Beartooth 80 Review

Posted by Michael E. on Feb 17th 2022

Beartooth 80 Review

This past hunting season, I spent some quality time in the Mountains with the Beartooth 80 from Mystery Ranch. From day hunts, to overnighters, and a 2 week trip up in AK, this thing was strapped to my back a fair amount. It's a big bag, but the more I used it, the more I liked it. At this point I'm hesitant to take anything other than the Beartooth because of how much it's capable of. 

Mystery Ranch has long been known to make some of, if not the best hunting packs in the world. Their waist-belt has a ton of padding and makes carrying heavy loads much more comfortable. The Cordura fabric is bombproof and pretty dang waterproof on its own. You can customize the fit with their telescoping yoke, and their Overload™ Shelf is simply unrivaled when it comes to hauling heavy loads. These features come standard in all of Mystery Ranch's hunting packs, but I think the Beartooth 80 is really the best of the best. 


What I like most about the Beartooth is the size. 80L is a lot of room, so realistically you can load up the bag and lid and be set for about a week, or maybe even a little longer depending on what you're taking for food and shelter. The nice thing about the 270º zipper on the Beartooth is you can access the entire pack without having to take everything out, just remember where you put what you're looking for.

On the other hand, there's no reason to fill the entire bag if you don't need to. You can compress the bag all the way down to the frame, so theres no flop and run it as a day pack too. For day hunts I keep my food, water, kill kit and an insulation piece in the main bag. Then everything I need quick access to goes in the lid (e.g. my gloves, beanie, headlamp and camera). My spotter and tripod I actually strap to the outside of the bag, which allows you to cover the spotter with the lid to for a little extra protection. If you don't like rocking a lid, you can easily take it off and your end result is basically a slightly larger version of the Sawtooth 45.    


What I'm really getting at is how unexpectedly versatile the Beartooth really is. I always looked at it as overkill for anything shy of a true, multi-day backpack hunt. And it probably is to a certain extent, but the weight difference between the Beartooth and something like the Sawtooth or Pintler is marginal when you think of what the pack can do versus should do. In the span of one season, I had up to 150 pounds hauling a moose quarter, down to around 15 pounds for day hunts. The Beartooth 80 is just a home run in my book, it can really do it all.