Mystery Ranch Scree 32 Pack Review

Overall Score:8.8

After 14 months of hard use, the Mystery Ranch Scree 32 has certified itself as a top-tier day and overnight pack that handles moderate loads (up to 20 kg) with relative comfort. Whether you’re going for an overnighter or hut-to-hut trekking in Nepal, you’ll love the Scree 32.

Durability: 9.0
Functionality: 8.0
Performance: 9.5
Aesthetics: 8.0
Value: 9.5

Capacity: 32L

Weight: 1270 g

Main Material: 210D Robic Nylon

Hardware: YKK, Duraflex, Woojin

Frame Sheet: HDPE 

Weather Resistance: DWR (exterior), polyurethane (interior)

Dimensions: 55.9 x 29.2 x 22.8 cm

Manufacturing Country: Vietnam

Warranty: Lifetime

Length of Test: 14 months.

Acquisition: Self Purchase.

Countries: Thailand.

Climate(s): Tropical Savanna.

Weather: Hot and Humid (highest temp 34 C), Cold and Dry (lowest temp 3 C), and Light Rain. 

The Scree 32 is designed for:

  • Day hiking and overnight trips.

It’s not designed for:

  • Ultralight enthusiasts.
Durablity

Build Quality

Main Materials: as the lightest denier offering in Mystery Ranch’s lineup, the Scree 32’s 210D Robic nylon has proven to be relatively bomber. 

Unlike most lightweight fabrics, this custom spec’d Robic is thick and has a dense ripstop grid. Its survived many bushwhacking trips in the unforgiving Thai jungle and weekly rucking with heavy loads. Simply put, it’s no 500D Cordura but it definitely punches above its weight class and holds its own out in the field. 

And when it comes to the Scree 32’s construction, this pack is built-to-last and take a beating. What can we say… this is Mystery Ranch that we’re talking about – fire fighters, military units, and law enforcement depend on their packs and know they’ll never fail.

Hardware: the main pack features water repellent YKK AquaGuard Zippers (#10), which you can expect to keep your gear dry in light rain. On the hip belt, each pocket features smaller #8RC YKK Zippers. The zippers themselves have paracord pull tabs attached, making them easy to operate in a variety of weather conditions. 

As for the pack’s side-release buckles, webbing adjusters, and D-rings, they’re all burly plastic and manufactured by Duraflex. Last but not least, there are two Woojin cord locks that function as trekking pole holders (when paired with the two ice axe loops at the bottom of the pack).

Functionality

Main Feature Set

Adjustable Length: as mentioned in our Coulee 25 review, the Scree 32 features the same variation of Mystery Ranch’s famous Futura Yoke, the pack’s harness is a dual-component system that’s both micro-adjustable and available in two sizes (S/M & L/XL). 

The Futura Yoke allows you to dial-in a precise fit via a form-fitting molded adjuster on the outer face of the shoulder straps. When the adjuster is removed, it’s used to detach the yoke (which is secured by Velcro) from the pack, so that it may be vertically adjusted for a perfect fit.  

Once properly adjusted, you can expect the Scree to fit like a glove. 

Back Panel: directly below the Futura Yoke lies a non-removable HPDE frame sheet. Since it only runs the half-length of the pack, it balances torsional flex with rigidity during movement well. For comfort, a thin layer of closed-cell foam lines the frame sheet (along with the Futura Yoke). 

When it comes to ventilation, the Scree 32’s back panel is covered with an aero-spacer mesh. There are no air channels as Mystery Ranch prioritizes maximum body contact for maximum load distribution. And after using this pack numerous times in the humid Thai jungle, swamp back was no more pronounced than use with a trampoline suspension system. 

To round out the back panel, the padded lumbar support is plush and feels like an inflatable pillow resting against your spine. In general, we prefer less padding… but hey, we’re not complaining. 

Shoulder Straps: the Scree 32’s wide and S-shaped shoulder straps are well-padded with a high-density closed-cell foam. And where the straps press against your chest, there’s an outer plastic insert which mitigates hot spots or pressure points from forming.

