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  1. #1

    Default Mystery ranch Metcalf: worth the cash?

    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 Iím 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 Iíve seen the metcalf seemed to handle heavy loads best. What do you guys think? Thanks for your time.



    Rod from Minnesota

  2. #2

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    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!
    Last edited by BishopB7; 04-16-2018 at 10:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Socialist Republic of Kalistan
    Posts
    192

    Default

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Best Place on Earth - Big Sky Country
    Posts
    190

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    I own KUIU, MR Metcalf, and EXO 3500... EXO 3500 is by far my favorite. It is VERY similar to the MR Metcalf except 2 pounds lighter!!

  5. #5

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    Buy once, cry once. Yes, it's worth it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Arizona, Colorado
    Posts
    154

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    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.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAbearclaw View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Posts
    1,527
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    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.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  9. #9

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    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.
    What doesn't kill you, hunts like hell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Kalispell , Montana
    Posts
    300

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    I have two MR packs to get this year . My son is in the game this year ! From what we have seen and heard you just can't go wrong with MR !!

  11. #11

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    Mountain archery has the metcalf in multicam for 420 shipped right now just ordered one to try out..

  12. #12

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    Just ordered the metcalf thank you guys for the advice

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chugiak, AK
    Posts
    4,982

    Default

    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.
    "No Kuiu here"

  14. Default

    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.

  15. Default

    Love my Metcalf and just picked up a Pintler bag to swap out as needed this year.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    1,306

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    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.

  17. #17

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    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.
    Living in the "Last Best Place" - Montana
    Acts 2:38 - For honest truth-seekers, there is only one way.
    Inner Man Radio - Targeting Truth

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    292

    Default

    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.

  19. #19

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    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.

  20. #20

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    The Saker 7400 from Seek Outside.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAbearclaw View Post
    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
    Agreed, if you have to option, try them on! Plenty of great brands out there like stone glacier, mystery ranch, kuiu, etc. The fit is key and it you can try them on!
    To what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

  22. Default

    You won't be sorry about your Metcalf purchase. I take mine with sand bags up the hill every week. It is very comfy. Might want to buy some Kifaru or Kuiu organizer bags. Not many pockets in the Metcalf.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    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.
    What Bambi said even within Mystery Ranch. I just bought the MR Glacier from Moosejaw.com.

    It is about the same advertised size as the Metcalf. It looks like a smaller version of the Marshall and is rated to carry 90 lbs. The Metcalf is rated to 150 lbs and has the load shelf. I am not convinced that is worth $175 at retail. But then I got 30% off so I only paid $250. I have been doing weighted cardio carrying 50 lbs and honestly barely feel anymore weight than carrying 25-30 lbs. Its a great pack. If I need more space I can do a couple things. Take the sleeping bag out of its compartment and strap it to the outside the pack and then the only thing that I own that would be in the sleep pad and food so I could carry an elk quarter inside the pack and not have to make space. If need be I could add a Grab It to lash the game bag on the outside too all for a huge savings with as much weight as I would want to carry.

    Good luck with whatever you do!

  24. #24

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    I have been using the metcalf now for over a year and it is fabulous. As others have said though, more than the brand is a good fit. One thing you can do as well is if you sign up for the mailing list through BlackOvis, you receive a coupon that can be used on any products. I believe it is 10%. Wont make a huge world of difference but $50 is $50. I believe they have free shipping too. Best of luck

  25. #25

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    I bought the Metcalf from GoHunt.com but haven't used it yet. To those of you who have one, what is the maximum number of days of gear/supplies you've been able to pack in with it?

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