Mystery Ranch Radix Backpack: A Lightweight Hiking Companion

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you've probably heard of Mystery Ranch. Known for their robust and heavy-duty packs, the Montana-based brand has a reputation for durability. However, Mystery Ranch is now venturing into the world...

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you've probably heard of Mystery Ranch. Known for their robust and heavy-duty packs, the Montana-based brand has a reputation for durability. However, Mystery Ranch is now venturing into the world of lightweight backpacks with their latest creation - the Radix. In this article, we'll take an in-depth look at this backpack and see if it lives up to its lightweight claims.

A Break from Tradition

Mystery Ranch has always focused on producing packs that can withstand the toughest conditions. With the Radix, they've taken a departure from their usual designs and crafted their most lightweight backpack to date. Weighing in at just 3.78 pounds for the 57L version, it's clear that the Radix is a step towards the ultralight category. While it may not be as light as some of the best ultralight backpacks on the market, it certainly holds its own against other lightweight options.

Putting the Radix to the Test

To truly gauge the performance of the Radix, I took it on a rigorous backcountry hike. With a base weight of 30 pounds, I wanted to take full advantage of the backpack's lightweight nature. From the start, I was impressed with the simplicity and comfort of the harness system. The padded shoulder straps provided just the right amount of cushioning, while the adjustable back panel allowed for ventilation on hot and sweaty hikes.

Mystery Ranch Radix Review Photo/Cameron Martindell

Customizability and Accessibility

One of the standout features of the Radix is its customization options. Mystery Ranch has designed the backpack with versatility in mind, allowing users to strip off non-essential parts to save on weight. The upper back panel, which is attached to the shoulder straps, can be easily swapped between men's and women's specific harnesses. Additionally, the waist belt can be removed in separate pieces, providing independent movement and flexibility for the hips during scrambling or bending.

Radix harness Photo/Cameron Martindell

Thoughtful Design Details

The Radix is packed with thoughtful design features that cater to the needs of backpackers. The large and sturdy lift loop located at the nape of the neck makes it easy to put on and take off the backpack. It also serves as a convenient hanging point when you need to keep your pack off the ground. The backpack's clamshell top is easily removable, providing ample space for taller items. And the 270-degree water-resistant YKK zipper ensures quick and easy access to essential items on the go.

Mystery Ranch Radix ultralight backpack - top zipper Photo/Cameron Martindell

Storage, Straps, and Access

The Radix offers plenty of storage options for all your gear. The three bellowed pockets on the outside of the pack are a standout feature, providing ample space for items like sit pads, water bottles, and tent poles. The large pocket on the back is perfect for storing rain gear or other items that need quick access. Drain holes in all the pockets ensure that water doesn't become an issue during wet conditions.

Mystery Ranch Radix - pockets Photo/Cameron Martindell

The Radix is equipped with a set of horizontal cross-body straps that provide additional support and stability. These straps can secure longer items like snow pickets and can be easily adjusted to fit your needs. The pack also features multiple tie-down loops for added versatility. Additionally, the backpack has a drawstring closure and a single rubberized water-resistant YKK zipper for easy access to the main compartment.

A Promising Lightweight Option

In conclusion, the Mystery Ranch Radix Backpack is a game-changer for backpacking enthusiasts looking for a lightweight and comfortable option. The durability and design features that Mystery Ranch is known for are still very much present in this new offering. With a range of customization options and practical storage solutions, the Radix proves itself to be a reliable companion on long-distance backpacking adventures.

Mystery Ranch Radix - testing Photo/Jeremiah Osborne Gowey

As of now, the Radix Backpack will only be available for purchase in January 2024. If you're interested in being notified when it becomes available, you can sign up on the Mystery Ranch website. Get ready to experience a new level of lightweight backpacking with the Mystery Ranch Radix.