My Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 review. Every bit of gear I have ever tried that claims it was made for the rigours of ski patrolling, I’ve been left slightly disappointed in. The unique combination of extremes of weather, moisture, manual handling and daily wear and tear have consistently destroyed numerous gloves, jackets, helmets, skis, ski poles, goggles and yes, packs. So when I was given the opportunity to try out the Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 pack over the long term, I was excited but a little hesitant.
So how has it really stood up to the task? Overall, really well. Was it perfect, no, but nothing is. Please refer to my Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 review.
Right from the moment I unwrapped it there was one thing that stood out to me over previous packs I have used to haul gear around the mountains. This one felt solid. The materials are all hard wearing and looked like it would survive the scratches, the snags and the life it would be given. On the average day it would get squashed on the back of a chairlift, roughed up in the trees, have skis strapped to it and be snowed on, rained on and soaked in harsh UV light. Challenge accepted. That’s why I’m giving you Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 review.
After using it for a while now, I can happily say that it has survived well. No cuts, no tears and no holes from equipment rubbing through the pockets. So far so good.
Features of the pack for me included full rear access through the back panel, which can be a great help when loading gear or gaining quick access to equipment. A dedicated front pocket suitable for snow safety gear, readily accessible for when you need it in a hurry. The top pockets are lined to take a pair of goggles or glasses without getting your lenses all scratched up and making you grumpy. Zipper pull tabs are all easily used when wearing gloves too, an absolute must with a ski pack. Even better, they are bright red and easy to distinguish, again, saving time. If you’re using this pack to carry a bit of medical or avalanche gear, then seconds count. And a great way to save a few seconds is making the zipper tabs easy to find. Bravo MR.
Hip pockets for smaller items such as fuse igniters or snacks were handy and didn’t interfere with pack comfort. Solid clips and clever tabs to roll up and hide excess tab length. Simple things, but so useful. After being tangled up in chair lifts over the years, these are very handy. And I can happily report that I haven’t broken a single clip. Again, a good sign of longevity and quality materials.
Water resistance of the pack was quite good and didn’t suffer as badly from the water soaking I have experienced with many other packs. Bringing a pack into a patrol shack covered in snow and hanging it up in the warm, only to have it soak the pack and wet all the contents. Not good. The MR pack didn’t suffer as badly from this as the outer layers shed water really well. Another plus in my Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 review.
Carry comfort and adjustability of the MR pack is high. Once I got all the waist and shoulder straps set, the contoured back sat perfectly and didn’t budge. With a relatively low profile too, this meant skiing with the pack was a breeze. No swaying, no off centred feeling and it comfortably sat low enough to allow for full rotation of a helmeted head. Even after taking this pack hiking and ski touring, I couldn’t fault the carry comfort in a cool environment.
Looks wise, this is a smart and understated pack. Black, greys and a subtle pattern meant it didn’t scream out at you, but like a consummate professional, just went about its business and got the job done. Like a good ski patroller. Thumbs up.
Flexibility of the MR Patrol pack was a nice bonus. Why limit yourself to being a one trick pony?
I decided to take it overnight hiking in summer as well as ski touring in spring. It happily did both, with the only real downside being that the padded back gets pretty warm in the higher temps. But hey, it was designed for winter, so I am not complaining. The pack comfortably did it all. Bearing in mind it is a 35-litre pack, so your overnight carry can be limited. No problem for an alpine overnighter.
So would I recommend it? Yep, I certainly would. If you’re wearing that cross, guiding or just looking for a solid day work/ski pack with some nice features, I think you’ll enjoy the MR Patrol 35. I’ll be keeping mine and giving it a good workout for many years to come. And what more can you ask for?
Thank you for reading my Mystery Ranch Patrol 35 review.