The KU pack is going to come in 3 models:
The heaviest of the 3 models (the 5,200) will weigh in at 2lbs 10 oz's. The 3,700 will weigh 2 lbs 6 oz's and the 2,200 will weigh 2 lbs 4 oz's.
I will post pictures later in the thread of the attachments that you can add on to the KU packs.
All of the packs are capable of handling 100+ pound loads, but will feel like a traditional load hauler. I have tested the weight limits of this pack myself (see picture above) and can tell you that they are TOUGH!
In the picture above I have the entire Mountain Goat inside my pack (gutted), and was able to pack him out on 45 degree slope for just under 2 miles. Other then the blood, the pack was just fine.
This pic was taken with 150 lb load of boned out elk meat. I'm not going to lie, it was everything i could do to stand "upright" for the picture, but again, the pack proved itself worthy as a true load hauler.
Yea man, this thing is crazy! I was given pretty easy instructions.... Beat the hell out of this thing and see what it can take! I was impressed to say the least.
If you look at the 3,700 model, you will see cordura on the bottom of the pack, that was added to increase the durability of the pack when you are taking it off and on.
I actually never had an issue with the bottom of the pack, but I did ware a hole in the "butt/back pad", so that was reinforced as well. Those were the only changes from the prototype to the version that is now on the market.
Also what type of material are the frame stays made from?
It sure is impressive that they were able to get those things so light and still be able to handle the loads you had in it. They've got my interest!!
I'm not sure what the frame is made out of, but it is a laminated type material and is a few different components.
I can tell you that the frame is just about un-breakable. I packed out several animals in this thing, and exceeded the 150lb mark a few times and never had any issues.
For guys that are spending days in the backcountry but still trying to cut their base weight it looks like this might be the holy grail. I love my Mystery Ranch stuff and I know it's bombproof but I've been trying to drop weight and it's hard to do when starting out with a 9 or so pound CrewCab. I'm not knocking the MR just stating my recent thoughts about it.
These are down near ultralight bag weight's with the capability of carrying 150lbs. plus...this might start a revolution.
How much are we talking here? Upwards of $500, I'm sure.
How would you rate it as far as huntability with some of the other packs? Any squeaks and such? I'm not worried about "camo" or anything, but is the material very noisy? It looks a bit shiny, maybe just the lighting? Mostly to use as a hauler packing in and out?
This pack was designed for deep insertion Special Forces/Navy Seals, as well as the UL backcountry hunter. It will be a give and take as far as the noise, but for the guys doing the multi day wilderness stuff, this pack is going to be hard to turn down.
I love a buyer's market....:)
"Hey guys, I see the word is out already on a couple forums, and it is true that we are about to launch a complete Utralight pack program on Wed 15 Dec. This will be the biggest launch we have ever done! The Ultralight website will be up Wed with the whole product line ready to order. There will also be an Ultralight Forum so all the info and discussion can be found in one spot. Look for it to be up on Wed also.
I can give you some info here in the meantime. The Ultralight program has been in the works for years, and is now ready for prime time. There are many companies building ultralight packs, and we in fact tested many of these. The problem we found with all the current ultralight offerings, was that though they were indeed light, they just could not support any real weight in comfort. What we have brought to the table are ultralight packs that are extremely light, yet can carry the same amount of weight as our standard packs. We will be offering a KU2200, KU3700, and KU5200. The KU being Kifaru Ultralight, and the numbers being the capacity in ci. Our KU5200 is well under 3lbs, yet can carry 100+lb loads in comfort.
All our ultralight packs will be top loaders with no zippers. They will have attachment points for our ultralight Dock n Lock pockets, and Lock n Load pockets. Speaking of pockets, there will be ultralight pockets, Pods, and Grab It.
The packs will come with our new proprietary carbon fiber composite stays. We worked with a company to develop these stays just for us. They are a composite of carbon fiber and exotic hardwood. Together these achieve lightweight and strength. We will be offering composite stay kits for all of our packs as an option.
Along with these new composite stays, we have developed our Precision Lift Plus Stay System, which allows you to choose 2 different stay lengths for each pack. Trust me, it is very slick. For example say you're a 6' 2" guy and want a small 2200ci pack. With any current offering out there you could not get a pack that small to give you shoulder lift. With our KU2200 using 24" stays, this is no longer a problem. Wait till Wed where you can see it all on the website!
Our ultralight program is so large that I could talk for days on here about it, so I will quit for now. I can answer any questions you may have though in the meantime."
So the 3700 will go to 6500 with a few added pockets and still be under 3lbs. that's awesome!! Which would you go with on extended 8-10 day trips?
I'm still loving the weight on these packs, about time we get an ultra light bag with the ability to carry 100lbs+.
Any other nice features that you like that are designed into the pack?
I'm thinking that I will be using the 3,700 with attachments for my 2-7 day trips and the 5,200 for anything more then that, but I can't say that for sure. I have been screwing around with the 3,700 a bunch and I can fit 10 days of gear in that thing, but it's pretty full. The thing that is nice about the 5,200 is the fact you can bring all your gear and a good amount of meat out on the first trip. You can do the same thing with the 3,700 and the "grab it", but I would not be able to haul as much.
