Pounds make pain, and indeed, it’s hard to refute this age-old backpacker saying. But what if your goal is to walk out of the woods with as much weight as your trembling legs can carry? Mystery Ranch addressed this question head-on with their hunting-specific Marshall Pack.
Their attention to detail on this 105-liter beast is evident from the moment you strap it to your back. From the Guide Lite frame to the adjustable shoulder strap and yoke setup, one could get carried away diving into the technical features. I will simplify it for you: this thing is darn comfortable. The five-point waist belt hugs the hips with a secure firmness, while the back panel and load straps pull the weight off the shoulders. I keep all my stalking essentials in the brain, which breaks away in seconds to form a daypack. Once the shot is made and the work begins, stuff the overload shelf with as much meat as you think you can carry. Then add 15 more pounds because this pack will secure and distribute the weight in an ego-boosting manner.
I subscribe to the mindset that gear is a tool, not a jewel. I’ve tossed, scraped, and dragged this thing up and down the Madisons with little wear and tear to show for it. The only concern I have is that I’ll give out before the pack does. There is a reason Mystery Ranch is top dog around these parts—that reason being quality packs like the Marshall.