Sitka Mountain Gear
Another pack question!!!
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
shakey 25-Dec-18
WapitiBob 25-Dec-18
shakey 25-Dec-18
Michael 25-Dec-18
TEmbry 26-Dec-18
Bou'bound 26-Dec-18
Bou'bound 26-Dec-18
md5252 26-Dec-18
Bowboy 26-Dec-18
elkstabber 26-Dec-18
kscowboy 26-Dec-18
Ermine 26-Dec-18
Oryx35 26-Dec-18
SBH 26-Dec-18
yooper89 26-Dec-18
Mark Watkins 26-Dec-18
NoWiser 26-Dec-18
stringgunner 26-Dec-18
Native Okie 26-Dec-18
Bou'bound 26-Dec-18
Ucsdryder 26-Dec-18
butcherboy 26-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 26-Dec-18
cnelk 26-Dec-18
Kurt 26-Dec-18
Ermine 26-Dec-18
Scrappy 27-Dec-18
oldgoat 27-Dec-18
jingalls 27-Dec-18
Scrappy 27-Dec-18
Trial153 27-Dec-18
monkeybutt 27-Dec-18
Matt 27-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 27-Dec-18
Scar Finga 27-Dec-18
LtsRyd 28-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 28-Dec-18
g5smoke21 28-Dec-18
LtsRyd 28-Dec-18
Bigpizzaman 28-Dec-18
TD 28-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 28-Dec-18
shakey 29-Dec-18
From: shakey
25-Dec-18
I hate to ask but let’s hear it. Pros&Cons Stone Glacier, Kifaru and Kuiu

From: WapitiBob
25-Dec-18
Few cons, pick the one that fits.

From: shakey
25-Dec-18
Also EXO

From: Michael
25-Dec-18
I couldn’t tell you the first thing about a Kuiu pack or a Stone Glacier. Ever have had one on my back.

The last 5 years I have used a Kifaru. The only con is price. But buy once cry once. They are made very good. Can carry a load very well and have good functional load lifters. There belt is one of the best there is.

From: TEmbry
26-Dec-18
All three have very few cons now, it's a matter of personal choice. I've rocked Kifaru for years now and see zero reason to ever change. I know friends with SG packs that absolutely love them, same with the late model kuiu packs. Kifaru are built to last a LOOONG time, if you can withstand the temptation of upgrading models along the way.

It's like asking Ford, Chevy, or Dodge... there is no "best truck". Unless of course you drive a Tacoma :)

From: Bou'bound
26-Dec-18
Search function will be a great resource here too

From: Bou'bound
26-Dec-18
Search function will be a great resource here too

From: md5252
26-Dec-18
Only real con is price.

I have the EXO and it’s a phenomenal pack. Kifaru and SG are too I’m sure but never had one.

From: Bowboy
26-Dec-18
I've got both Kuiu and SG. SG is my favorite. Like stated can't go wrong any of those packs.

From: elkstabber
26-Dec-18
I would advise against Kuiu, mine never felt right. The other three are solid choices.

From: kscowboy
26-Dec-18
Go to one of the shows and try all of them on, if you are able to do so. My sheep guide friends love Stone Glacier. I needed something camo, so went with KUIU.

From: Ermine
26-Dec-18

Ermine's embedded Photo
Ermine's embedded Photo
I personally think Kifaru packs carry the heaviest loads most comfortably. That has been my experience. They all feel decent until you have to pack a monster load and then Kifaru separates from the pack. American made with great customer service

From: Oryx35
26-Dec-18
After significant research this summer I went with the Kifaru Muskeg. It's been a great pack thus far. It is definitely a different league than the backpacking and hunting packs I've owned in the past.

From: SBH
26-Dec-18
I would put SG and Kifaru a step above the KUIU line of packs. Great options.

From: yooper89
26-Dec-18
Kuiu is squeaky loud from my experience. I switched to mystery ranch this year with a Black Friday purchase. Haven’t had a chance to really test it out but feels 10x sturdier than my old kuiu 5200 setup. I’d personally go SG or Exo before kuiu if I were you.

From: Mark Watkins
26-Dec-18
Kifaru and SG are top of the line packs. Ive owned one SG and three Kifarus.

One more vote for the Kifaru being a heavy load hauling king.

I think the high end packs are like a bow. Let te pack pick you...on how it fits (primarily in the belt and around the hips.

Mark

From: NoWiser
26-Dec-18
I've had Kifaru and SG packs. Both awesome. I sold my Kifaru to try the SG and don't plan on going back. I liked the Kifaru a bit more with super heavy loads, but like the SG more for everything else. I have zero desire to even try anything else after 2 years with the SG. I really don't think you can go wrong with any of the packs you mentioned.

