Sawtooth + day pack lid, or metcalf? Need help from New Zealand!

Zaubr306

Newbie
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
6
Hey everyone, I’m looking at getting a new mystery ranch pack and am stuck between two options. I live in New Zealand so returns aren’t an option. My hunts are 1-5 days so I’m looking for a multi day pack that can also be my day pack. As for animals, typical loads will be deer, chamois, and tahr.
It seems like I might be asking a very common question but I can’t seem to find a specific answer.

1.Sawtooth + day pack lid
2.Metcalf

I really like the U-zip and organisation of the sawtooth but wish the Metcalf had it. I’ve ruled out the beartooth because everyone says it’s overkill unless you’re doing big expeditions.

Is anyone running the sawtooth with day pack lid?

Thanks!
 

RWT

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
16
I have that exact set up. I mainly whitetail hunt in Texas so not a huge need to pack a lot in. I bought it to use on upcoming elk, mule deer and caribou hunts.
there is more than enough room for all of my gear listed below

kill kit. (2 full size fixed blades. Gloves and zip ties
15x45x50 leupold sequoia spotting scope Straight
Leica 10x42 binos
leatherman
pomcho liner
alum Cup
fire starter kit
2 pack socks
long sleeve shirt
tp
wipes
grunt and hog call
full box ammo
headlamp
small flashlight
extra batteries for both
water bladder
2 16oz bottles of water
glasses case
50’ paradors
busicuits and gravy meal
hand towel
shemgha
FAK in a tear away pouch.
lunch (sausage crackers peanuts and Gatorade).

this is just to hunt on some of the larger ranches as there are a few that if the mule breaks down then it is a 10-12 mile hike back to camp.

I have more than enough room to spare for a sleeping bag and more clothes if needed. Also carry a collapsible mag dump pouch that molles to the outside that I use to carry out my trash. IMO it is the perfect size for a 3 day walk in hunt. You could then use the meat shelf to add a tent and enough food to stretch to 5 days. Trouble will be packing out if you get a large deer. May be a two trip pack out If you score.
 

JStol5

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2022
Messages
216
Metcalf. Worth the extra cash for the extra space and you can take the lid off. IMO the sawtooth is not big enough for more than 2 nights tops unless you are extremely minimalist.
 
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Zaubr306

Newbie
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
6
Metcalf. Worth the extra cash for the extra space and you can take the lid off. IMO the sawtooth is not big enough for more than 2 nights tops unless you are extremely minimalist.
I keep switching my mind up. I heard the side zip is pretty useless on the metcalf, and like the u-zip/organisation.

Also, heard the metcalf without the lid is almost the same as the sawtooth. Do you know if the added volume on the metcalf comes from the expandable top on it?
 

K98

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2022
Messages
16
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.
 
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Zaubr306

Newbie
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
6
I have that exact set up. I mainly whitetail hunt in Texas so not a huge need to pack a lot in. I bought it to use on upcoming elk, mule deer and caribou hunts.
there is more than enough room for all of my gear listed below

kill kit. (2 full size fixed blades. Gloves and zip ties
15x45x50 leupold sequoia spotting scope Straight
Leica 10x42 binos
leatherman
pomcho liner
alum Cup
fire starter kit
2 pack socks
long sleeve shirt
tp
wipes
grunt and hog call
full box ammo
headlamp
small flashlight
extra batteries for both
water bladder
2 16oz bottles of water
glasses case
50’ paradors
busicuits and gravy meal
hand towel
shemgha
FAK in a tear away pouch.
lunch (sausage crackers peanuts and Gatorade).

this is just to hunt on some of the larger ranches as there are a few that if the mule breaks down then it is a 10-12 mile hike back to camp.

I have more than enough room to spare for a sleeping bag and more clothes if needed. Also carry a collapsible mag dump pouch that molles to the outside that I use to carry out my trash. IMO it is the perfect size for a 3 day walk in hunt. You could then use the meat shelf to add a tent and enough food to stretch to 5 days. Trouble will be packing out if you get a large deer. May be a two trip pack out If you score.
Thanks for the insight! This decision would be a whole lot easier if I could go into a store and see them in person.
I have that exact set up. I mainly whitetail hunt in Texas so not a huge need to pack a lot in. I bought it to use on upcoming elk, mule deer and caribou hunts.
there is more than enough room for all of my gear listed below

kill kit. (2 full size fixed blades. Gloves and zip ties
15x45x50 leupold sequoia spotting scope Straight
Leica 10x42 binos
leatherman
pomcho liner
alum Cup
fire starter kit
2 pack socks
long sleeve shirt
tp
wipes
grunt and hog call
full box ammo
headlamp
small flashlight
extra batteries for both
water bladder
2 16oz bottles of water
glasses case
50’ paradors
busicuits and gravy meal
hand towel
shemgha
FAK in a tear away pouch.
lunch (sausage crackers peanuts and Gatorade).

