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Kifaru "KU" pack review!

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THE ELK REAPER 10-Dec-10
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From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

KIFARU "KU"

The KU pack is going to come in 3 models:

5,200

3,700

2,200

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

The pictures I have posted so far are of the prototype KU, but there has been a few mod's to the pack.

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

The KU loaded down with everything but the kitchen sink:)

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

This is the 3,700 with 2 long pockets attached.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

With the KU packs, you can order 2 different lengths of "stays", so if you are worried about the pack hitting on limbs above your shoulders, you have a couple options. I have the longer size in all my packs.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: Jared Miller Date: 10-Dec-10
WOW!! Those things looks sick!! I've been waiting to see what it was that you were testing out.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
Jared

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.

From: Jared Miller Date: 10-Dec-10
It looks like the same material as that used on their tipis and tarps, is that what it is?

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!!

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
The material is similar to the Tipi and Tarp material, but this is a dual layer material.

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.

From: Jared Miller Date: 10-Dec-10
I've been wanting to give Kifaru a shot and this is going to make me pull the trigger.

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.

From: OrElkaddict Date: 10-Dec-10
Dang it Aron!! I just got my pack off my back last Sunday night for a few weeks and here you go and get us talking about new packs again!! I'm gonna bill you for my divorce! lol Those all look pretty sweet, and a big pack under 3 pounds. Oh hell ya!!! Just makes more room for other gear when you start with a lightweight pack. I'd have to agree with Jared, the MR Crewcab is a nice pack but when you're starting out with 6 more pounds and the dang things still empty, thats huge! Is one big main bag or does it have some pockets to it?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
The 3,700 will be used for most of my 2-5 day scouting trips, you figure with 2 long pockets and 1 pod, I am only packing a 3 lb 6,500 ci pack, and when I get camp set up, I drop the attachments, and I am down to a day pack that weighs 2.5 lbs and can pack out as much meat as I can stuff into it.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
The pack is one bag withthe option of the drop in pockets. I have my packs set up with a large drop in and a small drop in over the top.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

The "pod" attached to the top of the pack is where I keep my sleeping bag and pillow. This will allow me to load my pack ahead of time, but keep my Sleeping bag un-compressed till I'm ready to hit the trail.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

The pod that I attach to the top of the pack.

From: John Haeberle Date: 10-Dec-10
What is the weather-durability of that cloth, i.e. is it waterproof/water-resistant?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
The material is water proof.

From: FoldersUnite Date: 10-Dec-10
Wow, looks amazing. Is the frame stand-alone like the Longhunter series? What is the abrasion strength of this material? Looks very durable, how would it hold up when in contact with rough surfaces?

From: Matt Date: 10-Dec-10
I want.

From: John Haeberle Date: 10-Dec-10
I don't even pack much (horses carry the weight) and I want one.

How much are we talking here? Upwards of $500, I'm sure.

From: TD Date: 10-Dec-10
Thanks Aron, pretty cool. Very interesting.

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?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
The pack has no squeaks and is not shiny, but the material itself is noisier then something like what Badlands of EB uses.

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.

From: Matt Date: 10-Dec-10
Upgraded to need.

From: Genesis Date: 10-Dec-10
Matt,same here.It will be interesting to see how Kuiu's Icon stacks up against the "KU"

I love a buyer's market....:)

From: DEW Date: 10-Dec-10
Thanks for the update... Can the bags be taken off the frames? Are the frames all the same? Thanks

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
It's not an actual frame, it's 2 internal stays, but no, each pack has it's own stays.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
I'm heading to the gym guys, but I will post more pics later.

Thanks

From: 300 Win Mag Date: 10-Dec-10
Can't find it on their website.

From: Ermine Date: 10-Dec-10
This is from the kifaru message boards

"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."

From: sunsignarcher Date: 10-Dec-10
SOLD

From: pirogue Date: 10-Dec-10
Looks like something finally come along I might consider letting my Kifaru Late Season rest for.

From: Elk2008 Date: 10-Dec-10
WOW, I can't wait to see the site.

From: IVhunter Date: 10-Dec-10
Aron, looking forward to seeing a picture of the pack in compressed/day pack mode (if you have one).

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?

-Adam

From: Reflex Date: 10-Dec-10
I wonder what the price will be like?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 10-Dec-10
IVhunter

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.

Reflex

The price for the packs is going to be in the 450-550 range, depending on the size.

From: DEW Date: 11-Dec-10
Aron will all 3 pacs carry that much weight or are the suspension systems different?

From: Autumn_Archer Date: 11-Dec-10
INteresting, I've been going back and forth between getting the longhunter standard, and the pointman. I live the pointman as it is easier to attach additional pods. I like the longhunter frame system a lot, but wasnt sure its what I would want to wear daily once I get packed in to where I set camp for a few days.

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?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 11-Dec-10
Autumn_Archer

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.

From: Watts Date: 11-Dec-10
When Matt starts speaking in near monosyllabic responses you know we may be on to something. ;^)

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!

Watts

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 11-Dec-10
If anyone in the Colorado area wants to see this pack first hand, I will have the 5,200 and 3,700 with me at 2:00 today over at No Limits Archery.

