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I currently have an Exo 5500 (2015 model). This year I will be doing more truck camping than anything. I'm debating between getting a smaller bag for my Exo frame, or going with one of the MR Pop Ups. Any thoughts?
I like making my first trip to camp count, so if your exo is your hauler and poses no issues to wear while hunt then I'd use the exo. If there are issues then weigh your options... really comes down to personal preference.
What’s the advantage of a smaller bag? Weight? Bulk? If the plan is to actually kill an elk it would have to be a lot heavier and bulkier to justify a smaller pack that won’t haul your first load of meat.
The size of the bag doesn't affect hauling meat back to camp with the Exo. The meat goes between the frame and pack.
The 5500 compresses well but my thinking is to reduce some bulk.
I was just wondering if anyone who may have experience with both could give me a comparison. I like the idea of the reduced vertical bulk of the Pop Ups but do not have access to one to compare.
I don't use my pack to haul meat, other than maybe a small bag with the tenderloins and backstraps. At this stage of my elk hunting, a pack frame and trekking poles are a must for hauling a heavy load. If the weight difference between your current weight and a smaller pack isn't significant, save your money for something you really need. Personally, as long as it's within reason, I don't think there's any such thing as a pack that's too big, but there damn sure is such a thing as a pack that's too small.
Wyo, I’m in agreement as far as the pack and poles go. I hike in using my sticks and then tie them to my pack. I can haul as much as I can handle with my Kifaru. I can’t imagine making a trip back to the truck to get my pack! I just added 8 miles!
I have the exo 5500 also. I got the 2000 for a day pack because I tend to over pack when I have the extra space available. BUT the 5500 is nice because you can fit a front quarter in the pack itself and a rear quarter between pack and frame. After my first load out, I grab my frame pack, much easier to manage heavy loads with that
Ucsdryder, I understand completely. If I were hunting 4mi in, I’d do the same. I don’t, so I don’t. My body thanks me every year. ;-)
Well I hate you just like I hate CNELK! And I hate you because I’m jealous!
Thanks. I will still be able to carry a full first load even if I have the smaller pack. After that I take the pack off my frame and use the beavertail for the rest.
I'm kind of like COHOYTHUNTER. I tend to over pack and the smaller pack would be maybe assist me in keeping the nonessentials to a minimum.
“Well I hate you just like I hate CNELK!”
We have something else in common...I hate Brad too! Ha!
JLeMieux, regardless of what pack size you decide on, there’s always one thing to keep in mind. Always carry what you may need, but never carry what you won’t need.
Why all the hate?? :>}
I’ve been using a Kuiu icon pro 1850 lately and it’s the perfect size for my style. Like mentioned above, you learn what you need and what you don’t.
Here it is with an entire whitetail - 4 quarters and loose meat - packed and ready to go - prob about 60lbs of meat and 20lb of daily gear.
If I am deep in camping I will leave the packing gear in camp. If I walk in deep I will haul a packing pack in and stash it nearby. I hate hunting with a bigger pack.
Enough for survival kit, rain gear and water that`s about it. No need to worry about packing meat if my big pack is scaring them off.
Cnelk, check out that fabricated trigger guard.. I'm guessing that bad boy opened on ya before dumping your primer!
@ohio - you know it. I manufactured that for both of my MLs just for that reason
If carrying out meat on your first trip out is a priority, you got a system that will do that just fine. If day hunting is your thing, there really is no reason for not owning a smaller bag though for that frame. Buy accordingly if you can justify it. Setups with frames that allow for diversity is what you have. No sense in treating it like a external meat frame. Buy a smaller bag and use the one you need, when you need it.
Custom bag on a Stone Glacier.
When you have to have everything everyone tells you must have.
To OP, for a day pack I would suggest the Exo 2000 bag for your existing frame and be done. It holds a lot and will still pack meat as well as the 5500 between the frame and bag.
Thanks everyone for your input. I think I'm going to try to pick up a used 2000 like suggested.
I love my day pack. It is my haul it all pack too. A 1 pack does it all. Compresses down to nothing, and opens up to 7000.
Can't wait for September! The pack will be used to fill multiple roles ;)