This is the Mountainsmith Mystic 65 internal frame backpack. Despite the lightweight construction for a pack of this size, it is capable of carrying a lot of gear, heavy loads and doing so comfortably.
Let’s take the Mystic 65 off and take a look at its suspension system. It seems like the right starting point for really any backpack discussion is taking a look at how it is going to carry and what is going to give that support, that stability and also that comfort. So peel this ack. You can see that there is an actual suspended back panel. Turn that slightly so you can see the breezeway back panel. The design here is such that you are getting the support. You are getting padding to kind of bear the brunt of that load, but you have also got space between your back and the pack itself. It lets air flow. As you are on the go, as you are carrying a pack this heavy or, depending on conditions, heat is going to build up and you want that warm air to go somewhere. The breezeway back panel allows that to occur.
Excellent padding here, though it is strategic to help keep weight to a minimum. So down both columns, basically, of the back, around the spine. Nice beefy padding in the lumbar area as well as on this movable waist belt. When I say movable, it will flex. It will give with you as you are on the move. So nice comfort there while the pack itself retains its stability. It does so with a PE frame sheet in behind and also some steel spring framing that gives it a bit more structure, enables this pack to actually carry up to 55 pounds and do so comfortably.
Some contouring to the shoulder straps, which, again, adds to comfort, gets it away from possible rub points, wear points. Load lifter straps here on top. An adjustable, sliding sternum strap as well. Certainly adjustability on the hip belt itself, so you can fine tune matters.
We want to show you the ladder lock design here on the harness. It enables you to lift it or lower it. So this pack will comfortably fit users ranging from 17 inches all the way up to 22 inches in torso length.
So that gives you an idea how the Mystic 65 fits, how it carries. Let’s take a look at how you get into the pack and its organizational features.
Turning this around you can see the large lid here. The Mystic 65 is a top loading back-pack. So to access the main pack bag you are pulling the lid back and going in through the top draw string closure. Large pack bag, 3966 cubic inches inside the pack. Lots of space inside here.
There is an extendable spindrift or storm collar at the top of the pack bag that actually gives a little bit more capacity. During the day you might heat up, started with layers that you are discarding later on. They fit right here in top without eating into any of the 65 liters of capacity inside the pack. And then that drawstring closure ensures greater protec-tion to the contents of that pack bag.
You do have the lid here. We looked at that. That actually is a large zippered pocket here on top. I have got some extra layers up there. So some nice storage capacity up on top.
There is also a very large pocket here on the front of the pack. And it does allow pass-through to that interior of the pack bag. So you can get into that main compartment from the front. Loading it still works best from the top.
There is an additional entry point to the Mystic 65 and that is down here below. This would be your sleeping bag compartment. You could put other things there, too. But this dedicated pocket is perfect for a sleeping bag access.
There is a shelf between the sleeping bag compartment and the upper pack bag, so you have got some separation. There is toggles that allow you to undo that if you want to convert the Mystic 65 to just one big, large, single compartment.
Some other nice features here on the Mystic 65 that I certainly want to call out. You have got daisy chain gear attachment points that run on either side of the face of the pack. You have got some trekking pole or tool attachment points as well as down here. Com-pression straps across that bottom sleeping back compartment expand. You certainly could run a sleeping pad through there. You have also got side compression straps so when you are not carrying a fully packed load you can really cinch things down. It really keeps the contents secure and in place. You have got stretch mesh pockets on either side. You can see I have got a water bottle in here and run the compression strap over top of that to secure that in place. The same thing on the other side. Again, trekking poles, tent poles, other gear. You can run down into that mesh pocket, cinch that down with the compression straps to really keep it in place.
There are small stretch pockets on the waist belt. Not a lot of space there, but you could keep keys or, you know, small essentials close at hand.
On the inside of the pack you do have a lined reservoir sleeve and there is also a hydra-tion hose pass-through here on the back of the pack. So it doesn’t come with a reservoir, but certainly hydration system compatible.
All of that combines, that rolled up feature set, capacity, carrying comfort at a relatively light weight for a pack this size, really makes the Mystic 65 an excellent option for multi day or extended backpacking trips.
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