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Stone Glacier vs Kuiu packs
I am looking a purchasing a new pack for an upcoming goat hunt.
I have it narrowed down to stone glacier or a kuiu. The Kuiu pro pack in 6000 or 7800. Or the SG Sky archer 6400 or Sky talus 6900. All 2020 models. These each have qualities I like, and the two brands have a lot of similarities in their packs
Has anyone used both of these that would have an opinion on the pluses or minuses of each pack system?
I know there are a lot of good pack companies, but these are the two I am looking at. So I am only looking for info on these.
Running a Sky Archer on my goat hunt this year. Was a coin flip between that and the Sky Talus. Decided I probably wouldn’t care for the center zip on the Talus when the bow is attached. Side pockets would’ve been slick, but I like the SA so far... Only Kuiu experience I have is an old first gen Ultra. Liked the frame and belt. Bag and zippers didn’t last long though. I’m sure the Pro’s are an upgrade however.
I have a Kuiu Icon Pro 5200. What would you like to know about it? I am very happy with it. I have been putting it through it's paces for a few years now. Seems like eventually people settle on the packs they love that they will then proceed to tell everyone is the best product going. I'm not going to tell you it's "the best" because there are so many happy people with the well known packs. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and what you can pay for an item. I had no access to any of the major pack brands, but I had a good price line on the KUIU packs. I bought and am very very happy. I can't really imagine getting much more from them.
I have the Kuiu 7200 and it’s been great, done a few 100+ lb meat and antler loads. I always buy the larger size pack because the weight difference isn’t much and it can be cinched down smaller. Freeze dried food gets bulky especially for a 10+ day Hunt so the added space is great to have.
I have no experience with the 2020 icon pro frame. It does look like an improvement over the old model. I did a load so heavy it took me 5 attempts to lift if with an old ultra frame (130+# load) almost killed me. At 85# training loads it was ok but the belt slipped alot. The new icon pro had a better lumbar pad and hip belt so I can only guess it would be an improvement. As for the stone glacier, I have owned an Xcurve. 10 times better than the kuiu with a heavy load (for me). That belt would not slip with loads of 85# plus. I sold that x curve stupidly. And am looking at purchasing another now. The meat shelf built into the frame was great. It helped carry the load just a bit higher off my hips. Of your bag choices I would go sky talus. Bit better organization. Bigger main zip to get into the pack and see what you have.
I truly do like several things about the new exo k3 pack as well. Adjustable lumbar, hipbelt sizing adjusts to give more contact per belt size. Frame height is adjustable, and my favorite is the dedicated straps for packing meat built in, Not just squished between the frame and pack.
But of your actual choices I would go hands down SG. You can pick up one at 1 shot gear for 10% off your first purchase or if you mess around with the points a bit ( not even spending money on points but liking their page on FB and other social media sights) you can get 15% off. That adds up quick when dumping 700$ into a pack.
I prefer Kifaru to either
For 2019- 2020 the Kuiu has made huge improvements to the belt and lumbar pad. The new Kuiu is basically an exact copy of the SG system. EXO, Kifaru, are great also. But you didn’t ask about them.
So go with the SG hands down.
I switched from a SG R3 5900 to a Kuiu Pro 6,000. I like how easy the Kuiu switches out to the 1,800 size. It’s so simple and quick.
Kuiu also has way more organization built into it, for the added ounces (1/2lb or so) over the SG.
Kuiu fit me way better too.
Thanks for the input.
I am now looking at Kifaru again as well. Haven’t heard much bad about any of them.
I wish I could try these on. I may just bite the bullet and order both(or all three) load them up for a short walk and let my body tell me. And pay return shipping on the loser.
It my birthday month so I get a pretty good discount on the kuiu. Stone glacier also has an excellent military/pro discount. Not sure on Kifaru.
Don’t leave out EXO mountain
Where in TN you at, mountainman? I'm in Knoxville area and wouldn't mind letting you borrow my Kuiu for a test run.
I have the Kuiu 6000 and the Stone Glacier 5900 Sky. I prefer the SG due the meat shelf, and with a load it just feels lighter. Both are good packs!
Don’t forget to factor in the real weight of the finished pack. Shedding ounces in personal comfort items, then adding pounds for a pack can be a mistake.
Anyone can make an indestructible pack when it weighs 7-10 pounds.
2 lbs is a lot more food or water you can carry.
The mfg leave out the real Finished weight
SG is known for being comfortable and lighter weight.
