Mystery Ranch Scree backpack review

Open up my gear closet door, and you’ll be caught in an avalanche of backpacks. There are way too many different sizes and styles of packs for various outdoor uses. From backcountry skiing, to mountain biking, hiking, urban adventures, and climbing, you can spend thousands of dollars matching a pack for every activity. So why not trade them all for a pack that can do it all? A pack to “rule them all” if you will. Enter the Mystery Ranch Scree.

Mystery Ranch Scree review

We review the Mystery Ranch Scree backpack. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –


The Mystery Ranch Scree features:

  • 420D Robic nylon fabric and YKK® zippers
  • 3-ZIP design for quick, easy access
  • Zippered lid pocket to organize essentials
  • Water bottle pockets keep hydration handy
  • Two rows of daisy chain
  • Hydration reservoir compatible
  • Double-layered bottom for long-haul durability
  • Fully adjustable yoke for customized fit

After getting my Mystery Ranch Scree, I’d say the backpack consolidation mission is complete. I’ve used the Scree exclusively for the past few months for everything from hiking, to rock climbing, hunting and even as an overnight bag on short trips. Hell, my wife liked it so much she even stole it from me whenever we would hike together.


3-Zip System: My favorite thing about the Scree is the design. Mystery Ranch’s signature 3-zip system is awesome because it makes the pack both a top-loader and a panel loader. If I just need something at the top of the pack, I only have to unzip the two top diagonal zippers. But if my want or need is buried at the bottom of the pack, the pack-length center zipper lets me get to the item of desire without unloading all the pack’s contents.

Mystery Ranch Scree Top Zips

The Scree has a three-zip system with two angled top zips and a long center zip for the ultimate in access. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –

Adjustable Yoke: Another Mystery Ranch plus is the adjustable yoke system. Sure, other brands feature this sort of thing, but almost exclusively in multi-night backpacking packs. But Mystery Ranch is using the technology in medium-sized day packs as well. This telescoping harness system is easy to adjust with Velcro panels and a shaped, plastic adjuster tool that allows the yoke to go up or down to your height specifications. A useful how-to guide is included so you can get the perfect fit.

Mystery Ranch Scree Yoke Adjust

You can adjust the yoke to your specific height for the ultimate fit. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –

After adjusting the yoke to my height, I loaded the pack with a ton of stuff and put it on. Color me impressed. The shoulder and waist harness does a bang-up job of distributing weight to the point that I could barely feel the pack pulling down on my shoulders. This all equals unparalleled weight distribution across the entire back, meaning I can carry heavier weight but still be comfortable.

Durability: Like all Mystery Ranch packs, the Scree seems to be built to last. While I’ve only been testing the pack for a few months so far, there obviously is little to no wear. But holding the thing, one can clearly feel how heavy duty the pack is. The fabric is made from 420D Robic nylon that would take a serious mishap to tear. The zippers are high quality with a rubbery lining to help keep water out. In addition, the pack’s bottom is double-layered to prevent any wear when putting the pack on the ground.

Mystery Ranch Scree Daisy Chain

Rugged, two rows of daisy chain make the Scree super versatile for carrying other gear externally. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –

Two Rows of Daisy Chain: Versatility! With two rows of daisy chain on the pack’s face, you can rig up a way to carry essentially anything on the outside of the pack. As a result, I’ve used them to carry my climbing helmet. But with some cords or Voile Straps, you could use the daisy chains to carry anything.

Mystery Ranch Scree fully loaded

The Mystery Ranch Scree fits my sport climbing gear, including rope, shoes, harness, and quickdraws. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –

The Perfect Size: At 32L, the Scree is the perfect size for multiple uses. I’ve been able to fit my sport climbing gear (rope, harness, shoes, quickdraws) inside for transport to the crag. It’s also been great for stuffing extra layers on cold hikes, or even carrying camera equipment while on assignment in the field. It can even be used for light backpacking.


There’s not a lot to dislike about this backpack. But if I have to pick one, I’d say the two top pockets are a little small. They don’t fit much more than a few extra camera batteries, energy bars, and a phone.

Also, at 3.1 pounds, the pack itself is a bit on the heavy side. But that’s to be expected considering the bombproof materials used. Weight is also the cost of comfort for that amazing adjustable yoke system.

Mystery Ranch Scree Hike

Callista Pearson hikes in Colorado National Monument with the Mystery Ranch Scree. (Photo: Jared Hargrave –


With additional features like hydration reservoir compatibility, water bottle sleeves on both sides, dual compression straps (I foresee a possible ski carry in my future) and more, I’d say the Mystery Ranch Scree really is the pack that can do it all.

The Good: Perfect size. Three way zipper system makes getting inside easy. Adjustable yoke for exact sizing. Quality build and materials. Versatile across many recreational pursuits.

The Bad: Not many pockets to separate your stuff. Top pockets are small. Pack itself is on the heavy side.

Final Word: The MR Scree is a do-it-all backpack so you can downsize your gear closest. Therefore, it really is the only pack you’ll need outside of long backpacking trips, and it will last decades of hard use. If you’re shopping for a new pack, you can’t do much better than the Scree, or any pack from the Mystery Ranch Mountain Series.

For this pack and more, head over to Mystery Ranch’s website.

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