Mystery Ranch’s Overload feature has long been available in their hunting and military packs, giving the wearer the ability to increase capacity on the fly — how else are you going to get that quartered elk out of the backcountry? But after much prodding from the outdoor community, the technology has finally found its way into a set of mountain-inspired packs. Now you can get creative on how and what you carry on your next backpacking trip — case of beer, anyone?
The Terraframe backpacks come with Mystery Ranch’s Overload feature where the pack bag detaches from the external frame, exposing a load shelf in the middle where you can stuff and compress additional gear or awkward shaped items for comfortable carry over long distances. Think bear cans, packrafts, even mountain bikes, or bulky tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads.
The frame detaches from the pack bag via a series of compression straps and buckles with an expandable shelf running between the two. This makes for a quick and easy process of expanding the pack and securing the excess load. If you don’t need the extra space, simply reconnect and compress all compression straps and buckles and you’re ready to go.
The external frame system includes carbon fiber suspension stays that deliver both support and flex. The packs are actually lighter than any of Mystery Ranch’s internal frame packs but they allow you to carry twice as much weight — you can comfortably carry up to 150 pounds (I’m not sure I could actually get that much weight on my back in the first place).
The Terraframe packs come in two sizes — a monster 80 liter workhorse and a 50-liter size perfect for most backpacking adventures. The Terraframe 50 comes with Mystery Ranch’s signature 3-zip opening where you can access the contents of the entire pack quickly using just one hand. The Terraframe 80 adds a special compartment for your sleeping bag and a removable lid that doubles as a fanny pack for day hikes. Both are made from 330-denier Cordura which is lightweight but super durable.
As they are meant to carry heavy loads, the Terraframe packs are not exactly considered ultralight — The Terraframe 80 weighs just over six pounds and the Terraframe 50 comes in at five pounds. The packs will retail for $450 and $400 respectively and start shipping next spring.