Review Mystery Ranch Pintler: The Perfect Back Country Photography Backpack?

Phocal

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As a wildlife photographer I struggle with finding a backpack that will meet all my needs. The problem begins with the need to carry more than photography gear and most photography packs are designed to just carry camera gear. The ones you find that can carry more than just photography gear are not that well designed with respect to where the weight is carried, suspension system, camera padding, or expandability.

Most of what I call back country photography backpacks put all the weight (the camera gear) at the bottom of the pack, which isn’t optimal for load carrying. In an internal frame pack (which all of them are) you want the weight mid-back and close to the body. The only pack I have found that would allow me to adjust the load location are the F-stop bags, but even those you have to go around the design by packing stuff under the ICU to raise the camera gear off the bottom. Going hand in hand with where the load is carried is the second common problem with back country photography packs, the suspension system. The suspension system is made up of the shoulder and waist straps along with the frame of the pack. This is what determines how the pack rides on your back and where the load is distributed, ideally on the hips. In a traditional backpack you have different size packs and some offer even further adjustment to get the pack fitting perfectly. The fine tuning and weight transfer to the hips is an area that many of the back country photography backpacks have problems with. Most only come in one size and lack any way of fine tuning the fit like your traditional backpacks, which makes them uncomfortable unless you just happen be the perfect size for that pack.

I also believe that most camera backpacks in general have to much padding. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I want a well padded camera bag and I have a couple that fit that need perfectly like my Lowepro Pro Trekker. But when it comes to a back country pack, I don’t need or think you really need a lot of padding (if any at all). Some of the Think Tank stuff as well as the F-stop ICU’s have a small amount of padding which I feel is perfect for back country use. But I will also sometimes go with zero padding in the back country because I don't feel it is really needed 99% of the time. Because most build the padding into the outer material of the pack they lack any way of changing around the ratio of camera to other types of gear. Some like F-stop have ICU’s (internal camera units) that you can get in different sizes to adjust that ratio.

While you can find a traditional pack that will take care of the suspension system and fit, they tend to lack in two areas. Most of your traditional packs lack any type of organizational pockets like a photography pack has. I personally love having a number of pockets so I can separate things by function as well as making them easy to find. They also tend to made of light-weight material that just doesn’t stand up to the abuse I put my photography packs through. I am hard on my photography packs and they tend to spend a lot of time laying on the ground and/or getting pulled behind me as I crawl towards something. This is something that most traditional packs would just not stand up to over the course of a year.

I am lucky enough to work in the outdoor industry which allows me to test out a lot of backpacks and evaluate their use for photography. That is how I came across the pack I am now going to use as my back country photography pack. My first week in Alaska I noticed the Mystery Ranch 3-Zip 50 with what they call Overload and that got me looking into their line of packs. This Overload ability is a trick from the hunting world where the pack uses an external frame that it can separate from while also creating a shelf along the bottom. The shelf (made of pack material) keeps stuff from falling out the bottom when you stack stuff between the pack and frame, allowing you to expand the carry capacity and/or to carry awkward things that wouldn’t fit in the pack. This Overload ability is not unique to Mystery Ranch but it is something that interest me for a number of reason that I will get into as we go along with this review. In full disclosure: As a person who works in the outdoor industry I get discounts from certain brands and Mystery Ranch is one of those brands. So I didn’t pay full retail for the pack.

Mystery Ranch has several lines of packs but the two that interest me the most are their hunting and outdoor line. They make a lot of packs but to help me quickly narrow down the search I was only interested in their packs with Overload. Overload was originally developed for their hunting packs but has made it’s way into some of their traditional outdoor packs. All of the Overload packs come in S/M/L/XL as well as have the ability to fine tune the fit, which means you can get the pack to fit perfectly. They will also switch out the waist belt for you if you require a smaller/larger verse the height of the pack. There are some distinct differences I noticed between the two lines that made picking a pack difficult.

Outdoor Packs
- Material of packs is 330D Lite Plus CORDURA, which is more than durable enough for my needs and lighter than the hunting packs.
- Have no or limited pockets for organization. If they have any they tend to be on the outside of the pack and not internal. Pockets add weight and most backpackers are trying to get as light as possible, so pockets are something they don’t really want.
- Do have loops and a retention system for trekking poles and/or ice axes.

