Mystery Ranch is a US company that’s built its bombproof reputation on the backs of firefighters and the military. Unsurprisingly that translates into seriously tough bags built chunky and versatile rather than super light, but there are still some really smart and practical features.
Alongside the best bikepacking bags, a hip pack makes an excellent addition to any setup, whether you’re running light for a race or trying to maximize on cargo capacity. Of course, when you’re running the ultimate bikepacking setup you need every piece of equipment to count, so we’ve put the Mystery Ranch Full Moon Hip Pack through some tough love to see how well it holds up against the competition.
While most riders will use the Full Moon as a hip pack, a 142cm (56in) maximum measurement means it’ll sling over even the biggest bodies as a shoulder bag, too. However, that will leave a lot hanging loose for some riders, with no loops to tidy the ends up and prevent them from dangling unless you add elastic bands yourself.
The big buckle is accidental stamp proof (luckily) and the 5cm (2in) webbing strap is plenty tough as well. While there are no separate side pockets, the main compartment extends round the corner of the rectangular padded back panel, so you can stuff things round if you need to. Alternatively, webbing side straps let you tighten the whole bag down to reduce bounce and bulk. At full stretch, the capacity of the main pocket is over six liters, which is definitely big for a hip pack and easily enough to swallow jackets and spare layers as well as all the usual tube, tool, pump and phone spares.
Apart from a zipped inner sleeve pocket and a full-width external pocket there’s no subdivision for smaller bits and pieces. That means everything ends up free-range, so you need to be careful when unpacking larger items in case other stuff gets dragged out without you realizing. On the flip side, the big open pockets are easy to access and rummage around in rather than trying to peer into a lot of little compartments.
Heavy-duty YKK zips with long cord pullers mean getting the pockets open and shut is never an issue and all the internal seams are taped. There are six different colors and three different fabric weights to choose from, including the soft ‘Wood Waxed’ option here which definitely puts the ‘hipster’ in hip pack.
A big-volume, bombproof fanny pack that’s great for long rides or folk who like to take everything. Some will find the lack of internal organization and long dangling waist straps annoying though.
Tech Specs: Mystery Ranch Full Moon Hip Pack
- Price: $39
- Weight: 400g, 0.9lbs
- Colors: Grape, Mystery Pop, Shadow, Techno, Vice, Wood Waxed (tested)
- Sizes: 6.3L, 385 cu-ins