By the time you factor in the hip belt pockets on the SG packs, and then adding any organizational stuff, your weight won't be what you think. SG packs carry meat great, and they are all around great packs, but keep in mind they lean more toward being just a big main compartment.
I didn't mind adding 6oz to have all the new features and organization that KUIU brings to the table now.
End of day what matters is how it rides on you under stress. That's the real make or break issue. I crunched all the numbers, studied materials, etc., for KUIU; EXO; SG...before switching. The truth is, they are all within a few ounces of each other when you give a pound-for-pound comparison.
Find what fits you and that's what matters.
Since Kifaru looks to be back on the table, I love my Kifaru Muskeg. I'm not military, but my understanding is that they do have a military discount if you call them.
I am a kuiu obsessed hunter...but their packs are garbage. SG, Kifaru, and Exo (I'm sold on exo). I strongly suggest the exo for this type of hunt. My buddy had a Kuiu and packing out a bull last year it was very sloppy no matter how tight the straps were, and the right shoulder strap broke. It was a nightmare.
Recently sold my kuiu and have a stone glacier on order...
I’m certainly not a pack expert. Otherr than maybe organization pockets what sets a pack apart is how it carries weight. Hard to beat kifaru for that. They have many bags to chose from and hold their value pretty good if you decide you want to try something else later. Considering what a goat hunt costs you could buy all 4 and resale what you don’t like. It would be a hassle but you wouldn’t lose much more than shipping costs.
There are a lot of choices out there that aren’t wrong. You need to decide which combination of frame and bag layout works for YOU. I owned a Kifaru and currently own a SG. Both are great. I liked the Kifaru more for hauling really heavy loads. I liked the SG more the other 98% of the time I’m wearing a pack, so I went with SG.
See a brand new Kuiu have a fail in the field on very typical pack out. In addition to the person struggling all summer getting a satisfactory fit for acceptable comfort , one of there wimpy buckle failed on a relatively normal load. One of the other 2 guys with us had also previously had a Kuiu that gave the same issues. They could have improved since (2018)but there are 4 better companies in SG, EXO, Kifaru, and MR to be looking into IMO. I like SG myself.
Great prices on MR on camofire off and on.. The MR metcalf is a good back too...
I'm always interested in hearing more about these Kuiu failures. I've packed loads in mine for 4 years and never had an issue, no sloppiness, no failures. I 100% believe they are happening, just never seen an issue with my pack. I literally have 50-60# in my pack all summer and hike every other day with it and zero rips, tears, or failures. Have carried loads up to 85# on many occasions. Have not broke 100# ever that I know of but have never weighed some of the heaviest trips. Of course now that I said something I'm sure it will fail! I want to upgrade to the pro system but not if it means its going to fail!
I’m with you Brotsky.....been hauling 75+ lb loads into and out of backcountry for 5+ years with ZERO failures, tears, or breaks. I can’t say anything in regards to any other brands but I have zero complaints about KUIU!
I am now using the PRO system with the 3600 bag and the 6000 bag. Have had both on multiple day backcountry trips with over 60 lbs and they both felt fantastic!
Have you looked at Seek Outside's hunting packs? They're significantly lighter than Kifaru, more waterproof, and the new poly that they're made of is promising. I know someone who's torn several Stone Glacier packs while hauling meat.
I was debating between Kuiu, Kifaru, and Stone Glacier as well and checked out Seek Outside's packs and finally went with them after a friend turned me on to them.
They also have pockets specifically sized for spotting scopes and the pack I have has a pouch that is perfect for a compound bow.
I have a SG talus 6900 and love it, the only thing that I wish it had was a good way to hold a nalgene bottle that's easily accessible. They have some water bottle sling but it gets in the way, I've tried ones that attach to the hip belts and those also get in the way of your arms. I just stick them in the side pockets but it's hard to put it back in, especially if your flexibility sucks like mine.
I recently got an Exo slurpee stalker which I can mount in the SG bag to hold a water reservoir and it also has a pocket to hold some gear. Like others said, the SG bags are pretty barebones but you can customize them to make them pretty versatile. It just isn't cheap.
The frame is what you're really after, second is how you can pack out extra stuff you normally don't carry. Keeping this load on the outside is best without having to rearrange things. Being able to take "stuff" out while keeping it contained in it's own small bag to keep from getting scattered or lost is an advantage on packout day.
I went with SG for obvious reasons.
HEAVY, not necessarily uncomfortable.
HEAVY, not necessarily uncomfortable.
