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Pack for carrying heavy loads
I'm in the market for a new pack. I currently have the Cabelas frame pack and it has helped me get several elk out of the mountains but I'm ready to upgrade. The issue I have with it is when I get a heavy load on there, like (80-110 pounds) the waist belt slides down and inhibits my stride. I spend over half of my packouts with the waist belt unhooked so I can take normal steps without the restriction on my legs.
This year, while helping pack out my buddies bull I tried his Kifaru pack and Ill admit it was very nice, but I still had the same issue of the belt slipping down off my waist. What pack, if any is built for carrying heavy loads on someone with a smaller frame and waistline? 5'10" 160 lbs.
Kifaru has different sized waist belts. No reason why one of their packs won't fit you right if you buy it for you. I'm 5'9, 150# and have zero issues with either of my two Kifaru packs. Late Season and Duplex Frame with Longhunter Lid and Cargo Panel. One is a small belt and I think the other is a medium and both are just fine.
If that's the case, it's a good chance your yoke is adjusted to long.
I use a Kifaru now. I've used many others. I prefer the Kifaru. But, no pack is going to over come improper fit.
I'm not dogging you. I'm just saying that a packs lumbar pad is supposed to set on your lumbar area. Not the top of your butt crack. When buckled, it should be slightly below the navel on most people. And, the only way a pack can sink that low is if the shoulder straps doesn't catch it before it gets that low.
When fitted properly, a pack should lift off your shoulders when you tighten the belt. Snug the shoulder straps, engage the load lifters and go. It should hold when tightened as well. Which keeps the weight off the shoulders. Just give it a try and see for yourself.
With that said, so many say this pack don't work for me, it don't fit my body type, etc.... Maybe. More than likely though they are wearing their pack adjusted too long, if the pack they own is capable of carrying the load. God Bless
Patrick Smith, the owner of Kifaru, is your size, and I know he's carried out 160 lbs in his packs before. I've carried out 110 lbs before, 3x taken out half an elk, bone in.
Call Kifaru and speak to Frank Peralta or Aron Snyder. I've even seen them returning calls and messages at the archery range on a Saturday. 303-278-9155
I am exactly the same size as you and have struggled with the same issue for years. Finally I realized that I have a shorter torso than some. Last year I purchased a Kuiu frame in the smaller length with the small hip belt. This solved the problem. I strongly suggest you try a shorter torso length pack and see if that is your solution. Personally I think any of the good company pack will work for you if you get the right size. NOTE: I HAVE HAD MULTIPLE SALES PEOPLE TRY TO SIZE ME IN A TALL TORSO LENGTH PACK.
Kifaru Will carry heavy loads!!
That's the thing, your buddies pack wasn't adjusted for you, with the top end packs they can be minutely adjusted and come in more than a one size fits most size!
I will look closer into the Kifaru and Kuiu packs. I wish there was a retail store you could try these out at. Anyone know of a place in the east ( PA/NY) that stocks multiple higher end packs?
How would you compare the Kuiu to the Kifaru.
None that I know of here in the east. But, the big 4 hunting pack makers allow you to return one within 30 days.
Maybe post your town and state and someone near you will help with a demo.
“I will look closer into the Kifaru and Kuiu packs.”
That’s like looking at a corvette and a Chevy citation. Ha Sorry I couldn’t resist. Honestly I know nothing about a kuiu pack. Never tried one on.
When I was researching packs I decided to buy once cry once. I bought a kifaru. Now I am on my second kifaru and not looking back.
Like others have said. If your partners build is bigger then you there is no way it would fit you right without adjusting it to you. There are lots of videos from kifaru to make sure you purchase what will fit you.
As for them carrying a heavy load. I packed out both deboned hams, the shanks, the heart and head and antlers from my bull this year in one trip. I have no idea how heavy the pack was but it felt ok on me. My legs had a harder time with the weight then how the weight felt on me.
I use a lot of Kuiu clothing very happily, but there really isn't a fair comparison between Kifaru and Kuiu packs.
Pack fit is a bit like boot fit in that it is personal, but I do not think I'll ever own a hunting/meat packing pack that isn't a Kifaru.
Do some research. Several good options out there that will make you "buy once, cry once".
I went for the lightest empty pack weight I could that can still manage way heavy loads.
HDE, and you ended up with a...?
I'm in the same boat as the OP. I've used the Cabela's Alaskan packframe for years, but this year the pain in my hips was almost unbearable. The most recent issue of Western Hunter has an ad for Stone Glacier packs. Checked out their website and they definitely look intriguing.
Stone Glacier. Their new XCurve Frame is something to check out. This pack had what I wanted, and particularly of how you carry out boned meat or quarters. Granted, it doesn't have all the fun little pockets on it, but I'm not a "trinkets" guy. You can always add some though to the belt if needed.
EXO, Seek Outside, Kifaru, and Stone Glacier all offer the option of carrying the meat between the bag and frame. Traditionally, Kifaru didn't really go that way.
A SG X frame weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces. A Seek Outside Revolution frame weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces. A kifaru Hunter frame weighs 3 pounds 8 ounces. And a Exo weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces. All the weights are very close and cannot be distinguished once on your back. All are top notch choices. Buy once and Cry once. But, you are going to have a hard time beating the Kifaru belt. God Bless
The Mtn Warrior does allow you to carry meat between frame and bag.
Yes, most packs do allow the ability to carry meat between the frame and bag now. Also, if you're just going for a frame by itself, then most are the same for weight. It's the bag that begins to bring weight on (ounces equal lbs and lbs equal pain).
Regardless of which high end pack you use, if it isn't adjusted and fitted right, you will wince each time you load it down. Also, you have to be conditioned to carry loads. A pack doesn't just magically make it (weight) disappear.
Exo 3500. Bought it over the MR Metcalf because it has a place for my spotting scope. Saw that Scheels has the Metcalf is Sitka Subapline today. Look at multiple packs before you buy.
Cabela's Alaskan Frame would be a great, cheap, load hauler if they'd ever start building them with a proper waist belt, and a lumbar pad. In any case, as mentioned above, your issue is most likely with the pack fit and getting it properly adjusted.
Assuming the belt on your buddies Kifaru isn't too big, you could always mark where all his fittings are and adjust it for you then put it back when your done. And if it's the older model frame, then the belt on the new one is way way better, I own both and there's no way I'd use the old one now for a difficult pack trip, the new model is that much better. It's pretty much consigned to training and easy pack jobs whitetail hunting in flat land
My buddy is roughly the same size as me, but perhaps different torso etc. The pack definitely was not adjusted to me and that could be a major contributor to the issue. I just want one pack that will serve as my pack in with my gear for a 5-10 day hunt and allow me to carry out what I kill. "Which my current pack does, just not comfortably"
When my Cabelas pack is loaded with a normal amount of weight 40-50 pounds the shoulder straps "float" and the majority of the weight is on the belt, its just when I get into really heavy loads the belt slides down and causes my issue. I would love to be able to try a bunch of these before I buy my next one but that's just not possible. That being said it looks like I have a few great options to help me narrow down my search.
If the shoulder straps are floating with 40-50 pounds, your torso is adjusted too long. Shorten it. and then try it.
Which kifaru for packing out an elk?
Hunting partner and another I know of had the same slipping issues. They went to the Stone Glacier and resolved the issue.
I know the kifaru frame is great with heavy loads, is it just as comfortable with 15-25 pounds in daypack mode?
If you want a pack that is going to pack heavy loads, an Alaskan made Barney's frame and bag is it. It's a little heavier than a kifaru or whatever... But, it will not shift, it won't slide off your hips, it will not break, it WILL carry more weight than you can.
Now, with that said, I am now hunting with a Stone Glacier solo because I'm not going to hunt with a big old freighter pack. But, it stays in my back seat and after the first load comes out, the Barney's gets used.
What happens when the EXO frame fails...
What happens when the EXO frame fails...
Lighter empty pack weight does not always equate with fully loaded pack comfort: my EMRII has covered nearly three hundred miles [not in elk country...yet] with 65+lb loads. Correct torso length is essential. Certain companies build quality is [much much] better than others, as is the warranty [as in, they don't want to hear back from people who have bought their packs with problems. Ever. In the very rare event that returns are made, its taken care of ASAP]. Buy cheap, pay twice.
No pack will over come improper fit. And torso length being too long seems to be the biggest issue with improper fit. if the torso is adjusted so long that the pack can settle down impeding your stride, no pack is going to work.
The above pic is not just an EXO problem. I bent the frame in an Alps traverse with 83 pounds.
As far as comfort goes with a Kifaru at light loads. So far, it rarely leaves my back. It's that comfortable. God Bless
Ok...I have never packed out an elk or deer in my pack. I have however packed out my deer stand, climbing sticks, and everything imaginable in my Kifaru. First, you used your friends pack...each pack is basically made for that person. I have had close to 70 lbs of gear in my packs for camping trips where I hiked in for 2-3 miles and zero issues. The pack rides on my hips...not my butt. The load lifters take the weight off of my shoulders. When I do hike out on public land, I just bring the essentials and my Kifaru. I have bags that I'll break down a deer and hike it out if I'm not next to a road or don't have access to my cart.
I have the Kuiu Icon Pro. from what I've heard Kifaru is the measuring stick, but for the price I was able to get a Kuiu at I didn't hesitate. I don't know what could be that much better about a different pack I just love it. I'll go up to the 100-110lb range and that's all I'm gonna be able to carry. I know there are major beastmode guys out there, but even at 100lbs I ain't going far. I hate tripping and falling with a huge packweight lol. I find it carries a load really well, I'm between 5'9" and 5'10" and it fits me well. I've also had torso issues with packs.