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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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: