The upgraded METCALF is a versatile workhorse with enough volume for a week in the field but compressible enough for an afternoon stalk. Built onto our Guide Light MT Frame, the METCALF has ample heavyweight capacity, and the OVERLOAD® feature keeps bag contents clean when packing out game. With a detachable lid, dual stretch-woven side pockets and full-length side zip access, this pack is a favorite among hunters looking for versatility and all-around utility. The new GUIDE LIGHT MT FRAME (Mystery Tech) continues the load carriage tradition of the tried- and-true Guide Light Frame and its rigid yet dynamic frame system, but with a few discrete changes. Utilizing custom-developed SJ Autolock buckles throughout, this new hardware collection provides the perfect blend of strength and weight. The 500D Light Plus fabric delivers high tensile and tear resistance, key characteristics for a robust, purpose-driven hunting frame. The five-point waist belt incorporates the highly functional Redirect system and delivers solid weight distribution and eliminates slippage over your hips, regardless of the load. OVERLOAD® feature provides functional expandability via a load sling between the pack and the frame, allowing you to put the bulk of the weight closest to your back for optimal comfort. FEATURES Removable lid with zippered pockets Autolock buckles prevent slippage Interior Removable Quick Attach Zoid Bag attachment points (Zoid Bag sold separately) Bottom, front and side compression straps Top-loading shroud Hydration reservoir compatible Quick attach frame cap hardware provides easier OVERLOAD feature conversion Side zip for easy access to main bag Bow and rifle carry via compression straps Side water bottle, rifle or tripod pockets 500D LP CORDURA® & 500D CORDURA® (Subalpine) YKK® coated zippers for durability and water protection Autolock SJ buckles on compression straps Specifications: Weight: 5.7 lbs Volume: 4333 cu-in Dimensions: 31"x14"x12" Frame System: Guide Light MT Frame Harnessing Style: Framed
I recently bought the Metcalf pack and while I haven't had a chance to really put it to the test yet I am definitely impressed with the way this thing is put together. I cannot wait to get out in the woods with it. I looked at a bunch of other brands and after a bunch of research and price shopping I found the Metcalf to be the best fit for me and my budget. I wanted something well put together that I could fit everything I need in as well as haul meat because I'm going on my first ever black bear in Alaska this year. This is going to be my "everything" pack for the foreseeable future so I wanted the very best I could afford that would work for everything from antelope to elk. So far it's been very user friendly for getting it to fit comfortably and it fits everything I think I'll need and then some.
I’ve only used the pack on a couple of day hikes. so far I’m really pleased with the quality and fit. Access to the compartments is good. Looking forward to putting it to use on some mutable day scouting trips this summer.
This is my first hunting pack, coming from an ultralight backpacker background. So to me, this is a tank of a pack, very heavy empty. However, for the purpose of hauling heavy loads, this pack gets it done without the hip bruising I'd get from a dainty pack. I've used this pack maybe 7 days so far, shed antler hunting. I loaded up 7 shed antlers last weekend and while I knew I was hauling some weight, I was able to do it in relative comfort through a wide array of terrain. Both the hip belt & shoulder straps are comfortable. The autolock buckles are awesome, no slipping whatsoever. The awkward shed antlers were locked in place too. Everything about the bag appears well done, and I expect this to last me a long time. I look forward to continued use, and if I'm lucky it will help me pack out my first harvested animal come fall.
Sizing was true to description. I bought a medium. I'm 6'4" tall, ~175 pounds, 32" waist, and the pack fits well. No concern of bottoming out the waist belt (have had this on other packs and it's in the middle of frame height adjustment.
