View Full Version : Mountainsmith Master external frame backpack

02-12-2009, 10:29
i just got this thing and tested it overnight on a hike/campout and thought id post my thoughts since there arent any reviews for this online apparently

the Mountainsmith Master is a dark green/black external frame (black color aluminium) 3500cu backpack that's apparently exclusive to Dick's Sporting Goods; it looks almost identical to the Kelty Trekker green/black and imo performs phenomenally, although granted its my first external pack; i put about 10 miles hiking distance onto it with about 55lbs of stuff in it and its quite comfortable, although id suggest less weight

it has 2 huge side pockets, 2 smaller side pockets, one huge pocket on the front, another on the top of the flap, a separate lower compartment for a sleeping bag/blanket, a mesh "thing" that cradles whatever you strap onto the bottom, gear patches all over to strap stuff on, a well padded back support, an adjustable top bar that can be removed or extended

anyway if anyone was looking for a nice external this is a great pack, stop by Dicks and check it out yourself; im very critical of my gear and im very pleased with this thing; it was supposed to be a holdover until i got my Super Tioga but now that i realize how much stuff fits into all the pockets and straps onto the top and bottom i realized i only need 3500cu at the most for the main compartment

summary: very comfortable, very nice subdued colors, LOTS of pockets, looks and functions pretty much like the kelty trekker green/black pack

02-12-2009, 10:30
also it comes with a huge black pack cover that folds into it's own stuff bag

02-12-2009, 12:15
This is the one that I found to be extremely comfortable for me when I started trying on packs. The way the weight sits in the back does not pull on my injured scapular area (it very efficiently transfers to my hips). And I have short torso and was able to cinch everything up perfectly. It's awesome.

The volume capacity is my only concern and why I was leaning more towards the Jansport Carson external. But I was thinking that if I put my Ridgecrest roll in an lightweight sac of its own, I could stow my tent in the open center of the roll and strap it to the bottom of the pack- leaving the main compartment free for everything else.

And the price is good on this pack too - $99 or so at my local store.

02-12-2009, 12:16

Tin Man
02-12-2009, 12:38

02-12-2009, 12:43
I don't get it. . .:-?

mister krabs
02-12-2009, 12:47
I don't get it. . .:-?

Is tinny implying that the first two posters are dogs?:confused:

Tin Man
02-12-2009, 12:55
I don't get it. . .:-?

Is tinny implying that the first two posters are dogs?:confused:

just being a douche :D couldn't find it so i just went with the first google hit on mountainsmith master

02-12-2009, 13:04

I haven't been able to find this pack online anywhere myself. And what is really strange is that the the signage above the pack at Dick's says Mountainsmith "Master" by Kelty. :-?

02-12-2009, 14:57
lol @ the pic..thats the kind of pack you use to convert your trusty canine into a pack animal

the pack looks like a Kelty Trekker green/black only more dark green less black

its better looking than the Kelty imo

ill see if i can take pics and post them with it stuffed full so you can see the outline

02-12-2009, 15:24
okay here come the pics
id like to say that the color doesnt look dark green enough in all of the pics, especially with flash; it looks better in person trust me


02-12-2009, 15:28
also the straps have the regular 1" height adjustments, mine is all the way to tallest and there are 6 washers so 6" adjustment range, also 3 width holes

also there is no picture of stuff strapped onto the bottom because my tent is set up right now, couldnt strap it onto the bottom...oh and here's a gripe with the HH - it doesnt have any gear patches to run cord through to strap it onto a pack...a very glaring omission

02-12-2009, 15:30
also im not sure how it is with the Keltys but there's at least 1" space between the back band and the actual pack and its REALLY good with controlling back sweat compared to the internal that i had beforehand

i hiked 10 miles in a polyester fleece never once breaking a sweat

Tin Man
02-12-2009, 17:38
Looks like a slightly larger version of the Kelty Yukon pack many boyscouts carry.

02-12-2009, 17:43
What is the actual weight of the pack anarky321? Any idea?