I will get some pics up tomorrow of the packs compressed down to day hunt size.
The price for the packs is going to be in the 450-550 range, depending on the size.
This is a great set-up, light, big enough, and versatile.
I know you also really liked the longhunter, would you go with the KU over the longhunter?
I would go with the KU, it feels like the Longhunter, but is half the weight. Ounce people start using these packs, they will be amazed at how good the KU feels with heavy loads. Ounce you have used the pack, it's kinda a no brainer for backcountry hunters.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Aaron. I will be weighing this along with KUIU's new carbon fiber pack and buying one of the two in the future.
I'm currently useing a MR/CC and though I am quite fond of the thing, I do realize that for each pound of pack weight I shed, I can add food which keeps me out there longer.
Kudos to Kifaru and to KUIU for rising to the demand!
You should have seen the drool...
So, will either be at the WSF show in Reno?
The 15th? Hmmmm... Still time to email Santa. I don't know how good you've been this year... but I hear he can be bribed....
Cookies and milk ain't gonna cut it though... this may be a job for Bubbles....
No, each pack works as it's own system.
A good way to look at it, you can't go wrong wither way, they are both great packs!
I don't think they will be at any shows this year, but I can send you my 5,200 and you can try it out. It's the prototype and some changes have been made, but you will get the idea.
This is what Patrick had to say over on his site.
aklivin, the KU suspension systems are actually far advanced from your ML. Here is the line-up: 5200: G2 Wrap Tech Plus; 3700: G2 Wrap Tech; 2200: G2 Omni. Hip belt and shoulder starps are G2 Kifaru as well. Bottom line: whole different animal. The fabric is the same as we use for our tipis. It is NOT silnylon. It's mil-spec Ultra High Tenacity American ripstop nylon. Double the strength of silnylon, at least, and double layer in all the packs and pockets, which dramatically strengthens the whole package. The packs have a third layer of "armor" on the bottom and lower front/sides of Cordura. Yes, the fabric is waterproof, so if you seam seal the seams, stitch lines, bar-tacks and so forth it should be waterproof. Top flap, yes. But it's rigged for Dock&Lock of PODS and pockets and is very useful without adding any extra weight to the pack as a stand-alone unit. Capish?
Pardner, here are the stay length options: 2200--22" or 24"; 3700--22" or 24"; 5200--24" or 26". Retrofit pairs for all older K packs will be available, yes.
You keep posting this chit and my wife is going to kick my arse!
Does it have the option of the cargo chair for packing larger bulky items in or out?
Now I just gotta decide whether I wantthe 5200 or the 3700. Im leaning towards the 3700 with a couple of pods, the versatility there is awesome.
thanks again Aaron for all the work you do bringing the best of the best in gear for us to look over.
Patrick has confirmed that the laminated carbon fiber stays/frame will be available to add to all existing packs.
This means that a fella could wait a while and check the classifieds here, on the Kifaru forum, and on 24hourcampfire, find a good deal on a G1 or G2 LH, then add the new frame for a lighter weight LH. Indications are the new LH frame is going to save somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 ounces.
I am REALLY hoping the forums get Patrick talked into offering a KU bag that will fit existing LH's. Right now he has no plans for that.
I can just imagine a 6500 ci KU bag that fits the standard LH frame.....well, I can dream anyway.
EDIT: I haven't seen the Duplex frame for the LH specifically mentioned for a carbon retrofit option. Hopefully it is offered. Here is Patrick's quote:
"Retrofit pairs for all older K packs will be available, yes."
"Hey guys, I wanted to let you know that there will be a one day delay for the ultralight program launch. We will be launching on Thur the 16th. There are 2 reasons for this. As some of you might have read here on the message board, we lost one of our longtime members and a good friend to many here yesterday. Timberline passed away suddenly yesterday on his 58th birthday. He was a very close friend of Patricks and this loss understandably has slowed progress down just a bit for our launch. "
The pics I just posted are of the 5,200.
Yep, you can attach a "grab it" and I think the "cargo hauler" to the KU packs. I would suggest the Grab It over the hauler. I would check with Kifaru on the hauler.
Having said that, if you slam it into a sharp enough object, you can put a hole in it. I never put a hole in my own pack, but Patrick tested this pack for 11 years and did a ton of testing on the material itself, so the material can be punctured with enough force and a sharp enough object, but so can any material for that matter.
I know this pack is a bit of a "unknown" for all of us, but I tried to put this pack through as much abuse and through as many situations as I could...... Heavy Load Hauling, Rain and Snow, Shale and Jagged Rocks, Blow Down and anything else that I could find that could potentially damage the pack, and the only negative affect all of that testing had was on the back pad of the pack. I put a couple tiny holes in the back pad (the pad that sits on your lower back, but that portion of the pack as well as the entire bottom area of the pack are now covered in 3 layers. The first 2 layers are the standard layers that you see in the pictures, the outer most layer is now 500 cordura (bottom of the pack and back pad), so doing that took care of any of the potential weak spots on the pack (for me anyway).
