flip Top Box
Wt: 5 oz (14g) Vol: 50 cu-in (.8l) Flip Top Boxes are wonderful accessories to any have with any Mystery Ranch Backpack. Flip Top Boxes surround your items and hold them secure with wall to wall foam padding and a secure buckle attachment. Flip Tops are perfect for your digital camera, ammunition, range finder, GPS, or snack food.

Wet Rib
Wt: 5 oz (140g) Vol: 48 cu in (0.75L) The Wet Rib is back. This accessory gives instant access to a water bottle, snacks, bear spray; anything you need to get at without removing your pack. Compatible with all Mystery Ranch packs.

Acessories and straps available in:





All Mystery Ranch packs in this catalog are made in the U.S. All sewn materials are U.S. made –from the fibers up through every stage of production. These packs are constructer in the USA.


Our primary fabric is 500 denier Cordura nylon. Tougher than traditional ALICE-style packcloth, 500d Cordura is around half the weight of 1000d Cordura. This can mean a pound lighter pack. 500d Cordura has superior waterproofing qualities and just plain makes a better pack. 1000d Cordura is a little tougher, but anything that damages 500d Cordura will damage 1000d as well. The difference in durability comes down to minutes while the difference in weight is double. The bottoms of all of our packs are double layered. The inner layer is stitched 1/2” smaller than the outer layer which places the bulk of the load’s weight on that inner layer, leaving the outer unstressed to maximize the material’s waterproof and abrasion resistance qualities. Where there’s a need to stiffen the packbag itself we use X-Pac. X-Pac is a laminate that sandwiches thick strands of polyester between an inner and outer fabric layer. These strands stiffen the fabric, giving the bag additional structure and load control properties. All pack shrouds are built out of coated and water resistant 200d nylon which is tougher than most tent floors, yet flexible enough to seal tightly. All of our exterior fabrics are IR-compliant and double-coated: inside with a polyurethane coating, the outside with a Teflon treatment for excellent water resistance. For places that require stretchy and/or compressive material we use Spandura, a hi-tech fabric that combines the toughness of Cordura with the stretch of Lycra. Made of Cordura fibers spun around a Lycra core, it provides a level of abrasion resistance never before approached in a stretch fabric. For areas on the packs that experience extreme abrasion, we use Hypalon. Hypalon is traditionally what the toughest whitewater rafts are built from.

Photo: Tim Gates Mystery Ranch

Thermoplastics, Alloys and Composites

Fiberforge, a thermoplastics company we’ve partnered with, builds our Framesheet Adjusters. These adjusters are a thermoplastic composite material created by fusing a poly-carbonate material with recycled pop bottles. Per pound the resulting material is lighter than aluminum and stiffer than steel. We have several versatile aircraft alloys to choose from when using aluminum in our framing. These alloys are strong, light, and bendable, yet retain their shape once formed to our specs. Carbon fiber is the key ingredient in the NICE Frame. Carbon fiber is incredibly strong, impressively light, and remains flexible under massive loads.


With attention to memory and durability, each foam we use is chosen for appropriate firmness, breathability, and cushioning.

Parts and Accessories

All main zippers are YKK #10 and all lid and pocket zippers are YKK #8. All zipper sliders are Black Oxide plated, which produces a far more durable zipper than painted sliders. All grommets for drawcords are Black Oxide plated and mounted in a 500d Cordura reinforcement. All web is mil-spec nylon, and all plastic buckles are tough Delrin made by National Molding. For serious lashing and compression options we use the National Molding Autolock buckles. For more detailed information on materials, packs, fitting and use, please visit our website:


Back Cover Photo: Mark Seacat Seacat Creative; Kiviok Hight with Metcalf

1750 Evergreen Drive Bozeman, MT 59715

Mystery Ranch

Phone: 406.585.1428 Email: theworks@mysteryranchusa.com Website: www.mysteryranch.com

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