After seeing and lusting after many of Mystery’s high-end bags in the adventure and military space, the Mystery Ranch Full Moon hip pack instantly caught our eye. Mystery Ranch started life in 2000 under the legendary name of Dana Design, manufacturing high-end military, hunting, and wildland fire bags. They quickly gained a reputation for using only the highest end materials in their hand-built bags that would last through the worst conditions. Now it looks like Mystery Ranch is making some very affordable hip packs that also look like they could withstand some serious abuse, so naturally we put it to the test.
The Mystery Ranch Full Moon is a hip or shoulder bag that is fairly simple in design but can accommodate nearly any activity you plan for it. It has 385cu-in of volume, which is about 6.5L. The Full Moon hip back is constructed of 300D Nylon with YKK zippers and nearly bombproof buckles.
The main pocket has a large zipper and is that boasts absolutely massive storage capacity with one small interior zippered pocket. There is also a medium zippered exterior pocket. Dual compression straps are tacked down to the large 2” main strap with a push latch. The zippers are dirt and water resistant. In total the bag weighed in at 363 grams and comes in a variety of color combinations.
For a 6.5L bag, the Mystery Ranch Full Moon is massive. On our first ride, it swallowed a jacket, phone, trail tools, tube, water bottle, snacks, and still had room for more. It easily fits my Sony ¾ frame DSLR with a decent sized lens along with a small jacket and trail tools. The compression straps are key to making that space usable, as I can just fill it up and cinch it down to keep the contents from moving around.
As far as durability and the tangible experience, Mystery Ranch’s Full Moon Hip Pack is nothing short of a top tier offering in the hip pack market today. While it’s certainly not the lightest, it will last for years to come and likely fair better in a crash than you will. The zippers are robust, shed water, and never have issues closing, even when packed with trail debris.
One criticism we have about the large main pouch is the limited organization capabilities. We ended up using smaller organizers to keep our gear separated. That said, the Full Moon Hip Pack is ideal for those longer rides or those who like a hip pack but ride in inclement weather and want to have a pack that will fit a jacket. For shorter 1-2hr rides, we felt it was just a little bit too big and bulky and feel their smaller offering would be a better option.
Rarely do we find a product that is affordable, bomb proof, and versatile. The Mystery Ranch Full Moon Hip Pack brings all those characteristics to the table and will likely last longer than your current bike. If you like to bring a real camera with you, go for longer rides, or just want the room for extra gear, the Full Moon is a solid choice. It is a bit overkill for shorter rips, but it impressed us for the price and is durable enough to earn a thumbs up from our team.