Hunting Packs
- Material of packs is 500D Lite Plus CORDURA. This is a very durable fabric but is slightly heavier than the 330D.
- Have internal pockets for organization. I am guessing that hunters are like photographers and like having pockets for organization.
- Don’t have loops or retention system for trekking poles and/or ice axes.
- Compression straps have auto-lock buckles. What this does is require you to press this button on the buckle to allow the strap to slide through and loosen up. I have never had my compression straps loosen while in use, so this added security baffles me. I haven’t used the pack in the outdoors yet, but I see pushing that button to loosen the compression straps with gloves/mittens on is going to be a pain in the ass. My 6 months of use follow up should have my final verdict on them.

It took me a few months to finally decide on a pack and in the end I went with the Pintler, here was my thought process. I have always felt that 40L was the perfect size for a back country photography pack as a m4/3 shooter. That size lets me bring a couple of cameras with telephoto lenses attached, a wide-angle lens or two for some landscape, flash in case I need it, as well as all the other non-photography stuff I need. While living in Texas there were a few times I felt like I needed a bit more room and since moving to Alaska that need is even greater, mostly extra warm clothing for when stopped vs moving. There are those occasional times I need to bring a large load or something unusual into the field and for those times I would use my backpacking pack. But that pack is just not heavy duty and doesn’t carry those awkward items like a portable hide very well. The other problem with using the backpacking pack is I have to switch packs, something I hate doing because I am always afraid of forgetting to transfer something. For that reason this Overload ability really appeals to me, perfect sized pack for most trips but easily expandable when a larger pack is need or I have those awkward items to carry.

So my search brought me to debating two packs, one from each line as it ended up. The 3-Zip 50 from the outdoor pack line and the Pintler from the hunting pack line. The packs look almost identical when closed up and full of gear, most noticeable difference being the size (50 liters vs 40 liters). It came down to did I want interior pockets for organization or did I want loops and retention system for trekking poles and/or ice axes since the size difference is immaterial with the Overload ability. I decided that the pockets were what I was looking for (almost tailor made in the Pintler) and with the daisy chains down the back of the pack I can easily add a loop and retention system. I also need to mention that while the Overload packs are an external frame they are designed for the weight placement to be like an internal frame pack, which is different than how you load an external frame pack.

So lets get to the pack and why I think it will perfect………………..
 
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Phocal

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First, I have not used the pack in the field yet. Tomorrow will be my first outing with it, but have loaded it up and walked around the block a few times to see how it rides and get a feel for it. Doing this has allowed me to fine tune the fit so I can just hit the trail running.

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Pintler 001 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

In the above photo I have the pockets loaded up and the pack fully open so we can look down into it. Numbers 1 & 2 are pockets that go the full length of the pack as well as have 2 zippered pockets on the outside. Number 1 has my Platypod on the bottom followed by my ZD 14-54mm mk2, the lens actually drops down a lot farther but I pulled it up so you can get an idea of the size of the pocket. In #2 I have stuffed several different gloves and balaclavas of different levels of warmth so I can switch them out as needed. The zipper pockets contain small items I may need while in the field like my red bungee cords (will see one in use shortly), additional straps for the outside of the pack, allen wrench for my tripod plates, a pouch of memory cards and one reserved for my keys and wallet once on the trail. There is still plenty of room in them in case I need to put more stuff into them, like my Godox remote trigger. I should mention that the Godox V860 slides into those front pockets perfectly.

Number 3 is a small bag and the towel that came in it, along with a spork multi-tool that comes in handy on occasion. The towel is for cleaning off my camera in the field, typically to dry it off so I can switch lenses when in inclement weather. That brown stuff sack (number 4) is a small bag that goes into whatever pack I am using and it contains my emergency supplies that I may need if something happens in the field (fire starting supplies, compass, lighter, flint striker, first-aid kit, headlamp, topo map of the area, para-cord etc.)

I find the first set of pockets to be perfect for organizing my small items as well as a good place to hold my landscape lenses or other things I may need in the field.