this is just to hunt on some of the larger ranches as there are a few that if the mule breaks down then it is a 10-12 mile hike back to camp.

I have more than enough room to spare for a sleeping bag and more clothes if needed. Also carry a collapsible mag dump pouch that molles to the outside that I use to carry out my trash. IMO it is the perfect size for a 3 day walk in hunt. You could then use the meat shelf to add a tent and enough food to stretch to 5 days. Trouble will be packing out if you get a large deer. May be a two trip pack out If you score.
Appreciate the insight. It would be so much easier if I could check them out in person
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.
thanks! I know there’s a reason the metcalf is the most popular selling pack. I don’t really like the idea of loading the shelf with gear, would make it difficult if I bagged an animal. I like the 270 zip and organisation. That’s the only reason I’m contemplating the sawtooth.

Did you use the side zip a lot with the metcalf? Heard it’s pretty useless
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.
thanks! I know there’s a reason the metcalf is the most popular selling pack. I don’t really like the idea of loading the shelf with gear, would make it difficult if I bagged an animal. I like the 270 zip and organisation. That’s the only reason I’m contemplating the sawtooth.

Did you use the side zip a lot with the metcalf? Heard it’s pretty useless

Also, is the metcalf the same size roughly as the sawtooth once you take the lid off?
 

JStol5

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2022
Messages
216
Have you looked at stone glacier? IMO they’re more versatile, lighter and compress better
 

JStol5

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2022
Messages
216
I’d get a stone glacier 5900 and call it a day. You can take the lid off for day use.
 
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Zaubr306

Newbie
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
6
I’d get a stone glacier 5900 and call it a day. You can take the lid off for day use.
I’d love one of those packs but MR is 25% off US prices, and my in-laws are coming over so I won’t have to pay for international shipping. Taking that saved cash and putting it towards my bow!
 

JStol5

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2022
Messages
216
I’d love one of those packs but MR is 25% off US prices, and my in-laws are coming over so I won’t have to pay for international shipping. Taking that saved cash and putting it towards my bow!
Got it. In that case, I say get the metcalf. No one ever came off the mountain saying “man I wish I had less pack”. Usually the opposite…
 

eaglemountainman

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
987
Location
Florida,Dwneast Me,Catskills
Metcalf. Worth the extra cash for the extra space and you can take the lid off. IMO the sawtooth is not big enough for more than 2 nights tops unless you are extremely minimalist.
Agreed.
I truly love my Sawtooth, and its 270* zipper. But 3 days, even with the day hunter lid, is a stretch for me. For up to 5 days, I'd go with the Metcalf. My buddy loves his.

Another option, depending on budget, would be to buy the Sawtooth pack and the Beartooth bag only. Then you'd retain the 270* zipper, whichever bag fit your needs at any time. I'm about to buy the Beartooth bag only myself.

Watch for sales on BlackOvis.com. Usually save25%.
 
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Zaubr306

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Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
6
organisation
Agreed.
I truly love my Sawtooth, and its 270* zipper. But 3 days, even with the day hunter lid, is a stretch for me. For up to 5 days, I'd go with the Metcalf. My buddy loves his.

Another option, depending on budget, would be to buy the Sawtooth pack and the Beartooth bag only. Then you'd retain the 270* zipper, whichever bag fit your needs at any time. I'm about to buy the Beartooth bag only myself.

Watch for sales on BlackOvis.com. Usually save25%.
That’s the goal. I’d love to have two but need the money for my bow! Just wish the metcalf had the 270 and organisation.

Black ovis is having that sale at the moment, hence going with MR… otherwise I’d probably go with stone glacier.
 

justinspicher

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
4,037
Location
Colorado
I vote Metcalf and lid. I used mine last season for 35 days in Alaska, five days for archery in Colorado and then on four rifle hunts in Colorado totaling about thirty days. Carried everything just fine. I use my lid for my puffy jacket and pants, the rest goes in my Metcalf. I tried the sawtooth, I’d rather just stuff everything into my pack in one dry bag with smaller bags for organization.
 

