Mystery ranch Metcalf: worth the cash?

Stump jumper

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Jun 20, 2017
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Minnesota
Hey guys, on the final pice of the puzzle for my otc elk hunt in Idaho this year. My old pack is heading to retirement as of now. After listening to a few pod casts and reading reviews and whatching YouTube videos I’m looking at the metcalf. 525 dollars is a mountain of cash to dish out after already buying a tag but the pack is no place to skimp I know. Kuiu looks like they have some good stuff too but for what I’ve seen the metcalf seemed to handle heavy loads best. What do you guys think? Thanks for your time.



Rod from Minnesota
 

BishopB7

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Mar 19, 2018
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77
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Reno
I love my metcalf and mystery ranch products. You do pay for them, but if you look at most other comparable quality packs stone glacier, etc. you'll see they are all in that ballpark. My metcalf has done everything I've asked of it. I used mystery ranch when I was fighting fire on an IHC crew. 16 hour days with 45 lbs and a saw and it never let me down. Went through abuse like no other and after 6 years was still comfortable. That was my reason to go to MR because I got to test the quality first hand and see the capabilities. So as you can see I am a little biased lol but I do believe in their products. My father uses the stone glacier, and that from what I've seen is also a great pack worth the price. Remember, the comfort and longevity of any quality pack will far outlast the initial blow of dropping the $$. If you are planning to start doing any amount of backcountry hunts the emphasis on a pack that has a solid frame and can comfortably handle good amounts of weight should never be overlooked!
 
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GAbearclaw

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Dec 3, 2015
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Socialist Republic of Kalistan
Try it before you buy it as yoke and belt fit matter more than who made it. Lots of great packs, I found KUIU to be great for me after years of great service from the MR Crew Cab, but there are now many top manufacturers that make hunting specific backpack hunting packs.
!
Also check out Camofire and classifieds, MR often shows up in both for decent savings. Good luck
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
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236
Location
Colorado
They're worth it. I run a Kifaru as does my brother, my father runs an Exo, my best friend and wife each run Mystery Ranch. They're all great pack companies and are worth the price. If you're patient you can find them discounted on the classifieds here or on rokslide.
 

Arty

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Feb 16, 2018
Messages
32
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Minnesota
Also check out Camofire and classifieds, MR often shows up in both for decent savings. Good luck
Agreed Camofire I know has had a lot of MR lately. I got mine for about $375 but I believe that was a black friday sale at gohunt.
 

406LIFE

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Aug 18, 2016
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2,075
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Bitterroot Valley, MT
I just got a MR Metcalf, have about 10 miles on it and am so far very happy. This is an upgrade from Kelty Cache hauler and a day pack I strapped to it. Any of the above brands are quality, don't skimp, just bite the bullet. FWIW, they sell this on the GOhunt website and you get about $60 back in credit at the store.
 

elkhnter

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Aug 7, 2009
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236
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Somewhere in the camper!
I researched the Metcalf and EXO K3500, ended up with the 3500, but both are great packs and well worth the money. Also, Rokslide is a good place to buy a slightly use Metcalf.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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5,208
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Chugiak, AK
Don't overlook other brands besides the "hunting" type packs. There are many that can handle heavy loads, and cost 1/2 the price. Also shop the used market to save some cash as well.
 

Rdog

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Aug 15, 2017
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I was about to pull the trigger on a metcalf with the new sub alpine camo they came out with but decided to hold off, and after looking at both packs in person I'm going to be getting an EXO 3500 like others on here have done. They are all great packs, look at how many elk Randy has carried out with his Metcalf's or Corey Jacobsen has carried out with his EXO. For some reason I just like the setup and function of the EXO's a little bit better. I would try to look at both in person if you get the chance.
 

NDGuy

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Apr 26, 2018
Messages
32
Love my Metcalf and just picked up a Pintler bag to swap out as needed this year.
 

Addicting

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Jan 19, 2017
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SW Michigan
I personally ended up buying a Exo Mountian, mainly that decision was because of the Military discount. MR couldn’t match the price due to thier contracts with the Gov. That being said I have heard nothing bad about them and would of bought one if the price was right.

I am currently listening to Randy’s Podcast with them and IMHO they are a great company with a great product. Whether you buy a EXO or MR you won’t be disappointed.
 

widnert

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Jan 30, 2018
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101
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Bozeman, MT
Putting this out there for folks that may not have realized it but - both Mystery Ranch and Stone Glacier are based right here in Bozeman. You can go into both places and try them on and customize them. My wife went through both, bought first one, then the other, trying different things. Neither is specifically built for women but, both outfits worked very heard to customize things to suit her shape. Both mentioned they were looking at designing a model for women as well. I thought that was awesome customer service. Stone Glacier will sell direct but Mystery Ranch won't anymore - had to buy at Schnee's in downtown Bozeman but, still great service.

If you happen to be touring through the Bozeman area, might be worth your while to drop in at each and check them out.

I happen to have the Mystery Ranch Pintler model. Loving it.
 

Frenchy

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Sep 12, 2011
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348
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Bozeman, MT
We did just that a month or so ago. Stopped at stone glacier and tried on the two frames, and looked at the bags. Then went over to MR and were told that all Hunting packs were sold and Schnee's and we would have to go down there to try them out. I was a little disappointed at that, I'd rather get setup buy the company itself instead of the 19yo sales guy at schnees. Just my experience. And I did actually just recently by the metcalf, but that was more a cost thing than anything else.
 

netman

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Mar 15, 2018
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114
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Chandler,Indiana
I was all set to buy a MR until I learned they are manufactured overseas somewhere. Not that I don’t own foreign made products it’s the fact that I can get top quality backpacks made in Colorado for the same price. So I’m going with the SO pack.
 
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