Review: Mystery Ranch Radix 47

Like a boxer cutting weight for the weigh-in, the new Radix 47 from Mystery Ranch is all muscle, no fat. Lean, mean, light, and strong, this sucker is built for speed, be it an overnight mountain-climb with a long approach in cold weather, a lightweight multi-day backpacking tour, or a lengthy thru-hike with occasional pit-stops for re-supply—all with MR’s characteristic comfort and load-bearing capability. 

The 2,745-cubic-inch Radix—which comes in smaller and larger sizes, too—is a classic top-loader with the benefit of an off-center side-zip for easy access to items deeper in the pack. The lightweight compression straps feed through oversized stash pockets on the sides, where you can stuff a shell, light fleece, or water bottle, and secure it with the strap. Another stash pocket on the front offers additional grab-and-go storage.

Recycled rip-stop fabric, thin-but-strong compression straps, and just-big-enough buckles reveal where the weight was shaved without compromising (too much) durability. I wouldn't pack out an elk quarter in the Radix, or strap a chainsaw to it; but for hiking and peak-bagging, it's got strength aplenty for years, perhaps even decades, of rigorous use.

Rounding out the Radix's list of virtues are water-resistant zippers, ample straps for external storage, and a removable waistbelt, with two small pockets, for quick summit bids or other short detours from camp.