New Mystery Ranch Mountain Packs

2:49 p.m. on April 20, 2014 (EDT)
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5:10 p.m. on April 20, 2014 (EDT)
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I dig the Big Mountain...a light-ish expedition pack with MR craftsmanship? That'll take a bite out of both McHale and HMG sales...

As a WFR--and occasional wildland firefighter--I've been lusting after their Hot RATS pack for a while now...

http://www.mysteryranch.com/fire/fire-medical-packs/hot-rats-pack

5:24 p.m. on April 20, 2014 (EDT)
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if you like your existing mystery ranch backpack, hang onto it.  

personally, i think this demonstrates that the bulk of their business has gone to the military and hunting end, and they are trying to modernize the consumer offerings to be true to their durable past while trying to acknowledge that recreational backpacks are getting smaller and lighter, for the most part.  examples - zippered stash pockets on the hip belts; bottle pockets with MESH instead of full heavy cordura; a full-length hydration sleeve.  while these won't appeal to anyone wanting a super-light option, it's probably a move toward the larger mass market.  

This also signals a move to overseas manufacturing for much of their consumer lineup.  Note the small 'globe' emblem adjacent to these products, vs. the US flag next to the Terraplane and the military and NICE frame hunting options.  on a different part of their site, MR says they are moving some production to Clark Field in the Philippines.  Not significant to me; my made in Asia Gregory backpack is very well-made.     

interesting that my G6000 and snapdragon are now relics.  i wonder if someone will now buy them on Ebay for a premium.  

on the plus side, the new smaller-sized backpacks offer a lot more frame for their size and weight than most of the options they replaced, and you can still get the super-heavy carrying capacity, with corresponding super-heavy pack weight, via some of the military or hunting options.  

10:19 p.m. on April 20, 2014 (EDT)
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I did contact MR regarding the manufacture in the Phillipines, and the packs are being made at a dedicated plant that has only produced MR packs for the past 18 years shipped to other markets. Given that, I trust that the quality will be there.

The suspension on these packs is considerably better than what was on the Snap Dragon and Sweet Pea, the latter of which will be coming back. More robust belt and cross stays are welcome.

I believe that the stretchy materials used are similar to Spandura and actually have a Cordura weave.

The pricing is competitive.

At least they didn't rebadge the G6000 and call it a Terraplane....(dead horse beaten).

; )

5:16 p.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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I'll have to look into the older catalogs, but I think I've seen some of those design features/aesthetics in DD packs.  As for the Made in Elsewhere...it figures.  That's where we are and who we is.

November 27, 2014
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