From: WapitiBob Date: 11-Dec-10
Congrats on the Goat. Looks like the long hours of scouting payed off.

From: Matt Date: 11-Dec-10
"When Matt starts speaking in near monosyllabic responses you know we may be on to something. ;^)"

You should have seen the drool...

From: MuleyFever Date: 11-Dec-10
Exciting!!

From: Watts Date: 11-Dec-10
"You should have seen the drool..."

:^D

So, will either be at the WSF show in Reno?

From: TD Date: 11-Dec-10
LOL! The drool can be wiped up, but if that other problem lasts longer than four hours....

From: Matt Date: 11-Dec-10
What? Brag to all your friends?

From: TD Date: 11-Dec-10
Heheheh...I was thinking more in terms of a full page ad....

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....

From: Gus Date: 11-Dec-10
do the packs interchange with the same frame similar to the NICE system from MR?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 11-Dec-10
Gus

No, each pack works as it's own system.

From: moose drool Date: 12-Dec-10
Great..... After Reaper's review of the MR Longbow, I go out and get one. NOW, after this review.... I want to sell the LB and get the KU. What the h*** Aaron? Where does this madness end??? LOL

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 12-Dec-10
I know what your saying buddy, I'm not sure how my wife has not kicked my A-- yet.

A good way to look at it, you can't go wrong wither way, they are both great packs!

From: Backpack Hunter Date: 12-Dec-10
Sounds like this may be worth holding out for.

From: Busta'Ribs Date: 12-Dec-10
Wow, while I'm a big MR guy, I have to admit that pack looks awesome. Does anyone know if Kifaru does any of the trade shows or conventions where a guy could get his hands on one of these before buying it?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 12-Dec-10
Busta

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.

From: Gus Date: 12-Dec-10
will they be at the Shot Show this year?

From: DEW Date: 12-Dec-10
Any photos of the 5200 and 3700 compressed down?

From: Beendare Date: 12-Dec-10
Aron, Have they said what the actual fabric is?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10
Beendare

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.

From: Jdog Date: 13-Dec-10
Reaper - has Patrick set pricse for these packs yet?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10
Going to be around 450-550, but the price list will be out on Wed.

From: Ermine Date: 13-Dec-10
There you go again kifaru. Just when I thought I was set on packs for life (G1 Longhunter Guide and the G2 Late season) you have to do this. Damn you. Just kidding. They look like awesome packs.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10

THE ELK REAPER's embedded Photo

7 days of bivy gear.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 13-Dec-10

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From: DEW Date: 13-Dec-10
Thanks for the photos and info Aron....

From: elkoholic Date: 13-Dec-10
DUDE!!!! Just when I get set on the 4500 you @#%$ it all up and post this damn thing. Now I want one of these for my week trips into elk country. would this thing work for a guy my size. What would you recommend. Is this the be all end all for bivy hunting or would I be better suited with the 4500?

You keep posting this chit and my wife is going to kick my arse!

From: DesertRat Date: 13-Dec-10
I had a chance to try on this pack on Saturday. UNREAL is all I can say about its weight and fit. I'm a smaller framed person and the pack went from Aron's size down to mine in seconds and the fit was better than my Sitka pack. I was worried about the noise of the fabric but as it turned out this material is quieter than some of my other packs. It's not fleece...but what is. The weight I'd save with this pack means I can carry two more days worth of food. Now that is big. Plus the modularity of the side pouches makes it really convenient to get at your smaller items that I normally jam into the deepest bowels of my pack. AND it's waterproof! Nuts.

-Andrew

From: Shaft2Long Date: 14-Dec-10
Are these last few pics still the 3700 model or the 5000?

From: Autumn_Archer Date: 14-Dec-10
I've been going back and forth on packs for a while, between the lonhghunter and the MR. This actually made it an easier choice. I was hesistant on the longhunter only because of the lack of pockets, but this KU setup seems to be the ticket.

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.

From: DeathBringer Date: 14-Dec-10
FYI....

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."

From: Nuke Date: 14-Dec-10
Kifaru is understandably going to launch the new UL stuff on Thursdays instead of Wednesday.

http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?23909-Kifaru-Ultralight-Packs!!!/page11

"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. "

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 14-Dec-10
Shaft2Long

The pics I just posted are of the 5,200.

A Archer

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.

From: 300 Win Mag Date: 14-Dec-10
How does the fabric hold up to tears, such as if you had to go thru a "Burn" (Old forest fire area) where there are lots of pickey sharp stuff to traverse?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 15-Dec-10
In one of the areas I hunted this year, we encountered a ton of beetle kill/blow down and I ended up ramming into several "stobbs" (broken off branches) and my pack has no signs of wear and tear.

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).

From: The Yode Date: 15-Dec-10
Aron - can you shoot with this pack on? One of the things I like about my Badlands 2200 is that I can shoot easily with it on. That allows me to hunt while I'm going in or moving camp. Besides how narrow it is, the straps can also affect shootability with any given pack. Have you tried it?

Thanks, as usual, for all the good information!

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 15-Dec-10
Yep,, you can shoot with any of the KU packs on.

From: WapitiBob Date: 15-Dec-10
So far, I'm not a fan.

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.