I upgraded to a SG last year and was glad I did. I have the SkyArcher 6200, fits my purposes pretty much exactly. Compresses down nice for day-pack mode and the meat shelf works great for hauling heavy loads. Last picture sucked, but it wasn't necessarily uncomfortable, just heavy. I've had a couple buddies have Kuiu frame's crack, which may have been corrected at this point.
Customer service at Kifaru, SG, MR, and EXO will likely be better than Kuiu. I'm sure you'll be fine with whatever you choose.
Idyll, I have never laid hands on one but thought the seek outside waist belt looked puny. What do you think of the waist belt and is the bag built to last?
Just remember, you'll never be walking on clouds with 80# in your pack - no matter what brand you have lol. And in general people waaaay over-estimate weights that they say they are packing. If the load feels heavy and balanced, but doesn't hurt in specific places that's what you're after. You can't ask for more than that.
I recently remember weighing moose quarters from 2 different bulls in my garage at 100# and 120# per bull on rear quarters. That's hair on, bone in. Then listened to someone telling me they carried 130# elk load out. I asked what it was? Idaho rear elk quarter. lol I didn't tell him he was an idiot, but that load was most likely half that.
I'll second that Adam. People over-estimate their loads almost ubiquitously. 100 lbs gets thrown around all the time.
If your pack weighs over 30 lbs and you didn't weigh it with a scale, take what you think it is and subtract 20-25% and you'll be closer to what it actually weighs than your guess.
+1 Adam. I train with a scale weighed pack of 50#'s. I use that as a base line when I estimate. I bet we would be surprised if people guessed how much that 60# pack weighed. My heaviest pack was a rear quarter, front quarter and two straps from a smaller bull elk. I'm not sure how much it weighed but I know it sucked! :)
I only have an original Kuiu ultra. Nice pack, but not nearly as comfortable as my 2 SG packs. I may get a Kuiu in Valo later this year. Not for heavy work, just for a cheaper and more camo option for late season AZ.
I use a Kifaru and really like it. My only regret is getting the internal frame instead of the external. It would have allowed me to change bags for different circumstances or take the bag off and use the frame as a meat hauler. My next pack will be external whether it’s Kifaru or SG. Another pack I have been interested in is the Palisade from Outdoorsmans.
I have a Stone Glacier and really like it. The fit and comfort has allowed me to carry more weight when compared to other packs used in the past. One of our hunting partners has a Kuiu. I have never carried weight in it but the fit and comfort was not there when I did side by side comparison with my SG.
"Just remember, you'll never be walking on clouds with 80# in your pack - no matter what brand you have lol."
Shot a big cow elk in UT one year. Didn't want to walk up and down the hill multiple times so I put two boned out hind quarters on my back and the genious idea to carry the boned out front shoulders in each hand to make one trip.
That was stupid, in fact, I won first place in stupid of the year award. Each front weighed just under 20 lbs each and the two hinds and pack weight came in right at 90. I agree, 80 lbs on your back you will feel it, I don't care how Superman you pretend to be and no pack anywhere will make the weight disappear.
Kifaru. With heavy loads the suspension just feel more comfortable to me then similar weights in SG or Exo
Dang Justin, you just gotta wait for the right wind on that load and you can fly home.
Just got the Kuiu pro 6000. Hoping it's a better fit than my Kifaru bikini frame with the dt 2 pack. I have not tried the kuiu out with weight in it. Now I'm a 38 waist and the belt seams a little small. I ordered the l/xl belt. Is it that small or did I get the (wrong) smaller belt?? Anyone know how long the l/Xl belt padding is?? Not the buckle length.
Going to try it with weight this weekend on a hike in the Catkills in NY.
Lots of good info on this thread. Thanks for responses, PMs and txts. My plan was to decide this last weekend and order this week.
Well, over the weekend the two SG I was looking at went on backorder until mid July.
Kifaru has a 4 week lag time as well.
My hunt is in 8 weeks.
So I went ahead and ordered a kuiu pro 6000 to try out. Best case, I’ll like it and continue to use it. Worst case, I don’t like it and will try the SG once they come off backorder. I will only have a few weeks with it before my hunt,if that happens.
I’ll let you all know the outcome once I get it.
Proper adjustment of the pack to fit your frame is step one for comfort.
For what it’s worth Kuiu has some new packs coming this summer. They look to have some organization but are more stream lined than their other offerings.
Adam x 2. I packed a rear and front quarter on a bull elk. And the back strap for that side. Knew it had to be 150 lbs.. Nope. It weighed 113 pounds according to the butchers scale.