Thanks, as usual, for all the good information!
I have essentials that I take every trip I make. I want them organized. I then add items depending on the length of the trip, morning, full day, overnighter, etc.
I see no way to organize my essentials and there's no way I'm throwing them all in one bag.
Love the fact they are raising the bar with this pack. Can't wait to see what MR does to compete with this one. For now I am sticking with my Sitka Bivy 45 but WILL have one of these Ultra Light packs one day.
Great review and photos Aron! Thanks!
I just hit the easy button for you ;-).
I do the same thing as you, putting the essentials in a pull-out (see link). I usually put the pull-out in the top pocket (no longer w/ the KU line) but they hang nicely from the chamber pocket attachment points inside the pack. You simply disconnect one side of the chamber pocket attachment, run the male piece through the pull-out loop, and re-attach. Just that easy. This keeps the pull-outs located in a handy spot - no working their way to the bottom of the pack over time. The loss of the top pouch is the biggest downside I see with the new pack line (the price you pay for the weight reduction), but while inelegant and not as easily accessible as with a top pouch, the pull-out option is very workable. This is what folks already do with the smaller Kifaru packs w/o top pouches.
The left-most little picture below the big pack picture in this link shows the chamber pocket and its attachment points, and should give you an idea of how this would work.
That lets me organize and still keeps it narrow for walking through brush, shooting, etc.
Costly, but a LOT of room for variation. Now all I need is some way to get Aron to be there to pack it out for me with 100 lb. of meat!
That is exactly how I use my 3,700. I actually pack all my normal gear inside the main bag, but keep my sleeping bag and pillow inside the pod that is attached to the top, this way I can pack my gear early, but do not need to worry about compressing my sleeping bag until I'm ready to head out.
I'm sure we can work out some kinda trade on a free "pack out", but I worn you, Larry still owes me 10 car washes for packing out the goat:) Just joking!
Just looked at the new KU site; I hope you're starting to charge for companies using your photos! :-)
BTW, enjoyed your comments over on backpackinglight.com. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the topic went over considering the typical audience over there.
These pack look great, but I still worry about the durability of the pack bag fabric. I have some Kifaru products and their fabric is tough for its weight, but even doubled up it falls short in strength compared to typical HT 440 nylon or 500d Cordura materials. Of course the big upside is the reduced weight. It will be interesting to see how these packs do once they get out into the marketplace.
The Yode, there is a spot on the pod pages on the web site that lists height x width x depth, which could help you roughly determine volume. It also stated what will fit in each equipment-wise, which is ad ecent indication. Itt in terms of ci, but in terms of what each size will fit. Scroll toward the bottom of this page, and there is a tab titled "relative size".
They've got the new compression bags that would work great for clothes...
Based on my description above, it may seem like these things are bigger than they are. They are in essence a 5 sided box with a draw string around the open end. When drawn, the "open" side closes up, using some of the height of the box as the 6th side (hope that makes sense). For example, if you were to square the large pod, it is like 2,600 ci, but it won't hold that amount in reality because you need to cinch it to close it.
They are pretty slick though - easy on, easy off, easy to keep from flopping around, and flexible in terms of capacity based on the draw closure.
KU 3700 with two long pockets, a medium pod, a grab it and a small pull out for the essentials.
Will be on my back for a BC Mountain Goat hunt and a Yukon Mt. Caribou hunt in 2012.
The compressed bag size on the Big Agnes Storm King is 8"x9" so it looks like that would fit in the small pod (12"x7"x9") if I didn't put anything else in it. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get the medium pod just in case though...
On a side note if anything better than this is out on the market, feel free to give me a heads up.
Glad things are working out for you. Do any of the packs or pods have a spot for a water bladder or at least an opening for the tube?
The wife just caught me looking at the Kifaru site, all I could say is it wasn't pretty! Anybody want to buy a MR Longbow and 6500 shoot me an email.
I believe they all have both.
Yep, both packs have a internal sleeve for a water bladder and a hole to run the hose through. It works like any other pack and the bladder will be tight against the center of your back.
I know that Beendare and Gus have gotten a chance to use the 3,700, maybe we can get them to post what they thought of the pack as well. I think Matt is next in line to take a look at the pack.
I was leaning towards the longhunter with the load hauler, but definitely like the looks of the KU3700 better for overall use. Will it work for the larger items as well as the hauler frame? gonna be making my order next week, and I'm thinking abot ordering the hauler frame too, but if this pack will work, I wont worry about it.
I loaded the pack up with about 50 pounds to try it out. My initial opinion wasn’t good but I was informed that I had the side straps tighten up incorrectly. I redid them according to the website and it changed my opinion quickly. It was a much better fit once I followed the instructions! Note to self: follow instructions in the future.
I also looked on the kifaru message board. The 5200 has a beefier waist belt and lumbar pad as per Patrick in order to carry the heavier loads.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty cool product. I do think the beefier suspension is a good idea for the heavier loads. The fabric appears to be really strong but I didn’t test its strength. I tried to keep it in good condition while I had it. The fabric is much quieter than I thought it would be based on web pics. I thought that the fabric might be “shiny” also but it didn’t appear that way to me in person.
