The Mystery Ranch Pop Up 38 Pack is a versatile pack ideal for hunting and hiking. This Mystery Ranch pack has a unique Pop-Up Frame that allows the pack to convert between a low-profile pack for day trips and an expanded pack that can carry loads up to 80 lbs. Dual side pockets provide accessible storage for water bottles, trekking poles, tripods, and rifles, while a compressible back pocket provides accessible storage ideal for spotting scopes or extra layers of clothing. Plus, the Pop-Up 38 pack has an OVERLOAD® feature that uses a load sling to keep the bulk of the weight closest to your back for optimal comfort. Built for versatility, the Mystery Ranch Pop Up 38 Pack easily converts from a daypack to a load-hauling system for tough days in the backcountry.
Zippered lid pocket
Autolock buckles keep pack secure
Compatible with hydration reservoirs
Future Yoke micro-adjusts to torso length
Top-loading shroud with full-length zipper
Bottom, top, and side compression straps
Compressible back pocket for accessible storage
Side pockets for water bottle, trekking poles, rifle, or tripods
Pop-Up Frame expandable frame carries loads up to 80 lbs.
OVERLOAD® feature keeps weight close to back for optimal comfort
I purchased over 2 months ago. I wanted to get some use in it before I did the review. The bag is everything I expected from MR! Comfort durability and features! After getting fitted with some help. I am super impressed with with how I can load it up. Keep it organized and take on camping trips. Overall an awesome bag and highly recommended!
Great overall pack. Haven't had the chance to take it hunting and use the load carry feature but have taken it on a few day hikes this summer. The photo is from a 16 miler and 3500 vertical feet over 7 hours up to and back from Ice Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. I love Mystery Ranch and have used a number of their military packs over the years and they always served me well.
There are a few design features I'd tweak but nothing that's a show stopper. This pack just takes some attention to figure out how to best sort out and secure the straps. Once I adjusted it to my liking it rides super comfortably.
- First, I extended the frame 2-3 inches to keep the top flap secured to the fame and from shifting around. Maybe there could be a better way to eliminate some of the slack the buckles create in future mods. - The location of the lower side compression straps make it difficult to access the side pickets, which I ended up using primarily for snacks or stashing sunglasses or a hat. Potentially routing the straps similar to the Sawtooth might help in the future. - Also, I recommend removing some of the excess material that secures the top side compression strap to the frame to allow more room to tighten the straps with lighter loads.
Bought one for a lightweight elk hunting pack, never buy a pack without a frame and hip straps if you want to be comfortable while hiking. this has both with the addition of the ability to pack out a load on the way back to the truck to get your game cart or pack frames
I wanted to go with the pop up 28 for minimalist archery pack, but after deciding to pull the trigger on the 38, I would of not have been happy with the 28. After putting the Zoid Cell and it as well as the hydrapak, a coat and some other gear, there wasn't much room left. Couldn't have been happier with the pop up 38.
I hauled a 330" elk bull head and cape 3 miles through deadfall... We weighed it at 90 lbs... so the total load on the frame was probably 100 lbs. Pack handled it just fine. It does kinda suck that the bag doesn't cinch close to the frame when it's half full. But that's the only weakness if this pack.
Lightweight, durable, super comfortable and adjustable. The ONLY improvement would be some molle webbing for attaching some pouches, but that's a minor inconvenience. The design and overall quality far outweigh the lack of moly attachments. Great pack!
I bought this pack to use for saddle hunting in hard to get to areas where I will be sitting for a whole day. In wisconsin that may be in 65 degrees or 10 degrees, which makes clothing difficult to manage when crossing miles of swamp or hills. This pack has the storage required for long day sits, adding and shedding layers depending on conditions, and packing meat out on successful days. It makes all my hunts better. More storage than the other pack options with a more rigid Frame allowing for meat transportation as well as gear. Truly an innovation to the market meeting a demand that customers had. You can carry 4 or 5 sticks, platform and all while still being comfortable. Id suggest this pack over any I've used, even if only for short sits where your requiring zero extra gear, it still fits that bill and is not excessive. A true hybrid that crosses multiple markets and multiple demands and most importantly does it exceptionally.