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Pintler 002 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

There are two rather large pockets that have a stretchy opening located at the back of the pack that I have labled 1 & 2. I hate having my tripod strapped to the outside of the pack because they tend to get caught up on stuff. I actually don’t like having anything strapped to the outside for that reason. I am glad that the back pockets are large enough to stick my MeFOTO tripod into so it is out of the way but easy to get to when needed. In number 2 I have a gripped EM1 with the 300/4 attached, gives you an idea of how deep the pocket is (goes all the way to the bottom of the pack. My EM1 with 150/2 will also fit into this pocket, so the pockets are pretty large (especially for m4/3 shooters). Number 3 is the bladder pocket which I am not using because the hose just freezes up in the cold weather we have been having. Right now I have my Better Beamer stuffed in there. Even this summer I will probably not use it for a water bladder because I have always hated how the bladder takes up pack room, but at least they put it at the back of the pack so the weight is located where it needs to be (unlike my Fstop packs that put it at the front, not the best location for that weight). I will get one of these to strap in between the pack and frame, which should work perfectly.

I want to point out that the pocket layout changed from the previous models (I have the new 2020 version of the pack). In the previous models they had the pockets reversed with the big ones being at the front and the other one with the zippered pockets at the back. I personally prefer this layout because it puts the pockets that I will use for camera/tripod at the back of the pack where I want the weight. Since they say these pockets are for a spotting scope/tripod it makes sense to move them to the back of the pack because having that weight towards the front unbalances you and tends to pull you backwards.

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Pintler 003 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Here are my warm jacket and snow pants that will go into the pack for that extra warm when I am just sitting and watching/photographing something, or waiting for something to show up. The camo thing is my hand warmer like you see the football players using. I have a rechargeable hand warmer in it along with my spare batteries (camera, GPS, headlamp). This keeps my spare batteries from losing power while in the field and works very well. It also allows me to keep my hands warm while wearing thin gloves that I can actually shoot in when sitting in one place.

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Pintler 004 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

In this photo I have stuffed the pants and jacket into the pack and the * mark the 4 vertical pockets. I really love the design of this pack because those pockets divide the pack into 5 vertical sections that are easy to get into when the top of the pack is opened. I can easily get to anything in the pack without having to unzip the entire pack, only the zippered pockets really need the pack unzipped to access (then it is only the bottom ones).

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Pintler 005 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I have now put the hand warmer on top along with my EM1 and fisheye lens. There is still plenty of room for whatever snacks I decide to bring along with me or even a few other items that I throw in at the last minute.
 
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Phocal

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Pintler 006 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The top lid has 2 pockets built into it with 1 being the smaller of the two. I keep my toilet items in #1 so they are easy to get to when needed and #2 has things I may need quick access to while in the field like a lens cloth and snacks.

Pintler 007 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I have secured the top compression straps (which are removable if you desire) and placed my sit pad (#1) in an easy to get to place. I use that to put my camera on when in the field to keep it off the snow/frozen ground. Really useful when I am shooting with both the 300/4 and 150/2, helps protect the batteries from the cold as well as keeping snow off the front element. I never go into the back country without my emergency help (#2) item for those oh shit moments that can come up.

This is also a good spot to point out the locking compression straps I mentioned. The red arrow points to the small button you have to kind of press to release the compression strap. As I said in the opening, I am still not sure about these buckles and it will take me a bit to evaluate them. Summer time they will not be a problem, but in the winter with gloves/mittens on I see them being a pain to operate, but time will tell.

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Pintler 008 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The front of the pack has a pair of compression straps with these unique slightly curved design. I really like this design because it allows the buckle to follow the curve of the pack better than straight buckles like most packs have. You can see the two sets of daisy chains (#’s 2 & 3) running down the length of the pack which could come in handy if I ever need to strap things to the outside. If you put a finger under that point (#1) and pull up the top part will open up, no need to operate each of the two zippers individually. This makes getting into the pack quick and easy. You can also see where the top compression straps can be removed if you desire and if I am not using the Overload ability I will probably not have them on (to make access to the pack easier). But when using the Overload they help keep the top part of the pack against the items in the Overload.

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Pintler 009 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

New for 2020 is the addition of the Molle on the hip belt (#1), previously they had no Molle or pockets on the waist belt. This is a great addition and one that I really like better than adding pockets. Most packs that put pockets on the waist belt tend to be to small to be useful, I prefer the ability to add pouches that work for what I need. From left to right: Small pouch for my TC’s (currently has the EC-14 in it), bear spray, folding pocket knife.