I really like the pod and pocket things with the dock lock system. I didn’t think I would like that at all because I thought that it would shift around or become too bulky. They also seemed to be “gimmicky” to me based on the web photos. However I was pretty impressed how tight they can be attached. It basically becomes one with the pack. I didn’t think it would be that sturdy once attached based on the web photos but I was wrong. Also, you can use the pod/pocket as a “daisy chain” with two loops in it if attached properly. That would be a great way to tie the bow onto the pack along with the grab it thingy. I didn’t have time to try the daisy chain idea with my bow in a real world scenario because I wanted to get it to Matt quickly so that he would stop bothering me about it. Plus you have the pods extra capacity to make one trip out with an animal and camp.
That’s my two cents on the subject; I will let you know when my 5200 with pods and pockets arrives.
I will call you later on today and BS about the packs.
Thanks for posting you thoughts on the pack, happy you liked it!
Matt is up next, so this will allow everyone to get opinions from a few different guys now. I think Matt has ordered one already and is just getting mine to take a look at it and see if he is going to like it or not....
Aron was nice enough to shoot me this pack to give it a go.
My first impression when I picked it up was WOW- that thing is light! I was thinking, "how will this pack perform being this light?"
Overall; I was amazed in the quality of construction and how light that pack was-simply amazing. I assumed it would be a stripped down version of something- nothing further than the truth. Many buckles and straps for further add ons, pods, adjustment, etc. No pockets which is fine for me, I organize my gear in different bags for different trips so the "no pocket" thing for me is a plus.
I also was under the impression it would be a bit "Delicate" due to the lighter weight- again, not true. The double layer silnylon fabric is very strong [actually a stroke of genius by the designer to utilize the fabric in this way] I would not hesitate to do anything I would do with another cordura style pack excepting maybe dragging it over large sharp rocks. Even then, the bottom of a pack takes the most abuse and this has a generous cover of cordura. The shoulder straps are comfortable with medium loads but you may notice the minimalist design with longer packs of 50# plus loads.
I've been backpacking off and on for 40 years, and the belt on this pack is perfect! Not too much bulk and foam padding. It molds to your form well with no pressure points even under the 55# load I used on a couple of hikes. I liked the web strap with velcro backing [over the belt] which gives a guy multiple options for holding a pocket or????
Another assumption; I thought the pack would be real shiny due to some of the photos on Kifaru site. In person, the pack has a smooth surface and it isn't dull but its not bad at all and I was pleasantly surprised.
Note, my pics- above- show the pack about 3/4 full is all. Pack fit was very good on a tough to fit picky azz like me but I was maxed out on adjustment on the straps. Worth noting, a tall guy would want to mention to Kifaru; leave a bit more length on the shoulder strap adjustment on both ends [they may do that anyway- don't know] The pack was a dream with a light [daypack weight]load. It carried surprisingly well with a medium 35# load and the pack 3/4 filled out. The very skeptical guys like me will be amazed at what this pack can do at this feather weight.
I also did a couple long treks through the hills with a 40# bag of salt and some extra water bottles- 55# total on a scale. When I first put it on I could not believe how well it handled the weight. After a few miles I had that salt working its way to the bottom of the pack and without any extra straps along to cinch it up, I started to feel it pulling on my shoulders. I have had this happen with every pear shaped pack I have owned. I have no doubt a guy could add a strap to keep this from happening but its worth planning for. A guy hauling meat with this pack needs to consider what he will do in this case. The 55# load was no problem for this pack and I would guess its comfortable max at something slightly over that. I picture myself hunting with it as a day pack hauling first meat loads of 70# with this pack [assuming additional strapping to keep the load centered]
Pack noise; None. Thats right. when the pack is filled out and cinched down the pack has no noise. And when I purposely rubbed it against brush the smooth fabric was quieter than cordura and pretty close to the noise you would get with brushed saddlecloth. The smooth finish really helps with this, again a pleasant surprise. I did have some swishing noise from the fabric when the lid was loose and not cinched down properly.
My prediction; this pack will turn skeptics into believers- kudos Kifaru.
That would be the grab-it - more utilitarian and far lighter than the chair. You can see it on Aron's pack in the first 2 pictures in the thread, and in use as the lower 1/2 of the bow carrier system in the 4th picture.
The pear shape bottom, is it designed that way or is the fabric stretching under too much weight? Would sewn in non-stretch straps help? Or maybe if the Cordura fabric came up a little higher to form a bucket in a sense would solve the issue.
Do COLD temps effect the fabric and noise level?
Beendare what is that lump/tear looking thing on the pack between the shoulder straps?
I like having my GPS unit on and attached to a shoulder strap or the top of the pack so I have a good bread crumb trail to download when I get home or follow after I may get lost. I am surprised no one manufactures a place for GPS unit. Just a thought.
