Need to get a good backpack

I too have used a lot of different packs over the years and many of them I liked a lot and some I still have and use. There is not "best pack" for all occasions so you need to desire what features are most important to you. As I get older a light weight pack that is comfortable with a heavy load is very appealing to me. When I was younger features like spotting scope pockets and lots of pockets to organize my stuff seamed to be the most important. My advice is to get the best pack you can afford that has the most features that are important to you and not worry too much about what is is important to everyone else. The guys on here have given good advice and some differing opinions and this is good because a good debate can help in the information gathering quest.
I have hunted for and guided for elk for over 30 years and I know for a fact that you do not need to spend $500 on a pack to do the style of hunting I think you are describing. I have packed a lot of elk on a Cabela's pack frame that I bought in the 90s for less than $100.
I too have been on the search for a new pack this year and I considered every pack that has been suggested in this thread. The features I looked for were a light weight pack that could carry in 5-7 days worth of gear and pack out a mule deer or 1/3-1/2 of a boned out elk. I also needed a way to pack a rifle and or bow, my spotting scope if I chose to take it and 1 or 2 easy access pockets. After months of research I narrowed it down to 2 choices. The kuiu ultra and Stone Glacier. I think it was a toss up for me and ultimately I chose the kuiu ultra 6000.
Good luck in your search and pick the best pack for you. Keep us posted on your decision.
Sorry been busy the past few days with finals. It looks like there are many different options, and I may go with a Kuiu or Kifaru. I probably won't be getting a pack for a while, as I guess I might as well just pay the money for something decent.
Take a look at the EXO Mountian Gear packs. They seem like packs in the same league as the Stone Glacier and Kifaru and at a bit less cost. Also keep checking the classifieds for used packs on this site, archery talk, rokslide and others.

Good luck on your search and finals!

I won't be getting a pack for quite a while, probably not for another year until I graduate college and I am making good money. I like to do research on EVERYTHING I buy though before I spend the money. All the responses are good food for thought so I can really think about everything for a while before I buy something.

Calling the guys at Kifaru, Stone Glacier, and Kuiu sounds like a good idea as well. They would probably be able to identify what would fit my needs the best.
Hi a great option if you can find one off ebay would be a blacks creek barbarian 2.5
Well built, we have taken out a black bear that was massive and numerous elk. It might not be enough cubic in for your needs though. It is discontinued but a great pack, the other brand I would look at is Mystery Ranch.
I just picked up the KUIU Ultra 6000 pack.
A friend has had one and is pleased with it. I was able to fill it up and try it out before I bought it. The larger packs compacts down to near nothing. If I want to shave a few ounces, the 1850 pack will mount to this pack also.

Even if it is not the best out there, at $300 (on sale ) it is sure hard to beat.
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