I spent years carrying a military issue, large, ALICE pack. If you are familiar with those packs, this is a SIGNIFICANT upgrade. My first impression was positive. The quality of material and construction is top-notch. The connectors are tough, adjustable, and there are plenty of them. Once I started shoving things into it, I realized that this pack carries much more than I had assumed. I was able to fit everything I need for a 5-7 day backpack hunt and then some. Online, I did not see the carrying handle, if you want to call it that, that the top of the frame. Makes it super easy to move the pack around when not worn. I am short, 5'5" 170lbs with wide shoulders, think Frodo that can throw hay bails around. The frame is super easy to adjust. Multiple adjustment points. I made three adjustments and it fits me perfect. Definitely recommend making incremental adjustments with the last adjustment with >50 lbs or maximum planned load. Before I made this purchase, I did a lot of research. Did some hands-on with another popular pack manufacturer. In my opinion, this is the best pack you can buy. Affordability, construction, and adjust ability are what make this the best pack for me.
-Amazingly comfortable fit from the hip straps all the way up the frame to the top of the shoulder straps -Ample storage with functional design -Compactable with compression straps and removable top for short overnight trips -Easy to attach gear to the outside of the pack on the back, sides, or bottom -"You pay for what you get" applies to this pack 100%!
I bought the Metcalf pack to pack into the backcountry to pack out elk sheds and it surpassed my expectations with it becoming more comfortable with more weight added. Thank you mystery ranch for a quality pack!
Mystery Ranch does it again. This is a no frills pack with no external pockets minus the brain. If bringing a zillion gadgets that you need quick access to is your thing then consider a different pack. After watching the MR videos about using the overload system it was a breeze to dial it in. This pack means business. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but it’s a pack out bag so you should expect that. I’m willing to trade a pound or two of pack weight to guarantee that I won’t blow a strap while I’m in the backcountry. There’s a reason these packs cost so much, they’re the best and you’ll have it for a lifetime.
I used this on a multi-day winter ski patrol involving winter camping. It was the perfect size for all of my gear when I need it. I can also cinch it down to the size of a large day pack. Very adjustable and comfortable. I could carry the same amount of weight that I usually do without all the pain and pinching. I'm excited for elk season!
I haven’t had the pack that long and haven’t used it on a hunting trip yet (will do another review when I do) but so far I have nothing bad to say! Extremely well built but also light for the size and expected durability! I used it on a trip into the BWCA in Northern MN and loved it. I was able to fit more than enough stuff in the pack and normally I fill other packs, the Metcalf seemed bottomless. Loved the compression straps so that I could cinch down the load and keep it more stable. Very comfortable pack once you get it all adjusted right. Make sure you fit it and test it with a good load so that you can really dial in the fit as well as how to adjust the load lifter straps and such to distribute the weight properly. Fabric does get a little stiff and noisy in cold weather...then again it was -30F during the day when I was using it so I think any fabric gets a bit stiff in that cold. Looking forward to using it on a hunting trip this coming fall!
I bought this a month ago and I am so happy I did. I am 5'6" and weigh about 155 lbs. I am glad I got the medium sized pack. After adjusting the pack for a custom fit, I noticed I am close to the lower end of the packs adjustment range. The materials are hefty, the design is incredible. I can use this pack for hunting, rock climbing and backpacking. I really don't need another pack.
I bought this about a month ago have not had a chance to tested out in the field yet. My first impression on the pack is that is a really good quality pack with lots of space and straps to organize your items. The pack seems bomb proof definitely know this pack will last me a very long time. You can even make any necessary adjustments to the yoke and load lifter to ensure that you always have the most comfortable fit. The backpack can truly be adjusted to fit your body I am 5’6 157 lbs the medium size was great for me. Will continue to update once it’s take out to the field will keep you guys posted.
I bought this pack past month and I am amazed at the comfort especially around the waist. First couple short hikes and no rubbing the pack stays sturdy and feels solid. I appreciate the lack of pockets and places to misplace items. I use the mystery ranch zoid bags in a variety of colors to hold my gear which keeps everything in the pack organized and protected.