Let me clarify on the "Pear shaped bottom". There are plenty of optional strap, loop and buckle attachments to cinch up and adjust the size and configuration of that pack to accommodate a heavy load. I didn't have anything along to do this on my hikes and the load shifted down into the bottom of the pack-operator error! If a guy was planning to use this pack as a meat hauler, he would be wise to have those straps or accessories in that pack for that eventuality. If I would have had MORE TIME with it I could have developed a strategy.....grin
That pack will surprise you how quiet it is. Coldest temp on my hikes was 40 degrees.
The shoulder straps and belt have attachment points for pouches etc
as for the external pockets, you can add different size pockets that you have to purchase separately for the hip belt area and they attach using their system ie: "possible pouch 3 sizes to choose from" and "belt pocket". these would be perfect for a gps or similar things. I have to have my asthma medicines and bee sting kit close by so that is what I would use the external pockets on the hip belt for.
i hope this helps.
Kifaru does (cell phone/GPS pouch) in the regular hunting line. It may be adaptable to the KU line, but I think you may need to cut the width of the velcro strap.
Most GPS units do not operate in a closed pocket they need a clear sight to the sky. I still use a Garmin Legend and on one of my badlands packs there was an elastic strap across one of the shoulder straps. The legend with it's slightly wider at one end shape fit in there perfect with no chance of falling out and a clear view to the sky. When I found a wallow or good sign or a good spot for a treestand or just to mark a waypoint for a route etc; all I had to do is press and hold and the waypoint was marked . Most of the time I never took it off my shoulder. It was out of the way all the time also. My eyes are going now and to see the screen on most units I have to hold the unit further away to see, and I'm finding my arms are not long enough with out glasses but that a different story.
I guess what I'm really looking for is a way to lock the GPS in with a clear view to the sky. Or a GPS unit with an external antenna that can clip on to the top of your pack with the unit being kept in a pocket.
It is not a deal maker just something I would think a pack maker might consider providing. I like downloading all my data on to Google earth and when you see your breadcrumb trail showing where you walked its pretty cool.
The KU looks like a great pack. Thanks to Aron I purchased the MR Longbow and 6500 last year and used the 6500 on a week long DIY with no complaints other then no elk. But I would like to lighten my load for this year and between the pack and a new sleeping pad (used the exped) could probably save close to 5 pounds. I'll be watching the reviews closely.
Thanks to all that replied and Good luck Aron.
I know he is getting hammered for requests from everybody and his brother- hard to keep all of the people happy all of the time I'll bet!?
I have a garmin 76xmap that works fine inside the hip pocket on my MR Nice Frame.
These ultralite packs seem great, I would like to see what Elk Reaper and others here can do to them over an entire season. They almost seem to good to be true to me.
I'm not saying the brands that are made overseas are bad, just that it's cheaper to make them from across the ocean.
When I first saw the back panel of the KU3700 in Beendares photos above I had to do a double-check because it looks EXACTLY like my Arcteryx. If the Kifaru is anything like my Arcteryx I can honestly say it has to be good....but is it worth spending $300+ more?
I have totally beat my Arcteryx pack to death and never had a stitch slip nor any rips in over 15+ years of abuse! I can honestly say Arcteryx makes a quality product! You are absolutely right that some of the Asian-made packs may be touch and go as far as quality but there are great mountaineering packs available at affordable prices that are made right here in North America!
Just because Kifaru asks a high price for their product doesn't mean they are any better than top of the line mountaineering packs that cost much less! I've always been amaazed that people are willing to pay that much for a Kifaru...and spend even more $ on pockets, pouches, and other add ons! I've seen lots and lots of rave review in favor of Kifaru and it's up to everyone to decide whether they are willing to fork out that kind of $! I guess what I'm trying to say is if a guy is willing to do some searching there are affordable high quality mountaineering packs available!
I think you should confirm your info:) OR simply go read the tags on arctyrex gear .....most will say Malaysia :)
All my arc stuff does, I just checked! Maybe it's half and half for them?
I guess my point was that mystery ranch and kifaru make everything in the house 100 percent in the united states!
As far as the bora goes , I agree with you that it is one of the better packs on the market... I used a bora for 7 years, but I have posted that before and how much I liked it!
I was doing some research on Arcteryx packs and came across this model that they make. It is their military grade pack from what I read it cost more then MR and Kifaru so it seems. Copy and paste the link.
Also I see you made the cover of military times mag.http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/tag/packs/
Can you do a review on the Arcteryx packs? They do look like a nice pack but can they carry a load of elk meat? Do you have pictures? Personally I do not care if the pack is in camo or not just that it is strong enough not to break at the wrong time. I can not carry over 70 lbs. anyway but it's nice to know the pack can.
I think a new pack thread review that is just for commercial mountaineering packs would shed some light on the difference of the two packs and there uses.
Have you ever tried out a Kifaru pack? I ask because I currently have three of them and one Arc'teryx Bora. The back panels do look similar, but they do not feel similar. To me the Kifaru pack is much more comfortable. If you haven't given a Kifaru pack a test run then you definitely should. Yes, they're pricey, but there's a reason so many people are willing to buy them.
BTW, my Bora is currently for sale.
My boy Elkreaper can agree and so can others who have tried kifaru. If you dont want to pay the hefty price you dont have to... Thats the beauty of USA we dont have to agree and we can all buy and all use different products that we like.
