After I finished up my review on the Summit Bum Classic DCF, I wanted a bigger fanny pack. It wasn't that the SB DCF was too small, but I wanted to try the other end of the spectrum. That led me to the Mystery Ranch Full Moon fanny pack. How is it, and is it worth your money?
Who is Mystery Ranch, and What is the Full Moon?
Mystery Ranch is a soft goods company, based out of Montana. They opened shop in 2000, and have been making packs ever since. They pride themselves on the design and quality of their products, and the element that they actually test designs before selling them. It's nice to see a company that actually cares about putting their money where their mouth is.
The Full Moon (FM) is a hip/shoulder pack that they sell, that boasts convenient access and lots of storage space. It's made from 330D and 300D nylon, so it is lightweight, and should hold up pretty well. Advertised weight is 12.8 ounces, and on my scale, I registered the same. The bag has three pockets, two of which can be opened from the exterior. The FM is made in designed in the USA, but made in Vietnam.
The Full Moon retails for $45 on Mystery Ranch's webstore, but I bought mine through another retailer. What are the features of the fanny pack?
What Are the Features of the Full Moon?
Getting right into the layout, the FM has a small front pocket. While not a massive compartment, this pocket is sized well for things like keys, flashlight, or a pocket knife. Things that tend to be flatter will be a good fit here. A rainfly covers the zipper, which is always appreciated.
The main compartment of the Full Moon is massive. I think I could fit a small dog in here, no exaggeration. The total storage space of the FM is 385 cubic inches, or about 6.3 liters. For reference, that is nearly three times more room than the Summit Bum I previously reviewed. The main compartment offers enough space for nearly anything you'd need to carry, and a small internal pocket helps for tiny objects. I usually keep my wallet and SAK in that pocket. The main compartment is sealed using a waterproof zipper.
The FM has compression straps on each side of the pack. You'll certainly need to cinch these down if you load the pack up, and they did not loosen during my testing period.
The FM has a mesh backer, to increase comfort and up the airflow to the wearer. The strap and buckle are rudimentary, but are wider to help increase comfort and strength. Adjustability on the pack is top notch, as you should have no issues getting it fitted to your body. A simple carry handle is sown into the pack too, which is a nice addition.
I've been using the Full Moon nearly every day since late May of 2022. How did it perform, and did it hold up well?
Carry Experience With the Full Moon
I wear a fanny pack about 5 days a week. The Full Moon has been with me for time spent working out, driving, hiking, and while binging Better Call Saul. While some things are partial EDC items, this is truly putting the "every day" into EDC, for me. My FM experience is nearly wholly positive, with a few minor issues.
The layout, design, and build quality of the FM are top notch. The zippers are slick, the material is lightweight and water repellent, and the straps are comfortable. Nothing on the FM has torn or broken, and while I have gotten some minor stains on it, they come off easily enough. One minor gripe with the design is the lack of keepers for the slack on the strap, but that could be remedied easily with some double sided Velcro.
Despite all of my praise, there is one big determining element to the Full Moon: Size.
The Full Moon is a massive fanny pack. It's the largest one I've ever used, and is likely the biggest one I ever will. This thing is in small backpack territory. Now, I wouldn't necessarily call this a downside, as Mystery Ranch does advertise this as a larger hip pack. However, it may just be too big for most people. I'm a big guy, and it still looks large on me.
Despite the big size, the FM doesn't carry poorly. I never really found it getting in the way, and found it comfortable when worn out front (paunch pouch mode), or on my backside. Carrying a full size gun in this pack is easy as pie too, which is an upside. Having two zippers for the main compartment makes the drawstroke easy, and the gun can be inserted with the grip at an optimal angle for drawing.
I've generally really enjoyed using the Full Moon, but do I recommend it?
The Full Moon is one hell of a deal for $45. It is a thoughtfully designed and quality made bag, and offers a lot of versatility. The only real deal breaker is the size. If you are alright with a larger fanny pack, the FM is going to be right up your alley. If you prefer something smaller, the aforementioned Thrupack would be more ideal, as it is smaller, lighter, and US made. I believe in the right tool for the job, so both fanny packs have places in my EDC lineups.