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Thread: Anyone Use Mystery Ranch/kifaru On Bear

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone Use Mystery Ranch/kifaru On Bear

    Currious To See If Any More Opinions On The Mystery Ranch Packs. I Know They Are Relativaly New And I Havent Heard Alot Of Opinions On Them. Thinking About An Internal Pack For Sheep Hunting This Year And I Hear These Are The Best.

  2. #2
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    Default Awesome bags

    I had the chance to run a mystery ranch around when i was in bozeman and they are by far the best pack i have used. I put a 60 pound load on and did a 5 mile hike and i was severely impressed. For the $$ they are worth every penny, of course i am in the process of saving up to get mine as they are not on the cheap side, but as far as load capabilities and comfort i would recommend them. This was before i came to Alaska and didn't know the type of weight i would be humping around the mountains but with proper loading I am comfortable in saying they would handle a 100+ pound load very well. Of course my knees may disagree...............

  3. #3
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    Default What Model

    Quote Originally Posted by Pupchow
    I had the chance to run a mystery ranch around when i was in bozeman and they are by far the best pack i have used. I put a 60 pound load on and did a 5 mile hike and i was severely impressed. For the $$ they are worth every penny, of course i am in the process of saving up to get mine as they are not on the cheap side, but as far as load capabilities and comfort i would recommend them. This was before i came to Alaska and didn't know the type of weight i would be humping around the mountains but with proper loading I am comfortable in saying they would handle a 100+ pound load very well. Of course my knees may disagree...............
    DO YOU KNOW WHAT MODEL YOU HAD ON????????

  4. #4
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    Default But of course

    Sorry i was in a hurry when i last typed the response. It was the NICE Frame system with the 5000 cubic inch pack bag. My wife ran a futura pack on the same hike, the futura was nice but it lacked the packability that the NICE Frame does with the load hauler feature.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I'm biased...I worked at Dana Design for 6 years and currently do some projects for Mystery Ranch. Mystery Ranch is owned by Dana Gleason, former owner of Dana Design. His new packs are better than the awesome Dana Design internal frame packs he designed 18 years ago. Some keys to carrying a heavy load is to put as much of it on your hips as possible and to hold the load securely. When putting the load on your hips, it has to spread around as much of the waist area as possible to avoid too much pressure on a small area. Of course you'll want to be able to give your hips a rest now and again and switch the load to your shoulders, which lots of packs do quite well.

    In my biased opinion, the Mystery Ranch packs do an awesome job of getting the load to wrap around your waist and keep the load secure so it doesn't shift around on your back. The complexity of the system he uses to get the load to the waist costs a bunch to make, but its worth it.

    The most addicted hunter I know, who regulary kills, bones out and hauls out 2 antelope, 4 deer, 2 elk and 2 bears each year (Montana and Wyoming) bought a Mystery Ranch pack and can't say enough about it.

    There's a reason that Dana Gleason/Mystery Ranch designs and builds packs for the Rangers/Seals and other nasty folks; they work at carrying heavy loads.

    I think Kifaru is owned by Patrick Smith, former owner of Mountain Smith. Also a great guy and a great pack designer. Never put one of his on so I can't compare.

    Again, I'm totally biased

  6. #6

    Default Kifaru

    I don't know about the Mystery Ranch but although my Kifaru cost nearly as much per ounce as gold, it was worth every penny!! I can't say enough about that pack (Longhunter). It's just plain awesome, and so is the company. Call up to place the order and you'll most likely be talking to Patrick Smith himself, very customer oriented.

  7. #7

    Default Mystery Ranch Nice Frame

    I used the NICE Frame last fall on an Alaska Blacktail hunt and it worked great. The thing will certainly haul a lot more weight than I can handle so I canít say what the top end is. But I was originally lead to the Dana and MR packs on Shawn Hooten's advice in the old forum archives. Shawn is an outfitter in AK who has a lot of experience with Dana packs (Astra or Terraplane) he's modified by adding a Kifaru Cargo Chair for hauling brown bear hides (150#s wet, if I remember correctly? maybe someone can confirm this) which have to be about as challenging a load as there is to carry. By necessity, Shawn seemed to actually figure out the NICE frame concept with this Dana/Smith hybrid before Dana did!

    One concern I had was the weight of the system. The frame with loadsling alone weighs around 4.5 lbs. The 5000 ci bag is 3lb14oz and the 6500 ci bag is 4lb12oz. This means you start with 8.5 to 9+ lbs before you even pack your lunch! To get around this I use ultralight waterproof silnylon drysacks made by Sea to Summit ( http://www.seatosummit.com/products/cat/3 ) that weigh almost nothing and can easily carry all the gear I need for a week or so of hunting. I use the large packliner (90 liter @ 4.4 oz) for my main bag, throw in 3 smaller drysacks (20 liter @ 1.8 oz each) in various colors filled with my gear to keep it separated and organized, throw the whole thing in the loadsling, cinch it down and I'm good to go at slightly over 5 lbs total packweight.

    The thing that I find most unique and valuable about the NICE frame is its versatility. Once I haul all my gear and set up camp the pack can easily be stripped down to carry a minimum amount of stuff in one of the smaller drysacks for a lightweight, daypack style load. The frame is light and small enough to hunt with it on your back all day. The best part is when you kill something, you donít have to hump back to camp empty to get your frame cause you already have it strapped to your back.

    I spent a lot of time researching packs before I bought the MR and I looked real hard at the Kifaru. Guy's that have them love them as much as I love my NICE Frame so you probably cant go wrong with either. But my whole setup weighs only a hair over 5 lbs and cost me 219 for the frame, 35 for the 90 liter packliner sack and 3 x 21 for the 20 liter drysacks for a total of $317.00. I'm not positive the exact weight and cost details on the Kifaru Longhunter with Cargo Chair but I am certain that both are higher by comparison. Hope this helped, you can email me at sea.green@comcast.net if you have any questions.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default Mystery Ranch

    I bought a BDSB 7800 ci pack about a year ago and have used it on a mule deer hut and brown bear hunt. I am pretty impressed with the pack, but I am not too impressed with the company. I am a guide and I got about 10 others to buy the pack on my recommendation. When I found out that all the other guides got a substantail discount I was pretty bummed. So I called back and explained that when I bought it I made it clear that I was a guide and that no one there sugested any discount for me. The sales person just laughed it off and when I asked him what I was to say to all my buddies that got the discount he said tell them you got a better pack with the BDSB and there is no guides discount on that pack. It should be known that another guide in my outfit got a BDSB with the discount so this is untrue. I paid $650 for this pack and my recommendation has sold a number of others. I feel that they let me down on this one.

  9. #9

    Default

    I work in the sales department at Mystery Ranch and have personally spoken with lawdog regarding the issue he refers to in his last post on this thread. After a recent conversation with him, I had assumed the issue settled. Evidently he did not completely understand. He emailed us with a link to this forum requesting we read his post. Here is my reply email.

    To:
    jesseryder@hotmail.com

    Jesse,

    Please understand that our Pro-purchase program is a confidential VERY tightly controlled program with strict limitations and guidelines. It works on a request basis only. The only way to get a Pro-deal from us is to apply and be approved. If you are a guide you should know this. No company advertises their pro-purchase program.

    If you called us to order a BDSB we had no reason to tell you about the pro-purchase program because we have specific and highly controlled pricing for our military products. If we sell any of our military packs for a price lower than we sell them to the military we risk loosing our contracts. I guarantee you we did not, have not, and will not sell any military pack for less than the listed military price. If your guide says he got a pack at a discount, then it is not the BDSB. If you want me to confirm what pack this individual got I can look it up in our system. We do not appreciate you making blanket statements on public forums that questions our integrity or fairness.

    I hope you can be happy that we provided you with a quality product at a price you were more than willing to pay when you ordered it. If you feel it necessary to pursue this further please contact me.
    Andrew Crow
    Mystery Ranch Backpacks
    andrew@mysteryranch.com
    406.585.1428
    406.585.1792 fax
    www.mysteryranch.com

  10. #10
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default Response to Andrew

    I made it clear I was a guide when I bought my pack but I had to find out about the guide discount from the other guides I recommended the pack to. If I wasn't entitled to the discount on the BDSB I would have considered another pack. Bottom line is I have taken better care of you by recommending your packs than you have of me. This is contrary to good business. Yes your pack is good, except you stopped attaching the top of the pack at the center which lets the top flop all around, I hope you go back to the way they were. Once you have had the opportunity to defend yourself lets move this to my e-mail so we don't upset the forum.

  11. #11

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    lawdog.......just curious, in your bio you list interests as hunting and occupation as an attorney.

  12. #12

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    Hey Mo, you sound like a troublemaker,do you spend a lot of time on the bowsite?

  13. #13
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default Yeah...?

    Hey Mo, if you need a lawyer drop me an e-mail. If you want to go sheep hunting with me you can drop me an e-mail too. Jesse

  14. #14
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default Mo:

    Check your private messages.

  15. #15
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    Default Kifaru

    I'm not familiar with the mystery ranch but I've had the Kifaru longhunter for a few years and it's taken a beatin' and I haven't had a problem yet. They custom make them to your height weight and build so they fit right. The service I recieved was also excellant, I highly recomend.

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