Mountainsmith Lariat 65


Volume 4275ci/70L (Extended: 4607ci/75.5L)
Weight 5 lb.
Torso 17”-22”



Durable, comfortable, great value. Huge duffle style…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $136


Durable, comfortable, great value. Huge duffle style front hatch into main pouch. Detachable summit pack, fully adjustable.


  • Loading ease
  • Durable
  • Plenty of room
  • Good value
  • Detachable summit pack


  • Summit pack could use a chest strap

I am a little under 5'10" #205 and this is a very comfortable pack with #50+. I have plenty of adjustment both directions. Have no doubt it would fit someone 5'5" or 6'4" as well as me, maybe even a broader range than that. Hip belt, shoulder straps, and sternum strap all have a broad range of adjustment.

65 liter pack has no problem holding my 0 deg. Teton sleeping bag, Drifter two tent, Therm-a-Rest pad, Therm-a-Rest pillow, Katadyn purifier, Jetboil, coffee, Mountain House meals for three to five days, alarm clock/radio, spare boots, collapsible water can and LED lantern, all in main pouch with room to spare with the extendible top. Top pouch holds my clothes for four days and journal + extra socks.

Summit pack holds the things that I will need on day hikes: water bottle, rope, camera, snacks/lunch, Frogg Togg rain jacket, some first aid supply, extra knives and headlamp. Top or front load the large duffle type zipper opening into the main pouch makes loading and organizing this pack a breeze. As well as making it possible to get items out of pack without pulling everything out of the pack.

With the load adjuster straps and compression straps the load is easy to adjust on the go, making a very stable, comfortable ride. All straps, zippers, and pockets are well built, durable, and highly functional with ease of use.

The summit pack has its own shoulder straps attached and even though I would like to have a sternum strap this pack has been the perfect answer for my day trip needs. When I'm stumbling through rock slides and traveling hard on steep rough ground sometimes the straps on my summit pack seem to be sitting too far out on my shoulders, like they're trying to slip off. Not uncomfortable, and have never left my shoulder even when falling. I think it is just I'm not used to the less buckled down solid feel.

Overall I am more than pleased with this pack. It is like a prayer answered. Love it, can't say enough good about it. If the chest strap was any kind of problem it would be simple and cheap to add one. 

I bought this bag through E-Bags on sale $136 for blue; would have rather had the green, but it was a considerable price difference.

All I have left to say is I have packed it on several short get-back-in-shape 1.5-mile fast hikes and one good rough terrain hike in wind rain and snow. Compared to my old pack I had to check to make sure I was still here on earth with the rest of you good folks and not dead wandering around in heaven. GREAT PACK. Good job, Mountainsmith!  


I picked up 2 of the green ones off of Amazon back in April '14 for $166.04 total (for my son and I). We've used them a few times already, with a big 6 day / 5 night backpacking trip in the Pecos Wilderness coming up this August. Perhaps after that I'll write a review, but yours pretty much nails it. Very comfortable pack with 50+ pounds, great access thanks to the duffel like zippers, etc., etc.

12 months ago

Any updates? Any changes to your initial impressions of the pack?

6 months ago

I'm very pleased with the packs. They fit well, are very durable, and easy to pack and access given the duffel bag like zippers for the main compartment. I also appreciate the detachable summit pack, which I've used solo a few times. The summit pack is very minimal but gets the job done, and I've teamed it up nicely with a Ribzware frontpack to really round it out. We've since done our Pecos trip and a few other shorter backpacking outings and I have no complaints. Another perk is expandability, which comes in handy for extra food on longer outings, compressing down as we go. At just under 5 lbs it's not ultra-light but it is also much tougher than ultralight packs.

6 months ago
Donald H Ridenour

Maddix that sounds like a smoken deal, I'm jealous. CO_west I've got about a year on mine now with several trips. I am fairly abusive on my stuff not big on babying my equipment, this pack so far has held up well so there is no sign of damage to any place on the pack. The summit pack has been no idea how many miles drug through brush, rocks and never less than over stuffed. I really figured the zipper would be broken and straps tore loose by now, but truly not even a hint of damage other than a little dirt.

6 months ago

Really helpful stuff! Thanks! Would love to see some photos of the pack in action. I'm trying to decide between this and the smaller Lookout 50. I don't want too much pack, but I don't want to run out of space either. And how well does the pack work without the summit pack? Does it compress about the same?

6 months ago
Donald H Ridenour

Sorry I don't think I have any pics of me with the pack in action. Pack works fine with out the summit pack and it does compress pretty much the same the summit pack if remember correctly is only 6.5 liters. Where I hunt a lot the pack just gets me where I want to camp and the summit pack becomes my day pack. I used to pack a larger day pack tied to the back of my big pack, now the summit pack makes this more compact and simplified. I as well have a lookout 50 for me it is not enough room but a great pack just the same I use it as a loaner.

6 months ago

Wow thanks for all the info. You use the Lariat for hunting? Do you haul game out with it?

6 months ago
Donald H Ridenour

I have some pack frames so far have been handy enough to get too and save my 65 from being dramatized. LOL. But sooner or later it is bound to happen and honestly would probably be a lot easier packing.

6 months ago