Mystery Ranch Backpack Review
Table of Contents
About Mystery Ranch
Don’t let the name fool you, Mystery Ranch is straight edge and with no frills. Upon first hearing the Mystery Ranch name you may think it’s a delicious salad dressing or a haunted Texan’s abandoned ranch, but you would be a bit off-base—the company sells heavy-duty backpacks for long outdoor expeditions.
These backpacks are not for your kid’s lunches; the brand’s rucksacks are for travelers who are looking for perfect lumbar support while trekking for hours, if not days, while hauling a ton of gear. And with over 100k followers on their Instagram and over 67k likes on their Facebook, you know their packs are popular!
Every trekker, spelunker, hunter, and woodsman worth their salt knows about Mystery Ranch, and you would be hard-pressed to find a hunting blog that doesn’t mention the brand at least once. They are the industry standard in backpacking gear for both professional and recreational purposes—even making gear for the Navy SEALs.
The purpose of this Mystery Ranch backpack review is to go deep on some of the brand’s best-selling backpacks. We will also take a look at the customer reviews to help you decide if one of these backpacks is worth putting your hard-earned dollars on the table.
Overview of Mystery Ranch
Founded in 2000, the company’s CEO, Dana Gleason, has been with the brand since its inception in Bozeman, MT. The backpacks are designed in the USA, with the manufacturing split between the US and the Philippines.
With over 20 years of experience producing and designing gear-carrying backpacks, Mystery Ranch has one mission to provide a backpack that is easy to carry but holds a ton of gear. The company saw a massive hole in the backpacking market and filled it with professional-level gear for consumers, veteran hunters, climbers, skiers, and hikers.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the packs, let’s take a quick look at some pros and cons for the brand:
- Outstanding customer reviews
- Great product promise against defects in fabric or workmanship
- Easy to open and get at all parts of the backpack
- Fully adjustable straps for sizing and exceptional lumbar support
- Durable materials
- Backpacks will last you a lifetime
- Pro discount
- Expensive relative to other consumer brands
- Made in the Philippines so quality can vary
- Prices are not clearly listed for each product
- No international shipping
In our Mystery Ranch backpack review, the bags really do speak for themselves. So let’s see if they meet your needs and whether they are worth the price tag. With backpacks for longer treks and everyday commutes, it’s time to see what Mystery Ranch is packing.
Mystery Ranch Backpacking Backpacks Review
Outdoor adventures love their Mystery Ranch backpacks, and professionals praise them for their high quality and functional design. In this Mystery Ranch backpack review, there are so many popular bags not covered, but we will mention when they are similar in design.
There are just so many great packs to choose from. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the brand’s best-selling backpacks and why people are raving about them.
Mystery Ranch Terraplane Pack Review
If Mystery Ranch had a classic backpack, the Terraplane would be it. It will serve your needs in any long outdoor trek, and probably be the only outdoor travel backpack you will need for the rest of your life. It is also the biggest bag featured in our Mystery Ranch backpack review.
The Terraplane has a lot of room to carry things—we are talking about 82L of space. More importantly, it comes with an innovative support system for your back (coined the Astral Frame by Mystery Ranch), so you are able to carry all of your camping gear as comfortably as possible.
The fully adjustable framework evenly distributes the backpack’s weight across your back and waist so you can carry a heavy load for a long time without feeling those aches and pains. Comfort is essential while you carry your load over long distances, through rough terrain, or up long mountain paths.
The long outside pockets give you the quick accessibility needed, especially when you’re starving after a long hike. It helps keep things from getting too wet, cold, or hot. And the removable mini-backpack on top of the Terraplane is great for shorter journeys. Made from sturdy synthetic nylon fabric, you know this pack will last in any sort of weather.
The pack is available in S to XL frames, and comes in four colors:
- Del mar
The Mystery Ranch Terraplane retails for $400 and if this pack is a bit intense, then the Mystery Ranch Metcalf is also a great alternative and worth looking into.
Mystery Ranch Sphinx 60 Pack Review
The brand’s lightweight long-distance backpack is the Sphinx 60. You still get a ton of storage space, but this Mystery Ranch pack keeps it as light as possible without sacrificing space. That being said, you are looking at 60L of room for all of your gear, and is one of the lightest packs, weighing only 4.8 lbs!
It has many of the same features as the Terraplane, with big outside pockets to store your food items and quick access. And you’ve got compression straps located on the bottom and sides of the bag to securely hold any hiking or ski poles, rifles, ice picks, or other tools you may need on hand.
Finally, the Sphinx 60 has a zipper down the center that opens up the entire backpack. It allows you to see and organize what is in your bag with ease. This will allow for quick unpacking during a trip which is good when you need to find something on the trail in mere moments. Plus the big pockets at the hip are great for storing your phone and other essentials.