Desk Jockey

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
5,006
Short version, get the metcalf.

slightly longer version….I am a bit of an OCD pack freak / gear head and an MR fan boy So…

I have owned the Metcalf, sawtooth, beartooth, pintler, along with a few packs from their .mil line and some smaller packs and a bunch of other MR shit and a couple of Dana designs packs going back almost 30 years….as I said, I am a fan.

top loader like the pintler and metcalf vs panel loader like a sawtooth and beartooth comes down to preference. For me, I grew up and evolved a packing style that was based on top loaders. I played with packing the sawtooth and beartooth and Panel loaders are fine but I just prefer top loaders. The old school thinking was the panel loaders offered better access but that the zipper was a possible failure point. I think the zippers they use these days on MR packs will likely last longer than your pack and knees. The side zips on a metcalf or the Tri zip on the pintler really close the gap in terms of accessibility to a panel loader. With a little effort, I can generally get at anything in my pack without having to dump it.

As far as size, in my opinion 40/45 liter packs like the sawtooth works best for 1-3 nights. You can push them to 5 days or longer using the load shelf for some gear and food but then you will have issues if you need to haul meat and gear.

IMO packs like the metcalf are in that Goldilocks zone of capacity for short/mid and even longer trips. Throw the lid in the pack or leave it at home and strap it down for short trips and day pack use. Load it up for 4-5 days or more. If I owned only one MR pack it would be a metcalf or more specifically the Terraframe 80, which is a metcalf with two large pockets on the rear outside of the pack.

FWIW the beartooth was OK but it flopped at the top when not loaded fully, which I never really did.

truth be told, you probably can’t go wrong with any of them, but based on your described use, it think you will be most happy with a Metcalf.
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
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Good post ^^^^^^^^

And I agree with most of it. But man, I love the access and convenience of the 270* zipper. I wish the Metcalf had one. As stated, that's a personal preference thing.
Yep. Again, my preference is borne out of habits that started with old school army Alice packs back during the French and Indian wars, as I recall. Old habits.

when I did flirt with panel loaders here and there I also find that access is limitEd if you strap stuff like pads or bows to the outside of you pack. I think both styles have their advantages and limitations But neither are really bad Options.
 

ibebirdman

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Nov 14, 2018
Messages
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Location
ID
Buddy has the metcalf and does not like it, no organization (i.e. smaller pockets). I have a beartooth and love it. Yes maybe over kill for 1-2 days, but with all the pockets, still worth it.

Mystery Ranch pack are the best!
 

Trackerbacker

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Feb 3, 2022
Messages
93
im a sawtooth fan. some post recently i shared photos of 2 days, non minimalist, tent camp setup. with that setup, i can run 2 days, with 1/3 inside empty.

running my tarp/hammock setup, i open up a touch more space inside and drop some weight/bulk

off memory in my sawtooth for:
lid zipper-kill kit and meat bag kit
2l bladder in bladder pocket
inside zip one (top)-cook kit and acc. kit
inside zip two(bottom)-first aid kit+epipen
from bottom bag working up
layer 1-20* bag
layer 2-1.5l pot nested with 2 days food | hammock | 440g iso |(tucked behind pot/hammock/iso)10x10 tarp
-pillow tucked in some crevice | stakes tucked in a crevice opposite side of pillow

interior wise, that takes you halfway to the top interior zipper pocket.

outside is sleeping pad and tripod, game chokers and light

nothing in the side pockets or meatshelf.

total is around 30# pending tent vs hammock/tarp setup

rough estimation, i could double layer 2 and not be taut full/compress to zip shut the bag, still have room for poncho and layers that work for me.

if i wanted to stretch it and was setting up basecamp for say 10days, id load food+cook kit on meat shelf, camp in my bag. setup and the bag would only have day hunt needs in it. otherwise i can spike/basecamp for a handful of days with this set up.
 

Baller

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
26
I had both and I would say Metcalf and a lid. 5 days out of that is stretching it though...

To get the 5 days or more I would get a camp/dry bag with all the camping stuff in it and run it in the meat shelf. Leaves the bag and lid for the rest of your gear and or the food/water you will need. This give you maximum flexibility.
 
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