From: kota-man Date: 15-Dec-10
So far, the only downside I see is the lack of at least a couple pockets, unless we can't see them. I don't need pockets all over the place, but like WapitiBob I like to organize the essentials.

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.

From: Heat Date: 15-Dec-10
Wow! This looks like an awesome line of packs. I haven't had the need for a "big pack" yet, but when I do acquire something like that, the KU series will be at the top of the list! Great job Kifaru for the innovative products that continue to come out. You guys continue to push the technology our direction, and that is to be congratulated.

Great review and photos Aron! Thanks!

Nick

From: Matt Date: 15-Dec-10

Matt's Supporting Link

"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 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.

https://kifaru.net/spikecamp.html#

From: WapitiBob Date: 15-Dec-10
That was easy, thanks.

From: wild1 Date: 15-Dec-10
Gonna have to get one.

From: kota-man Date: 15-Dec-10
This thing is going to cost me $750 by the time I add the pockets and pods I need! Dang that's a lot of $$$ for a pack...

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 15-Dec-10
You can see more about the KU packs if you follow this link.

http://kifaru.net/KU.html

From: The Yode Date: 15-Dec-10
I was thinking of getting the 3700, two pockets and maybe a pod for my sleeping bag. Everything goes inside until I get some meat. Then, they come out and attach on the outside leaving the inside with room for more meat then I probably want to put on my back. I think it would work since I would only be looking at 3-5 days.

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!

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 15-Dec-10
Ken

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!

From: russ_outdoors Date: 15-Dec-10
Aron,

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.

From: The Yode Date: 16-Dec-10
I wish there were sizes listed for the pods. That would help in determing what to order - what size for my sleeeping bag? What size might work for extra clothing to keep them dry and seperate?

From: Matt Date: 16-Dec-10
I pulled the trigger today on a KU 5,200, grab-it, med. pod, and 2 long pockets. I am hoping to be able to do an overnighted here in the local hills once I get it to get some impressions of the gear. It won't be much of a test of the pack's capabilities, but it'll help kill some time between seasons.

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".

https://kifaru.net/pods.html

From: kota-man Date: 16-Dec-10
I was wondering on pod size as well. I was thinking medium for a sleeping bag?

They've got the new compression bags that would work great for clothes...

From: Matt Date: 16-Dec-10
I have large pod in the std. version, and it is LARGE - too big to put on the top of a pack as I had envisioned. I have only used it once, but I'd say is is probably 1,600-1,800 ci? I think I put 2 smallish sleeping bags and the fly/inner/pole for my Shangri-La 5+ in it - and maybe 2 sleeping pads. Did I mention it is large?

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 16-Dec-10
I have the medium pod and my sleeping bag and pillow or sleeping bag and bivy fits inside just fine. I have tried a few bags in the medium pod.. Western Mountaineering badger with Gore Windstop/ Kifaru Base Bag/ Marmot Helium and Pinnacle and a REI Radiant. All of them are Longs.

From: kota-man Date: 16-Dec-10
I couldn't take it anymore...Placed my order today.

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.

From: The Yode Date: 16-Dec-10
Thanks Matt, I missed that. That was exactly what I needed. Some of the other things had a button in the pictures that looks like a tape measure. When you click on that, it gives you the dimensions. I was hoping for something like that on the pods, but this works just fine.

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...

From: matt Date: 17-Dec-10

From: Aggieland Date: 15-Jan-11
Well I have a birthday comeing up in May, Might have to order me one of these bad boys with a few of the extras.. Never thought I would pay close to $800.00 for a backpack but the more you learn the more you seem to shell out the cash.. Here's to living large lol.

On a side note if anything better than this is out on the market, feel free to give me a heads up.

From: Lonearcher Date: 20-Jan-11
Hi Aron,

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.

Rob

From: Matt Date: 20-Jan-11
"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?"

I believe they all have both.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 20-Jan-11
Rob

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.

From: Autumn_Archer Date: 20-Jan-11
Reaper, how is the 3700 when it comes to packin in larger bulky items. We will have to pack out base camp gear in about 1/2 to 1 mile. That consists of a canvas tent(38#) but bulky, and the stove for it.

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.

From: Gus Date: 20-Jan-11
I got a chance to get my hands on the KU 3700 and Aron asked me to post my thoughts. The one I got to see had the aluminum stays so I can’t comment on the new ones which are even lighter. I got to try it out for a short half day hike. I will say that it is really light weight. This is all just my opinion so here we go.

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 21-Jan-11
A Archer

I will call you later on today and BS about the packs.

Gus

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....

From: lineman21 (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 21-Jan-11
I might just have to buy one of these.

From: Beendare Date: 21-Jan-11

Beendare's embedded Photo

Here's Gus with the KU3700

From: Beendare Date: 21-Jan-11

Beendare's embedded Photo

Heres another pic of the KU3700 backpanel.

Aron was nice enough to shoot me this pack to give it a go.

From: Aggieland Date: 21-Jan-11
Sweet.. I guess now I have to see how the KUIU testing goes before placing an order.. I'm still pretty sold on the Kifaru packs for now..

From: Beendare Date: 21-Jan-11
My take, but first a disclaimer; I'm an old school backpacker and most of the off the shelf packs don't seem to fit my taller/larger than avg. size quite right- so I was very skeptical of this pack!

