What hunting pack is better and why?

Discussion in 'Backpacking Gear & Clothing' started by shedhunt, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. shedhunt

    shedhunt Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I am in the market to upgrade my hunting pack. I recently sold my Eberlestock "Just One" and an old model Badlands 2200. Both of these packs treated me well, but it is time for something better. I have been doing some reading and research on different packs but it is hard to get a good feel for them, when all you can do is read about them. So here is a list of pack systems that I am interested in and am looking for the "Why" factor that makes it better than the others.

    1. Kuiu 3200
    2. Kifaru
    3. Exo Mountain 3500
    4. Stone Glacier
    5. Outdoorsman

    Wanting to have a good day pack or pack that can be used for a couple days if needed. Can pack meat/heavy loads efficiently, and is super comfortable for all day use.

    Thank you for your help,
    Donny
     
  2. Montucky Roamer

    Montucky Roamer Member

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    I've only used the Exo 5500,so take this for the.02 it's worth. it's only a couple oz heavier and I use it mostly for day hunting but also week long jaunts as well. It carries very well for day hunts but I've packed boned out elk in two trips so it'll handle weight well. The kifaru might even be better for the heavy work tho.
    Also, exo sent me a complete new pack of the new version when I had a zipper blow out and a squeaky frame, new model fixes that. Blown away by their service. My buddies love their stone glaciers as well so it's hard to go wrong. Kuiu is light but is not as durable or able to handle big loads according to another friend that tried one.. It would be nice to test em all out wouldn't it?
     
  3. dmj

    dmj Well-Known Member

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    The only one I have any experience with is the kuiu 3200. I'm not going to say it's the best because I've got a hunch they are all pretty good. Anyway I used the kuiu for archery and rifle hunting. For a day pack and a pack for a couple three days trip. I've packed a quarter of an elk several times. I usually pack it for about 40 to 50 days hunting. With the longest stretch being during archery season when I'll probably pack it for about 28 days straight. I've never had sore shoulders using this pack. It worked well for packing the quarter of elk. The quarter goes between the carbon fiber frame and the bag. Then it's wedged in there. It is light and probably isn't as durable as some of the others. And being light is the main reason I purchased it. Probably doesn't help you much and it sure would be nice to get to try them all. Good luck
     
  4. dah605

    dah605 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Kifaru (tactical frame+Reckoning pack) and a Kuiu Ultra 6000 (1st gen).

    The Kuiu is the squeakiest thing I've even heard. The slightest movement results in noise. The frame flexes a lot being so thin and it does not carry weight nearly as well as the Kifaru.

    I bought the Kifaru because of the weight carrying capabilities. When I was prepping for my trek out west, I was hiking with sandbags in the pack... 40lbs in the Kuiu was painful on the shoulders even with the load lifters kicked in. 40lbs in the Kifaru was unnoticeable in comparison. I had to bump to 60lbs feel like I was working out. Full disclosure... losing 30lbs of my own weight helps. I went with the tactical frame so it wouldn't flex with the sandbags and carrying a tree stand. There are a LOT of accessories for the Kifaru--pockets, holster, lids, etc.

    The other pack I considered was the EXO. Better price and all the reports I've read are that it is almost as good at carrying weight as the Kifaru.
     
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  5. shedhunt

    shedhunt Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the reply's to my post and question that I posed. It is very hard to be able to justify what pack makes and other better and for what reasons when you don't have them at your disposal to try. I have taken what each of you have posted and said on the packs that you have used, and it seems to be a common theme on stuff that I have read about these packs.
    Thank you all again for your time.
     
  6. Solby

    Solby Member

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    We have 3 Kuiu's in our camp and we all love them. Ultra 1800, Icon Pro 1850, Icon Pro 5200. This year we put the load sling to work on just the bare frame for packing meat and it worked awesome.
     