Made from a sturdy nylon fabric that can withstand wear and tear through friction, the Sphinx 60 is available in S to XL (men’s) and XS to L (women’s). The pack comes in four colors:
- Deep sea
The Sphinx 60 retails for $269 and it is a lot like the Mystery Ranch Pintler backpack if you are looking for an alternative. Even then if these two bags are too big from you there is always the Mystery Rach Pop Up 28 coming in at only 28L of storage space but still has a frame.
Mystery Ranch Everyday Carry Backpacks Review
Mystery Ranch also has you covered in your daily life with their Everyday Carry backpacks. These bags are just as high quality as their backpacks so you know you’re looking at something great for a daily commute or a longer day trip.
This part of our Mystery Ranch backpack review takes a look at two of their best sellers designed for the everyday hustle to work or school.
Mystery Ranch Market Pack Review
When you need a sturdy bag that can handle any sort of weather but isn’t a giant hulking hiker’s bag. The Market backpack is perfect for carrying a smaller laptop from work to home. It would be an excellent bag for students as well and could easily fit a tablet. The backpack zips shut at the top and has a set of button-snaps for extra security.
The Market backpack comes with straps and a handle at the top, making it very easy to carry in other ways rather than on your back. You’ll also find a water bottle holder to make sure you don’t ever part with your thermos.
Made from a durable polyester, the inside has a water-resistant nylon interior so if you get caught in the rain you know your stuff won’t get wet.
The bag comes in four colors:
- Shadow moon
The Market backpack retails for $69 and you could also consider the Mystery Ranch Rip Ruck
if you’re looking for something a little bigger with a classic backpack shape.
Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 Pack Review
If you are looking for an everyday backpack but with a ton of space, then the Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 might just fit your carrying needs. The sleek and simple bag has a practical easy-to-open design and is big enough to use for light travel.
Not suited for a long expedition into the wilderness but perfect for travel around the city, this pack could easily be a carry-on bag for your backpacking trip through Europe or your day-to-day needs as you’re commuting to work.
The main feature of the Mystery Ranch Urban Assault is the brand’s three zippers access which splits the entire backpack open, giving you quick access to the insides. This is great if you are looking for something quickly or need to pack in a hurry after work or school ends.
The backpack has a compartment for your laptop, and great inside storage for small items you may need at work or in class. Made from a durable nylon fabric, this pack comes in five colors:
- Wood waxed
The Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 retails for $165. Another comparable option is the Mystery Ranch Mule which holds slightly less but has a more outdoorsy look.
Mystery Ranch Women’s Backpacks Review
Mystery Ranch offers smaller sizes of some of their backpacks making them ideal for people with smaller body types. What makes any of these a ‘women’s backpack’ is only in terms of measurements and not functionality. Let’s take a look at some of the best-selling women’s backpacks on the Mystery Ranch website.
Mystery Ranch Women’s Scree 32 Pack Review
A superb entry-level backpack for any novice adventurer, the Scree 32 is ideal for hiking, trailing, mountaineering, or any outdoor treks. You would definitely find this far too big for everyday use and the backpack is much better suited for longer expeditions.
The Mystery Ranch Scree comes with some amazing features given its design which sacrifices durability for a lighter backpack. The pack even has a section to store your extra water container for easy access.
With its super-efficient three zippers that can open the bag fully open, it makes it super easy to find something quick, making organizing a breeze. The bag also comes with two side holders for your water and compression straps to hold poles, picks, or any other gear you want to bring with you.
Made from a nylon fabric that can withstand wear and tears through friction, this bag comes in two colors:
- Shadow moon
The Mystery Ranch Scree 32 retails for $189.
Mystery Ranch Women’s Glacier Pack Review
The Glacier is a 70L backpack and has the exact same features as the Terraplane which we previously covered in this Mystery Ranch backpack review, but has a smaller overall storage volume. The only real difference for the women’s version is the smaller size and the cost.
You are getting the portable top lid backpack, front bag thermal compartments, and fully adjustable support frame to maximize comfort and lumbar support. This bag will fit you like a glove and something you can trust on outdoor excursions.
The Glacier costs $350 dollars.
Who Is Mystery Ranch For?
Mystery Ranch is really for anyone looking for a backpack that will cost you a fair price but last you a lifetime. They are incredibly durable and backed by an excellent warranty.
The brand also has a backpack for any outdoor situation—be it serious trekking or an expedition into the bush. With their Everyday Carry line of products, they even have you covered in the city. Choose your own adventure, and they have a pack for you to carry your stuff in.
Comparison: Mystery Ranch vs. Osprey
Now that you know what the brand offers, this Mystery Ranch backpack review will take a look at one of their competitors: Osprey.
Launched in 1974, the founder Mike Ptotenhauer started designing his own backpacks at 16, even creating customized ones for hikers and travelers passing by his hometown. As a result of his roots, Mike knows the necessary ins and outs of a long lasting backpack.
Both Osprey and Mystery Ranch sell similar products and their prices are even comparable when looking at similar lines of products. With Mystery Ranch, you have the Terraplane that comes in 70L, 80L or 100L versions. The same goes for Osprey, they offer their version with its Aether Plus 70, but it comes in 60L, 70L, 85L, and 100L.
