/  Gear   /  Mystery Ranch Crew Cab Pack Review — By Matt Eastman
Hiking with full pack

Let’s just cut to the chase.  I was sick and tired of my previous packs failing me, breaking down and not performing well.  It was time for a new pack.  Essentially, I ended up with the Mystery Ranch Crew Cab.

Mystery Ranch is one of the premier pack companies in the world, and best of all, these packs are made in the USA out of Bozeman, MT.

Let’s get to business.

The MR Crew Cab is a variable-capacity pack, basically meaning that it specializes in several different crafts.  From day hunts, multiple day backcountry forays, and the task of hauling out heavy loads of meat, this pack can and will do it all.

Deer on Mystery Ranch Crew Cab

The Crew Cab’s solid foundation begins with the NICE FRAME.  The Nice Frame is essentially a hybrid design as it is not specifically an internal or external frame.  The frame itself weighs 4.4 lbs.  Sounds like a lot of weight for just a frame right?  Yes it is, but the comfort and the design of this pack eventually makes the packs overall weight a non-factor.
The last piece of information about the frame is that it is designed for the Nice Frame system.  This system consists of  the Crewcab, The Longbow, The Metcalf, The Nice 6500, and finally The Nice 7500 pack.  So essentially, if you want to change things up, you can use the same frame and switch out different packs.

With the Nice Frame and the Crewcab attached, you basically have a bombproof daypack put together.  With three main compartments, and a minimum 1900 cubic inch capacity, this pack with carry all your equipment for the most demanding of day hunts.
Backpack full of food

If your not satisfied with a just a day pack?  Well, this is where the Crew Cab becomes the most versatile pack on earth.

The pack has an expandable shelf that retracts out from the pack along with the main compartment.  Once this is done, you have to option to deploy the two side cells.   This creates a space between the main compartment and the frame.  Mystery Ranch offers Load Cells that range from 950 ci to 1400 ci.  These Load Cells can be placed between the main compartment and the frame creating a multiday pack.  I personally use two load cells.  One for my clothing, and the other as my food pantry.

Once these Load Cells are in place, I lay my tent and sleeping back on top.   Once these items are placed on top of the load cells, I lock them down with the Mystery Ranch Daypack Lid.  This lid goes on top of the pack and cinches everything down nicely.  Once you have implemented the Load Cells and the Daypack Lid, you are a looking at a 5000 cubic inch pack for several days in the backcountry.

If you find success at the end of your hunt, the Crewcab becomes a meat hauling Cadillac.  This past season, I was fortunate to pack out two high country bucks and one mountain bull and I will tell you, the Crewcab excels in these situations.

It’s a complex system.  I love the fact that I don’t have to have several packs hanging around in storage.  I currently have one pack in my arsenal and that is the MR Crewcab.  It does everything and is basically bomb proof.

I will finish this review with this.  I’ve looked at other packs.  I’ve been asked to do reviews on some of these packs.  I’ve looked over these other packs and have studied and scrutinized them.  Essentially, they don’t even come close to the Mystery Ranch line of packs.
Mystery Ranch Crew Cab Profile ViewTop View Crew Cab

VOLUME:
1900 cu-in (31l)- 5000 cu-in (82l)
WEIGHT:
7 lbs 14.1 oz (3.57kg) (w/ NICE Frame)
DIMENSIONS:
31-81″x12″x6″ (79-206cm x 53cm x 15cm)
INTENDED USE:
Backpack Hunts, Load-Hauling, Day Hunts
FRAME SYSTEM:
NICE Frame

Comments

  • April 21, 2014
    reply

    Chad

    I can not speak for the quality of their packs but I can say is they seem a bit shady. I bought one of their packs online over the weekend and then recieved a call from a guy telling me they had stuff coded wrong on the website. He told me they could not honor the price I paid that that if I wanted the pack it was going to cost me another $300.00. The only thing offered was free shipping. Any good business would honor the price posted on their website or at least offer it at a reduced price. I was told that they would not and could not haggle on prices or product. I will never buy from them again.

  • April 8, 2018
    reply

    Rob

    I love my Crew Cab. Like the article above says, it goes from daypack to multi-day pack really easily. I use a High Ground Gear Medium Duffle and a Kifaru XTL when the loads get big, or just the main pack for daypack loads, with a 3 liter bladder between the wings and the frame. I’ve snowshoed with a chainsaw with it, it’s a nimble pack….

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