In typical Mystery Ranch fashion, the Scree 32 utilizes a wide one-piece harness for enhanced stability and load distribution. This harness cups the upper portion of your back and gives the pack a sort of running vest type feel – which is damn comfortable. 

As for the sternum strap, it’s adjustable to five different heights and secured via a ladder lock system. The strap works well but its length was designed for a 1970’s Lou Ferrigno – even with my 111 cm (44″ chest), there’s a lot of excess webbing dangling in the wind.  

At the top of the shoulder straps, you’ll find a set of functional load lifters. Adjusting these will bring the top part of the pack closer to your body – this, in conjunction with the rest of the harness system, helps align the pack’s center of gravity for better load distribution. 

Removable Hip Belt: fixated to the lumbar support via Velcro and two G-hooks, the hip belt is easy to detach and reattach – it takes around 30 seconds both ways.

In terms of load carriage, the hip belt is reasonably padded and stiff for moderate loads. It provides a fair amount of shoulder-to-hip load transference, since the Scree carries as an “oversized lumbar pack.” But given its removability, it can start to sag once 15 kilos are loaded into the pack – for most use-cases, this is a non-issue.

When it comes to storage, the hip belt is lacking in this department. For an overnight pack, the zippered pockets are on the “skinny side” – they’ll fit a Buff, a folding knife, .., but that’s all. We’re hoping that Mystery Ranch answers our prayers and beefs them up on the next iteration. 

Main Compartment: accessed by Mystery Ranch’s signature 3-Zip design (aka the holy-grail of pack access), the main compartment is a ~29L bottomless pit.

Its primary feature is an internal sleeve that can hold a 2-3L hydration bladder and a  centralized port that lets you efficiently route the drinking hose over either shoulder. Unfortunately, this sleeve isn’t big enough for a laptop, but can easily hold a small tablet.

Just behind the sleeve is a Velcro-sealed pocket with a removable perforated foam sheet. Unlike most UL-focused packs, this foam sheet doesn’t do double duty as a camp seat. For travel, this pocket is a useful place to hide extra cash while in transit. 

As for built-in organization, there are two internal wings – one on each side panel. The wings are basically large dump pockets and we have yet to find a use-case for them. If you want additional organization, you’ll need to BYOP (bring your own pouches).

Quick-Access Pockets: at the top of the pack, there are two zippered detail pockets with a mesh bottom lining. The pockets seem to be ~3L in capacity and easily hold a first-aid kit, a Garmin inReach Mini, a travel wallet, a headlamp, sunglasses, and a portable power bank, with some room to spare.

External Components: in total, there are three compression straps (two on each side + one in the middle) that are useful for reining in and stabilizing smaller loads. Unlike the sternum strap, each compression strap comes with a removable web keeper to stow excess dangle.

One the exterior face of the pack, there are two parallel daisy chains that you can use to lash gear. In all honestly, we would’ve preferred a front stretch mesh pocket on each side as daisy chains have less overall utility.

Saving the best for last, there are two elasticized water bottle pockets that’ll easily stow a wide-mouth 1L HydroFlask. As a bonus, they can also fit larger items like a camera tripod.

Performance

Practical Utility

Carry Comfort: if load hauler thy want, then Scree 32 thy get… seriously, this pack is one comfortable beast. It’s weight-to-carry-capacity ratio is the best in the business.  

For our average total pack weight of 8 kg for overnights (including camera gear), the Scree’s load carrying capability is admittedly overkill. Sure, we could save half a kilo by switching to a lighter pack but… it wouldn’t be as comfortable. With loads as light as 5 kg all the way to 15 kg, the Scree makes the weight feel as if it’s floating on your back – no shoulder tug, no soreness, just comfort.

Even when rucking with 26 kg of charcoal bags, pressure or stress points never formed. The Scree’s overbuilt harness and suspension system, made the weight feel evenly distributed from our shoulders, across our backs, and down to our hips. 

Long story short, this pack carries like a Bentley drives – cloud nine. 

