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  1. #1
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    Default Mystery River Sphinx

    Does anyone here have any experience with the Mystery River Sphinx pack?

    I've been searching for a while now as I work my way through different brands, and came across this model today.

    I love the pouches on the hip belt (actually big enough to pop a smart phone w/otter box case, in and out, easily). And the water bottle pouch can actually be accessed without taking the pack off or using the busy system. (Looking at hit osprey!).

    The pack seems to ride well on my hips. The shoulder straps seemed a bit narrow though. It wasn't a problem at the store, but I wonder if it will cause issues down the trail.

    Also, I wasn't sure about the vertical zipper down the front of the pack.

    Any input/experience on this pack would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    *Mystery Ranch.

    Not sure how I managed to put river.

  3. #3
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Mystery ranch has no fans here except me i think. They make a great pack though!
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  4. #4
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    Really? Is it their company or their gear that prole have a problem with?

  5. #5
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Weight mostly. I own 2 of their packs and I know that my pack is the last piece of gear I have that will fail. I plan to carry a glacier all 2200 miles
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AfterParty View Post
    Mystery ranch has no fans here except me i think. They make a great pack though!
    I'm a fan. Since 1994. I own a Dana Design ArcFlex Terraplane built in Bozeman, MT before Dana Gleason sold out.
    Tipi Walter of WhiteBlaze is a Mystery Ranch fan.
    I have no clue how the new foreign built packs compare to the USA built packs.
    I won't live long enough to wear mine out.
    Wayne


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  7. #7
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    My glacier was built out of the USA my disc golf bag was made here. Zero difference in craftsmanship.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  8. #8
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    I really liked what I saw on the glacier. It didn't have hip pouches, but I could have worked around that. The only problem was, no matter how we adjusted it, it just felt terrible on my back/arms. I was so close to finding my pack, but the search continues.

  9. #9
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    It must have been the wrong size yoke. I can literally wiggle my shoulders under the starps at 30 lbs. All the weight is on my hip belt. Other then being a bit top heavy I'm comfortable. I like the glacier because of the bottom pocket. I use it for my hammock and tarp. Plus 4 large outside pockets. I don't have any stuff dangling. Belt pockets would be nice but I can come up with something. Best of luck to you
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  10. #10
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    Thanks. I really wanted it to work. The guy did being out a different yoke and did all kinds of adjusting, but no luck. After reading your last post though, I wonder if he just didn't know what he was doing or was at least unfamiliar with that model.

    I have to say though, the more I think about it, the more the sphinx is growing on me with its full zipper down the back. I might go back and if the glacier just doesn't fit, I may go with the sphinx.

  11. #11
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Check out the mystery ranch videos on adjusting the yoke and you will kinda know if he was doing it right.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  12. #12
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    Assuming the one is made for your height.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  13. #13

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    Mystery Ranch makes great gear. Not popular here because even their light packs aren't light by gram weenie standards.

    My wife has a Cairn which they advertise as a day pack (38l), but she has no problem taking on multi-day trips.

  14. #14
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    In military circles, Mystery Ranch are VERY well known and respected for their durability and load hauling capability, right up there (some say even better than) Eberlestock. They probably aren't popular with AT hikers because they are a bit of an overkill, especially if you are an ultralight hiker.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drapac View Post
    I love the pouches on the hip belt (actually big enough to pop a smart phone w/otter box case, in and out, easily). And the water bottle pouch can actually be accessed without taking the pack off or using the busy system. (Looking at hit osprey!).

    The pack seems to ride well on my hips. The shoulder straps seemed a bit narrow though. It wasn't a problem at the store, but I wonder if it will cause issues down the trail.

    Also, I wasn't sure about the vertical zipper down the front of the pack.
    The Sphinx design has been around for a while. It was previously the Big Mountain. I remember thinking it looked cool, but it was over five pounds so not quite what I was looking for at the time. Now I'm working in forestry and need a backpack that can haul camping gear as well as tools, and Mystery Ranch is on my radar again.

    A reviewer on Trailspace said that he thought the Sphinx started to suffer in terms of comfort at about 60 pounds, which is more than enough in my book.

    My guess is that the zipper down the front is pretty reliable since it's been around for a while. Honestly, my last concern with a Mystery Ranch pack would be durability. If the zipper makes you nervous, you could also check out the new Stein 62. It doesn't have hipbelt pockets. though. In fact, the whole hipbelt seems a little gimmicky to me. The hipbelt pulls are located far back on the hipbelt, which makes me wonder if my swinging arms would swipe them accidentally and loosen them up.

  16. #16
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    Durability is not an issue
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  17. #17

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    Here is the link to the review mentioned by Co_West

    http://www.trailspace.com/gear/mystery-ranch/sphinx/

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