From: stringgunner
26-Dec-18
I too like my SG. I researched a ton before purchase. I can’t see changing. The flexibility of Kifaru (so many bag options and such) is a real draw to them. Though the SG has a built in meat shelf which is great and it takes a Kifaru cargo panel very easily.

From: Native Okie
26-Dec-18
Exo user here. I would lean more towards SG, Kifaru and EXO. I prefer Kifaru and EXO’s hip belts over the others.

From: Bou'bound
26-Dec-18
My kuiu ultra 6000 has never disappointed me but access can be a bit challenging

From: Ucsdryder
26-Dec-18
Kifaru here. I’ve never tried the others. Lots of negative posts about kuiu in the past but maybe the newer packs are better?

From: butcherboy
26-Dec-18
I still have my Kifaru Timberline 2. I have hauled some heavy stuff in it without any issues. The only downside is I bought it with the internal frame instead of a separate frame and bag. I might sell it so I can get a new one! Lol

26-Dec-18
I own a couple Kifaru frames and several bags. I own a KUIU icon pro setup too. I agree the Kifaru carries heavy loads better. The hip belt is stuff dreams are made of when you get 70-80 plus pounds on them. It really isn't close. With that said, the KUIU works very well for what I use it for and would get the job done if you decide on that one. Comfortably enough too.

If I was only going to own one though, it would be a Kifaru.

From: cnelk
26-Dec-18
"The KUIU Icon Pro works very well for what I use it for and would get the job done if you decide on that one. Comfortably enough too."

Works for me too

From: Kurt
26-Dec-18
Kifaru for me. Since before they were Kifaru (Mt Smith). All 4 packs are trouble free and have carried a lot of elk, some moose, caribou, bears, sheep and deer.

From: Ermine
26-Dec-18
I personally think Kifaru packs carry the heaviest loads most comfortably. That has been my experience. They all feel decent until you have to pack a monster load and then Kifaru separates from the pack. American made with great customer service

From: Scrappy
27-Dec-18

Scrappy's embedded Photo
Scrappy's embedded Photo
I started out with a 2016 exo 3500, i thought it was the bees knees until I got more than 40 pounds in it. Couldn't make it stay put on my hips. I didn't get an elk on my first trip so never had to try to carry an elk off the mountain with it.

Sold it and bought the 2018 light frame and fulcrum bag from kifaru. Got lucky and got to haul my first elk off the mountain this past September. 272 pounds of deboned meat plus head. I got it all off the mountain in four trips. Bottom line is the kifaru frame can haul comfortably way more than I can carry.

From: oldgoat
27-Dec-18
For me it was a no brainier since I live just a few minutes from Kifaru and know several of the people that work there and I can get fitting help whenever I need it. Haven't used any of the others on your list and doubt I every will unless I win one in a give away. The versatility of the high end packs just can't be beat, I can change bags, pockets etc to fit the job at hand. I think the key is fit and the more help there is with that the more you should think about that pack as your choice and from what I've seen that nod goes to Kifaru!

From: jingalls
27-Dec-18
I’m also looking at a new pack and had it narrowed down EXO and Kuiu. Teetering to EXO. So I got on Kifaru’s site to check them out as a bunch of you guys recommend them. It so confusing I have no idea where to even begin?

From: Scrappy
27-Dec-18

Scrappy's Link
Jingalls jump over on rokslide and you can learn everything you need to know about packs. The guys from kifaru will chime in over there and help get your questions answered.

From: Trial153
27-Dec-18
I owned all three, two kuiu( icon pro x2 and icon). The icon was pure junk, carried aload terrible. The ico pro is semi pure junk. The first on I had had a nagging sweak with every step, I had to pull the back part of the frame and wrap it in hockey tape to shut it up. I then proceeded to rip the harness clips out of the harness so it was no longer attached to the frame. This came during a moose pack out. Thankfully I was able to swap out to a different frame. The CS was horrible on the issue took tons of back and forth to get a resolution. The good is that icon pro did carry better with and without a load. Its serviceable. I had the last version of the SG frame the one before the Krux. The bag I had was the evo? It was about 3300 ci. I bought it to try and replace my MR pintler with something lighter. The SG was good quaility pack however it wasnt for me, I didnt find it carried a load very well and seemed to have to much horizontal movement. Needless to say I still have a pintler. Kifaru... I have had three frames that I can think of off hand, lost count on the bags. Also had a couple internal frame from them like the 14r. I have always had good luck with them, great CS, tough materials, carts a load excellent. The modularity of Kifaru is something some like, I dont. I like to have it set up and I dont change things around. I also am.not big on bag swaping, I buy another pack.The negatives are two fold, weight and cost. Some of the full frame and larger bags with Accessorys will get heavy. Cost is an issue as well, they add up quick and I can see if you budget is tight they might not be a good choice. That said they work well for me, Kifare and MR just suit me in most respects.

