Sawtooth 45 or Metcalf??

Flyjunky

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
216
Location
East of the Cascades, OR
I'm trying to decide on one of these packs and can't make up my mind. The sawtooth appeals to me because of it's lighter weight and is sized better for longer day hunts. The metcalf can do everything the sawtooth can do but it also gives the opportunity for backcountry hunts of a longer duration.

As of right now, I don't hunt the backcountry. Most of the time I'm out for dawn to dusk day hunts from a basecamp so that is making me lean more towards the sawtooth but I like option of backcountry for a few days if that opportunity comes along.

I guess my questions are this: Does the metcalf compress enough to work well for a day pack? Should I just go with the sawtooth and if the time arises get a metcalf/beartooth for a dedicated backcountry pack?

They both have the same frames so I'm guessing they both will carry meat with the same comfort?

What say you?
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
4,214
I have owned both. Neither one is a great daypack but they both work fine for the task. Honestly they carry about the same with daypack loads and you don’t save much bulk or weight due to the frame.

the sawtooth could handle an overnight or two, More if you use the load shelf. Sweet spot for the Metcalf is 3-5+ days. I stretched mine to 9 with some creative loading. If you don’t mind loading gear on the shelf, then you can make the sawtooth work for long trips. I tend to prefer a pack big enough to hold my gear inside.

So I guess it comes down to preference. IMO I tend to think the Metcalf is the most versatile pack MR makes. If i only had one of their packs, it would be a metcalf.
 
OP
Flyjunky

Flyjunky

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
216
Location
East of the Cascades, OR
I have owned both. Neither one is a great daypack but they both work fine for the task. Honestly they carry about the same with daypack loads and you don’t save much bulk or weight due to the frame.

the sawtooth could handle an overnight or two, More if you use the load shelf. Sweet spot for the Metcalf is 3-5+ days. I stretched mine to 9 with some creative loading. If you don’t mind loading gear on the shelf, then you can make the sawtooth work for long trips. I tend to prefer a pack big enough to hold my gear inside.

So I guess it comes down to preference. IMO I tend to think the Metcalf is the most versatile pack MR makes. If i only had one of their packs, it would be a metcalf.

Thank you for the response.

I'm curious why you think neither make a good daypack?
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
4,214
Well...I am a bit of a pack junky and MR fanboy...and...it comes down to preference...IMO a good day pack is something smallish 20-30 liters that has a fairly small footprint. My favorite up until, When I started hunting a few years back was a 22L no frame pack. Once I started hauling animals I went on a search for the best (for me) daypack that could haul. After trying a few options I found anything on a full size frame is going to weigh more and be bulkier than a purpose built daypack - sawtooth and Metcalf include. Not the end of the world but if you want something small that wont snag on brush when you are moving through thickets, not ideal. I settled on a pop up 38. Even though it isn’t light, it does have a very compact footprint in daypack mode and can haul 100# when needed to.

there are tons of packs that can play dual roles and the Metcalf and sawtooth are fine options and when cinched down function OK in daypack mode. For me, and the hunting I do, which is mainly dayhunts in woodsy terrain, a pack that excels in daypack mode but can still haul was a better option. If I were a long haul hunter that wanted a pack that could handle big loads most often but still compress down for day hunting, I‘d probably think about a Metcalf.
 

Ron.C

Member
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Jan 25, 2021
Messages
64
Location
Vancouver Island British Columbia
Sounds like a pintler would work well for ya.

For some comparison, I just got a MR Selway. It's between the Sawtooth and Metcalf. I also have a MR day pack lid that makes this pack the same capacity as the metcalf. My pack is a 2020 so it snaps right on with no mods.

I'm like you, mostly do long day hunts but I intent on doing a 4-5 day goat hunt this fall and a fly in caribou next fall and want a 5 -7 day pack.

The Selway on it's own is big for a day pack (pretty much the same size bag as a metcalf without the lid) but compresses to nothing and the Y zipper and pocket in the top of the bag are in my opinion far easier to access when in day pack mode than the metcalf.

The pic on the left and center are my pack loaded for a day hunt. The pic on the right is completely empty
 

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Desk Jockey

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
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4,214
You will be fine. For what it’s worth, I sold my sawtooth and went back to a pintler. It has more to do with my personal pack preference than anything else. Sawtooth is a good bag.
 

notradame

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
138
Hunted with the sawtooth this year and liked it. While never used it overnight for hunting, I did use it for a two night backpack trip in Yellowstone this past summer. It had plenty of room.
 
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
86
I haven’t made the purchase yet but I decided on the sawtooth over the pintler based on the extra 200 CI of space and the zipper design. I like how the sawtooth opens like a duffel bag. I’ll be using it for long day hunts, hang/hunts and some overnighters.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Blktailhtr

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
43
I was deciding between those 2 also. Ended up with the sawtooth today. My backpack backcountry staying for a few days trips are probably behind me now so the sawtooth was all i really needed.
 

Blktailhtr

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
43
Thanks for the responses everyone.

I saw that Black Ovis has a good sale on MR packs right now
Just paid $285 for my new sawtooth. I was afraid they would say that price was an error but it already shipped :)
 

Goblism

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
10
I just ordered a pintler pack. New users get 10% off and 5% cashback through active junky. Essentially under $300 for the pintler pack! For my needs I plan to use it for day pack hunting mule deer with a goal to pack out the deer in the same trip. Also plan to use it tree stand archery hunting out of state where I might pack in the treestand 1-3 miles, plan to put the treestand between the frame and bag and strap on my steps. Won't be able to pack out in one trip but should be much easier to get in and out without the excess size you need for an overnight or longer hunt.
 

fort fireman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
415
I have only one mystery ranch hunting pack and it’s the Metcalf. However I have the coulee 40 in their hiking line and I really like the tri zip design of that bag. Soooo, to muddy the water for you some more take a look at the Pintler. I’m thinking I may eventually get that for a dedicated day bag. That being said I use my Metcalf for a day bag and it works fine. Of course this turkey season on a long weekend turkey hunt is all of my experience with it so far.
 

hunterjmj

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
217
I don't run MR but I run several packs for different situations. For short 1/2 day hunts I'll run a small Eberlestock 1600 cuin bag. It works great for antelope hunting. For my main day hunting pack I picked up a Kifaru Minikeg. I typically hunt from well before dark to well after so this will fit the bill great. I can pack antlers and a quarter back to the pickup. The next day I'll be back with my Kifaru Longhunter to pack meat. The Longhunter is also my backpacking pack which I've used for several 5 day hunts.
Not necessary but it's nice to have several packs for different situations.
 
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