Pack suggestionsContributors to this thread:
Lost Arra 30-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 30-Jan-18
Backpack Hunter 30-Jan-18
Mike Turner 30-Jan-18
Native Okie 30-Jan-18
320 bull 31-Jan-18
I’m getting a 3-4 day pack for this fall and have already visited Kifaru in Denver. They have great products. Before I buy, I wanted to look at the other high end packs. If money was off the table, which do you prefer and why one over the others? I’m a veteran and noticed that Exo offered a discount for those that served.
I believe Kifaru offers a military discount also.
From: Lost Arra
I have hunted and packed elk with both Exo and Kifaru. Both worked great. I like the "off the shelf" organization of the Exo and I shoot my bow better with the Exo. If I could carry 100 lbs the Kifaru probably has the edge when packing meat but I'm too old to carry that weight so I just make another trip with the Exo. When you start deciding between Kifaru, Exo, Stone Glacier and Seek Outside you probably can't go wrong.
Stone glacier sky archer 6900 is what I have and it has been a great pack. Light weight and very versatile
2 mile pack out, no roads no trails!
2 mile pack out, no roads no trails!
Exo 3500 pack for us! I've used lots of packs & this is the last one I'll ever need! It packs 100# loads like a piece of cake, it's truly the best pack I've ever owned!
From: WV Mountaineer
Kifaru offers military discounts too
I've had an old Australian Outgear internal frame mountaineering pack for ~35 years. 'Packed many a camp in & out with it, as well as many an elk out. It is by far the best and most comfortable pack I ever owned. The durability is legendary. One Planet now offers something similar - the original Co having slipped off of the radar. https://www.oneplanet.com.au/category/packs/bushwalking/
Look at the offerings from Kifaru, Stone Glacier, and Exo Mtn. Pick whatever pack you think will fit your needs best from any of those companies and buy it. I really believe it's personal preference when deciding between those 3, they are all great.
From: Backpack Hunter
My preference would be Kifaru.
I would think being able to go and try the packs, talk to the experts, and assuming you’re local and weren’t passing through, have the manufacturer accessible for issues would make it a no brainer.
My preference is Kifaru. If I wouldn't have bought Kifaru I would have bought Stone Glacier. You likely won't find bad reviews for either pack. A couple of the deciding factors for me were 1) SG didn't offer camo and 2) Kifaru had a lot more bag and accessory options.
From: Mike Turner
EXO all the way!
Love my Stone Glaciers. Hard to go wrong with Kifaru or Mystery Ranch either.
Kifaru is great!
I chose SG because of the lightweight design and ability to securely haul a load between the bag and frame with a load shelf. The bag is used as a compression panel. Pockets add weight, as well as the accessories we carry but don't really need.
Solid gray and no camo option is not an issue. Doesn't make the pack perform any more or less better.
Me and the wife use Kifaru, main reason I went that way when I bought is I live a couple miles from Kifaru and can stop by when I need help with something. There's definitely other good brands, but how much do you hear from them on podcasts and on the backpack hunting forums, who gives out there phone numbers and calls you on a SAT phone to answer your questions. Others might, but not that I know of.
Yep, I'm a Stone Glacier fan. Best pack I've ever owned. Kifaru is another good choice.
Great input from everyone. When I searched, I found that Kifaru offered a discount to active duty but not veterans. Did I miss something? Exo was very explicit that they support veterans.
From: Native Okie
You can’t go wrong with either. I personally own an Exo and really like it.
I emailed Kifaru and told them I'm a combat vet. They asked for a copy of my DD214 and gave me a code for 10% off.
Exo did the same thing by the way. 10% off for vets. I own both packs and really like both of them. I'm excited to try out the new Kifaru frame.
I went through the same thing this past fall. I can’t speak to experience yet, but after several months of research, and speaking with several guys on here via PM I settled on Stone Glaicer with an x curve frame and 5900 pack. I also bought a cargo panel from Kifaru for hauling treestands. It connects to the SG frame nicely without modification. Looking forward to trying it out this summer and fall.
SG Sky Archer fan here. I like the fact it is not camo personally. I don't feel camo is a great advantage while hunting, and yet not having it allows me to fly under the radar when not. I also don't like how a certain camo pattern dates your pack when it goes out of fashion. Unlike clothing a pack is a long term investment in my mind.
The two companies that for me consistently stand out in the pack world are Kifaru and Mystery ranch. I really don’t think you can go wrong with either, they will have something in there offering to fit anyone..and the used market is very robust if your on a budget.
From: 320 bull
SG for me but I have not owned a Kifaru. I can't speak for the other companies customer service but SG was top notch to work with on belt fitting ect. And I wouldn't let the grey bother me mine looks like dirt after a few seasons. Zippers are bad ass and the material is tough as nails. My hunting partner had another brand and after comparing zippers material and overall function he bought a SG. Very nice stuff but keep in mind it is the only high end pack I have owned.
What Griz34 said; give Aron Snyder at Kifaru a call and tell him you're a vet Going from an Osprey to a Kifaru was like going from a Model T to a Ferarri in terms of comfort, especially at loads of 70lbs and more. Buy once, cry once [but Kifaru gets kinda addictive]
Ill have to suggest Kifaru as well. Very happy with mine....one wife got over the cost!!! Wont need another pack though. Customer service is great too!
My Kifaru Timberline 3 is grabbed whether it is a 3 hour outing, or a 3 night bivy.
I am a fan of SeekOutside. I have used Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Kuiu and many lower priced packs. The SeekOutside pack fits me and handles heavy loads best for me. I really like the feature of being able to make the frame 24" , 26" or 28" tall depending on the load and your body type. It is light weight but durable and can handle heavy loads. For me it is the most comfortable of any of the top brands I have used. I have been able to attach any bag to it I want. I have actually modified the frame so I can adjust it from 22" to 24" or 26".
I though someone would say Kuiu. Interesting
I have a Kuiu 5200. It's a nice pack and does what I need. I've carried 70-80lb without a ton of issue. I do plan to try another brand in the future but for now it's more than plenty.
“One wife got over the cost”, what about the other wife?