One thing I really liked about my F-stop bags is they put a metal D-ring in location #2 over just a piece of webbing. This is where I like to clip my GPS for easy retrieval and a metal ring is a lot easier to attach/detach than that piece of webbing. I will be adding some sort of metal ring or carabiner in that location for my GPS unit. They do make holders that I can put on the waist belt but as you can see I have most of that already filled up.

Now is a good time to talk a little more about the compression straps (#3). The straps are extra long because they need to be when you use the Overload area and they were nice enough to include the strap keepers. The only problem with the strap keepers is that the Velcro part that wraps around the webbing is not attached to the webbing. Now I understand why, to make getting the webbing through the buckle easier if you need to replace a buckle. But if you don’t remember to secure them you can and will end up losing the Velcro piece. Which basically means I can’t leave them hanging for faster access unless I remove the Velcro piece and put it into one of the interior zipper pockets (which is what I will probably end up doing). But they were smart about the routing of that lower strap with leaving a slot in the bottom stretchy pocket. To many packs would make that strap run over the pocket, limiting what you can put into it. Honestly, the strap keepers not attached to the webbing is currently my only complaint with the pack.

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Pintler 010 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I always bring some sort of ground cloth (blue in the photo) with me just in case I need it, even though I never use it. I normally strap it to the bottom of my pack but now I will just slip it between the pack and frame and out of the way yet easy to get if needed.

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Pintler 011 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The pack has plenty of padding in the right places. I have found it to be very comfortable (in my walks around the block) and ride extremely well. The carbon fiber frame is designed to flex with you and it does a very good job of that. New for 2020 is the redesigned waist belt that is made in 5 pieces to better wrap around the waist and transfer the weight to the hips. The previous versions had a one piece waist belt that didn’t fit as well as this one. I was able to try the old design on the older 3-Zip 50 we had at work and I can say the new design is far superior to the old one. I also want to mention that they include a long sternum strap, a lot of packs have them to short (especially when you are wearing winter cloths. This is really a nice little addtion, but I do wish they had included a whistle in the buckle like some makers do (keeps me from having to buy a whistle to attach to the pack).

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Pintler 012 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I really like the design of the waist belt with the tightening mechanism being the pull forward design. I find this type much easier to get tight enough to keep the pack from sliding down than the ones where you pull from the buckle and backwards. I have come to like this design so much that I will not buy a back that uses the old pull backwards from the buckle design. It really is a lot easier to get a good tight fit with this design.

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Pintler 013 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I just added the knife to the waist belt so I may end up removing the one on the side (#1). If I keep the large knife attached to the pack I will probably strap/tie it to the frame, which will tuck it out of the way. You can see my BlackRapid Breathe (#2) attached to the frame, more on it a minute. On this side of the waist belt (#3) I have two pouches, from left to right: Spare batteries, MC-14. I find these grenade pouches perfect for batteries, TC’s or even snacks.

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Pintler 014 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I seldom use camera straps because I find they just get into the way and snagged on stuff. There are times that I want the camera out but need both hands free and that is where the BlackRapid Breathe comes into play. I used one of my red bungees from ThinkTank to secure the strap to the frame so it is out of the way but easy to deploy when needed. On all my other packs I would have to attach the top part to the shoulder strap (like where I have my GPS hanging) and this ends up putting all the weight of the camera on my shoulder. After a few miles of letting the camera hang there you really start to notice this weight on the shoulder. But with this pack I can actually attach it to the frame and when the camera hangs it puts all the weight into the frame and onto the hips. I may actually use the strap a lot more now that I get the weight to my hips and not on my shoulders.

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Pintler 015 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Both shoulder straps have this retention clip as part of the sternum strap. They say it can be used to secure a bladder hose or hang your GPS or other item from. Honestly it is really only strong enough for securing the bladder tube, I would not hang anything of weight from it like a GPS unit.
 
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Phocal

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Pintler 016 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Tomorrow I will be hiking out to glacier and may need snowshoes. All of the trails I have hiked this winter start out with very compacted snow that is easy to walk on with boots. But the farther you get in the less compact (less people going far in) or if you want to adventure off trail then snowshoes are required. Until now I have strapped them to the front of the pack but they are not super light and I can always feel that weight pulling backwards, it really is noticeable. Now I can strap them between the pack and frame using the Overload ability, keeping the weight where it should be in the pack.

