Mystery Ranch or Stone Glacier

Rialh

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
4
I’m looking at getting and new pack, I want something that can be used for day hunts or multiple days plus something with a load shelf to haul out a whole boned-out deer or an elk quarter. I’ve been looking at the mystery ranch beartooth 80 and Metcalf vs the Stone Glacier Sky 5900 and EVO 40/56. What’s your preference and why, thanks
 

Boomerusaf

Active member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
594
Location
The boot of Minnesota
I like the versatility of the Metcalf. From treestand hunting to meat hauling out west, it's a dependable pack. I've even used it goose hunting. I've also heard nothing but good things about Stone Glacier packs. Your best bet is to try them on at a store and see how they feel.
 

Treeshark

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
46
Location
Wisconsin
I own a Metcalf and love it, but looked at that very SG pack quite a bit. I think your decision boils down to durability (Metcalf) vs light weight (SG). Metcalf is quite a bit less expensive as well. Functionally they don’t look very different to me.
 

cascadehunter

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
47
Location
Easern Idaho
So many good packs out there these days! That said, you are on the right track. Big, 6000ci, is good. You can always put less in a big pack, day trip vs long trip. They make all very light frame/pack. A pack shelf is definately needed. My pack is Blacks Creek Solution, with removeable pack sack, light frame & can reattach sack over your meat load. I like that because i do not put meat inside a compartment, the frame is easier to clean than a compartment.
Check out the 'Outdoorsman' packs & gear they have quality items.
Barneys is a favorite in Alaska, thinkin just because thats where they are made. My hunt partner uses Barneys & has the biggest they offer, think its 8000ci. I like his huge pack, means he carries more meat/weight on the packout...haha. He is also 25yrs younger!
Good luck on your pack choices & good hunting!
 

brymoore

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
1,232
Location
Idaho
I’ve owned the metcalf and SG skyarcher.

I sold the metcalf and still use the SG.
 

CodyCass

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
261
Location
St. Louis, MO
I don't have any experience with MR, but I do with SG. I have a SG 5900 on an X-curve frame, previously had a Kifaru. The SG is outstanding, I can't say anything bad about it. I've hiked 100+ miles with the SG and never, not once, has it rubbed me funny or been uncomfortable. Most hikes were with 50 pounds, but have carried as much as 100. Simple to remove the bag from the frame and utilize the load shelf, layout of the pockets is well thought out... Someone mentioned durability, my pack looks just as good today as it did the day I bought it, minus a few stains. No material is thinning or wearing out, everything is tip-top.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,000
Location
Lubbock, Texas
I think it comes down to how they fit you. They are both adjustable (I know the SG is, not 100% sure about the MR) but they still "fit" some folks better or worse. If you can it would be good to try them on. I have had my SG solo since the fall of 2013 and it is a great pack. My bag has one hole from where an ember landed on it and may have a few other signs of wear but it has been through the wringer. The only thing I would ever upgrade to would be a bigger bag. I'm sure the xCurve frame is nice, but my old frame sure does work well.
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
3,335
Location
Aurora, CO
I think the comment about durability is a little bit off base. I have MR pack and and SG, build quality is pretty similar although MR definitely has the upper hand on some pack models.

Biggest differences SG is $100 more, 15ish% lighter, 15ish% bigger, but it has a super sparse design without any internal pockets, water bottle holders, etc. The mystery ranch is a great hunting pack for people who like the traditional pack design/organization, the stone glacier is more geared towards someone who wants a bomber pack with no frills.

Seek Outside, Exo, Kifaru, are all in the same class of pack, kuiu and outdoorman's are a step down but good. If you are 6'3" build like shit house and expect to be packing moose quarters bone in don't screw around and get a barney's. I'm 6' 150lbs and when I put on a barney's I felt like a 10yr old wearing around his dads shirt... those things are built for ogres.

Biggest thing to remember is everyone is going to have an opinion and because packs are 1. Expensive and 2. Will last forever (so you aren't buying lots of packs), and 3. They probably just bought the pack that they could try on, ie was made in their state... CO guys like Kifaru and Seek, MT guys like MR and SG, ID guys and WY guys love EXO... You are unlikely to talk to anyone who has actually owned more than 1 or 2 and definitely not 3 or 4 of the same manufacturing year, and people are just rooting for the pack they chose in order to justify their decision to drop an insane sum of money on a pack. Gotta keep the cognitive dissonance at bay or your are gonna be f-ed justifying your purchase to your spouse. ;)

So in the spirit of the tribalism that we humans love to embrace: Exo sucks...boooo... what a piece of crab don't buy that garbage.