And, as Adam said, none of them make the weight disappear. More comfortable for sure. But, what you are after is not making your upper body hurt. Besides that, you are still going to feel like you are glued to the ground with heavy weight in any pack.
And, Don’t let ounces of pack weight sway you from your choice. I’ve had 103 weighed pounds in a Kuiu. And more then that in a Kifaru. There was zero comparison in how they carried it. That Kuiu suspension cut me in two in comparison versus the Kifaru.
Agree with most posts above. In my opinion Kuiu is a good pack, SG is better. I've owned both.
For what it’s worth Kuiu has some new packs coming this summer. They look to have some organization but are more stream lined than their other offerings.
Looking for a report on your new pack.
I have quite a bit of experience with KUIU, Stone Glacier, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch and EXO. Keep in mind packs are like boots in that there is a lot of "personal fit" items to consider. Here's my quick summary as the relate to MY uses:
*Kifaru - Bomb proof and carry a load like no other. Finest waist belt in the industry. When I'm moose hunting or hunting anything where massive loads are the norm, I'm wearing a Kifaru.
*KUIU - They make as good as "production pack" as anyone, however, they lag behind the other three companies in durability and load bearing, carrying. I've broken one of their frames. Not something I want to have happen on a Wilderness/Mountain Hunt. A mountain guide will destroy one of these packs in a season.
*EXO - I was not a fan of their earlier offerings, but the new K3 is a valid option. Light, well organized and functional. Nice option in a lightweight pack. I don't love their waist belt.
*MR - Another BEAST of a pack that will handle anything you throw at it. I don't love their waist belt either. Mileage will vary. There was a time when MOST guides wore MR. Don't see this to be the case as much anymore.
*Stone Glacier - My all around pick for the mountains. For me, they have all the attributes I like in a true mountain hunting pack. They handle a load decent, they're lightweight and they go into "daypack mode" like no other. If I'm sheep hunting, I'm wearing a Stone Glacier.
If I had to pick one, I'd go Stone Glacier. Luckily, I don't and would hate to give up my Kifarus.
All of these are pretty good choices. You have to decide what features are important to you and which company fits you best.
I ran a Kuiu pack for the last 6 years. This summer I switched over to SG. There is literally no comparison for me. The SG is lighter, more durable, and more adjustable for me. It also handles heavy loads much more capably than my Kuiu. The SG makes 50# feel like 25# felt in my Kuiu pack. I love how the SG goes into bivy mode as well, compresses very small for day hunting out of camp.
no expierence with Kuiu but I have used a SG Solo in the Alaska mountains for years. Love the fit. But probably the biggest cheer from me would be the customer support. Can't beat it....
We, family and friends, have had the opportunity to use different Kuiu packs. I am a big Kuiu fan for most of their products. Their has been two issues with the Kuiu packs; they have broken, and when carrying a very heavy load, they seem to shift, which when in steep terrain this presents a big problem. We are switching to Stone Glacier and Mystery Ranch. So far we are very impressed with both; neither has broken and the very heavy loads do not shift. In all fairness to Kuiu, we have not put the same amount of time (years) on the other two brands. Best of Luck. :)
Just completed an epic pack-out of a Mt Caribou. Buddy and I each shot one, me with the bow and him with the rifle. We had our camp plus two bulls down, 17 km from where the float plane dropped us off. 3 trips each and 50 km loaded over 5 days and we had everything to the lake. Terrain was rolling mountains, but primarily swamps with hummocks, willows, buck brush and plenty of mud.
My Kifaru Reckoning worked very well and held all I can carry....about 75#s combined on the meat shelf for the meat and in the bag for my gear, with the bow carried in the Gunbearer. My buddy's Mystery Ranch held more, and he being 29 years younger, stronger, tougher, etc packed some huge loads...his bull was bigger! Both packs held up fine through this, but buddy's is getting worn and needs replacing in general from a lot of hard use. The MR straps were too short holding the bag to the frame when he tried to put a lot meat on the shelf. No problem with the Kifaru straps, and all the horizontal straps on the Reckoning really cinch down the meat making the pack super stable with heavy loads and poor footing.
My body didn't hurt (much) from the Kifaru pack per say, but it sure as heck took a week for the hips, knees, ankles and leg muscles to start feeling better from carrying the load in tough terrain for 5 days. Toughest pack-out I've done.
Good luck on your choice of packs and hunting!
One final word of advice, after you buy a pack, stop reading pack threads.
"One final word of advice, after you buy a pack, stop reading pack threads." - No finer words have ever been spoken on Bowsite. :)