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Pintler 017 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The snowshoes I am using are 25” and I really need the 30” ones when carrying my camera pack but I hate the size of those big shoes (they are wider and harder to walk in). So I prefer to use the 25” ones with the add-on tail. They are super light so I just ran the front compression straps through them and put them there. I will probably move them to the Overload area because I can see them getting caught stuff, then again if I am in brush they can get caught on I will be off trail and more than likely have the snowshoes on.
 
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Phocal

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I am really excited about this pack. It is the perfect size for most of what I do but expandable for when I need a bit more room. I am able to get the fit perfect and the pack puts all the weight onto my hips and off my shoulders. I love when I can wear a fully loaded pack and there is space between the top of my shoulder and the shoulder strap. Those back pockets seem to be tailor made for m4/3 with being able to accommodate a gripped EM1 with the 300/4 and still have room for a longer lens like the upcoming 150-400mm f4.5. They are even large enough to put the fat 150/2 in.

Speaking of the 150/2…………..

The main focus of my trip tomorrow is landscape photography but I am not heading out without a wildlife lens because I never know what I will see. So I decided to only bring one telephoto lens for the just in case. If I was going to bring two I would have put the EM1 w/ 150/2 in the interior pocket. The other EM1 w/ 300/4 would go into my ThinkTank Digital Holster which I would than put in the Overload section. I have already tested this and the digital holster will sit in there perfectly and I am able to unzip the end and remove the camera without any hassle, keeping the digital holster in place for when I want stow the camera away. I actually tested this at work with the 3-Zip 50 when I was researching the packs and I plan to get a 2nd one so I can put both cameras in the Overload area when I need more room in the pack

I will update this thread with photos as I use the pack as well as my thoughts of using it over time.

I really am super excited about this pack. In the 3 months of being in Alaska I have realized that my pack needs are a bit different and that I really need a pack that fits and rides like my beloved Gregory Baltoro but durable like my F-stop Ajna. If I feel the need padding I can drop one of my F-stop ICU’s in the pack or even the digital holster. But I don’t feel like it will really be necessary. The photo after I put my cloths is really shows how when closed up all the pockets are separated and can be padded with clothing or other soft things you have with you. That photo also shows how everything is separated and easy to find with only opening the top. But only time and use is going to show if I have found that Unicorn I have been hunting.
 
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mfturner

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@Phocal that is a fabulous writeup. I learn something from everything you post, I'll have to digest this a bit. I enjoy backpacking and hiking and generally being outdoors, and photography has always been secondary to just enjoying the outdoors. I may look at their outdoor packs also. But I can see the value in interior pockets.
 

retiredfromlife

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Thanks for the really good write up. I agree with your pack size I like the 36 liter sizes available in Australia. Don't often see a 40L here. A nice range of packs as well.

When I was younger a needed to carry a rope as well 60L was my preferred day pack size, but now 36-40 does me fine.
Keeping camera gear off the bottom also helps protest it, going over even semi rough terrain bumps/scrapes the bottom of the pack, bad spot for camera gear. Having said that I do own a couple of camera packs but I always put a jacket at the bottom in a tube that takes the spot of a lens to give some padding.
 

Phocal

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@Phocal that is a fabulous writeup. I learn something from everything you post, I'll have to digest this a bit. I enjoy backpacking and hiking and generally being outdoors, and photography has always been secondary to just enjoying the outdoors. I may look at their outdoor packs also. But I can see the value in interior pockets.
Glad you find my post informative, hope others do as well. While I only have one trip with it, seems to be about perfect for my needs.
 

Phocal

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Thanks for the really good write up. I agree with your pack size I like the 36 liter sizes available in Australia. Don't often see a 40L here. A nice range of packs as well.

When I was younger a needed to carry a rope as well 60L was my preferred day pack size, but now 36-40 does me fine.
Keeping camera gear off the bottom also helps protest it, going over even semi rough terrain bumps/scrapes the bottom of the pack, bad spot for camera gear. Having said that I do own a couple of camera packs but I always put a jacket at the bottom in a tube that takes the spot of a lens to give some padding.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

I had my emergency sack on the bottom provide support and protection. Nice thing about this pack is you could easily put the rope in the overload area and use the same pack. Looking forward to finding out what all this pack can do.
 

