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Mystery Ranch Bridger 65 users? Baltorro 65 usrs?


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Ive (finally) narrowed down my backpack choices to the Mystery Ranch Bridger 65 and the Gergory Baltoro 65 (2022 model).  Have them both loaded up in basement and been trying them several times a day.  And, like always, they equal likes and disadvantages (Arrg!).  Dream of a day I try one and have no issues with it  ;^)

Wondering if anyone has had a few good hikes with eiher.  My first impressions for each:

1.  Love that both have the full length side zips and full access to your pack contents.

2. Love the quality build and comfort of both.

3. Main issues with Baltorro: 
    doesnt feel like a 65L compared to others.  Sure it is, but they spread a bunch of that 65 to outer and side pockets.
    Really needs a tightening cord for side water bottle, lean over bottle tends to fall out.  Big oversight

4. Main issues with Bridger 65:
    OCD component - everytime I lift the pack to put it on I can hear the the main velcro adjustment section pulling a part ever so slightly.  Thats going to bother methinking the top velcor has come undone at all.
    That rear main pocket kind of only fits flat stuff and since its not mesh and there is no drainage hole cant put anything damp in there.
    Love the dual front shoulder strap pockets - except that with motion my water bottles squeak in them.

What are you guys using in that 65-75L pack range?

BTW, previous contended was the Osprey Atmos.  Nice pack, but it uses velcro for its hip belt adjustments.  And I had issues with the velcro pulling loose putting the pack on and tightening the belt down.  You have to get every velcro fiber separated with your hand (not that easy), get it into posiiton and press every fiber back together.  And I guess I didnt always get the velcro completely pressed together completley or entirely?  Because it took several attempts until tightening my waist belt didnt pull the adjstment free a bit.  YMMV of course.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi! I’m hiking the Lost Coast in 6 weeks and am needing a new pack! I’ve actually narrowed it down to these two same choices and would love to hear what you ended up going with and your thoughts on them now?


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Hey jrza.  Its a very tough call. I like them both. They are very similar.  The Baltorro feels slightly more comfortable on my hips.  The hip and shoulder padding is a little better on the Baltorro IMOThicker, denser, seems like it will last longer.  The Bridger is slightly more utilitarian -  the outer storage a little more accomodating for my gear.  Each person almost needs to find an outfitter where you can try both loaded up, because some ofc the mechanics are vdery subjective.  Im not helping you dedcide very much am i (lol).  For the price I would have to go with Baltorro now since Bridger is still new and a bit pricey. 

BTW, a friend of m ine with a backpack addiction (keeps trying new ones) gave my his  Bridger for a price I couldnt resist.  He is now trying the new Zpack one.  I am not interested in the UL packs I have learned.  If interested I am selling my Baltorro MEdium Alaskan blue at a very good price.  Its super clean in almost new condtiion.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I haven't used either of these packs, but I had a Dana Designs pack for many years (same guy that started Mystery Ranch).
If you want a pack to last the rest of your life, or through a zombie apocalypse, the Mystery Ranch will probably fit the bill. 

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