Mystery Ranch NICE Metcalf
Mystery Ranch has been in the pack business for quite some time and is a trusted name in quality build, materials, and design. The Metcalf is a sturdy pack for those 5-7 day hunts. With exceptional padding in the waist belt and shoulder straps, hauling super-heavy loads out will be more comfortable with this pack than most.
Frame/suspension: Carbon/fiberglass NICE frame: 3 vertical and 3 horizontal stays (fiberglass/carbon fiber composite) in nylon tubes – allows for good side-to-side flex but great vertical strength, also for good shock absorption. An adjustable Cordura meat shelf supports a heavy meat load between the frame and bag by design.
The NICE frame is also part of a modular system, meaning it’s interchangeable with the Crewcab, 6500, and 7500 pack bags for great versatility.
The torso height on the Futura yoke is adjustable and a breeze. The yoke comes in three sizes and the entire suspension system is very well padded. The waist belt also features webbing for attachments.
Bag: This pack is constructed of 500D Cordura, with weatherproof zippers, an expandable shroud, and quality straps/buckles. It compresses down tight with many compression straps and also expands vertically very well.
Access to the main compartment is through the top and also from a full-length side zipper. The lid is separated into two large compartments. The NICE daypack lid (not standard) also doubles as makeshift daypack when detached.
There is also storage on one half-height side pocket, and bottom straps allow for external sleeping bag storage, etc.
Color/camo options: Color: Coyote (brown), Foliage (gray), MultiCam.
Best Qualities: Manufacturing quality is great; the pack is solid; 4500 c.i. feels like 5000; robust padded hip belt and shoulder straps are very comfortable for packing heavy loads.
Could Be Better: Few quick-access external pockets; no specific spotting scope/tripod pocket(s); no dedicated rifle or bow holder, although side compression straps work; no adjustable length on frame buckles to secure load independently of using bag.
Cost: $519. Contact: www.mysteryranch.com.
Recommended accessories: NICE daypack lid (900-c.i.; 19 oz.) – $90-$104; Removable Hip Belt Pocket – $15; Long Pocket (400 c.i., 7 oz., 15.5” tall, works for spotting scope) – $25-$29; Lift Kit -customizeable torso adjustment.
Similar Mystery Ranch options to consider: NICE Crewcab, 6500, 7500.