Both backpacks have removable parts that create smaller, easier-to-carry daypacks for quick trips. One difference to note is that the Terraplane daypack has a supportive frame that can handle a lot of weight while Aether Plus 70 does not.
With that being said, you can’t really go wrong with either company as they both offer nearly identical products even down to the everyday backpacks. Even the prices are quite similar as the Terraplane costs $400 and the Aether Plus only slightly less at $390.
Mystery Ranch Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
We have said a fair bit about the packs in our Mystery Ranch backpack review, but let’s take a look at what other customers think of their products.
The reviews from customers are stellar, and many even have a kind of nostalgia for the brand and really bond with their Mystery Ranch backpack. The makers are so confident they even integrate long-form reviews right under each backpack they offer. While some bags are more popular and have way more reviews, most are perfect 5-star scores.
Now let’s take a look at some reviews from satisfied Amazon customers.
Take Charles C. ‘s 5-star review about the Scree, “Pockets, pockets, pockets! If you’re looking for a backpack that gives you ample organization capabilities, this would be perfect! It has two outside pockets that were big enough to hold either two bear sprays or one Nalgene water bottle. Not to mention the inside and waist/hip pockets gave extra room for items.”
You don’t even have to cherry-pick the 5-star reviews, they are everywhere, like the review left by a user named SnowedUnder:
“This daypack is very rugged and great quality with nice touches. All the buckles, YKK coated zips, and drawstrings are excellent quality and operate smoothly. The numerous pockets and the thoughtful layout of this daypack allows for great gear organization. I especially appreciate the water bottle pockets which allows for easy reach. The construction is top notch!”
Hikers love their packs and Graham has taken his Scree 32 on many adventures, “First off let me preface, this is an outstanding pack with really great features. I just got back from a trip with 4 consecutive overnights (restaged/refueled at the car each day) logging about 40 miles and this pack carried with ease. The outside pockets are perfect for a nalgene.”
Is Mystery Ranch Worth It?
A resounding yes. There is so much thought put into these marvelous backpacks that this review only scratched the surface on how much each Mystery Ranch backpack has in terms of storage. The bags have pockets, straps, and hooks all over them—their packs have a place for everything.
If you take anything away from this Mystery Ranch backpack review, it is that the packs are well worth the cost you will pay for them.
Mystery Ranch Promotions & Discounts
Perhaps you could find a deal at a local retailer selling Mystery Ranch products, but no deals are currently available through the website.
If you’re a pro working in the industry, you may be eligible for a discount. You will need to apply for their program to see if you would be a fit.
Where to Buy Mystery Ranch
The best way to buy Mystery Ranch products is to head to a local retailer using the website’s store locator. They have locations across the US and throughout Canada. US customers can purchase packs from the website if stock is still available as they sell out fast.
Is Mystery Ranch Backpacks sustainable?
The brand works hard to make sure defects are kept to a minimum, and even when they happen, they will always repair it first before resorting to sending you a new bag. Even their packaging is made from reusable and recycled materials.
Mystery Ranch does whatever it can to help minimize its carbon footprint on the world as they enjoy the outdoors as much as other people.
Where are Mystery Ranch backpacks made?
Mystery Ranch products are designed in the US and production is split between the States, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Do Mystery Ranch backpacks come in different sizes?
Yes, the backpacks come both in larger men’s sizes and slightly smaller women’s sizes. Each bag is also adjustable based on your height.
Do Mystery Ranch backpacks come with a warranty?
Yes, the product should last through most wear and tear, but if your pack comes with a factory defect, it will be repaired for free.
A warranty claim can be made at any time and each backpack must be shipped to Mystery Ranch where they will evaluate the claim.
What should I use to clean my Mystery Ranch pack?
Mystery Ranch recommends doing these steps to properly clean and care for your pack:
- Wash your pack with hot water in the shower or tub.
- Make sure to use a mild soap and soft brush to get all the dirt and grime off.
- Never machine wash your backpack.
- If you have harder to remove stains (like any blood), then it would be best to use hydrogen peroxide.
- Rinse completely.
- Dry in the shade, never in full sun.
What is Mystery Ranch’s Shipping Policy?
Free shipping is only available in the US, with same day (if an order is placed before 11:30 am MST) or next day shipments.
For all international shipments, you can check out their international distributor page.
What is Mystery Ranch’s Return Policy?
Returns are valid within 60 days from the day you bought the backpack, and the packs need to be in perfect condition, completely unused. Any shipping fees for returns are not refunded.
You can start a return by contacting the brand’s customer service at 1-833-548-1999 and they will provide you with a return authorization number.
How to Contact Mystery Ranch
Mystery Ranch has a couple of ways to contact them:
- Phone: 1-833-548-1999
- Contact form on their site
Their hours are from Monday to Friday, between 9 am to 5 pm MST.
Looking for other awesome backpacks? Check out our reviews for other brands below: