New Flexfit Hats Available

We heard numerous requests for curved brim flexfit hats, and we took the requests straight to the design room.  Finally our first flexfit hat design is finished.  Complete with MW Logo in the front and MONTANAWILD embroidered on the back.  The flexfit delivers ultimate hat comfort from the river to the mountains.  NOW AVAILABLE at:

BlackGrayFront & BackAlso, our Bamboo Bandits are all back in stock as well!  Just in time to keep your face protected this summer.




Mystery Ranch NICE Metcalf – Backpack Review

First off if you are serious about hunting do yourself a favor and buy a quality pack.  Having a pack that will last a lifetime, will hold up to the harshest abuse and keep you comfortable while packing out 100+ pound loads is well worth the investment.  A few years ago we were introduced to the awesome folks at Mystery Ranch Backpacks.  We quickly found out what we had been missing in a backpack as we began to use the Longbow during the 2012 season.  Fast forward to last year.  The Metcalf was introduced to their lineup and was fit with the NICE Frame to create one of the most versatile and quality packs in the entire industry.  After some serious use last year it quickly became our favorite all-around pack.

mystery ranch, backpack, metcalf, hunting, montana, nice frame

From packing your camp deep into the backcountry for week-long hunts, to hauling a big bodied bull elk back to the truck, this pack is a versatile workhorse.  While many would be content at this point of the game, the masterminds at Mystery Ranch in Bozeman Montana were trying to find ways to improve the design.  They came up with some improvements and soon had sewn up some prototype NICE Metcalf 2 bags.  We were fortunate enough to get our hands on one about a month back.  We’ve taken it on a couple hunts in the backcountry and are glad to say it’s better than ever.

mystery ranch, metcalf 2, backpack, hunting, montana wild, montana

After some solid use in the mountains I’m happy to say the new changes are a welcome improvement.  The new NICE Metcalf is the minimalist hunter’s go-to pack.  The full length side zipper allows easy access to the entirety of the bag without needing to unload gear.  Ten compression straps keep your load secure and fully expanded with the new Alpine Lid this packs reaches 4200 cubic inches.

The new bag is now 8 oz lighter than the previous model, weighing in at 2lbs 4oz.  I’m not one to count ounces but every bit helps and the build quality is still Mystery Ranch tough.  I doubt you could break this thing in a lifetime of hunting.

mystery ranch, backpacks, metcalf, 2, montana, wild, hunting

Key Improvements:

1. Added Load Shelf

metcalf 2, mystery ranch, metcalf, backpacks, hunting, montana, wild

The new bag utilizes a new load shelf made from 500D Cordura.  I was bummed I couldn’t test it out this spring but come fall I’m sure many people will be happy with this feature.  This addition now creates a more stable platform for carrying meat between your bag and frame.  Additionally it will help to keep your load from sinking too low along the frame.  The higher you can keep the weight the more comfort and ease on the way back to the truck.

mystery ranch, metcalf, 2, montana, hunting, wild, backpacks

2. Exterior Detail Pocket

mystery ranch, metcalf, 2, backpacks, hunting, montana, wild

One thing a lot of guys have been asking for is an external pocket on the actual bag itself.  The Metcalf 2 now has an exterior pocket on the packs side.  I used this for items such as GPS, radio, tags, knife, beacon.  At first I didn’t think I’d use it a whole lot but by the end of the week I had used it multiple times daily.  Most likely you’ll need to un-shoulder the pack to access it but if your feeling stretchy you can pull gear out of the pocket quickly on the fly.

3. New upper buckles and redesigned lid

mystery ranch, metcalf, 2, hunting, backpacks, montana

The upper portion of the bag now features two male buckles rather then the female one’s featured on the original Metcalf.  These buckles now attach to the back half of the NICE Lift Kit and help keep any gear loaded in the top of the pack loaded securely.  This keeps any type of shift to a minimum while hiking and helps keep the bag compressed when the lid isn’t attached to the exterior.  Often when hiking out from camp I’d put the lid in the main bag and tighten my compression straps so that my bag was of minimal size and I could slip through the heavy brush with minimal noise and less chances of hanging up on branches and downfall.

