Simpler, less. While designed for guiding, the Mystery makes a good 'large pack' for small canyons. Built to the same dimensions as the Spry, with NO LID and less armor, it is ideal for low-gear canyons where less is more.
Colors: Desert Orange
Words from Imlay:
Back In The Day, there were two choices in packs. Some people (let's call them "Europeans") made packs out of extremely durable plastic-laminate fabrics which held up really well, but due to the fabric's stiffness were extremely simple. A bad pack that is very durable is still a bad pack - it just means you have to suffer through it for a long time.
Other people (we could perhaps call them "Americans") used packs made of Nylon Cordura with lots of straps, pockets, zippers and sophisticated suspensions that carried really well - but did not last long in the abusive canyon environment.
Imlay Canyon Gear Hybrid Packs select the best attributes of both these systems. Heavy duty laminated PVC fabric forms the armored exterior of the packs. Sophisticated shapes and features are taken from the American tradition of high-performance packs - though we tend to focus on the "carries really well" part of that tradition, rather than following the current backpack fad of fabulous complexity. Our Insta-Drain Design provides lots of places for water to drain out, and eliminates places for water to catch.
The Mystery is the LEAST hybridized of the packs, barely qualifying. But those side bottoms were getting nailed when made from doubled Cordura, so I changed to pierced PVC Laminate and they hold up much better, AND drain better.
The Mystery's suspension is simple, yet effective for the volume and weight carried in a small pack. A chunk of foam in the back is 1/4" thick and folds in half to provide 1/2" of padding. It can be pulled out for the unfortunate night-out, or to be used as a splint. A simple sheet of plastic provides additional support. The comely shape of the back panel helps it mold to the shapely curve of your back. The simple, wing hipbelts allow transfer to the hips; and both the hipbelt and the shoulder straps are lined with comfy nylon 3-D mesh.
Volume and Pockets
The Volume of the pack body is about 23.2 liters, and as there is no lid, that's it. OK, I originally called it 30 liters for convenience. The pleated back pocket is sized to fit a helmet on the approach. In-canyon, it is a good idea to not put things in the outside pocket, but put everything inside the body. I find a lid useful for keeping track of small items, so I steal one from my other packs and tuck it inside the body.
Inside the pack, a mesh watertank pocket against the back can be useful for holding objects in tight control against your back. I don't like using a watertank in technical canyons, but I often put my waterbottle in the mesh pocket. There are slots for the tank-tube to exit above the shoulders.
Uh, well - did I mention the Mystery is built for simplicity? It has one compression strap on each side, and an across-the-top strap for holding a rope or wetsuit. And... uh... well...
Imlay pack handles are big and easy to grasp, and stout because we canyoneers rappel with the pack, and often need to dangle the pack from the handle. The shoulder straps use a quick-release buckle so that when stuck in a narrow slot with the pack on your back, the pack can be jettisoned. Not recommended, but once in a while this proves useful.
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