 
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Rialh

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
4
Thanks everyone, I see all mystery ranch packs are 25% off right now on blackovis.com. Maybe that will help my decision but I basically am buying hopefully the last pack I will need so I don’t want to cheap out
 

Khunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
1,569
Location
Colorado
my MR. crew cab gathers dust since I picked up a SG sky archer 6200 a few years ago.
 

montexan

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
146
Location
Billings
For what it's worth....I bought an Eberlestock before moving to Montana for some hunts in NM. I used it for one season up here and then bought a MR crew cab. That pack was a workhorse mofo. Hauled half a cow elk twice in one season in MT and NM with it. nothing bad to say other than its a little squirrely for hauling a shit ton of gear. I used a MR Scapegoat last season for day hunts and the NICE frame with a load sling for meat hauling. worked flawless. I just bought an older Metcalf and dig it save for the silly drawstring opening bs. I took advantage of the Schnees sale and bought a Beartooth 80 last week. Hands down nicest pack I have ever owned. I can't wait to get it dirty. If you are on the fence about the Beartooth because its huge and you want to day hunt it, don't worry, it compresses down to nothing.
 

Scott85

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
325
Only ever owned a SG it was worth every last penny I paid for it. Looking to add a couple more bags to the collection to round it off. I don't know what MR return policy is but I know SG is 30 day so if MR has the same return policy and you have some extra coin laying around buy both and then send the one you don't like back for a full refund.
 

SnowyMountaineer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
1,252
Location
WY
I had a Metcalf on a NICE frame and have had the SG Krux and X-curve frames with Solo and Sky 5200 bags. I kept the SG Sky/X-Curve combo and continue to use it hard. I held on the the Metcalf for a while to use as a loaner. I am a backpacker first and hunter second, so spare features and light weight are a high priority to me. A handful of SG loads:

A third of a bull in mine and a buddy loaded up with my Metcalf, 5.5 miles and 2,800' above the trailhead
107161


116# and 6 miles to go
107162


Scrubby little MT buck on a bivy hunt
107163


Cold and wet to the nuts
107164


Hot and dry
107167


Horse camp pasture, I happened to need a flat spot in the middle of the night. There's not much more satisfying than walking past a horse camp with a decent buck or bull. 6.5 miles to go.
107168


Couple bears
107165

107172


First big load I backpacked out with the SG Solo, deep wilderness buck + camp.
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Last load
107171


Most recent muley + backpack camp
107173


Lots of good memories! I'd be happy to try an Exo, but I find it hard to picture how it is unparalleled exactly. I can't really get motivated to try one, maybe I'll get lucky and a buddy will buy one I can load up. Another 6-8 years down the road I'll probably be ready for a "state of the market" assessment to see if something could make a big difference for me in the pack department but for now I just don't have much interest.
 

bowhuntmontana

Active member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
792
Location
Utah, after 30+yrs in MT
I went through a pack buying decision about 18 months ago. I narrowed it down to the top four or five manufacturers, including MR and SG. I researched like crazy, read lots of posts, posted questions of my own, talked to the manufacturers themselves. After all that, the only thing that actually mattered and helped me decide was shouldering each pack with 70+ lbs in them to see how that particular pack fit my particular body with weight. If I hadn't done that, I would probably still be trying to decide or perhaps still second guessing myself. If you can, get your hands on the ones you have narrowed it down to, load them up with weight, and see how they fit you.
 

lastlight

Active member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
134
Location
Northern California
I have the SG 5900 (standard frame, the x-curve didnt fit me right). You cant go wrong with MR, EXO, Kifaru...its all about what fits you the best and other personal preferences. I will tell you this though, I wish I would have gone bigger with at least their 6900 because for longer than 2-3 days trips especially in the later fall/colder times I could use the extra space. I am just going to by the 6900 bag only and swap them out depending on my hunting trips. Good luck!
 

Antlerfreak

New member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
10
Im a pack fanatic, I own way too many. for years I bought a new pack every year searching for the "perfect pack". Like some of the guys here said, try them on above all els and see what fits you best. After that its about what kind of packing/hunting you will be doing. I picked up a MR last year with the new ultra light guide frame. I got the Cabinet with side bags. It is the perfect couple day bivy hunting pack down to a day hunt pack. I will be using it from here on out. The only thing its not good for would be a long back country hunt. So I will be purchasing the Marshal "bag" no frame. I cant speak for SG but the MR I can roll up my cabinet bag and stuff it in the bottom of my Marshal. When im packed in 10-15 miles I can dump the marshal off the frame that has camp in it, quickly clip on the cabinet bag that has essential hunting gear and off I go for the day. Its kind of like 2 packs in one for 2 different types of use. The packs them selves are bomb proof, comfy, and designed perfect. If I couldnt get a MR I would next look at SG. I own their tent, and ,bags and other gear which is top of the line. ( and I live far from Montana, Idaho, or CO lol)
 

lr123

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
59
I recently bought a pack after lots of research and decided on the Exo 5500. The SG and Exo were the final two packs I was choosing from. After a call to exo and excellent customer service I placed the order and received it within a week. After a little time with it I really like the layout of the pack and would recommend it. Also Exo offers a 30 day return policy if you decide you don't like the pack or it doesn't fit you right. Pick any of the packs above and you will probably be happy with what you purchase.
 

justdada

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
844
Location
Colorado
Like some others, I have spent waaaay too much $ figuring this out.... I could estimate how much it has cost, but I'm actually a bit scared to know. MR are the absolute tanks of packs, if you don't mind the cost in weight of the pack, they don't have a stop button. That said, SG is pretty much all I use for packing in. I've never had a fail and I'm a hard sell so I wouldn't write this if I was on the fence
 
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