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Fabrics & Materials

Mystery Ranch is known around the world for our high standard of material and construction quality. The following is a partial list of the best, and our favorite, raw materials: these are the things that have made the grade, how we use them, and why.


For our primary outer fabric we use 500 denier Cordura because of its blend of durability and waterproofness. 1000d is more durable, but also has a higher level of porosity -- reducing its water resistance compared to the 500d -- so we use 1000d primarily for gear that is subjected to extreme abrasion, like our wildland fire packs.

The bottoms of all of our packs are double layered. The inner layer is cut 1/2" smaller than the outer layer which places the bulk of the load's weight on that inner layer, leaving the outer unstressed to maximize the material's superior waterproof and abrasion resistance qualities.

Where there's a need to stiffen the packbag itself we use X-Pac. X-Pac is a laminate that sandwiches thick strands of polyester between an inner and outer fabric layer. These strands stiffen the fabric, giving the bag additional structure and load control properties. In the body of our G-packs, and many of our military packs, we use extremely durable 500d outer layer X-Pac.

All pack shrouds are built out of 200d nylon which is tougher than most tent floors -- yet flexible enough to seal tightly.

All fabrics are double-coated: one side with a polyurethane coating, the other side with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment for excellent water resistance.

For places that require stretchy and/or compressive material we use Spandura, a hi-tech fabric that combines the toughness of Cordura with the stretch of Lycra. Made of Cordura fibers spun around a Lycra core, it provides a level of abrasion resistance never before approached in a stretch fabric.

For packs that experience extreme abrasion, we use Hypalon. Hypalon is what the toughest whitewater rafts are built from; we design it into our ski packs to protect against edges.

500d Cordura blends durability and waterproofing qualities
X-Pac contains polyester strands that stiffen the material adding structure
Spandura combines the toughness of Cordura with the stretch of Lycra
200d nylon is tougher than most tent floors and is used in our pack shrouds
Hypalon is an abrasion resistant material used in the toughest whitewater rafts
Our line of Ski packs use Hypalon to protect against abrasion from ski edges

Thermoplastics, Alloys and Composites

Fiberforge, a thermoplastics company we've partnered with, builds our Framesheet Adjusters. These adjusters are a thermoplastic composite material created by fusing fiberglass with recycled pop bottles. The resulting material is 60% lighter and 600% stiffer than steel, and 30% lighter than aluminum.

We have several versatile aircraft alloys to choose from when using aluminum in our framing. These alloys are strong, light, and bendable, yet retain their shape once formed to our specs. Carbon Fiber is the key ingredient in the NICE Frame. Carbon Fiber is incredibly strong, impressively light, and remains flexible under massive loads.

Our framesheet adjusters are a thermoplastic composite made from recycled pop bottles
The framesheet adjusters add structure to our pack yokes such as this Futura yoke
Carbon fiber is used for the skeleton of the NICE Frame
Fiberglass and carbon fiber rods are used in the framing of our packs
Pre-bent aircraft grade aluminum is also used to add structure to our pack frames


With attention to memory and durability, each foam we use is chosen for appropriate firmness, breathability, and cushioning, depending upon the specific application.

Matrix foam adds comfort and support to our waistbelt pads
Our lumber pads are a combination of matrix foam, dual density foam, and trocelene
Densified urethane adds structure and padding to our yokes

Parts and Accessories

All main zippers are YKK #10, and all lid and pocket zippers are YKK #8. All zipper sliders are nickel plated; this produces a far more durable zipper than painted sliders. All grommets for drawcords are nickel plated brass mounted in a 500d Cordura reinforcement. All web is mil-spec nylon, and all plastic buckles are tough nylon made by either National Molding or ITW. For serious lashing and compression options we use the National Molding Autolock buckles that only move unless you make them.

All webbing on our packs is military grade nylon
We use a variety of tough nylon buckles for various applications on our packs