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.

From: Matt Date: 21-Jan-11
"Does it have the option of the cargo chair for packing larger bulky items in or out?"

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.

From: Lonearcher Date: 21-Jan-11
Few questions for you testers.

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.

Rob

From: Beendare Date: 21-Jan-11
Rob, that lump is probably just due to the fact I tossed everything in and went- nothing to do with the pack, just something poking it there.

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

From: Gus Date: 21-Jan-11
Lonearcher - that point between the shoulder straps is where there is an inside loop stitched into it to hold the internal pockets that you can buy from Kifaru. check out their website for internal pockets. those pockets have an attachment to go thru the loop stitched into the bag. Kifaru packs don't have pockets so you can add them into it. the water hose from your water bladder goes thru the black strap above that stitching point. (you can see where the water hose is coming thru). it is not a rip or tear in the fabric.

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.

From: Matt Date: 21-Jan-11

Matt's Supporting Link

"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."

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.

From: Lonearcher Date: 21-Jan-11
Thanks Gus, Beendare, and Matt

Matt,

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.

From: Matt Date: 21-Jan-11
Top zips like the Kifaru pouch I mentioned should give a clear view of the sky. My 60csx locks just fine inside my pack or with that pouch fully zipped.

From: Herb Date: 22-Jan-11
I've carried my Lowrance iHunt for many years and last year a Garmin Oregon zipped in a Kifaru gps pouch on my right shoulder, and they both track just fine. I'd expect Kifaru will add a KU gps pouch to the line up, as Matt metioned, the pouch from the original line would work too.

From: Lonearcher Date: 22-Jan-11
I do not want to side track this thread. I heard the new generation Garmin GPS's work even if their inside the pack specially the 60 csx.

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.

From: Beendare Date: 22-Jan-11
Yeah, I also have to give a shout out to Aron-thanks for going out of your way and giving me a run with that pack.

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!?

From: jims Date: 22-Jan-11
$500 to $600 for a pack is a little steep for me! I am wondering how long a full size pack will hold up if it weighs less than 3 lbs? The harness system looks almost identical to my Arcteryx that has lasted 15+ years of abuse for under $400! It will be intersting to see if the Kifaru bag will hold up without sagging and puncture problems. In my opinion Kifaru is well overpriced compared to similar similar mountaineering packs. Kifaru makes a great product but is way to spendy for my blood!

From: Hike&Hunt Date: 23-Jan-11
Not to hijack this thread, but if anyone would like to unload a MR Longbow send me a PM. I'm looking to pick one up.

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 23-Jan-11
The price difference between Kifaru and Mystery Ranch compared to Arctyrex, Osprey, Black Diamond is simple ..... companies in Asia are pay there workers a fraction of what we pay our employees in the USA.

I'm not saying the brands that are made overseas are bad, just that it's cheaper to make them from across the ocean.

From: Zbone (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 23-Jan-11
cool stuff, but how do you pronounce "kifaru"?...thanx

From: Ermine Date: 23-Jan-11
When it comes to gear I believe you get what you pay for. With Kifaru you cant beat custom made high quality gear made in the good old USA. As far as pronouncing. Say it like you read it... ki far u

From: jims Date: 24-Jan-11
ELK REAPER I kind of got a kick out of your last post! How much do you know about Arctyrex and other top end mountaineering companies? Did you know Arctyrex is a private Canadian company and makes all of their mountaineering gear "in house" in Canada? They are definitely not a run of the mill Asian company! In fact, I would put their packs, rain gear, and other equipment up against just about anyone!

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!

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 24-Jan-11
Jims

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?

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 24-Jan-11
Jim

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!

From: Lonearcher Date: 24-Jan-11

Hey Aron,

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.

http://soldiersystems.net/2010/11/19/the-arcteryx-antaeus-ssd-exclusive/

Also I see you made the cover of military times mag.http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/tag/packs/

Hey Jims,

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.

Rob

From: DeathBringer Date: 24-Jan-11
Jims,

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.

From: The Yode Date: 24-Jan-11
I guess it is all in the features. I am looking for a pack that has the detachable outside pockets. I want to put them inside while hunting for a narrower profile (and pick and choose the size). When I get something, I want to strap them on the outside and save the inner area for as much meat as I can haul (probably 70-80 lbs total). I didn't see anything like that in the Arc'teryx line or anywhere else for that matter. Versatility is the key for me.

From: Ermine Date: 24-Jan-11
Kifaru packs are mountaineering packs but geared towards hunting. Which means they are packs that are made to carry god aweful loads when the time to pack meat arises. I have tried alot of packs (Mountaineering packs and hunting packs) and can say that Kifaru packs are the most confortable packs I have used. They are amazing whether loaded down with a heavy load or just a normal load. Other packs that I have tried dont feel near as confortable with loads of the same weight.

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!

From: Jbirdhunter Date: 24-Jan-11
Aron directed me to an arcteryx bora 80 because I was on a budget and he said it was a great pack. It was on sale for 230. It will hold 100+lb because I would work out with it every week. I'm probably going to switch this year because of weight. The only thing I didn't like was there was no bladder pouch so I was constently getting in and rearranging it. other than that, it was a good pack. PS it was made in phillipians.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 24-Jan-11
jims

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!

