Brand: Mystery Ranch
Model: Patrol 45
The Patrol is at home on winter overnights, but we had no issues pushing it into multiday use. On a ski tour of Alaska’s Pika Glacier, one tester filled it up with enough gear and supplies to last five days. “Conditions were so bad that I needed to bring extra food in case we got tent-bound,” he says. “The big front zippered pouch was perfect for storing extra blocks of cheese, pasta, and fuel.” The cavernous packbag feels more like 50 liters, and the backpanel flays open extra wide, allowing for easy packing. But even when stuffed to capacity, the Patrol stays relatively comfortable, thanks to two fiberglass stays and a compression-molded backpanel. Caveat: All that packable space costs a pretty penny.
The 330-denier Cordura packbag can take abuse. “I climbed Mt. Hood with the pack fully loaded,” says one tester. “The volcanic rock is sharp and I’ve torn plenty of packs up there, but this one still looks new.” A beefy zipper and a grab handle let you easily open the backpanel like a tin of sardines, and the Patrol has an avy tool compartment. Tradeoff for these features: weight.
“When I drew the short straw for trash duty on a Cooke City, Montana, hut trip, I had to haul out an 15 extra pounds,” one tester reports. “Thankfully, the frame held the load close to my back while I snowboarded several thousand feet through tight trees.”