Just returned from St. George and examined the equipment you dropped off at my home. Your Heaps pack is a work of art. No problem putting in the pack frame unit, just copied the placement from the other pack. It's obvious you've put some thought into this gear. Nice to have a specific canyoneer's backpack like these are.

Much nicer than the inadequate little canyoning packs Petzl and Edelweiss are selling. Much nicer than an ordinary backpack with grommets. And much more durable appearing/better designed than my old Vaude canyoning backpack. These Heaps packs appear very rugged and look like they will last a good long time. I'm going to have some fun with these this year! Thanks for all the great service.

See you in Heaps (maybe),

LeRoy Anderson
Salt Lake City, Utah

Imlay Pack Models
Heaps - 42 Liters

The Big Kahuna of Canyoneering Packs, the Heaps is a medium-sized backpacking pack built from the ground-up for canyoneering. Big enough for several-day adventures in the Grand Canyon, yet small enough to actually do stuff while it is strapped to your back.

Kolob - 32 Liters

Perhaps the most versatile of the Imlay packs, the Kolob is the daily workhorse for the canyon leader who must carry substantial gear. Tube-Light Frame, full-wrap hipbelt and three-point shoulder straps carry your stuff in comfort. If you have only one canyon pack, the Kolob is the choice.

Spry - 28 Liters

Many canyons do not require vast quantities of gear, and the Spry is for these canyons. A little lighter, and a little easier to pull through tight canyons. A good choice, especially for canyoneers of modest stature.

Mystery - 23 Liters

Simpler, less. While designed for guiding, the Mystery makes a good 'large pack' for small canyons. Built to the same dimensions as the Spry, with NO LID and less armor, it is ideal for low-gear canyons where less is more.

  - 15.4 Liters

Make me smile! The Lep is just big enough for what you need, and not big enough for what you don't need. When canyons are dominated by climbing and a pack, any pack, is a substantial encumbrance, the Leprechaun really shines. It is smaller than you are, and glides gracefully through the canyons, just like you do. Ideal for canyons where WAY less is WAY more functional.

CANYONEERING PACKS Heaps Kolob Spry Mystery Leprechaun
CANYONEERING ROPE 8.3mm Canyon Fire 8mm Canyon Rope 9.2mm Canyonero 6mm Pull Cord
ROPE TOOLS Rope Silo Small & Large Bagarino Bagette
KEEPING STUFF DRY Small Canyon Keg Large Canyon Keg
ACCESSORIES The Clipster Scuttlebutt The Book


Simpler, less. While designed for guiding, the Mystery makes a good 'large pack' for small canyons. Built to the same dimensions as the Spry, with NO LID and less armor, it is ideal for low-gear canyons where less is more.

Colors: Desert Orange and Sage Green
Weight: 1180 grams or 2 lb 10 oz

Hybrid Packs

Back In The Day, there were two choices in packs. Some people (let's call them "Europeans") made packs out of extremely durable plastic-laminate fabrics which held up really well, but due to the fabric's stiffness were extremely simple. A bad pack that is very durable is still a bad pack - it just means you have to suffer through it for a long time.

Other people (we could perhaps call them "Americans") used packs made of Nylon Cordura with lots of straps, pockets, zippers and sophisticated suspensions that carried really well - but did not last long in the abusive canyon environment.

Imlay Canyon Gear Hybrid Packs select the best attributes of both these systems. Heavy duty laminated PVC fabric forms the armored exterior of the packs. Sophisticated shapes and features are taken from the American tradition of high-performance packs - though we tend to focus on the "carries really well" part of that tradition, rather than following the current backpack fad of fabulous complexity. Our Insta-Drain Design provides lots of places for water to drain out, and eliminates places for water to catch.

The Mystery is the LEAST hybridized of the packs, barely qualifying. But those side bottoms were getting nailed when made from doubled Cordura, so I changed to pierced PVC Laminate and they hold up much better, AND drain better.



The Mystery's suspension is simple, yet effective for the volume and weight carried in a small pack. A chunk of foam in the back is 1/4" thick and folds in half to provide 1/2" of padding. It can be pulled out for the unfortunate night-out, or to be used as a splint. A simple sheet of plastic provides additional support. The comely shape of the back panel helps it mold to the shapely curve of your back. The simple, wing hipbelts allow transfer to the hips; and both the hipbelt and the shoulder straps are lined with comfy nylon 3-D mesh.

Volume and Pockets

The Volume of the pack body is about 23.2 liters, and as there is no lid, that's it. OK, I originally called it 30 liters for convenience. The pleated back pocket is sized to fit a helmet on the approach. In-canyon, it is a good idea to not put things in the outside pocket, but put everything inside the body. I find a lid useful for keeping track of small items, so I steal one from my other packs and tuck it inside the body.

Inside the pack, a mesh watertank pocket against the back can be useful for holding objects in tight control against your back. I don't like using a watertank in technical canyons, but I often put my waterbottle in the mesh pocket. There are slots for the tank-tube to exit above the shoulders.

Other Features

Uh, well - did I mention the Mystery is built for simplicity? It has one compression strap on each side, and an across-the-top strap for holding a rope or wetsuit. And... uh... well...

Imlay pack handles are big and easy to grasp, and stout because we canyoneers rappel with the pack, and often need to dangle the pack from the handle. The shoulder straps use a quick-release buckle so that when stuck in a narrow slot with the pack on your back, the pack can be jettisoned. Not recommended, but once in a while this proves useful.

FAQ Packs / Mystery Pack

Where are your packs made?

Imlay Packs are made in The Philippines using materials sourced in South Korea.

How is the pack volume calculated?

I used to make a number up, but now they are measured with ping pong balls.

The "Volume" number stated by manufacturers is a way of communicating the volume of the pack, and has traditionally had only a remote attachment to physical accuracy. I chose numbers based on my experience as pack manager at Black Diamond, where we did actually measure pack volumes using plastic balls. In Fall 2010, I bought a set of balls (I know, I know) and actually measured the packs, so the current stated volume is accurate, though it may not reflect the same size as stated volumes from other manufacturers. The stated volume does not include the pleated pockets.

I am "X" tall. Will the Mystery pack fit me?

The Mystery fits everyone! Well, more or less, allow me to explain...

Because the suspension does not have rigid structures, its shape morphs to fit the person carrying it, within limits. The Mystery fits well on smaller adults - say 5'2" to 5'10" - and fits less well on people smaller or larger than that. Whether it meets your requirements for a good fit is up to you.

I don't own other Imlay packs. Can I buy a lid separately?

Yes, lids are available on the Canyoneering USA website for $ 25.00. But, there are no strap on the Mystery to clip the lid on with, and putting them on is exceptionally difficult.

What IS the warranty on your packs?

WARRANTY: Imlay Canyon Gear products are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship. We also warrant that canyoneering will beat the crap out of you, your clothing and your gear. If you have a problem with one of our products, please contact us to arrange action.

What "known problems" are there on the Mystery Pack?

On current and recent production, there are a few minor glitches:

- 2009 & 2010: the sternum strap has a whistle on it which is kind of a cheesy little whistle but occasionally useful. But the buckle that the whistle is available on is not a very good buckle. If your pack sternum strap buckle has broken, please return the pack and I can put on a new buckle.


Imlay Canyon Gear

PO Box 5532
2625 S State Street
Mount Carmel   Utah   USA   84755
voice 435-648-3089
fax 435-304-0096