I have had the pop-up 38 out on about half a dozen hikes now and am developing some opinions. Out Of The Box: construction, design, and quality seemed to be what I expected of Mystery Ranch, top notch, but would be nice with hip pockets (that you didn't have to buy after, and somewhere to lash my bow to. Lastly, as many other reviews note, the main compartment has a bit of slack between it and the frame. I wrapped the top staps around the pop-up bar and this helped a bit. I think one other adjustment that may help would be to make the material on the back pouch a bit narrower thus giving more webbing to cinch down. Loading Up With Day Hike Gear: every day hike item fits easily into this roomy pack (and I pack heavy) with room to spare and enough compartments to keep organized (other than lack of hip pockets) but without adding too much weight. First Few Hikes: loaded up to 25 pounds and so comfortable, carried like an empty pack. Waist belt did seem to slack off a little though, hopefully just a break in thing. Most Recent Hikes: loaded up to 45 lbs and tested overload compartment. Still rode very comfortably and I think another 15 lbs would not be an issue at all. Overload shelf carries weight well but I dont like that items (trekking poles) in side pockets can somewhat adjust into overload area, not by any means detrimental, just a little clumsy. Also waist belt still requiring periodic retensioning. Overall: I tend to point out flaws but really this is going to be a great day-hunt pack this fall and I could easily see pulling off a couple of early season overnighters with it. I ordered hip pockets so that should help my overall function. Great job Mystery Ranch, keep it up.
I got this back for day hunts here in AZ for the ability to use the popup/loadout feature to pack out Coues Bucks and other AZ game. I like the quality and the fit, but still working the load set up for the stuff I always have in my back. It does squeak somethings when walking, but still adjusting straps to figure it out. More to follow, but so far so good.
I bought this pack after owning a pop-up 18 that was just amazing for a day pack and getting that first load out after we downed an elk. I loved how concise the pop-up 18 was, but I just lacked a little room I needed to get everything I wanted. This pop-up 38 is just about perfect. I love the layout, and the pockets, and I added a couple molle water bottle holders and this thing is perfect! The main bag does not sit super tight to the frame when you don't have a meat bag, so be aware of this. I just took a couple extra straps I had from another pack and made a loop around everything so it would hold it back a little tighter. I love how this pack extends the stays and keeps the weight up on your hips and off your shoulders. Excellent pack, super well-made, and very functional.
I used this pack for 2020, a few weeks elk hunting and a season of white tail. Definitely got use out of it, liked it but could be better. If a few things were changed up it would be lights out. First, the waist/hip belt is too small. I ordered utility pouches to attach, they didn't fit with the molle. Was only able to use one of the straps and rigged the other one on. I attached a holster as well, unless you're flexible you won't be able to reach it cause it sits too far back. I use Nalgene bottles and the external pouch wasn't great cause of the straps, do they go over the water bottle or under?! Lastly, if it had a couple straps to attach your bow, it would be amazing. My buddies strapped their bows up while I was stuck carrying mine. Yeah I could of added some sort of strap, but I didn't. If those few things were changed, added or tweaked it would be a lights out bag that could be used for everything!
I wanted this pack for so long and when it arrived, it's better than I ever could have imagined! It's perfections, perfect fit, color, style, features. So happy with my purchase, this brand is amazing!
Used for some upland hunting and one mule deer day hunt so far. The pack rides great, the frame is solid and it handles a load well. The layout and oversized lid are great, I really like the two pocket lid design. My only complaint is that the bag cannot be snugged to the frame. It flops around loosely unless you have a decent amount (1/3 - 1/2) of the space filled within the bag. The buckles and strap placement don't allow it to be fully secured, there's about 2-3" of bare space between the frame and bag. This also leaves the lid sliding both directions. However, if you always have enough gear to keep it semi-full. It's perfect.
Awesome pack. I use it for travel, coyote hunts, and backpacking/camping. Very comfortable pack, distributes the weight evenly. Ignore the reviews the troglodytes left about not being able to compress the back flush when running empty/light loads. You tighten the straps...easy.
I’m 5’6”, 145lbs, athletic build...I bought a small and it fits fine.
