User Review: Mountainsmith Maverick
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
A solid (almost bomb-proof) hauler for mid-range trips for the hiker that is into something tunable.
- Highly adjustable
- Solid supports
- Hugs in close
- Cavernous main compartment
- Good compression straps.
- Needs much careful tuning and adjustment for a perfect fit
I picked mine up right after the model year rolled over and it went on clearance. in all i scored a fantastic pack that's gone to many places and done a LOT of very heavy hauling.
The lumbar pack top makes for a nice 'going fishing' accessory, and is remarkably capacious for its apparent size. the waistbelt leaves a little to be desired but it gets the job done VERY nicely.
the main compartment is summable in one word. enormous. the top opening is the same diameter as the compartment and it can swallow an impressive amount of gear, included very bulky gear. the sleeping bag area is nicely delineated without any of the fiddly bits to separate it.
the compression straps work like a champ and there are plenty of them, giving you the ability to secure your load no matter what its size.
the huge bladder pocket advertises as 3L capacity but will hold two 2L platys without any problem. it does bulge a little when you do that, however.
the side pockets are impressive and sturdy. they're roomy enough to take a large tarp like a kelty noah, or even a smaller tent, if you're willing to stuff them carefully. pulling said tarp out resembles a magician pulling a scarf from his sleeve. be ready for some jokes to be made about that.
the side pockets also nicely hold large-diameter isobutane cans and take .75L pot sets with room to spare. you could easily upgrade to a 1l pot and probably still fit it in the side pockets. OR you could stuff an ENO double-nest AND a pair of 25' straps and have a fair bit of room left for something like oh, a bugnet or a set of stakes. or maybe even both depending on how many stakes you use.
the back pocket is interestingly laid-out, with a larger volume pocket with an internal net sleeve and a smaller padded pocket. it's roomy enough to put all your little fiddly bits into and then some. for me it carries flashlights, batteries, water purification stuff, pocketknife/multitool, a bundle of paracord, and other small bits and bobs that would be lost anywhere else, and has room left over for other stuff.
the back pocket also features a vinyl-lined pocket with waterproof zipper for holding critical stuff that CANNOT get wet. money. valuables. ID. tinder. that sort of stuff.
two mesh pockets on each side, under the side pockets round out your storage. a little awkward to get to if you carry a water bottle, without taking off the pack, but still really useful. the side pockets have tunnels that would allow you to stuff all kinds of long pole-like things. i've used them to hold camp-axes, tent poles, all sorts of stuff.
overall, i dig on the pack. it does what it needs. the straps are heavy and comfortable. the pack needs a lot of fiddly tuning but it can be set with very fine resolution for a PERFECT fit. strapped in, it stays with you even with heavy loads.