I bought the Metcalf about a month ago. I haven’t had it loaded heavy yet but have loaded enough in it for a 3 day backpack hunt and have hiked almost 30 miles with it so far. The Metcalf is the best pack I have ever owned. I have a major back surgery last June and since I have had this pack. All of my usually recovery days have gone away. Hold the weight in the right position and Jeep’s the load off of your lower back. I very impressed thus far.
I was in the Marine Corps, I’m an avid outdoorsman and a lover of backpacks in general. Out of all the packs I have purchased before, and of the 6 I currently own now, this pack is BY FAR superior to all of them! This pack is made with quality materials, is easily adjustable and is without question the MOST COMFORTABLE pack I’ve ever worn. It’s perfect for week long hunting trips into the woods, or compacts small enough for use as a day pack. Buy this pack, you’ll never need another one!!
Recently purchased the Metcalf in Ranger (they call it foliage) green. Couldn't be happier. I'm 6'03" with a 38" waist and the large fits perfect. Loaded it up with 50lbs and it couldn't be more comfortable. Hoping to pack out some heavy loads this September!
I picked this pack up to use for DIY elk hunting. I was able to pack 5 days worth of food and a lot of stuff I really didn’t need, but you never know. On day one the pack was about 70 pounds and it handled it just fine. After a few time in and out of the pack and tweaking my system everything I needed was really accessible without really having to dive into the pack. I did develop a little ware on the belt where the seems meat the frame. Also I carried a knife on my belt and it was a little annoying having to pull the buckle and fight my knife always wanting to pull the strap back down. I would also like to see the waist belt made out of a few more pads so it would wrap around my waist a bit better. But all in all I was pleased with the pack.
I use mine for elk and deer I will tell you I put both hind quarter of a cow elk in it at one time and walk 1.6 miles yes it was downhill after we shot was a little rough wanted to lean forward .but the bag held up great I did loose 3 of the strap keeping things .and can't find them any place .
I purchased this bag a little over a month ago, and I am absolutely impressed with this purchase. I did not have the ability to see one in person beforehand so I was a bit nervous about the fit and size of the belt. I followed the MR suggestion of sizing down if in between and it worked perfectly. The bag is extremely roomy, but compresses down to book bag size if the space isn't needed. It's extremely comfortable with weight, so far I've put almost 30 miles on it with 30 or more lb every time. It's a great all around purchase and one every hunter would be pleased with.
I purchased this pack for week long backcountry hunting trips. I've not done a backpacking trip yet this year so that review will have to be later. But, I've used the pack for short hikes and weekend travel. my favorite feature is the side zip which allows you to get at the contents of the pack without flipping the top open. Note that the side zip is only one side. Another thing of note is the comfort of the hip pads and shoulder pads. The pack really sits nice and secure on your back and seems to transfer weight to the hips well. This should translate to better comfort for longer hikes. I will be purchasing the Zoid bag to keep stuff organized in the pack
I have not had the opportunity to hunt with my Metcalf yet as I got it after my elk season. What I love about the pack is it actually makes my back feel better when it is on and loaded. with 50 + pounds
After many months of research of multiple pack manufacturers, I chose this pack to use. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I know it will perform as good as those in whom claim it performs. Right now I live in a Rocky Mountain state where I can just step out and go but now...its going to a state where it will be still of use in the hills, but its not like being in the mountains. As pre-fitting the pack, it sits extremely well all around. I just have to wait awhile longer now to pack an elk out to put it through the test! But I have confidence it will...when that time comes! Thanks Mystery Ranch for thought process that went into designing your packs and frames!
I recently purchased this pack and have used it a couple time on some day hike just trying to figure things out. What a great pack. Very universal with all the compression straps you can use it as a day pack or open it up for a multi day pack. I also use pack for exercise and put 35lbs in it and have also put 50-60lbs in it and it seems the more weight it’s get the more comfortable the pack is. Not saying it easier to carry just comfortable on you back. I’m really starting to love this system. Also being able to interchange bags is a great feature. Did a lot of research before buying and so far it lives up to the hype and you get what you pay for. Also customer service has been great for answering all my questions to me that’s huge. Can’t wait till hunting season and hopefully I’ll tell you how it works packing out a animal. I don’t think there’s going to be any issues though.