I bought this about a month ago and I really like it. I think adding a rifle boot to the waist belt could enhance comfort when carrying a rifle. I also think deepening the side pockets and putting an elastic hole to the bottom would make carrying shooting sticks or hiking poles easier. I also think recessing the buckles between the frame and the pack would prevent the pack from sagging when not in the load bearing configuration (i.e., move the buckle from edge of the pack to the side or further back so it remains taught). The loose pack makes it slide forward against neck/head when laying prone to glass or shoot. All in all great pack so far though. Glad I bought it!
This is the third pack I’ve owned from Mystery Ranch. Hotshot and pop up 18. Was looking for a larger pop up system and this pack will do every thing I want and need in a pack. The pack was sold out for the last few months and as soon it was available again I purchased. This pack has so many great features and so well built. I look forward to many hunts with this pack. Thanks for the great product and service.
The pack is excellent when loaded; however, when the load-bearing function of the pop-up frame is not in use, the bag feels loose on the frame. The way the compression straps are designed, the bag cannot be fully sinched to the frame if it is not fully packed to its maximum or the load-bearing function is used. This is not a huge concern, but it polarized the bag towards load-hauling specifically and less of a standard hunting daypack.
Bought this pack as a daypack/overnight pack. It is comfortable and rides like the firefighting packs mystery ranch makes. Mystery Ranch has quality products and are coming out with unique and real world ideas.
Bought for a small pack for day hunts and something my son can use when I’m using my bigger pack. Very versatile pack that can adjust to both of us. My 12 year old son carried parts of his deer out with it and had no complaints.
I bought the Popup 38 for elk hunting this year (don’t live far so no need to camp for two weeks). While built very well, I find the pack to be noisy (brush rubbing against the pack but even more, the tension on the shoulder straps makes a stretching sound that’s quite audible), no easy way to carry a rifle or bow, no hip belt pockets (for things like GPS or rangefinder), and the bag gets discolored easily when bumping around in the truck bed. There are no spotting scope pockets; the side pockets are very small and nearly useless. Lastly, after a few adjustments, I found that either the hip belt rubs my hips raw or the plastic frame creates a hot spot and rubs my back raw (even after adjusting for my size). For the money I paid, I’m not super impressed. Load capability is second to none. Otherwise, just another overpriced pack. If some of these things get fixed, I might buy another, but as it stands now, it seems there may be better options.
For starters I have a Mystery Ranch Metcalf and a Pop Up 28 and really like both of those bags. I am not happy with this pack, the 38. As others have noted the bag hangs way off the frame. Yes you can wrap straps this way and that, but the pack doesn't ride well under load. We've packed this thing out for multi-day hunts in the 35-45lb range and one's center of gravity ends up being pretty far back compared to the Metcalf. 40lbs on this is uncomfortable compared to the Metcalf. The aluminum poles also creak in the pack frame which is not good for a stalking bowhunter. We removed the poles, wrapped them in camo tape and that helped, but still not quiet. I called MR for a return and was told it's not possible. As another noted, I feel this pack should've never been released in its current configuration. Get a Metcalf if you're looking for an all around pack that expands, compresses well and has you covered for days hunts to multi-day adventures.
I initially had the MR Dragonslayer prior to getting this pack. What I wanted with a day pack is having features that provide the user with multiple compartments. Which is the main reason I decided to sell the MR DS, and went with the PO 38. I have spent a couple of days archery elk hunting and it packed everything I needed with easy access and feels extremely comfortable. I'm glad to have upgraded and now look forward to having the PO 38 and the 6500 as my go to packs for any hunting scenarios.
I bought the men’s size s/m foliage Pop up 38 in July from a local retailer. The pack fit comfortably and is easy to adjust. Buckles are large and heavy duty and everything seems well made. Bag system is easy to use unlike some. I got to put it to the test on a 6 day archery hunting trip. Packing up and down the mountains I didn’t even know the pack was there. I had about 15lbs of gear and when we harvested a mule deer I carried about another 35lbs of meat. The meat fit perfect in the main pouch along with my water bladder and first aid kit. It was still comfortable on my waist and shoulders. I still hardly knew it was there. I know this pack is capable of handling more weight then I carried. The only thing I wish this pack had was small pockets on either side of the waist belt. Other then that I love This pack and can’t wait to continue using it!
I took this pack out for early archery season in Arizona and loved it. Only issue I had was the shoulder buckles are a little squeaky. I will try and put some string wax on the strap and see if it quiets up a little.