Enough with that back to the ultralights!
My computer crashed this weekend:(, so I was replying from my phone this AM....It sucks on the phone!
Anyway, I talked with my buddy over at arcteryx today and he said that 100 % of the Bora and Altra packs (higher end models) are made overseas!The packs that are made in Canada are 10-15% more then Kifaru and MR.
They start the journey to the United States from Korea, then head over to the philipines, then to Canada,and finaly end up in the great USA.
So to answer your first question...... "How much do I know about Arcteryx?"........ I knew enough about them to know that they are not made in North America.
NOW BACK ON TRACK!
A Bora 95 will EASILY hold a boned elk qtr+. In fact, I usually pack out a boned hind qtr plus a boned out front qtr with mine (bulls of around 320ish size). The heaviest load I have ever had in mine is a shiras moose hind qtr so belive me it can handle substantial weight and bulk. Maybe not quite up to Kifaru or Mystery Ranch standards but not far behind.
There is no doubt in my mind that Kifaru makes quality packs. The problem I have is their products are well out of my budget! I have a feeling that if 85% of the guys on this forum asked their wives if they could spend $600+ on a backpack that they "might" use once or twice a year their wives would likely throw them and their stuff out on the front porch! With that said, a pack similar to an Arcteryx Bora 95 will do a great job of hauling elk sized game. I've been doing it for years! Bora 95's currently run $430 and if you shop around at most mountaineering websites you can likely get a 20% off coupon..which brings the price down to $344! You may even be able to find a slightly used one on Ebay or Craigslist for under $200! I know if I was on a budget and wanted a great pack for hauling game that is what I'd do!
If you have $600+ to spend on a Kifaru great for you but there are great packs available that will work well at about 1/2 the price. If you want to invest in 1 pack that will last a lifetime it may be worth investmenting in Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, or Barneys. I know if I was looking for another hauling pack I wouldn't hesistate to buy another Arcteryx.
It sure would be great if Kifaru would drop their price so that the average Joe could afford their packs! I know I wouldn't hesitate to invest in one and am sure they would sell a lot more packs! I'm aware that quality comes at a price but it almost seems like they are almost pricing themselves right out of the market? As it currently stands there is no way I'll buy a Kifaru because I can get such great quality and value from Arcteryx! 15+ years and mine hasn't missed a beat!
The versatility of the outside pods (long pockets) is one of the things I like about the Kifaru design. I didn't see anything like that available for the Arcteryx.
As for price, I just may have to save up longer.
Keeping the majority of weight tight to your back is extremely important when packing extremely heavy loads! If the meat is strapped outside of your pack you will likely find yourself constantly battling gravity. If you find yourself trying to lean and pull the weight forward with extreme loads you likely have an improperly loaded pack! You should feel quite stable with a load and be able to stand upright.
With that said, my first load is usually most (if not all) of my base camp, bow, plus some meat in the bottom of the inside of my pack in garbage bags. The remaining loads of meat all fit inside. You will likely find that you can load as much as you can possibly carry inside a 6,000 cu in pack!
My last Kifaru pack was a Siwash that I picked up used for well under $300. I've seen two different Longhunters for sale used in the last month for less than $500. The dollar gap between Kifaru and Arc'teryx isn't as big as you think, but having owned both the bora and several Kifaru packs, I've gotta say that the performance gap is pretty big in my experience.
If you ever get a chance to use a Kifaru pack you might think they're worth the extra coin too.
A very high % of the guys spending $600 on a pack, are going to use it a lot more than a "might once or twice a year". Even those that don't, bought it because they understand that 75-125# on your back can be doable or not doable because of a pack. $600 divided by 30 trips, equals $20 a trip. Hell that's only 1 days worth of MH meals! I know I'll get a lot more than 30 trips out of my LH! If my wife is going to throw me out because I spend $600 on a pack....well at least my hunts will be comfortable.
Keep them coming Aron!
Les, I like your logic. Can I have you call my wife on my behalf?
My guess is a guy using his pack very little is going to be quite miserable in some of the coolest places on earth- the elk woods.
I bought a new pack last year in August and had 150 miles on it before my deer hunt [maybe 35 miles],train [?] sheep hunt[ 30 miles min], train[?] and elk hunt [only 10 miles- I used a daypack instead] Thats a lot of time with a pack and I know there are guys that spend a heck of a lot more time with their pack than I!
The only potential negatives are 1) lack of pockets (depending on one's perspective), and 2) some of the attachable pockets do not work well if the main pack bag is not full. This shouldn't come as a surprise, but I thought it would make sense to point that out. The issue is that the pockets (in my case the long pockets) can sag and swing if they do not have a solid attachment, and when the bag is not full, the attachment points can move.
How about some more pictures of the packs all loaded up with gear.
It was pouring rain while I was hiking, and one thing I was a bit disappointed by was the amount of water that ended up seeping into the bag. My load was an uncompresed sleeping bag and a 40# sand bag ontop of that, and the part of the bag that was touching the bag got pretty damp. The material itself is waterproof and I had hoped the many seams wouldn't let in very much water, but that was not the case. This isn't a criticism per se, as it is still more water resistant than the cordura packs I have used, it just didn't meet my unbased hopes/expactations.