I have enjoyed the amount of gear i have been able carry in this pack and its light weight frame and versatility. I like being able to load meat up against the frame and keep all of my gear clean inside the pack bag. Have only had the pack for a month and have packed a barbary sheep and 2 Oryx out. Very happy with the pack.
love how this carries the load close to your body!
This pack is well made and well designed. I purchased it to replace an older hunting pack (another brand) that had the meat carry shelf that did not concentrate the load close to my body and you had to remove the main pack to turn the pack into a meat haulter. While I have not had the chance to carry out an elk or deer with this pack yet, it is designed so the heavy load will be kept close to your body and it should make the trip(s) out much more comfortable and the main pack stays with the load. I also like how the pack is relatively light weight but still has ample space to do a multi-day spike camp. Just for reference, I am a long distance backpacker who has solo hiked the Continental Divide and has done high altitude mountaineering expeditions all over the world, so I have LOTS of experience with multiple types/brands of backpacks.
I purchased this pack on sale last year and feel like a got a lot of pack for the money. At full price I think it's still a decent value. This pack carries loads up to 80 lbs well. Beyond that and I start getting some slippage in the hip band, no matter how tight I make it. It's still very useable, though, up to about 95 lbs. However, this pack is absolutely NOT designed to carry over 100 lbs. Beyond 100 lbs and the slippage is really bad and, worse, no matter how you adjust things, the attachment points for the chest strap to the shoulder straps pullover the edges of the shoulder straps and dig into your shoulders. This is uncomfortable from the start and extremely painful over a long hike. I recently did a 6 1/2 mile pack-out with 1/2 an elk in this pack at ~110 lbs...the most miserable hike of my life, mostly due to pack discomfort. The next day I did 2 more trips for the rest of the elk and camp, each trip @ ~70lbs and those hikes were quite pleasant. Lesson learned: I'll limit future pack-outs with this pack to ~90 lbs.
I've only had this about a month, but I've used it pretty heavily. I've hauled in tree stands, done some deep canyon hunts, and taken it on a pretty harsh kayak hunting trip. So far I have been really impressed. Everything inside stayed dry even though the outside of the bag was soaked. It handled a 35ish lb load like it was nothing. No shifting or anything. The waste belt provides incredible support and padding. I practiced loading the load shelf a few times before taking it out and it's incredibly user friendly. Overall this is the best backpack I have ever used.
Bought this pack for a 7 day elk hunt in CO. I fit everything I needed into this pack and once camp was set up the metcalf collapsed down to a great daypack. The removable lid made for an excellent motel room bag on the two day trip home which was nice that I didn’t have to bring my whole pack with me, just the essentials. I would highly recommend.
3 years, 8 animal pack outs, and still good as new
Comfortable and versatile pack. I rarely use the detachable top section. I've taken it on ~10 hunts, primarily archery, and have packed out 8 animals ranging in size from mule deer to bull elk. The load shelf is excellent.
This is the first time I have made an investment in my pack and I am glad I did! Already packed out an antelope (one trip, quartered out, solo) and it was a breeze. Second trip was 14 miles in two days deer hunting and pack felt very comfortable. Would recommend this to anyone!
I bought this pack for hunting and so far all I have gotten to do is fill it with all my stuff. It is great for that, in that all my stuff fits. We will really put it to the test next month on a deer hunt.
I purchased this bag earlier this year and have had it in the backcountry about 20 days now. I previously ran an Eberlestock J-107 Dragonfly. The Metcalf rides much nicer and handles weight very well. The Metcalf works well for both day trips and multi-day backcountry hunts. I don't see a reason why I need any other bag for western hunting. Well done Mystery Ranch!