I’m a versatile guy. I like to do a lot of different activities and I have a lot of different needs. I like packs that are versatile as well. Sure I have some dedicated use packs but for the most part I like a pack that can handle whatever I can throw at it. Enter the Mountainsmith Mayhem 35 Backpack. It’s an extremely versatile, medium-sized pack that will handle just about anything you can throw in it.
Mountainsmith Mayhem 35 Backpack Features
- Independently adjustable dual density shoulder straps
- X-Frame Load Dispersion Suspension System
- Compression molded back panel with contoured lumbar support
- Shoulder strap attachment loop for Mountainsmith Camera cases
- Internal hydration bladder sleeve with exit port (bladder not included)
- Pivoting dual density waistbelt for optimal load transfer
- Side Compression straps reconfigure for vertical snowboard/snowshoe carry across Front Panel
- A-Frame and diagonal ski carry
- Trekking pole mounts
- Ice axe & tool loops
- Bottom panel compression straps
- Side panel accessory pockets
- Top mount compression strap for rope or accessory carry
- Front panel expandable sleeve/shovel pocket
- Expansion collar with draw cord closure for increased carry capacity
- Volume: 2,135 cu in (38 L)
- Extended Volume: 2,440 cu in (45 L)
- Fit Range: 17-22″
- Weight: 3 lbs 4 oz
- Price: $138.95
Mountainsmith Mayhem 35 Backpack Review
The Mountainsmith Mayhem 35 Backpack is a truly versatile pack. It is packed with enough features that you could do just about anything in it. It can handle day trips to the crag, weekend backpack trips, and it’d also do well on day long ski tours. It is laden (yes I just said laden) with enough features to do a bunch of things well.
It is big enough that I was able to tuck away a small but full trad rack, a full sport rack, a couple harnesses, a couple pairs of shoes, helmet, guidebook, water, snacks, and the rope all in or on the pack. The top compression strap held the rope securely in place.
It is a good sized pack for a weekend backpack trip. There is more than enough room for 3 season trips. It might do all right for an overnight four season trip, but I wasn’t able to test that out yet. The main compartment is large and roomy so it’s easy to get all your gear packed away. The Mayhem does feature an expandable collar so you can get an extra 300 cu. in. of room.
Just about all packs can carry a bunch of stuff. For me it’s the small details that set the Mayhem apart from others. Things that I love about the pack: the front expandable sleeve/shovel pocket. Great option for stashing wet gear or for holding layers without having to get into the pack. The top compression strap is ideal for carrying a rope or for securing oversized loads. The side compression straps reconfigure to carry skis or a board for winter time excursions. Mounts for carrying ice tools and trekking poles. Bottom compression straps for cinching down the load or fitting on extra gear. And there’s plenty of daisy chain and other loops for lashing items on the outside.
The Mayhem is highly adjustable. Mountainsmith included an adjustment guide stitched to the bottom of the lid to help you get things just right (also good for mid trail adjustments). The shoulder straps were comfortable for a few hours on the trail. I do wish the hip belt pads would have been just a little thicker and maybe and inch or two longer. The seam at the end of the pad sat just on the curve of my hip bones and became uncomfortable at the end of my second day on the trail. Also the way the harness system attaches behind the backpanel was a little bulky. This could have completely been user error, but on my last trip I had a bulge right on my shoulder blades (chances are it was user/adjustment error). With that said though, the Mayhem did a pretty good job of carrying heavier loads.
The Mayhem is a good all around pack. It’s not too heavy at it’s base weight, it’s a great size for a wide variety of activities, and it has enough features to make it versatile enough for just about anything you choose to throw at it.
- Highly versatile
- Tons of features to help carry whatever you need
- Great Price
- Adjustment can take awhile
- Hip belt was a little thin and short for heavier/longer trips
- If you are concerned about your pack weight, it might be a little too heavy
Looking for a versatile pack? Mountainsmith knocked it out of the park with this one.