Do you think seam sealing would help? I have a KU3700 on order so I'm interested in your thoughts.
I'm 6'2" and my Torso is around 21". I went with the 24" stays in the 3700 because I want to make sure I can get the correct angle for the load lifters. I have a pack with 21" stays and they are too short. A nice thing about the KU packs is that you can have two sets of stays (22 and 24 for the 3700). I've included a link that talks more about the KU stays.
I ordered my KU3700 with an E&E, two medium pods and a Grab-it. How were you planning to use the second Grab-it?
Torso lentgh and to a lesser degree stays. If you rae on the cusp and expect to carry heavier weights, you may go to the longer stay. There is a pretty good overview on the Kifaru site.
"I think it would help with holding the bow on while hikeing in or out. Just have one strapped on bottom and one on top like Aron did in the pics above."
I may be mistaken, but I believe Aron only used the top flap of the pack as the upper cotrol point for the bow - not a 2nd grab-it.
I bet your right, i never really looked close.. hmm well that would save me a little cash. thanks
The ship date for my pack is April 21. I ordered it on January 25.
With regard to carrying a bow. I believe Aron used the top flap as Matt indicated. That is my plan any way.
I originally was going to order the KU5200 but after seeing the videos showing pods attached to the top and bottom of the KU3700 along with the E@E on the back and the long pockets on the sides I decided the KU3700 was more versatile for the type of hunting I do. I don't have any 10+ day backpack hunting trips planned this year. I have one 5 - 7 day trip and a number of shorter trips planned and the KU3700 will work great for those.
I did use the top flap to secure my bow and not a Grab It.
When I use the Grab It on the bottom of the pack, I usually wrap my cam in a shirt and then suck the Grab It up really tight. The shirt is just a little extra protection for the cam if I fall.
With the added attachments for the 3,700, 10 days is not out of the question if you have UL gear. I don't have the E and E, but do have the long pockets and medium pod and I got 7 days inside the 3,700 pretty easy.
Of course, I have to actually *see* a 3700 and the pockets to know if that would work (unless someone else has already tried it).
Of course, I have to actually *see* a 3700 and the pockets to know if that would work (unless someone else has already tried it).
Even better idea.. good call!
I am going to be doing a very in depth video on OutdoorLife.com under the Live Hunt section. This will cover all of the attachments for the KU line and a step by step process of how and what I load into the 3,700. When it gets posted up on Live Hunt i will attach a link to the site.
Sent you a PM
Are they still running 12 weeks out for these packs?
Is each pack custom built when ordered?
Yes they are still 12 weeks out.
Yes they are built when you order.
Tonight, I grabbed my new KU 5200, put my 1 man tent (Scarp 1), early season sleeping bag (Mont Bell 45 degree), and pad (neoair) into it, and weighed the combination on my fish scale - 8 lb. 4 oz. Some of my friend's empty packs weigh more than that!
Still 12 weeks out, can't wait
As it stands this will be the pack I take on my elk hunting trips for carrying in my camp and packing out the meat.
This photo shows 2 Kifaru pullouts (medium and large) being hung from the chamber pocket attachment points. Deployed this way, they do not fall to the bottom of the pouch. In the one on the left (medium), I have about everything you would need for a day hunt (knives, lights, first aid/survival stuff, purification tablets, tags/licenses) and the one on the right (large) would contain rain gear, beanie/gloves, food, and game bags/contractor bag if I was hunting. There is a sleeve for a water bladder.
I'm currently a few miles into the wilderness, but will comment more on the Kuiu vs KU questions when I return.
What do intend to use the pack for? IMO, you are comparing apples and oranges, as the alternative to the KU 6000 would be the 5200. I know Aron really likes the 3700/lots of pockets approach, but for me that is less than deal. Unless the main bag is full, the pockets don't work as well as one would think (they flop around). As such, outside of packing in and out, you lose the organizational benefit they bring. I haven't played with the E&E, but have been told that works well.
Many thanks for the superb pictures. In addition to the pullouts and chambers, Kifaru makes some superb cylindrical comp/stuff bags. These are perfect for holding rain gear, vests, sweaters, tarps and other compressible gear. They are made of silnylon and weigh...well...mere grams.
Here's a photo of my E&E with Liter+ pouches attached on each side. The brown straps are not holding the pouches in place, as they attach with malice clips. I just had extra compression strap, wrapped it over the pouches.
You will hate the KU packs then, they are the anti-Kuiu in terms of pockets. ;-)
This is the MMR Hauler Frame (no MMR bag) equipped with an array of bags such as their E&E, Liter+ pouches, Mid-long pocket, small and medium pods. Everything you see can be stripped down to individual items in under 20 seconds in the field. I just select what gear I need for the day and attach the necessary externals. There is no main bag with this system. I adapted the MR Load Sling to it for hauling bigger loads and meat.
