Georgia headed out on an ambitious surf-hike trip to with Mystery Ranch’s brand new Terraframe 3-zip 50 backpack, here’s how it all went down


‘Surf hike trip’, these three words were all it took to get the stoke going to test out the new Mystery Ranch Terraframe 3-zip 50 backpack. The overload system looked perfect for the journey ahead, the tri-zip functionality and a frame fit designed to comfortably eliminate the  bruised hips and shoulders, finally a thing of the past.

A pretty versatile and hefty new trio of functions that I’d never experienced before in the Australian outdoor gear world – I just had to latch her onto my back!

I’ll paint the picture for you; a few good mates, surfboards, offshore winds and pristine 3-foot waves were enough to jerk us towards the Yuraygir National Park (Yaegl country) hike. A coastal sight of rocky headlands, isolated beaches and heaths of low-lying wildflowers blooming into spring.




The adventure threw us some timeless moments; throwing a few lures off the coffee rock, spotting White-bellied sea eagles, surfing clean peaky waves, and joyously watching playful humpbacks migrating south.

This eastern coastal playground was the quintessential spot to try out the new Mystery Ranch backpack, 50 litres of outdoor goodies, gear packed, and surfboard under arm, it was time to hit the frog and toad.

Who’s Mystery Ranch?

Mystery Ranch is an American company from Boseman, Montana who originally set out to build super high quality packs that could comfortably haul huge loads.



Early on in their journey, the brand received custom pack requests from the Navy SEALs, which along with their feedback as customers, began to shape the brand’s DNA and approach.

The robust materials and features are distilled into clean and supportive designs. Mystery Ranch’s backpacks range from raging hunter to backcountry frother.

For the skier, climber, hiker, or weekend explorer, their designs are for a pure purpose: to minimize the burden on your back. Now for the first time these functional backpack designs are available in Australia, where I’m sure they’re going to feel right at home.



How do these key features all roll into one backpack?

The Terraframe 3-Zip 50 backpack packs a punch with its versatile design that incorporates a quick access tri-zip, an overload feature behind the frame for extra goodies, and a unique fitting frame that’s customisable and easy to get very comfortable.


Tri-Zip Access

The tri-zips were more than meets the eye. Smack bang into camp by noon and the last thing on my mind was digging deep into my backpack to grab my hammock and tarp.

But thanks to the tri-zip, I could open the backpack up and access my gear at the bottom end with little effort. At that moment I realised this was set to become the best function of this backpack.

The water-resistant YKK zips are built for rapid and easy access and the tri-zip function goes a long way to making a noticeable difference on a long hike (especially when you’re after a rain jacket that is mistakenly put at the bottom of your bag).


Customisable Fit

The rigid carbon fibre frame allows for minimal effort in adjusting the pack to customise the fit for the upper body. The Mystery Ranch waist straps are designed to adjust to sit comfortably on the hip like a delightful cuddle from a friend, the light frame and quick release allowing for free range height adjustment.

The suspension gives ample torsional flex while still carrying awkward and excessive loads with ease, improving the weight and comfort (typical challenges faced on hiking adventures) – a noticeable feature whilst hiking on sand and undulating heathland.


Overload Function

Get a load of the overload system; you can carry wet equipment or tent gear without the burden of opening your pack (and getting everything else wet). The extra storage is made between the frame and the pack, creating a large pocket.


The overload feature separated my wet and dry, and easily held my damp tarps and wetsuits – its effortless adjustment system was able suit the amount of gear I needed to overload.

If your mate is struggling to handle their own pack the overload feature is a great option to help take some of their load. Those last few bits of gear usually fist punched and squeezed into the top of the backpack, now have a home.


Simple Design

The abundance of straps and durable auto lock buckles caught my eye, ‘they’ll be perfect for carrying extra mats, rain jackets or tarps’ I thought. The stretch-woven water bottle pockets were practical and robust too.

The two zippered lid pockets in the brain of the pack, allowed for quick snack hits or camera handy spots. The ultra-convenient daisy chain is great for carabiners and practical attachments for the odd snorkel, lightweight lantern or crocs.

A few lengthy straps were great for dry bag additions on the outer, whilst the underside straps made for a perfect wetsuit spot.

First Date Impressions

At a first glance the backpack appeared ultra trendy, but all it took was a surf-hiking experience to realise the purpose and potential of the Mystery Ranch pack. Its unique 50L design and overload system stretched my vision, its functionality and extra resources meant all the equipment needed for this adventure had a place.


Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Nifty Looking Pack

Mystery Ranch’s stark black design oozes cool, calm and collected but action-packed ready for any environment.

Its sleek outer design yet simple inside layout makes it a versatile backpack for the everyday hiker or the fervent outdoors frother. The material is layered with 330D Lite Plus cordura, a high-quality fabric adding to its strength and durability.

Get your mits on the Mystery Ranch Terraframe 3-Zip 50

The Mystery Ranch backpack is a heck of a design, a satisfying product that knocked the socks out of my hiking boots – I reckon it’s the best hiking pack I have ever used!

As is common with winning products, the price reflects its premium purpose, but the Terraframe backpack is designed to last.

You’ll want this backpack for your next adventure, and I’ll continue to swear by it with my tirades at the local pub. Fully loaded, this pack is capable of multi-day or overnight trips for the general outdoorsy person, especially the kind that likes to do a bit of everything, or for that person (gronk) that brings too much on an expedition.