I received the back about 6 weeks ago and finally had a chance to use it. It ws only to pack my pack raft and fishing gear into a "remote" pond ( about 1 1/4 mile in) . The raft, paddlers and exposure clothing etc all went into a dry bag and the dry back with onto the "meat shelf". The whole thing didn't weight much but it was a good test of fit and adjusting. I liked the bag, a lot of smart innovations that kept things neat ( velco on the straps ! ) . The pack was comfortable and easy to adjust to fit me on one side, the dry bag on the other side of the fame. Sadly no trout were hurt in the expedition.....
I just bought this pack a couple weeks ago but I’m impressed. I had a eberlestock J107 for the longest time and hated the top pouch how it sagged down and pulled the pack down as well as it being way big on my frame. This pack fits perfect and has tons of room if you need it. I’ve loaded it up as if I’m going on a day hunt and have loaded it heavy if I’m going on a multi day hunt and it fits everything. Very impressed with MR Pop up 38. As a fire fighter I’ve always used MR for my line pack and 14 day bags so I’ve been a big fan from the beginning. Now with the hunting packs and this being the first I’ve owned, I will never buy another pack but MR. Well Done.
Quality seems great and I love the functionality of the pack/packboard design. Time will tell how well the lifters hold up. It fills the niche I bought it for. I always want to modify gear and usually do. Voiding warranties and failing to clear CIF since '86.
I picked up the Pop-up because I wanted a low profile day pack with Meathaul capabilities. I have yet to use it on a hunt, but have been training with it using 50llbs of sandbags inside a gamebag and strapped inside the meat hauling area of the pack. I have been running hills with it for a couple weeks, and the pack rides great. Hopefully I will have chance to really put it through its paces this fall in Hells Canyon.
Just received my 38, and haven’t carried this one afield yet, so take this review for what it’s worth. Not my first MR, just the latest. First: snugging the empty pack up works well as previous review describes. I would add that you can go even tighter, if you’re running it minimalist, by also wrapping the interior, upper compression strap buckles behind the frame, and buckling. Both take seconds and take all movement out, if needed. Everything seems well thought out for versatility in one, do-it-all style pack. From a hunting perspective, I do wish the side pouches had dedicated lashing above them for holding taller items carried in them, such as long tripods and spotters, but I may be overlooking how they’ll ride under the regular side compression straps. Overall, it might be the most functional, minimal to go huge, transformer, I’ve seen. No reason it can’t serve for turkey/waterfowl decoys, predator setups, ground blinds, tree stands, bag chair, dove bucket, or an extra duffel full of whatever, in the expansion bucket...or just some snacks, water, and sundries (cinched up tight), after you’ve dropped that awkward/bulky load you went in or out with. The main pocket is spacious enough for all I’d ever carry on a day hunt, in any weather, and the side access means I can get to it without messing with the top flap, and whatever I might have in there making more noise than needed. After I add some side pouches to the belt and maybe a dry bag, I can see it getting used most of the year. I’ll probably throw a piece of pipe foam over the frame extension handle, and have a pretty good shooting rest, that’s taller than just my pack laid flat. I’m liking the possibilities.
Being a guide performance gear is a must, and that’s what this pack does, performs. Although I haven’t strapped any quarters out with it, I have packed out some loads of heavy brown sheds this spring. This pack is extremely comfortable. Having a bad back, I could tell immediately that this pack was made for me.
I got this bag to support a precision rifle and all of it’s associated crud... er... gear. Not a significant amount of weight but it’s a bit bulky and unwieldy. The bag is amazing. I have been stripping the gear to use the bag do all of my other load bearing trips. I recently did about 16 miles with 85 pounds (about 40 metric things and really didn’t notice the load. I often have to strap in gear /kit for the approach and found the RATS pack to be a bit much. This works well for pelican cases, kit, armor, weapons, and even buckets of legos. I am planning to grab a second bag to match so that I can actually have a rifle bag and get the most versatile quick bag I have ever had. Cake and a full belly.
So I got this pack to replace one of similar size by another company. I like how much lighter the pop up is. I especially love the load shelf and the pack options. Can’t wait to get into the woods this fall with it and do some hard hunting.