I had not seen the gunbearer on the kaifru. I viewed it on the web and it looks like a good design. If I still lived in the rolling hills of Texas or on the East Coast I could definatelly use that setup.
The Eberlestock scabbard is integral to the pack. Being part of the pack it does not add weight as other accessory scabbards may do.
I tend to avoid the "which product is better" discussions. Bottom line - we all have different needs. For myself, I assend and decend vertical face cliffs at the worst, and hike through dense mountain mohogany stands at best. Having my rifle (Voere 2165 30.06 pre-1980) protected on my back in the pack is my best option.
My hunting style does not require rifle at hand. I prefer the stalk with a shooter spotter team. Besides, it only takes me about 8 seconds to pull, shoulder, sight and fire from scabbard to shot.
I do not think any pack is the best. I just know which one is best for me.
You may take pride in shooting faster than I do. Myself, I am not in competition with any other hunter. My adversary is the game.
My adversary is the game as well as being ready as possible at any given moment to bring said game home. I prefer the longrange style, but more than that, I prefer to be ready for the opportunity of the moment. Good luck.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia
In Alaska, having the rifle ready for action can be pretty important because there is potential for the game to stalk and hunt you. I've used the Kifaru gun bearer for two years now and find it to be a pretty good option for comfortably packing my rifle on my backpacking hunts while still having the rifle readily available for use, should that need occur. Not as fast as having the rifle in my arms by any means, but not as slow as having to extact it from a scabbard built into my backpack.
I just received my new M3 Operator pack from Eberlestock and I have to say it is simply THE toughest, best made pack for long range sniping I have ever seen in my life.
Basically if you are familiar with the gunslinger model, just imagine that pack on steroids !
This pack has more features thanyou can count. Attention to detail like I have never seen and just as tough as nails.
I took it out last weekend for its first mission- big tripod, glasses, pda, rear bag you name it... I had it ! In the back was my DE 338 edge. Unlike the gunslinger, this packs scabbard allows you to place the rifle butt first as well. Personally I like this much better for two reasons. 1. The whole rifle and optics is protected in the pack out of harms way. 2. With 54 " gun this lowers the centre of gravity and makes carrying a big rifle less top heavy. Simply put it carrys like a dream !
It even has pull out raincover and rifle boot to protect the exposed portion of your gun. Infact this boot doubles for me as a padded seat for sitting behind the glasses.
They even put canvas around the plastic clips so they cant rub on anything.
I will be posting some pics shortly, but let me tell you all this is one hell of a pack !
Eberlestock M3 Operator from Mcmillan Tactical.
With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.
It is probably a little short of being the perfect meat humping pack.
It has two major compartments but neither will be big enough to drop an elk leg into.
Probably ok to pack a mule deer or whitetail though. I just love the organisation the pack offers. No need to empty the whole thing to fetch something. I know exactly where it is.
Hard to have a pack that is perfect for everything. For meat humping a external frame or big 100 lt single compartment will be hard to beat but totally unsuitable for what the pack is used most for. That is getting my gear in and out safely and immediately accessable at all times.
I'll post some pics shortly wearing it.
With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.
Here's the secret. Get a pack that FITS. Try it out and weight it down for 45 min to 1hour with sandbags and gear. Walk around and see how it feels. Every body is different and you got to test those packs out.
An Kifaru gun bearer or side rifle mount can always be attached to most packs. The big issue is to get a quality good fitting pack.
For my body Granite Gear, Osprey, and my old Dana TerraFrame are the best fitting. My Osprey is light tackle for trips and for whitetails. For Elk the Dana TFrame is the best hauler pack I've ever used and it's plainly the best for me.
Lastly I have an Kifaru EMR. This is an well made pack with an large capacity. Trouble is that the old Dana does everything it does yet fits me much better. Most packs can use the Kifaru gunbearer and all packs can have a system where an rifle is lashed to them.
In the end it's about fit and not gadgets or features. For quality build these days the standard appears to be Mystery Ranch and Kifaru. Both use quality construction and high thread count. They are quality items if you need an hunting pack that can be used for hauling out game.
No matter if it's Badlands, Kifaru, Kelty, Granite Gear or whatever. You gotta get dialed in and fit. After that you can put together an rifle hauling system.
I am more concerned about construction and fit first, and features later.
Just my opinion and others may vary based on their experiance.