I've been eyeing the Metcalf for sometime now as I my legit hunting pack. Reviews on several forums say that this in the top three of recommend packs.
Today, 10/7/17, I used this pack for the first time on the Utah Elk opener. I hiked 10 miles with my rifle, spotting scope, 3L Water, food and clothes, covered 7K vertical feet and here is my review. I'm an avid backpacker and use Osprey packs for all my 5 day adventures - so I know a thing or two about backpacking packs.
In short, I will be returning this pack.
1. Weight. The pack, when empty, weighs 6lbs. That is extremely heavy for any pack.
2. There are no external pockets, other than the lid, to store anything. You're forced to either store your spotting scope/tripod etc either on the inside or with the straps on the outside. It'd be nice to have a good sized pocket to quickly store things without having access the main compartment from the top or side.
3. Waist belt: No matter what I did, I could not get the waist belt to stay put. It kept sliding down on my hips thus causing my shoulders to have to carry the weight. It was extremely frustrating to have to stop, adjust the pack and put it back on.
4. Sizing was difficult. I'm 5'7 with a 17" torso and I could not get the shoulder harness adjusted correctly. I was trying to adjust it fully loaded and it never felt "comfortable". The retailer helped me and I watched the MR videos on youtube.
5. Sweaty back. The back panel lets absolutely no air through to dry your back while hiking.
I feel that the pack was designed first and foremost for carry extreme weight. But everything else after that was/is an after thought.
The king of bivy hunting backpacks.
The METCALF is an all-around workhorse, enough volume for more than a week in the field but compressible enough for an afternoon stalk. Built onto our new, Guide Light Frame™, the METCALF has ample heavy-weight capacity, and the Overload Shelf™ keeps bag contents clean when packing out a carcass. With a detachable lid, side detail pocket, and full-length side zip access, this pack is a favorite among hunters looking for versatility and all-around utility.
- 500D CORDURA® fabric and YKK® zippers
- Top-loading shroud
- Side zip access
- Detachable lid
- Bow and rifle carry via compression straps
- Hydration reservoir compatible
- Detail side pocket for small items
- Guide Light Frame™
- Telescoping yoke for custom torso fit
- Volume: 4333 cu-in (71 L)
- Weight: 6.1 lbs (2.8 kg)
- Dimensions: 32.5"x13.5"x11.5" (83x34x29cm)
- Frame System: Guide Light Frame
- Country Of Manufacture: Philippines / Vietnam
- Intended Use: Backpack Hunts, Bivy Hunts, Day Hunts
Frequenty Asked Questions
We're moving to a kitted system so that we can design and build packs and frames that are optimized for integration based on the function of the product. There are some cool new things in the works. In the meantime, we may be able to accommodate pack only orders based on available inventory - contact MR Customer Service or call 1.833.548.1999
As much as we would like to be able to offer our military/LE/ firefighter customers a discount on our packs, we have government contracts in these markets that prevent us from doing so.
MYSTERY RANCH accepts returns for a refund within 60 days of the original purchase date. Items must be returned in brand new, unused condition, and shipping charges are non-refundable. Please give us a call at 1.833.548.1999, and we can get you set up with a Return Authorization (RA#).
The only repair that we can offer on Dana Design products is a replacement back foam pad on packs with the ArcFlex body panel design. We can ship the foam to you and you can easily install it yourself without having to send the pack in to be repaired. Replacement back foam pads are $15.00 plus $5.00 for shipping. For any other Dana Design pack repairs, please contact Marmot or try the following reputable gear repair companies:
We are not set up to perform custom work on individual orders and no, we cannot build a pack for you in a custom color. If your concern is in regards to sizing please give us a call at 406.548.3234.
Also, please know that modifying your MYSTERY RANCH pack may void the lifetime warranty, so please think first before you start ripping straps off and cutting holes in your pack to make it more aerodynamic for winged flight.
First, start by washing your pack with hot water in the shower. Use a mild detergent like Dawn to get minor dirt and grime out of your pack. Dry the pack out of direct sunlight. DO NOT USE HARSH CHEMICALS TO CLEAN YOUR PACK. If you need to get odors/blood out of your hunting pack, please use Atsko Sport-Wash Laundry Detergent
For full cleaning and care instructions, see here
We always recommend that you size down for the waist belt. If you fall in-between sizes on the yoke, we recommend that you size up.
Why did you add a production facility in the Philippines and Vietnam?
MYSTERY RANCH added these facilities because of the increased demand for our product. We needed the additional facilities to build for customers who don't require (Berry Compliant) US production and / or don't want to pay a premium price for products built in the U.S.A. With these additional offshore facilities, we are able to focus our domestic facilities on the Berry Compliant orders.
How do I know if the pack I want is made in the US, PH, or VN?
It will be noted on the product page on our website and you are always welcome to call us and ask if you don't see the "US" or "world" icons that denote production location.
Is the quality of the packs the same?
Yes, absolutely! We carefully select the highest quality materials and ensure that all production facilities adopt our quality standards and techniques to deliver products consistent with the MYSTERY RANCH legacy. Our distributors who have received product from the US, PH, or VN are unable to tell the difference without looking at the label.
How do you ensure consistent quality?
Our factory resources use the protocol defined by our team in our production packages in order to deliver consistent quality gear. Upon introduction of new products, our product engineers visit our factory resources to work with them to develop new styles. As the product goes to production, our QA and QC teams will then visit our US, PH, and VN factories to ensure the finished goods meet our MYSTERY RANCH standards.
I bought a new Metcalf in February of 2017 after a ton of research and comparison with another top shelf pack (Stone Glacier Solo). When the packs were loaded the slight weight difference was irrrlevant to me, and I went with the Metcalf because I preferred the bag design, the stout construction, the fit, and the comfort under a load, and I have been very happy with my decision. I've used it for shed hunting, spring bear hunts, summer backpack trips, and antelope, mule deer, and elk hunts so far this year. My favorite features of the Metcalf are:
1) Comfort with a heavy load. This is by far the most comfortable pack I've ever worn, especially with a heavy load, whether packing in camp or packing out meat. The frame does an amazing job of stabilizing the load and the pack and load sling compress down super tight. The waist belt cinches down easily and stays in place comfortably.
2) Durability. This pack is just about bullet proof, and this is coming from someone who is extremely hard on gear. The bag material, zippers, and buckles show no signs of wear after some hard use.
3) Bag design. I can fit a week's worth of camp, food, and gear in the pack, yet it compresses down flat for a day pack that I can slip through the dark timber with easily. The side zip is perfect for getting to a spotting scope quickly.
After some serious miles with this pack I've grown to like it even more. It's proven to be versatile and very comfortable and strong with a heavy load. As far as I'm concerned this is the perfect pack for backpack elk hunting. The Metcalf is one rock solid pack.
I just recently returned from this years Elk hunt. This was the first time using the MR METCALF. I have many other packs and have become accustom to having lots of organization in a pack. The down side to the pack was needing to get pouches to organize stuff inside the pack, the up side was I got to pick how I organized the stuff with those pouches.
Another big plus is I could ride a horse with the pack on just fine with no interference with the horse or saddle.
I would purchase another pack again.