From: Jimbob Date: 24-Jan-11
Arcteryx started as a small "made in Canada" company but now they are a much much different animal. Like many other companies they started small and focused on quality but now they are huge. Some believe quality has went downhill since most of the production has went overseas.

From: jims Date: 24-Jan-11
Elk Reaper...sorry I falsely accused you of the Arcteryx deal. I read the first 2 paragraphs on their website and it appeared they made all of their gear in Canada...which obviously isn't the case. I can't seem to find a "made in" tag on mine so aren't sure if this is a recent venture?

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!

From: Ermine Date: 24-Jan-11
jims- Yea I hear you. They are pricey. Way pricey. I am an average joe thou too. I dont have tv, I clothes shop at thrift stores. But I spend my money on the best hunting equiptment I can buy. That might be why I am a broke dic# all the time. ha ha

From: Elk2008 Date: 24-Jan-11
Have any of these packs shipped yet?

From: jims Date: 24-Jan-11
Ermine, I'm the same way..penny pinch so I can buy the best gear I can afford. Especially gear that will increase my odds of harvesting super critters and make life easier while in the field. I've learned the hard way that it is worth paying a little extra for high quality gear and I wouldn't be raising a stink if I wasn't impressed with what I've seen with Arcteryx at a fraction of the price of Kifaru!

From: The Yode Date: 25-Jan-11
Jims - how did you pack out the meat? Attach it to the outside or was there enough room to add some inside? I want to take a good load out as well as when I come back. That means meat in addition to my standard bivy load.

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.

From: jims Date: 25-Jan-11
My preference is to store meat inside where it is protected and doesn't have the tendancy to shift while hiking on 45 degree slopes, crossing downfalls, streams, etc. I ended up several times up-side-down like a turtle when I used to strap meat to the outside of my pack or load!

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!

From: ElkkillinTut Date: 25-Jan-11
Aron, are there any plans to laminate a quiet material to the Nylon on these packs? I would gladly carry an extra pound of dry pack weight for the added benefit of being quiet in the brush.But I would'nt want to add much more than that as it would be defeating the advantage that theses packs have over all of the rest.

From: DeathBringer Date: 25-Jan-11
Jims,

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.

From: bighouse@work Date: 25-Jan-11
http://www.arcteryx.com/Manufacturing.aspx?EN

From: bighouse@work Date: 25-Jan-11

bighouse@work's Supporting Link

Here is a hyperlink

From: Les Welch Date: 27-Jan-11
"$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!"

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!

From: Strawman Date: 27-Jan-11
"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."

Les, I like your logic. Can I have you call my wife on my behalf?

From: Les Welch Date: 27-Jan-11
Give me her number, lol.

From: OrElkaddict Date: 27-Jan-11
$600 is pretty dang cheap when you consider how much the doctor bill and physical therapy is going to cost you to get your back fixed after trying to get your elk out with a cheap, crap pack. What I can't understand is people will drop $1000 or more on their bow but want to go budget on the pack, That pack is on every step of the hunt! Its kind of like buying cheap boots, you can do it but will you really enjoy the hunt with parts of your body hurting like hell! food for thought

From: Beendare Date: 27-Jan-11
"Once a year" Ha! Seems to me a guy would want to have a pretty intimate relationship with his pack....grin.

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!

From: Aggieland Date: 29-Jan-11
Can't wait for more pics from you guys.. Keep them coming! I can't decide between the 3700 or the 5200..

From: Lonearcher Date: 12-Feb-11
Any further reviews on the KU packs?

Rob

From: Matt Date: 12-Feb-11
I took a hike with the 3700 last weekend. I didn't load it up that much (25#?) because I am out of shape and went for a lot of vert, but it did great. The one I used has the aluminum stays and is feather light (3.0#) - and will be 1/2# lighter with the carbon stays. The Material is quieter than I expected, definately quieter than the cordura packs and probably on par with the "quiet" fabrics on the market.

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.

From: Lonearcher Date: 12-Feb-11
Matt PM sent.

How about some more pictures of the packs all loaded up with gear.

Rob

From: Matt Date: 19-Feb-11
I did a longer hike today with 55# in the pack and got some more thoughts. Tha pack carried the load well, and feels just about like my G2 hunting packs. The quietness of the material continued to impress me as well.

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.

From: DaveS Date: 19-Feb-11
Matt,

Do you think seam sealing would help? I have a KU3700 on order so I'm interested in your thoughts.

Thanks,

Dave

From: Matt Date: 19-Feb-11
I am sure it would, but there are other spots (i.e. hydration port) that will let water in. My usual strategy is to pack my clothes and bag in waterproof stuff sacks, so I will continue doing that (good practice if you use an in-the-pack water bladder anyhow IMO). What I had really hoped was to be able to drop the pack cover, but that is a minimal downside. The good news is the material should not hold water or get funky/musty atfer being wet like cordura does.

From: Aggieland Date: 19-Feb-11
I think before my upcoming season i'm going to break down and buy a 3700 with and E&E, 2 Long Pockets and 2 Grab-it's. maybe a med pod but I think what I have above will work well for carrying gear in/meat & gear out..

