This Mountainsmith Scream 55 pack review is about the new version of the great ultra lightweight pack with only 2 lb 13 oz (1.28 kg) of weight. This is a pack for minimalists who want a durable and reliable tool at a very affordable price.
Key features & benefits
- Ultra lightweight backpack.
- Great price.
- Top & front access.
- Roll top closure.
What is new in this new version
This is the new 2018 version of the backpack that has been around for several years already. So what is new? Here is the list of the most visible changes:
- There is now a central stay in the suspension. This is just a 0.5 inches single narrow aluminum piece.
- They have added a front access.
- Tool loops on the front are added – there are three on each side.
- Different colors.
- The weight is different, the new version is a bit heavier due to the added elements.
As I already mentioned, for a 55 liters pack this is an ultra lightweight item. You will realize this also from the comparison table below.
This is a top loading pack but you also have the front access as a new feature. The top access is the roll top type and this is why you have some extra volume here, the capacity is in the range 50 – 57 liters. This means you can unroll it and expand the collar when extra space is needed. The same design is in their Mountainsmith Lariat 55 pack for women and Lariat 65 for men.
Yet another access is on the front where you have a long U-shaped zipper. This is why you do not have a bottom compartment and bottom access, you can access the whole content from the front.
The Scream 55 backpack is designed to carry bear canisters, you might want to know this if you are in the US. The pack is also hydration compatible and you have a sleeve in the main compartment, large enough for a 3-liter reservoir.
The remaining features
The fabric is a quite durable 210D high tenacity nylon with a PU coating. This is a ripstop structure so if there is a puncture it will not grow. The Mountainsmith is well-known for their bombproof designs and products, so this is yet another example. This very lightweight pack is designed to carry loads of up to 45 lb (20 kg).
Note that there is no rain cover here but the coating gives it a bit of water resistance.
Here you have a flat back panel, the FreeFlow as they call it, with a ridged EVA padding, see the picture above. There are some mesh and channels which should give a bit of ventilation but I would not expect too much from it. This is a design where the pack is in contact with the body so it is not the best option if you sweat a lot or if you will be using it in a warm environment.
The suspension is supported by an EVA frame sheet, plus a central aluminum stay as a new feature introduced in this new version. Both are removable.
On the hip belt, you have a high-density foam for padding. A very similar padding is on the shoulder harness; note that it is fixed, so you do not have torso adjustment here. All you have is some minor adjustability through load lifter straps and the usual adjustability on the shoulder straps. The size is suitable for 17 – 21 inches (43 – 53 cm) torso length.
The sternum strap is there, ladder-type adjustable and equipped with a safety whistle.
There are two usual hip belt zippered pockets of a good size, you can see them in the pictures. On the front you have two barrel pockets, very large and with long zippers. They are large enough to store a smaller tent and anything similar. My only problem with such a design is that they look awkward when they are empty.
The dual side pockets are large enough for 32 oz water bottles. So you have 6 pockets in total, not bad.
There are three attachment loops on the bottom and a bungee tie-off higher on the pack in the middle between the two barrel pockets. In the same area, you have a vertical daisy chain which is a useful feature and always good to have. There are a few extra loops on the sides, this is a new feature that was not available in the previous model.
Dual compression straps are on the sides of the pack. The lower straps are with the inside-out feature so you can pass them through the pocket to cinch the pack, or over the pocket to fix any item which you might carry in the side pockets. The upper side straps have the same purpose.
Good and less good features & rating
Here is my short summary:
- Reliable and durable construction.
- Very good price.
- Very lightweight.
- Not so great ventilation.
- No harness adjustability.
- No rain cover.
As of the moment of writing this text, the Amazon price for this pack is around $120. For such a brand, this is a real bargain. See how I rate it:
My rating breakdown of the Mountainsmith Scream 55 backpack
- Best use: hiking, mountaineering, backpacking.
- Weight: 2 lb 13 oz (1.28 kg).
- Volume: 3050 – 3478 in³ (50 – 57 l).
- Dimensions: 24.25 x 10.75 x 8 in (62 x 27 x 20 cm).
- Carry weight: 45 lb (20 kg).
- Torso fit: 17 – 21 in (43 – 53 cm).
- Waist fit: 28 – 48 in (71 – 122 cm).
- Access: top & front.
- Frame: aluminum.
- Fabric: 210D Robic HT Nylon.
- Accommodates bear canisters.
Mountainsmith Scream 55 backpack vs Competitors
I thought it would be appropriate to put this pack with the best examples on the market. So I give the completely new pack from Gregory and the new version of the Osprey’s famous pack, both are in the category of ultra-lightweight packs. As you realize, the Scream 55 stands really well.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Hip belt pockets
Payable Every Month
top & front
Payable Every Year
Payable Every Year
In the summary of this Mountainsmith Scream 55 review I would stress that they have added a few nice features to this pack which was already highly rated by users. So it is expected that the new version will be even better accepted by the outdoor enthusiasts. This is a quality item but it lacks many features which I expect to have in a backpack. The price is more than affordable so if the existing features are enough for you, this will be a great tool for your outdoor adventures.
If you still need something different, please check my pages with the backpacks in the 35 – 55 liters range and 56-plus packs. Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below in the case of questions and comments. Have a nice day.