From: monkeybutt
27-Dec-18
I own a Kuiu Pro 3200 and a Kifaru AMR. Both are good packs, but the Kifaru carries heavy loads much more comfortably. I actually really like bag organization of the Kuiu and I think it's a good pack, until things get really heavy. Once you have an Elk Hind quarter on your back and several miles to go ... you will not regret the extra $$ for the Kifaru (IMHO). If you're not chasing Elk / humping heavy loads (which to me is ~#50+) then the Kuiu works well and saves some $$.

From: Matt
27-Dec-18
Jingalls, lots of Kifaru users here. Let us know the purpose and guys will.happily provide recommendations.

I've been using Kifaru since the time they only came in black and have never seen a reason to change. I've tried MR and SG and, while great packs, they did not fit me nearly as well. IMO the Kifaru hip belt is perfect.

27-Dec-18
On Kifarus site, they split the bags and frames. They have multiple frames and bags to choose from.

So, pick the frame you want. I own a hunter frame and a lite frame. Both are excellent. So, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Just be sure to compare specs to get the one that suits you best. For example, 8 ounces and more anchor tabs on the side of the frame is worth the extra weight to me.

Then choose the bag you want. It’s that simple. Go to the hunting tab and the weights of each are listed at the top of the page. Vince you choose, call them. Run your thoughts by the people there. They’ll bend over backwards to help you.

Good luck and God Bless.

From: Scar Finga
27-Dec-18
For me Kuiu was a horrible fit. Hurt me from the first time I wore it loaded, and only 40 pounds or so. I sent it right back. I like SG. Mystery Ranch and even my Horn Hunter pack is really comfortable !

Like boots ,bows and broadheads, everyone is different.

From: LtsRyd
28-Dec-18
From my experience, the larger Kuiu packs do not handle large loads well, a lot of shifting of weight and this is the same for the Sitka line. The smaller packs do very good however. I use a Crooked Horn Outfitters High Country Extreme and am able to pack 100# loads well, comfortable and stays put with little shifting. Not sure they are in business anymore though.

28-Dec-18
The large pack bags are on the same frame as the smaller packs Kuiu makes. How does the weight shift more on the larger bags if you’ve gotten everything cinched down?

Not being confrontational at all. I just can’t wrap my head around it?

From: g5smoke21
28-Dec-18
I have been using a stone glacier with great success. Handels heavy loads great. My brother just picked up a mystery ranch and that looks nice also. I agree with the majority though that it comes down to personal fit and like

From: LtsRyd
28-Dec-18
"The large pack bags are on the same frame as the smaller packs Kuiu makes. How does the weight shift more on the larger bags if you’ve gotten everything cinched down? Not being confrontational at all. I just can’t wrap my head around it?"

In my opinion....the frame is too small to handle the larger packs but great for the smaller sized packs. I'm not a pack maker, I just use them, so not very good at breaking down the fine points. We have cinched them down but compared to other packs they shift more and this is a serious issue when coming down from goat hunts. My preference is a pack that stays put on my back, one that feels solidly attached and for me, that has not been the Kuiu. I am a Kuiu gear fan but not the large packs.

From: Bigpizzaman
28-Dec-18
Kifaru all the way!

From: TD
28-Dec-18
I fairness to KUIU their newer packs are much better than the first ones they came out with.

As stated earlier, all good packs if you get one that fits you well. Kind of like a boot thread. But where they start to break out is with real heavy loads, 70, 80..... 100 lb loads. Of those mentioned that's where the money (and many times the extra weight you've been carrying) for the Kifaru seems well spent.

Personally I like the "modular" approach. In fact I don't really even have a bag, but use pockets and pods, cargo panel, a top lid that doubles as a fanny pack, etc. Go right to what I need instead of digging through a big bag. There was a bit of learning curve and trials along with errors.... but have it pretty dialed in now. Can go from stripped down meat hauler to backcountry pack to a day pack (that will haul out a deboned deer) in seconds. Have the shorter duplex frame, easier crawling under trees and in the brush and fits well in airline overheads.

28-Dec-18
Thanks man. I can see your reasoning now

From: shakey
29-Dec-18
Thanks guys, Stone Glacier or Kifaru, my plan now is to get both and give the one I like least to my dad.

  • Sitka Gear