  7. Antonio Gonzalez

    Antonio Gonzalez Member

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    I've been using Direct Action Ghost for the last 10 months and I never could complain. If you are not on a budget, you can try the Eberlestock Halftrack Hunting Pack. My friend uses it and I'm also thinking of upgrading my pack to the Halftrack. It has a drainage hole on the bottom front corner of the side pockets which is pretty cool. You can check here for more similar packs and can easily compare them:
    List of the top hunting backpacks
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  8. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    I recently got a Stone Glacier 6900 Sky Talus for a 9 day backpack hunt. I'm not an ultra-lite guy and my hike in was not a major double digit trek but I had to get through a major amount of deadfall and my pack was 95 lbs with food, water, gun, fuel, spotter, tripod, and binoculars. The pack was completely stuffed and even had to lash some food to the outside. The pack handled it with ease. The new X-Frame is supposed to help with load shifting. When going through the deadfall, there was a ton of load shifting due to crawling over stuff, so I guess anything to minimize that is a good thing. Perhaps better still, I liked it as a day pack. I just removed the lid and it compressed down to a trim package and carried like a champ. One thing about day packs is how the gun comes up and rests against the straps should you take a shot with it on. I had no problems with this one and the way the pack is designed, there is a lot of adjustability for body type. I was doing 3000' climbs on some days and it carried great. I would not have thought a full sized pack would make such a good day pack but I'm very pleased with this one. I added a couple small swing-out accessory bags for the main compartment and a couple small accessory bags for the belt. Just a note about the add on belt accessory bags... it's two handed operation to close them because they use zippers instead of press locks. Unless your a contortionist, you may need to take the pack off to zip them up. It's a light pack and is about 1/3 lighter than my previous hunting pack yet can haul significantly more volume when needed. If I was a better hunter, I could tell you how the load shelf worked.
     
  9. shedhunt

    shedhunt Well-Known Member

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    Antonio Gonzalez and Mike 338, thank you both for the insight on what you have used or are using on your hunts along with the recommendations. Everything and anything is good information as I continue to narrow down towards a pack.
     
    Antonio Gonzalez likes this.
  10. shedhunt

    shedhunt Well-Known Member

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    Solby, sorry that I missed you on my replay to Antonio and Mike. Thank you as well.
     
  11. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    ALL Eberlestock packs are overbuilt and thus too heavy. Yes, they are well designed and for military use just fine. But we are talking about hunting where we will be treating a pack like it is our own, not the government's pack.

    You should be able to get a hunting "day-and-a-half pack" with an internal frame (not just a wimpy plastic frame sheet) at about the 35 - 40 liter size that would come in at 3 to 4 lbs. max and still be durable. Internal frames help transfer weight to your hips and away from your shoulders and vulnerable spinal discs in case you need to pack at at least the deer backstraps and a haunch on your first trip.

    This 3 to 4 lb. pack weight limit means the manufacturer would be using narrower webbing and smaller buckles and sliders. We absolutely do not need 1" wide webbing straps on our hunting packs. If you can break a 1/2" webbing strap with any kind of load that you can carry I'd be amazed. All the most durable and heavier cloth materials would be on the bottom and a few other wear areas and lighter material everywhere else. Even hip belts can be lightened and still be comfortable.

    And also it means you need to forego an Eberlestock type rifle scabbard for a lighter Kifaru "Gunbearer" setup.

    But trying to find a pack like this may mean going to some smaller pack maker like Granite Gear or Z-Packs and designing it with their input as well.

    Eric B.
     
  12. Blwebster

    Blwebster Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the Mystery Ranch Metcalf model pack. Have packed out Stone's sheep, mule and whitetailed deer, elk and moose using them and found them to be very well built and comfortable. Quiet as well.
     
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  13. middleofnowhere

    middleofnowhere Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got the older US Made Metcalf with NICE fram, love it. Two other guys I hunt with also have the Metcalf. The Philippine made version has a couple nice new features like an external bottle pocket. I’ve packed meat a bunch and love this pack. I use this as a daypack and have gone up to 3-nites out. The little bit of extra weight is worth it IMO if you ever have to pack meat.

    Another buddy got the Kuiu Pack for this season. Twice, zipper pulls fell off while we were out. He loves the Pack thought, just not as well made as the Mystery Ranch.

    I’ve heard nothing but good about Kifaru. I have no knowledge of the other packs mentioned.
     
  14. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    duplicate