From: Aggieland Date: 19-Feb-11
One question for you guys.. what determins the lengh of the stays? I see they go from 22'-26' not sure what length would work better. I have a short torso. prob 19 niches or so..

From: russ_outdoors Date: 19-Feb-11
I wouldn't try to seal the seams. Get a waterproof pack liner. They only weigh a few ounces. Seam sealing is tough to do.

From: DaveS Date: 20-Feb-11

DaveS's Supporting Link

Aggieland,

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?

From: Aggieland Date: 20-Feb-11
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. probably put the E&E on top while carrying a bow. Do you have your pack yet? I'm still trying to learn as much as possible before placing an order, these things are not cheap..

From: Matt Date: 20-Feb-11
"One question for you guys.. what determins the lengh of the stays?"

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 20-Feb-11
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

From: DaveS Date: 20-Feb-11
"Do you have your pack yet?"

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.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 20-Feb-11
Sorry for not getting on here quicker, but I have been in the mountains for the last couple days (in a blizzard)!

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 20-Feb-11
I tell ya, this pack setup seems more diverse than anything I have looked at yet. What I plan to do is haul all my gear in using just the 3700. keep the long pockets empty and maybe put my quick grab hunting gear in the E&E. then after setting up base camp, I plan to use the E&E as a day pack of sorts. After a Kill I can load a lot of gear into the long pockets and the E&E leaving just my sleeping bag, hammock and meat for the main frame.. Should work well, I don't typically hunt over 5-7 days as well.

From: The Yode Date: 21-Feb-11
Aggieland - I was thinking of something similar except I was going to load my long pockets and put them *inside* the 3700 when packing in. If I got something, they would go on the outside and the meat would go inside. That way I know that everything will fit well in the pockets before I go.

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).

From: Aggieland Date: 21-Feb-11
Aggieland - I was thinking of something similar except I was going to load my long pockets and put them *inside* the 3700 when packing in. If I got something, they would go on the outside and the meat would go inside. That way I know that everything will fit well in the pockets before I go.

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!

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 21-Feb-11
What you guys are describing will work perfect with the 3,700 and that is exactly the way that i am planning on using it in the future.

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.

From: elkoholic Date: 21-Feb-11
Aron, You should do that with every pack you have. Show us how you pack all of your bivy gear. That should keep you busy for the next year or so. LOL! Seriously, I love what you are doing here and on OL. Huge help for those of us that are getting into backpack hunting. Eliminating a lot of trial and error. Thanks for your help here.

From: Aggieland Date: 21-Feb-11
Aron, that will be perfect! thank you very much.

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 22-Feb-11
Aggieland

Sent you a PM

From: The Yode Date: 22-Feb-11
Aron - fantastic!

From: The Yode Date: 23-Feb-11
OK Aron, it has been a WHOLE day! Where is the video???

From: GG NYC@Work Date: 23-Feb-11
Yode, that is funny, I just called him to see where his tent review video was from this weekend!

From: Wild Bill Date: 24-Feb-11
Aron, thanks for all the info. I was at Kifaru yesterday and tried on the 3 ultralight packs. I thought I would want the 3700, but now want the 5200. For 3 oz more, you get more padding in the waist belt and lumbar pad. More room if you need it, but can cinch it down it you don't. Man are those packs light!

From: Aggieland Date: 24-Feb-11
Wild Bill.. Please tell us more and details..

From: Wild Bill Date: 24-Feb-11
The stays are super light, but surprisingly stiff. They are a laminate of wood and carbon fiber which I've never seen before. The bag is a double layer of the very thin nylon material they use in their tipis and tarps. It weighs next to nothing and collapses down to nothing when empty. I questioned how well the bag would hold up. They felt with the double layer it would be very strong. No zippers or pockets, one pouch inside. The widths of the belts were similar on the 3700 & 5200, but the 5200 was noticeably thicker as was the lumbar pad in back. A big padded waist belt is worth a few ounces more weight to me. I'm 6'2" and could adjust the suspension system to fit well. They were just ready to ship the first production packs. Wait time is about 3 months right now.

From: Aggieland Date: 24-Feb-11
3 months.. ouch.. Well I guess what I really meant to ask was what made you choose the 5200 over the 3700. Right now i'm leaning hard towards the 3700 with some accessories and i'm pretty sure thats what I will have soon. But just wanted to hear your thoughts.. Thanks

From: DaveS Date: 25-Feb-11
Aggieland, I ordered my 3700 with an upgrade to the 5200 waist belt. The upgrade cost was $35.

From: Aggieland Date: 25-Feb-11
That may not be a bad idea. I'm always going to be carrying between 45-85 pounds..

From: Wild Bill Date: 25-Feb-11
Aggieland, if you can switch the belts, then I'm not sure which one I'll pick. I'd want to fill up both bags and see how they ride.

From: Cookson@work Date: 14-Mar-11
Does anyone have the ci specs for the long pockets?

Are they still running 12 weeks out for these packs?

Is each pack custom built when ordered?

From: Backpack Hunter Date: 14-Mar-11
650ci and 4.5oz for the long pockets,

Yes they are still 12 weeks out.

Yes they are built when you order.

