Mountainsmith World Cup…what a classic pack this is

A classic made in the USA Mountainsmith pack which I am finding hard to part with
A classic,  made in the USA Mountainsmith pack which I am finding hard to part with

This is a classic, made in the USA Mountainsmith World Cup pack I bought some years back. I believe this is one of the few packs that were made by Mountainsmith when Patrick Smith was still the owner. I love the shape of the pack and there are some areas on the pack that I think is note worthy. I have carried this pack for some time in the past but have of course moved on to others.

Back then, Mountainsmith had gear for hiking, cycling and even pet dogs!
Back then, Mountainsmith had gear for hiking, cycling and even pet dogs!

PIC: mountainsmith cycle world cup

Whenever I look at the Mountainsmith World Cup pack, I can’t help but relate its design to several of Kifaru’s own range of packs. This comes as no surprise since Patrick Smith would later sell off Mountainsmith and started Kifaru . The World Cup shape and design seems to stayed on sone Kifaru packs like the Spike Camp, Pointman, Scout and X-Ray (some of these packs have been discontinued). See Kifaru site for details.

The bright and large yellow zipper pulls make access to the pack so much easier
The bright and large yellow zipper pulls make access to the pack so much easier

 

Here are some characteristics of the Mountainsmith World Cup that I really like. First, the large yellow sliders pulls. This is a game changer to me. If you are riding or hiking with gloves on, trying to fumble around with the zipper pulls can be really frustrating. These large and easy to locate yellow zipper pulls also make the zippers slide smoother.

Next feature I like is the large and generous outside mesh pockets of the pack. This feature was replaced mostly by molle webbing on Kifaru packs. While they look cool and practical for folks bearing arms, I find the Kifaru packs generally heavier because of this (plus they use mostly 1000D cordura). The Kifaru Marauder I reviewed earlier is a good example. The pack itself is really nice looking but the molle covered outer really does give it that military look and does add weight to the entire pack.

The side pockets are large enough to take two 700ml Klean Kanteen bottles
The side pockets are large enough to take two 700ml Klean Kanteen bottles

The World Cup’s mesh allows for things stored in the pockets to be visible and most importantly well ventilated. Items like cycling helmets, shoes and even the occasional sweat soaked towel and clothes to be left outside the pack away from the clean items inside the pack. What a great feature especially for use in a hot and humid environment like Malaysia.

The front pocket easily swallows a bicycle helmet
The front pocket easily swallows a bicycle helmet

 

For some reasons unknown to me, perhaps Mountainsmith ‘Cycling’ range of pack was intentionally made to be without a frame. I mean, there is no stiffener on the back panel at all. When I first got it, I was confident that the pack could be missing a piece of HDPE frame of aluminium stays but I still cannot find any slots on that pack that would indicate so. The pack is literally boneless!

The pack has no internal frame at all. Perhaps because it was designed for use by cyclist?
The pack has no internal frame at all. Perhaps because it was designed for use by cyclist?

 

The two foam strips visible are the only two 'stiffeners' for the pack. The shape and design looks similar to back panel of some of Kifaru's range of packs as well
The two foam strips visible are the only two ‘stiffeners’ for the pack. The shape and design looks similar to back panel of some of Kifaru’s range of packs as well

 

This pack is okay to carry lighter loads. The shoulder straps and 2 inch webbing for waist belt is sufficient for day use. The one thing I find interesting is where the shoulder strap is connected to. Unlike the typical pack where the other end of the shoulder straps is connected to the main pack at the lower bottom corner of the pack, this Mountainsmith World Cup has it’s 1 inch webbing connected to somewhat the middle section of the pack! See picture below. My best guess is to allow the pack to have the closest ‘wrap’ around the back of the user.

Note the circle where the shoulder harness is connected to. The boxed arrow, where shoulder straps are typically connected to is where the waist belt's tightening strap is connected to
Note the circle where the shoulder harness is connected to. The boxed arrow, where shoulder straps are typically connected to is where the waist belt’s tightening strap is connected to

 

I would say that this Mountiansmith World Cup pack is great for those riding bikes, for short day use and even short runs that does not require heavy loads. It has a small mesh pocket on the underside of the top lid as well as hydration sleeve. I still remember when I first got this pack. I would use it for work and boss in would give me that weird look each time I join him to meet customer outside the office.

There is a sleeve inside which I assume would fit a bladder. I personally don't use one
There is a sleeve inside which I assume would fit a bladder. I personally don’t use one

 

Great for small quick to access items. Keys, some cash or mossie repellent!
Great for small quick to access items. Keys, some cash or mossie repellent!

 

Made in USA Mountainsmith World Cup...one of the 'original' ones
Made in USA Mountainsmith World Cup…one of the ‘original’ ones

 

A side by side comparison in terms of size with the Garrison Pack
Size comparison of the Mountainsmith World Cup against my current custom made EDC pack by Garrison Packs

 

I love the shape and design of this USA made Mountainsmith World Cup (cycling gear). Its relevance to Patrick Smith’s era during the brand name and its similarities with some of the earlier Kifaru packs makes is collectible (to me). If you want one, you can try your luck on ebay. If you are lucky, you can score one from (I have seen) anything from USD$30 to USD$60. Good luck!

Conclusion: The USA made Mountainsmith World Cup is a definite keeper

Other packs I have written about: