Contributors to this thread:
Kifaru vs. SG vs. HMG backpack?
New to backpack hunting and time to make a dream reality..... I have several 10-14 day backpack hunts set in Yukon and NWT's in next couple years... have honed in on Kifaru EMTII versus Stone Glacier archer versus Hill People Gear qui- Ya packs.... anyone own one of these brands? pros and cons.... features you find are unique that you find essential.... I like the concept of the Stone Glacier archer in that it compresses to a small day pack while hunting from a base camp... The HPG pack is evidently known for how well it distributes weight off the shoulders...any insight or tips are much appreciated
They are all good packs and you will receive several "insights" about them.
I went with Stone Glacier, mostly from an empty weight standpoint.
HDE: which SG did you go with? have you packed meat out with it? Thanks
I've been on a number of extended 2 to 3 week Alaska trips and really like my Kifaru. I have an EMR II bag as well as the newer Timberline with a duplex frame. I've yet to be disappointed. I was in your position several years ago...considering Kifaru or SG. I don't believe SG comes in camo? That was somewhat of a deal breaker for me. I also liked the option of adding additional accessories or switching between bags once I invested in a frame. I've been able to pack camp, rifle, spotting scope, tripod, lifesized cape, horns, meat, etc with the EMRII. For extended trips with bulky loads I grab my EMRII bag and for trips when I want to go light/small I grab my Timberline bag. I like quick and easy access to gear. SG didn't have many outside pockets or attachment points like Kifaru. There are quite a few videos available on the Kifaru website. Also, there is gobs of info available if you do a search on the Rokslide website. I doubt if you will be disappointed with Kifaru or SG.
I went with the Solo and added a couple of the swing out bags. I packed an elk out on it last year, heaviest load was 90 lb and it carried it just fine, but you knew it was there, obviously. The meat is carried on the load shelf between the frame and bag, which I prefer, some guys like to put it in the bag. The bag on the SG works as a compression panel.
A camo pack wasn't an issue with me, but the gray color doesn't stand out either. The SG will do everything the Kifaru will do and the Kifaru will do everything the SG will do. In the end, it will be a matter of personal choice really.
I haven't owned any of them. But I do own a kifaru. I have the T1 and just bought the hunter frame with cargo panel. Kifaru can definetly carry a load. I love the suspension and working load lifters. No shoulder pain. My T1 packs down decent for day hunt mode while on Spike in hunts. I would think the EMR11 would be a great day hunt pack when compressed. It is a batwing style. So compress the main bag and just use the batwings for day hunt mode.
Kifarus customer service is legendary!!! So is their load handling capability and durability. I too favor the batwing style pack, but I use the Nomad and camp bag!
I really like Kifaru. I have an EMR 2. It's a very versatile pack. Can operate as a day pack or carry monster loads. Kifaru is a great company too.
Kifaru makes a great pack and is a fabulous company to deal with.
great feedback thank you!
I love my Kifaru EMRII as well. Great pack!!!!!!
EMR II on a Duplex for me. Love it.
Duplex frame is bombproof. And with their recent newer models the gen II duplex lightly used should have some real values out there for anyone looking for a deal. Duplex is still miles ahead of many many rigs and then you can pick from many designs of bags that fit it.
Some of us are even too cheap to use a bag... =D
EMR II on a Duplex for me. Love it.
I have kifaru and stone glacier and have made long meat pack outs with both. I would advise you to try on both with weight in them if you can. Think of it like boots. Lowa vs hanwag vs kennetrek etc. Its a personal fit body shape deal. I know there are a lot of threads on the internet where they packed out 100 lbs of meat and brand x carried it comfortably. 100 sucks with any pack has been my experience. Both are good packs and bullet proof. Let the pack pick you.
After testing several brands of packs, I've put my proverbial eggs in the Kifaru basket. Kifaru just fits me like they are made for me. SG makes a great product and if you are looking for a lightweight, minimalist option, they are tough to beat but for me for all around use, it is Kifaru all the way.
My large pack of choice is the Kifaru Mountain Warrior on a Duplex Hunter frame. I also run a Mountain Rambler on a Bikini frame and a 22 mag on an Ultra Lite Duplex frame. I most recently received the new Tarryall with the integrated frame and so far like it as well. Earlier I was always a fan of the T series of packs with the integrated frame.
Through the years, I've used a lot of different packs on a lot of different types of hunts and always came back to Kifaru. Now, I'm "all in" with Kifaru. Like a poster above noted, packs are a lot like boots in that personal fit is important, but most packs have enough adjustment to fit just about anyone. For me what separates Kifaru from the rest is their waist belt.
My EMR II and duplex frame hauled 65+ lbs of gear over twelve days this past fortnight, crossing 192 miles from the Irish Sea to the North Sea...I may have had sore spots and hot spots, but not one of them was from my pack and frame
Weather was suitably British....wet, cold and windy; Kifaru gear didn't let me down
Barty1970 : congrats mate! That was quite a slog and speaks volumes about Kifaru... that has to be some of the most beautiful terrain on the planet
Bud: I wish there was a showroom to compare these things... congrats on the elk and the creative snoz wrap pack out!
Kota-man: I have reread many of your posts and always learned a great deal... and this one speaks volumes to me... I'm calling Kifaru tomorrow... thanks for all the knowledge you share
Happy to help Ishy; Aron and Frank will take good care of your requirements
I called Frank. We sized my frame to fit me. I had a PERFECT EMRII at my front door in less than two weeks.....Great company...........Scott
What ScottTigert says...Frank made sure I got my Paratarp and belt pouches in time for my multi-day trekking challenge...customer service speaks volumes
Ishy that was a bad way to tie the head on it carried terrible. That place had been logged and a wind had blown lot of trees i had to go under,needed antlers down. I had bags of meat already at the bottom soon as i got out of that mess head came off meat went in bag. Carry head few hundred yards drop,go get pack carry past head drop,go get head etc. I am with kotaman on the kifaru belt. My stone glacier hangs on a nail in the man cave a lot.
BUD, thanks for the explanation... got a good chuckle out of that description! A great problem to have though! Thanks