02-12-2009, 18:32
This is great! I just saw this pack at Dick's last night actually and almost bought it. It looks pretty nice. I have another Jansport external I want to try and make work, but if not I'll probably be buying this pack. Good to see some good reviews on it! Thanks!

02-12-2009, 19:42
here's whats written on the spec card that was attached to the pack

dimensions: 34x16x8 inches
volume: 3509cu (57 liters)
weight: 4lbs 8oz

06-09-2009, 20:40
Howdy Anarky! How has this pack continued to hold up? I just came across it myself today at Dick's and thought I'd better research it before spending the cash, after reading this review I will probably go pick it up tommorrow and throw my ALICE pack in the attic

Many Walks
06-10-2009, 00:04
I don't have a Dick's Sporting Goods nearby, they aren't shown on line and the stores won't take a card over the phone, so I swung into the store in Salt Lake on my way to CO and picked one up. It's a nice pack and well made for the money. I thought the pack rode a little high on the frame, so I re-drilled the mounting holes to lower it a bit and I like it much better. Hard to beat it for $100.

A few days later I found a Camp Trails in great shape for $15 at the Goodwill store. Got that too. It's hard to have too many packs...I guess.

Dr O
06-10-2009, 05:44
Are these discontinued? They're absent from their product page


Many Walks
06-10-2009, 11:52
Are these discontinued? They're absent from their product page

In store only. Not sure why they don't sell them online or even show them. They are exclusive to Dick's Sporting Goods. Seems like they'd sell a ton of them online. Someone's missing an opportunity there. I'd call before going to a store to be sure they have one in stock. I got the only one at Salt Lake when I stopped.

07-26-2009, 14:05
its on sale now at my Dick's for 79.99

also i removed the top bar from mine as soon as i got it and id recommend others to do it as well; it removes the possibility of bumping your head and doesnt sacrifice any load-carrying ability because you'll be strapping everything to the bottom anyway since it doesnt get in the way of any pockets

i really like this pack after using it for however many months its been, but honestly wouldnt mind to have something like a 4500cu instead but only if its in stealthy colors like this one (dark green and black); everything i have fits into it but there isnt any 'spare' room in the main compartment for unpredictable situations or extra food/water; you'd be surprised how much you can strap onto the bottom and the back though; i even rigged up a cord setup through the loops that allows me to easily strap things on past the back pocket, 2/3 up the length of the pack, i can take a picture later to demonstrate, its kind of hard to describe

overall a very solid, stealthy pack that doesnt make almost any noise as you hump with it

07-26-2009, 14:21
Nice pack. I too have chosen an external frame pack for my Thru-hike next year.


This Jansport has been super comfortable during my weekend hikes thus far and has more than enough room for everything I need. Basically the same thing you had to say about your find above.

07-26-2009, 19:53
i bought mine last year and packed 65lbs.in it. best external frame pack ever. also i spoke to a mountiansmith rep. it's an exclusive to dicks. made to there specks and dicks said it was based on the kelty

08-23-2009, 20:49
I agree with everything anarky321 has reported about the Mountainsmith Master. I have a Jansport Backpacker 4300ci and fit everything from it into the Mountainsmith. Dick's Sporting goods is the only place I have seen it sold, retail or online. They have exclusive rights to distribute it I believe. The store in Akron, OH was stocked with them this spring. The shoulder strap adjustment can be tricky leaving the hiker with sore back muscles, but just keep working with it on short day hikes until it is right. I completed an eight day hike with mine this spring and was very satisfied with its performance. It was money well spent. I highly recomend it. The only improvement would be to make an indentical pack in the 5000ci range.

01-08-2010, 12:41
I am looking at one of the Mountainsmith Masters online and would like to know if they would work for someone with a long torso. I am 6' 3" and would like some feedback if they can be adjusted to fit someone that is taller than average. Thanks!

01-10-2010, 14:12
I am looking at one of the Mountainsmith Masters online and would like to know if they would work for someone with a long torso. I am 6' 3" and would like some feedback if they can be adjusted to fit someone that is taller than average. Thanks!
Measure your torso.
I'm 6'2" and only have an 18 inch torso.