From: Matt Date: 17-Mar-11
Do you ever get one of those smiles that you can't wipe off your face?

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!

From: huntingbob Date: 17-Mar-11
Matt that sounds like the real deal.

From: OTT2 Date: 17-Mar-11
Just pulled the trigger on the 5200 KU.

Still 12 weeks out, can't wait

From: hikenhunt Date: 20-May-11
Any more reviews from those who have received their packs?

From: Tim in Wa. Date: 20-May-11
go over to the Kifaru message board there is more info. there .I just got mine but have not had time to test it out yet

From: DaveS Date: 20-May-11
I took a couple of 3 mile hikes with my KU3700 loaded with 75 lbs and it is more comfortable than my other packs with the same load. The waist belt does not slip as is the case with one of my other packs and the 24" stays keeps the weight off my shoulders which is a problem with a some of my other packs. The kicker is that the total weight (pack + load) is at least 6 lbs lighter than some of my other packs. My legs like that part :)

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.

From: Ermine Date: 20-May-11
Yea Tim nailed it. Head over to the kifaru website and message boards for more information and reviews.

From: Aggieland Date: 20-May-11
I'm going to hold off purchasing one until I see some reviews on the Kuiu packs vs the Kifaru Ul's. One of these brands as it stands now will be with me on my hunts this fall.

From: Matt Date: 11-Jun-11

Matt's embedded Photo

This is for Aggieland and Kevin Dill:

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 11-Jun-11
Alright Matt, that does speak a thousand words and looks like it would work very very well. The Kifaru folks are really starting to get me going back that direction.. Here is my next little problem with Kifaru If I order what I blieve I need for just the pack . (KU 3700, 2 long pockets, 1 E&E, 1 grab it, and a belt pouch.. were talking close to $850.00 bucks thats $270 more than the kuiu cost shipped to me..Then I still need some pods to keep the stuff out of the bottom of the pack.. I'm not bashing because if this is the perfect way to go. I will be willing to spend a little more money to get it right. But where does it end? I guess its a personal decision also the weight of all that has to start getting around the 4-5 pound mark at some point..

From: THE ELK REAPER Date: 11-Jun-11
Zip Lock bags weigh next to nothing and work very well for organization.....Don't cost much either:)

I'm currently a few miles into the wilderness, but will comment more on the Kuiu vs KU questions when I return.

From: Matt Date: 11-Jun-11
The organizational aspect of my system works fine, but it is a bit of a PITA to have to open the main bag every time I need to pull something out. There is no free lunch when you talk about weight decreases like the KU line features.

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 11-Jun-11
I can pretty much sum it all up by saying this.. The KUIU has the best layout of pockets etc that I could ask for. The frame and fit of the pack is nice but not exactly what i expected. I believe part of that is because of my super short torso the pack just wont adjust low enough for me. (Never thought I would have short torso syndrom) lol anyway If the kifaru packs feel better and handel a load better without breaking then I may be jumping ship..

From: Kevin Dill Date: 11-Jun-11

Kevin Dill's embedded Photo

Matt,

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.

From: Matt Date: 11-Jun-11
"The KUIU has the best layout of pockets etc that I could ask for."

You will hate the KU packs then, they are the anti-Kuiu in terms of pockets. ;-)

From: Kevin Dill Date: 11-Jun-11

Kevin Dill's embedded Photo

While not the UL series by Kifaru, here's a picture of my modular setup.

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 11-Jun-11
Yes the pocket layout of the kuiu is really nice.. but do I really need the pockets? I give up.. will make a final decision Wednesday or so.. more testing to do and more talking to others on here or reading anyway.. wow I need a beer

From: DaveS Date: 11-Jun-11
The KU 3700 with an E&E provides an easy to access zippered pocket for the stuff you need all the time and a large main bag for the stuff you only have to access once in a while. I also hang pullouts and the KU possibles pouch from the chamber pocket attachment points to keep items from from falling to the bottom of the main bag (like Matt).

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.

From: DaveS Date: 11-Jun-11

DaveS's embedded Photo

I went on hike in Glacier park earlier today with the 3700 and E&E (a grab-it was attached as well). I put all the stuff I needed for the hike in the E&E including my rain gear, FAK, extra shirt and my lunch. My water bladder fit in the main bag along with some additional water bladders and a large stuff sack filled with a sleeping bag and a bunch of clothes for extra weight. I never opened the main bag and lived completely out of the E&E. Total pack weight was 50 lbs.

There was no flopping even with the main bag only 1/2 full.

From: DaveS Date: 11-Jun-11

DaveS's embedded Photo

Here is a close up of 3700 and E&E. My lunch, taken from the opened E&E, is sitting next to it. There's a belt pouch attached to the waist belt.

From: Aggieland Date: 11-Jun-11
Dave, your killing me! not only can you just go for a hike in glacier forrest but you have that pack rocking. Now the only question I have for you is this.. Would you consider the 5200 with an E&E a better setup than the 3700 with an E&E and two long pockets? P.S. can't wait for the Tuesday review!

From: Arapahoe Date: 12-Jun-11
How long does it take for them to ship one out now?