Versatility: marketed as one pack for ten uses, we think that’s a bit of a stretch for the Scree 32. While it is a versatile pack, its sheer size and lack of external stretch pockets make it less useful for day trips. Outside of winter day hikes and overnights, the Scree could also be used as / for:

  • Camera Pack: with a Tenba BYOB, a laptop sleeve, and a Capture Clip – the Scree can easily turn into a mountain-capable gear hauler for photographers.
  • Hut-to-Hut Trekking: for tea house treks in Nepal or village trekking in SE Asia, the Scree is the perfect pack size for multi-day trips where you don’t have to carry a tent and sleeping pad (just make sure the rest of your gear is ultralight).
  • One-Bag Travel: for adventure-focused trips, the Scree is a goldilocks size for carry-on maximalization and day-to-day utility.
  • Rucking: load some sand or charcoal bags in the pack and get to steppin’… 

In our humble opinion, the Scree is one pack for eight uses.

Aesthetics

Design Elements

The Mystery Ranch Scree 32 is a technical rucksack and looks the part. From its ripstop grid pattern, fabric sheen, and protruding daisy chains, this pack screams “I live in the mountains.” It’s not pretending to be anything other than what it really is – something we can appreciate.

With that being said, the Scree 32 does look a bit out of place in urban settings. Not because of the aforementioned aesthetic cues, but because this thing is a behemoth. It’s a big ol’ pack and any big pack will look somewhat out of place in a concrete jungle. 

At the time of writing, the Scree 32 comes in four colorways: black, orange, blue, and green.

Value

Primary Alternatives

If you like the Mystery Ranch Scree 32 but it happens to be too big for your needs, then we highly recommend its little brother the Coulee 25. The Coulee is our highest-rated daypack and has additional external pockets that the Scree lacks. Due to its size, the Coulee is a more versatile daypack and the Scree’s main contender for comfort.

For a more streamlined +30L daypack / overnighter, then the Arc’Teryx Brize 32 is another top pick of ours. It has a highly functional design and minimalist aesthetic. 

As our top fast and light (UL) choice, the Gossamer Gear Kumo is another strong contender and clocks in at just 445 g. It’s not a load hauler as its frameless, but has a more user-friendly design and camp-specific features.

For the most wallet-friendly option, the Gregory Miwok 32 has the best price-to-value ratio and still offers decent carry performance. 

Daypack Main Fabric Gender Vol. Max Load Weight Frame Hip Belt? Load Style
Scree 210D Robic M & W 32L 18.2 kg 1270 g HDPE Padded / Detachable 3-Zip
Coulee 330D Robic M & W 25L 18.2 kg 1315 g HDPE Padded / Detachable 3-Zip
Brize 420D HT Nylon Unisex 32L 18.2 kg 1190 g Aluminum Stay Padded / Fixed Top
Kumo 70D Robic Unisex 28L 11.4 kg 580 g Foam Padded / Detachable Top
Miwok 210D Nylon M & W 32L 13.6 kg 1016 g HDPE Padded / Detachable Half-Zip
8.8/10 Rating

Overall Verdict

For overnighters, one-bag adventure travel, and hut-to-hut trekking, it’s hard to think of a pack that’ll carry better than the Scree – it’s the most comfortable >35L pack on the market, bar none.

Overall, its been a joy using the Mystery Ranch Scree 32 for the past 14 months and it’ll be continually used by us (for rucking), for the foreseeable future. We highly recommend this pack for all but the most dialed-in ultralight enthusiasts. 

What We Liked

  • Best-in-class comfort for hauling light to moderate loads.
  • Pack access is the best in the game, as the 3-Zip design should be properly labeled as the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’ You can access anything in the pack without playing a game of pouch Tetris. 
  • The overall capacity is cavernous for 32L – it packs more like a 35L rucksack. 

What Could Use Improvements

  • Upgrading the current grab handle to a folded over style, like on the Rip Ruck 32. 
  • Making the hip belt pockets larger and with gusseted construction.   
  • For organization, a keyring hook should be added to the top zippered pocket. 
Longevity

Usage Timeline

Excellent

Initial Usage

As expected from Mystery Ranch, this pack is exceptionally well-made and thought out – construction is top-notch.

Excellent

Excellent

14 Months of Usage

By far, the most comfortable day / overnight pack we’ve ever used.  It’s a bit heavy, but the comfort is worth the slight weight penalty.

Excellent

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