Phocal

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The weather yesterday was not great, very cloudy with snow/rain/frozen mix in the air. So I decided landscape photos of the glacier I had planned to hike to would not be that great. So I switched gears and decided to hike up to Rainbow Peak in search of Dahl Sheep or Mountain Goats, which ever I could find. The weather was also in the 30's so I wasn't going to need the extra clothing. Since I switched where I was going I changed out my gear. I removed the tripod and drop the 150/2 in it's place, as well as removing the extra cloths. With a Nalgene bottle full of water the pack came in at a very light 36lbs.

The hike was more or less straight up from the very beginning and I can say this guy from flatland is not use to hike that go that steep the entire way. Unlike the lower 48 where trails up steep terrain will use switchbacks to make the trip easier, Alaskans seem to prefer the direct path. Trail had very few switchbacks and basically went straight up the mountain. The pack rode very well once I made sure the waist belt was under the jacket. It seem like when I would adjust the pack into position over the jacket it would cause the jacket (a down puffy jacket that is kind of slippery) to ride up and allow the pack to slip down after a little bit. Got tired of fighting with it and just pulled the jacket out of the way and after that it rode perfectly and kept all the weight on my hips. I am not use to wearing jackets in the field so I have to get better and positioning the pack over the jacket so it doesn't slip down.

I didn't see any sheep or goats but I did capture this very moody B&W landscape from the 1/2 way point. Taken with my Bower 7.5mm Fisheye lens, no crop other than going to 16:9 aspect ratio.

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Flozen by Phocal Art, on Flickr
 

Phocal

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Was in a hurry to get to work yesterday and forgot to mention the buckles. After one use I am still not a fan of them. I was only wearing thin gloves so operating them was only slightly difficult but that combined with the not use to having to do that aspect was frustrating. After years of releasing a compression strap a certain way, switching it up is difficult. That muscle memory kicks in and the next thing I know I am fighting with that buckle before I remember I have to do it a bit differently. I just don't see the point in them since I have never had a compression strap loosen by accident.

But guess I will just have to learn to live with this buckle design...…………………….
 

11GTCS

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Mystery Ranch make some excellent stuff. Great write up! This looks like the back portion was broadly lifted from their 72 hour assault pack. I and many other military members have been issued that pack for deployments and it’s great. One thing regarding the locking compression buckles is that they originated on the military series and make much more sense there. We tend to get bounced around quite hard a lot and have to dive into things etc, and that combined with the tremendous weight in a bag like that (I’m lucky and mine stays light, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bag that size weigh nearly 75 lbs with a radio, ammo, explosives, etc. the lockable straps make more sense in this venue since regular straps do come loose in those scenarios. Ironically the more recent versions of the 72 hour bag from them omit the locking straps, so not sure why hey dropped them from the military bags but kept them in the civilian version.
 

Phocal

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Mystery Ranch make some excellent stuff. Great write up! This looks like the back portion was broadly lifted from their 72 hour assault pack. I and many other military members have been issued that pack for deployments and it’s great. One thing regarding the locking compression buckles is that they originated on the military series and make much more sense there. We tend to get bounced around quite hard a lot and have to dive into things etc, and that combined with the tremendous weight in a bag like that (I’m lucky and mine stays light, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bag that size weigh nearly 75 lbs with a radio, ammo, explosives, etc. the lockable straps make more sense in this venue since regular straps do come loose in those scenarios. Ironically the more recent versions of the 72 hour bag from them omit the locking straps, so not sure why hey dropped them from the military bags but kept them in the civilian version.
Thanks.

In that case they make sense, I just don't see the need for hunting or backpacking. I should mention that I am also a hunter and have no problems with compression straps in many years of hunting. Strange they didn't keep them on the military bags.
 

Phocal

Mu-43 Legend
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UPDATE

So in the literature they say the compression straps that go over the pack are optional, they are removable. I have found that the top part of the pack will sag over without the compression straps in place. Which can cause weight at the top of the pack to pull backwards, very annoying. So I just keep them attached at all times.
 
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