From: Tim in Wa. Date: 12-Jun-11
I've got the 5200 with an E &E and when empty and compressed it looks identical to the 3700.I don't see a disadvantage to getting the bigger pack Tim

From: Aggieland Date: 12-Jun-11
Will the 5200 work with 24" stays or do you need the 26. or does it depend on torso length..

From: Tim in Wa. Date: 12-Jun-11
my torso is 21" ,the 26" or 24" will work.I went with 24" Tim

From: sticksender Date: 12-Jun-11
Arapahoe- I ordered on May 28th and was quoted 4-6 weeks delivery.

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 12-Jun-11
Can someone explain what those lash it kits do. I guess i can find the youtube video of patrick again. Sounds like you guys have it figured out. I have a short torso so the 24" would work heck the 22 might even work for me. I know If I did order one it would have the Grab-it and an an E&E for my needs. And now im leaning towards the 5200. But man it looks like its 4ft wide in some of the pics I have seen online. Guess it just looks that wide on some people. thanks for all the info guys it really helps when making a final decision..

From: Gus Date: 12-Jun-11
i got the lash kit and it works great combined with the grab it for strapping ur bow to the pack. the lash kits fit into the dock/lock system around the pack. check out the youtube videos.

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11
I don’t have a 5200 to test but I don’t doubt that when empty it can be compressed to look similar to a 3700. But there are some other things to consider:

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.

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11
In regards to item 2 one issue I had with heavy loads was keeping them from shifting to one side or the other. I am currently testing five packs with one being 3000 ci and another being 6200 ci. It is much easier to stabilize a dense, heavy load in the 3000 ci pack versus the 6200 ci pack because the load has less space in which to move. Even if the load is compressed it has a tendency to shift to open space and when a pack gets off balance it is not as comfortable as one that is balanced.

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 12-Jun-11
Dave that is a good point. I guess there is always + and - in all these decisions we make on packs. It would be nice if somehow you could use the kifaru meat baggies and suspend them from the two main pack stays to hold them up. But thats something they would have to design I suppose. I have a lot of gear in my opinion, it filled up a tall laundry hamper completely full and then probably 1/4 again give or take a few items. Like you said the only negative I see with the 5200 is how wide it is but the kuiu I have now is 6000 CI so it has to be somewhat close.. love hearing your opinions.. thanks and keep them coming .

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11

DaveS's embedded Photo

Just for fun I wanted to see how two long pockets and a an E&E would fit on a compressed down 3700. I used my medium pods to simulate the long pockets.

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11

DaveS's embedded Photo

Here it is from the side. This would also work on the 5200. I attached the top flap to the very bottom of the pack instead of its normal connection point. This makes the pack very compact.

From: Matt Date: 12-Jun-11
My biggest issue with attaching pockets to the front of the pack is that it would interfere with carrying a bow there with the grab-it and lash straps, or conversely carrying the bow there would interfere with access to an attached pocket. LIke I said above, there is no free lunch.

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11
The chamber pocket attachment points (loops) are sewn very near the place where the stay pockets are sewn to the bag so anything hanging on the chamber pocket loops are hanging on the stays.

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.

From: Aggieland Date: 12-Jun-11
One thing about it. if you start adding all these extras the weight may creep up there close to the weight of the Icon 6000.. Fun thinking about all this tough..

From: DaveS Date: 12-Jun-11

DaveS's embedded Photo

Matt,

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?

From: Aggieland Date: 12-Jun-11
Fear the Beard... has got it going on

From: Gus Date: 12-Jun-11
dave, i was thinking the same thing about a shelf inside the pack. i thought that they could sew in four loops for the dock and lock that could attach to the pack material for a light weight shelf inside the pack.

From: Aggieland Date: 04-Aug-11
Guys, I received my KU 5200 and E&E pack and can honestly say its the most comfortable pack I have ever had on my back. I tried both the Carbon fiber and Aluminum stays and decided the aluminum stays seemed to fit my build the best. It's crazy how well the lumbar pad stays in place on this pack. I have been carrying it with 60 pounds this week, just to get used to wearing a different pack and plan to increase the weight to 70-80 next week. Just wanted to give Patrick and the folks at Kifaru props for a great product, Two thumbs up from me.

From: Snakeeater Date: 05-Aug-11
Aggie,

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.

Larry

From: Shrewski Date: 12-Nov-11
So, any more reviews now that the western bowhunting seasons are winding down?

From: Aggieland Date: 13-Nov-11
I used my pack for my week long Elk hunt in Colorado and the pack performed very well. I'm auctually considering selling the pack and the E&E I bought with it if anyone is interested. I have both the aluminum and carbon fiber 24" stays and an E&E. If you have any questions feel free to p.m me.

From: Snakeeater Date: 13-Nov-11
Aggieland,

Going for a Timberline?

Snakeeater

From: Aggieland Date: 13-Nov-11
I'm considering it. I like the Ku pack pretty darn well but always like trying new things. Also being the one who carries all the cooking gear, water purification, spotting scope, tripod, etc of the group it wouldn't hurt to have just a little larger pack. Somehow I managed to get enough gear to fill 6200 CI.. ouch.

From: Aggieland Date: 14-Nov-11
Anyone else interested in buying a KU 5200 p.m. me.


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Subject: RE: Kifaru "KU" pack review!

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