mystery ranch, metcalf, 2, backpack, hunting, montana, wild

The lid also has been altered for 2014.  The lid is lighter than the previous version and weighs 9 ounces.  Capacity is 700 ci and quick attach straps come with and act as shoulder straps for carriage.

mystery ranch, metcalf, alpine lid, backpack, hunting

4. Customizable frame height via NICE Lift Kit

load lifters, lift kit, NICE, mystery ranch, hunting backpacks

The new Metcalf 2 features a customizable frame height.  The attached load lifters are no longer and the NICE Lift Kit is their replacement.  This allows the frame height to be tailored to different body heights.  The key here is to find the correct angle when meat is being carried between the frame and bag.  It is important to know that the Lift Kit is a separate accessory.  This piece is crucial when packing heavy loads and makes a big difference by transferring weight off of your shoulders.

5. Improved hydration design

mystery ranch, metcalf, 2, backpack, hunting, montana, wild

This year the port for a hydration system has been changed to allow quick and easy passage through the bag for attachment to either shoulder strap.  Previously the port was very tight and only really designed to work with the right shoulder strap.  This may seem like a small change but being able to quickly pull out your hydration system, fill up, and get back on the trail or a stalk can make a big difference.  Sometimes the little things add up and this is a welcomed improvement.

mystery ranch, metcalf 2, hunting, backpack

Overall I’m impressed with the new features and can’t wait to load this down with an elk this fall.  Take a good look at your current backpack situation.  Now is the time to make a change to a quality pack that can handle all of your hunting needs.  The pack has officially launched so be sure to check them both on their website and on Facebook.



New Colors Now Available!

We have two new colors available in our Elk Ridge Snapback.  The first color is Midnight Black.

elk ridge snapback, montana wild apparelThe next colorway is great for the hunter looking for a subtle color perfect for chasing elk, deer, or antelope in the Fall.  Not flashy and works great with most camo patterns.

West Desert II

The West Desert II and the Midnight Black are now available at



Bamboo Bandit (Pre-orders start tomorrow)

We are happy to announce that the Elk Ridge Snapback will be back in stock this week!  River Blue, Fatigue, and the Griz will be coming back, along with two new colors which will be released on Wednesday (Black/silver & Western Desert II).  A new product will be hitting the store tomorrow as well, the Bamboo Bandit face mask.RB

The Bamboo Bandit is made by Free Fly Apparel.  They specialize in bamboo apparel and have turned myself into a believer of bamboo materials.  Bamboo is not only extremely soft, but also very odor resistant, breathable, antibacterial, UPF 15,  and has moisture wicking characteristics.  This has made for the perfect material for fly fishing/hunting face masks in cold or warm temperatures.


The Bamboo Bandit keeps your face protected from the sun in the summer months, not to mention allows yourself to cool down by soaking the mask in the river and wearing around the neck.  It is also great for colder months as well.  I’ve used face masks from lots of different companies over the years (Under Armour, Sitka, Buff, Columbia) and all tend to be uncomfortable after a short period of time, or don’t fit secure without restraining your natural neck movement.  The Bamboo Bandit is extremely comfortable and gives you that extra warmth when you need it the most, whether your hunting elk in September or fly fishing in January.  Not to mention the breathability is unmatched.


With the hunter in mind, the Titanium Bamboo Bandit is the best colorway.  It matches very well with Optifade or Kuiu camo patterns and reduces facial glare significantly.


Check one out for yourself, it will be the last face mask you ever wear.  Pre-orders start Monday June 23rd!  Shipping Thursday June 26th.  Available here:  Limited quantities available.





ELK RIDGE SNAPBACKS! Now taking orders!

Our first run of hats are in stock!  We are taking pre-orders currently and will ship out starting May 16th!  The first 5 orders of each color style will receive one of our very own exclusive hand tied streamers.  Also 15 of the pre-orders will receive an MW decal with their order.  To order go to:

Elk Ridge Snapback

Let us know what you think and/or what color styles you would like to see in the future.  Tag your photos of you sporting your Elk Ridge Snapback with #montanawildgear so we can share your adventures with the rest of our outdoor community.  Be looking for other fresh products hitting the Montana Wild store soon!!

The Griz Snapback

Share your moments on Instagram in your hat using the hashtag #elkridgesnapback