A KU 3700 with an E&E is 4700 cubic inches - that's a lot of space if you have modern backpacking gear.
I have been able to attach the E&E so it does not flop around even when the 3700 is completely empty. I don't have long pockets to test but I believe I could keep them from flopping as well.
There was no flopping even with the main bag only 1/2 full.
Aggieland- I'm 6'-0" and ordered the 24 inch stays. That's the recommended set-up by Kifaru for average-height guys. We'll see in a few weeks.
I'm getting the 5200 with Grab-It, belt pouch and 2 lash kits. I opted out of extra pockets, pouches, pull-outs, E&E, etc, as the whole notion for me was reducing weight from my existing pack system / meat hauler.
1. A bigger volume pack takes more effort to keep a heavy load from collecting in the bottom of the pack.
2. A bigger volume pack takes more effort to stabilize a heavy load that does not fill the pack.
3. How much weight are you willing to carry at one time and how often will you fill the pack while staying within your weight limit.
4. What external pouches will you add for organization and access and how do they affect the overall pack volume.
I will elaborate on these starting with item 1.
I have used a number of different items in an attempt to simulate the volume and density of a load of boned out meat. I’ve used 5 lbs weights wrapped in t-shirts and stuffed into stuff sacks. I’ve used MSR dromedary bags filled with water. I’ve used sand bags in different configurations. I currently do most of my testing with a 70 lb tube of sand. In all cases if I don’t fill the bottom of the pack with something then the load will eventually works its way down into the bottom of the pack.
For example when I first tried the tube sand I put a small stuff sack stuffed with t-shirts under the tube to lift it off the bottom. The stuff sack lifted the tube to the level I wanted and I was able to compress the tube sand into place. I then went on a hike. About 45 minutes into the hike the pack began to feel uncomfortable. When I got back I found that the tube sand had pushed the small stuff sack to the side and had settled on the bottom the pack. Because of the amount of space in the bottom of the pack the tube sand was poking down below my waist belt. On my next attempt I tried using lash straps to pull it up but eventually the tube sand would find a way to poke down between them.
At least the tube sand stayed in the shape of a tube. The other items such as the stuff sacks with 5 lbs weights and the dromedary bags would work their way into the bottom and fill the available space. I finally ended up using a large compression stack stuffed with an old sleeping bag and some t-shirts that fills the bottom of the pack completely. This allows the tube sand, stuff sacks with 5 lb weights or dromedary bags of water to sit off the bottom and remain in the desired position.
Since a 5200 is larger including the bottom portion it will take more effort to find a way to keep a heavy load from working its way down to the bottom of the pack. In my case I would need more stuff in my compression sack and possibly a bigger compression sack.
In regards to items 3 and 4 I have determined that 3700 ci of boned out meat weighs more than I can carry so 3700 ci is more than enough for carrying a load of meat. I also have determined that I want to “live” out of an E&E while backpacking and hunting so I only have to access the main bag when I’m setting up camp, have an animal down or have an emergency. Also there is stuff I do not want in the main bag with a load of compressed meat because the weight of the meat could damage it. With this in mind I bought two medium pods in addition to the E&E to hold the things I didn’t want in the main bag. Kifaru doesn’t state the cubic inches of a medium pod but they can hold quite a bit of stuff. I am able to fit a compressed Mountain Hardware Phantom 15 sleeping bag, a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 tent and a large NeoAir in a medium pod.
My original intent was to put meat in the 3700 and attach one medium pod on the bottom and one on the top and along with the E&E carry most of my camping stuff outside of the main bag. I’m re-thinking the pod on the top because with a load of meat the top won’t be full and the pod does not fit well unless the top is full. I will probably get two long pockets and sell one of the pods.
With two long pockets and an E&E on a 3700 the total volume is 6000 ci. Add in the medium pod and the volume is approaching 7000 ci. My decision to buy the E&E, pod and long pockets is not so much for volume as it is for access and organization therefore, I would still want them even if I had a 5200. With my compact gear I’m not sure how often I will need more than 7000 ci.
I know that some people don’t like extra stuff hanging on the outside of their packs so they prefer the 5200. I have found that the dock and lock system keeps the external pockets tight to the pack almost has if they were “sewn-on”. I’m sure there are situations where the 5200 would be the better choice. I originally was set on getting a 5200 but when I thought through how I plan to use my pack the 3700 made more sense.
I was thinking about sewing some additional attachment points inside the bag on the same strips to which the outside attachment points are sewn. I could then attach a removable meat shelf or meat compartment to the inside of the pack. They would also allow lashing straps to be used on the inside.
I will post something about this on the Kifaru site to check if others see any potential problems I may be missing. Who knows maybe Kifaru is already working on a meat compartment that attaches to the chamber pocket loops.
I can attach my bow using the grab-it and a lashing strap while the E&E is attached. I can still get access to the E&E.
With a bow attached to the pack I don't see how it is any harder to get access to the pockets than it would be to get access inside the main bag.
Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean. Is there some configuration you want me try?
Glad to hear that you found the pack to fit your needs! Good luck with it and hope you bring us some photos of it filled with meat.
Going for a Timberline?