Author Topic: Mystery Ranch Terraframe 50 (2020 version with GL MT frame) Review  (Read 269 times)

Offline yakimanoob

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Hey folks!

My new Terraframe 50 arrived on Monday, and I immediately stuffed it with gear and hit the trail (plus, it's wildflower season in Yakima!).  I neglected to take any photos out on the trail, but I wanted to go ahead and add some thoughts. 

This pack replaces my Sawtooth 45, and right out of the gate I'm feeling like it was a great decision.  MR has really perfected the 3-zip design, and that shows in little details like how easy the top pockets are to access even when the main pack is stuffed to the brim.  This was an issue on the sawtooth, as the way the pockets were designed meant that maxing out the main pack space put pressure on the org pockets and made them difficult/fiddly to get at. 

While the Terraframe pack bag itself is new to me, the Guide Light MT frame is not - I put in some 70+ miles with the sawtooth on my back last year, including packing a bear out of GPW during the high hunt.  I have basically nothing to complain about.  The hipbelt is bulky, but I don't know how that could be improved without compromising carrying comfort with heavy loads.  Sub 30lbs, it really and truely disappears on your back.  30-60lbs is carried easily and with plenty of comfort, but 60lbs doesn't disappear no matter how good your pack is.  60+ lbs (my 3 mile, 2000ft elevation packout with the bear was 97lbs) is something you'll feel in your whole body, but that's the magic of it.  You feel it all over, not concentrated in your shoulders or on any pressure points on your hips.  The yoke and belt are very easy to adjust in the field (p.s., yoke fit depends on how heavy your pack is, and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you). 

My only gripe with the GL MT frame is the lack of elastic bands or other means of securing a hydration tube, but this is easily addressed with a velco wrap (see photos). 

I really enjoy the forager pockets.  Coming from the nearly-useless tiny little pockets of hiking brand packs, the space available in the foragers is wonderful (and the zippers work just fine one-handed).

If you're the kind of person who wants a separate pocket for each item, the Terraframe may not be a good fit.  Personally, I enjoy the one-big-cavern style packs, and the Terraframe is certainly that.  The only interior pocket is the hydration sleeve.  FYI - not all hydration packs work great with MR's toggle, so you may have to add a bit of cord if you want to keep your hydration pack from sliding down. 

Another thing I love about the Terraframe is how well it sits up.  I suspect this is common for packs on the GL MT frame, but the Sawtooth did have a tendency to tip over.  The Terraframe stands up like a tower, making it very easy to pack, unpack, etc.  The 3-zip design obviously aids in unpacking or getting to your first aid pack quickly, etc. 

The straps on the bottom of the pack also include buckles on the Terraframe, which means you can strap a tent, sleeping pad, etc down there and really extend the capacity of the pack.  The tool loops are also super useful for stashing your trekking poles when you need your hands for your weapon.  The Sawtooth didn't have buckles on the bottom straps or much in the way of tie points on the outside, which I found to be very limiting when using the pack for weekend hunts.

To each their own, but one of the highlights for me is the return of normal buckles on the Terraframe vs the locking ones on the Sawtooth.  I found the lock feature to be incredibly annoying, as they require one hand to hold the lock open when tightening.  IMO this is not worth the extra security of the locking mechanism.  Again, to each their own.  If you're a guide and you spend the majority of your time hauling meat for crazy distances in wet weather, maybe the locking buckles are worth it?  :dunno:

All in all, this pack is wonderful, and I can't wait to get some meat on it.  If more thoughts surface as I use it this year, I'll add them below. 

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Mystery Ranch Terraframe 50 (2020 version with GL MT frame) Review
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 01:52:40 PM »
Oh, a note on sizing.

I'm 6'2" and typically wear a 34 or 36 pant, depending on the brand.  My waist measured at the hips is 36" and at the belly button is 42" (sexy, I know).  I have fairly broad shoulders, and my torso length is 17".  By those measurements, Mystery Ranch size charts say I should need a S/M yoke and a M/L belt.  My Sawtooth was a size L, which means a L/XL yoke and M/L belt.  The yoke was perfect, with plenty of space to get smaller than I needed it to get.  The belt was fine, but I prefer belts to come a little further around my iliac crests, especially with heavy loads. 

I chatted with MR about this, and the rep was quite convinced an XL belt would be far to large for me, since they spec it at 39"+ and my hip circumference is only 36".  I decided to ignore his advice and get the XL size pack (L/XL yoke and XL belt). 

It fits me perfectly.  Lots of extra adjustment in the torso, and the belt holds my hips nicely without coming anywhere close to all the way around (i.e., I can crank it down as hard as I like and not run out of space). 


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