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I've seen recent discussions on big packs, Badlands packs, etc. I need to replace my elk daypack. I like to hunt mobile with enough gear and food for 1-1/2 - 2 day biviesy come back to camp every other day for a re supply, some chit chat, then back out. I carry a tarp, lite sleeping bag & pad, 2 days food, 100 oz bladder, itty bitty packable rain gear, water filter, processing necessities, GPS, etc. I've been using a Camelback 100 for, I guess, 8-10 years. Its comfortable, quiet and carries everything I need in what I'm guessing is about 2500 CI. Its had its day.
Not a fan of tons of pockets. I like functional load lifters and capability to pack a 75 lb 1st load to save a trip.
Don't care for Badlands. I have 3 and havent liked them.
Looking for a nice balance between light weight and industrial strength. Doesnt need to be a fancy camo pattern. I'm happier with OD or anything brown.
What to buy, gear gurus??
Mystery Ranch Popup. Sweet simple pack that is perfect for your needs. Just put the sleeping bag in the load hauling section.
Kifaru frame with a several choices of bags. Be the last pack you'll buy
Kifaru duplex frame w/ stryker bag,
or EXO 1800.
I have the EXO 1800, but haven't used it on a hunt yet.
these are the best two daypacks that i've researched that can haul meat.
Mystery ranch pintler should fit the bill I have one and very happy with it. It should meet the requirements you laid out
I just bought a Mystery Ranch Mule, it has the Carbon Fiber Frame, low profile, waterproof, side pouches for Nalgene Bottle and Bugle. Feels great, and packs a load nicely.
Kifaru frame quarter panel with guide lid and a couple pockets. So i can bring meat back.
Hard to beat the the quality and modularity of Kifaru.
After a lot of research I bought a Mystery Ranch Sawtooth 45. It is like the Pintler but with a duffle style opening. It has their newest frame and can backpack for 2-3 days. I really like it so far.
Mystery Ranch Pop up will be hard to be beat for a pure day pack, low frame hight during day pack mode is pleasure to walk around with, when arrow a bull you can pop it up to full frame hight and pack it out comfortable. Packed out both elk moose with it and its solid.
My third year running Exo packs. I'll use them until they don't make them anymore.
Mystery Ranch Sawtooth. Like most Mystery Ranch hunting packs they have a great meat hauling system. Check them out and watch video on meat hauling system... Have a great fall, Big John
Thanks for all the feedback! I have an older MR pack on their NICE frame. It’s a substantial, modular, expandable pack that can compress to daypack task, but it’s a tank build for hauling and, at like 9 lbs, is way too substantial for what I’m looking for. I’m looking at all your recos today.
100% EXO Pack! My 3200 is under 4# dry. No problem with 100# loads.
Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 or 2300. One frame and switch bags as needed. I use my 1850 90% of the time, only time I don't is on a straight backpack hunt which is rare. Then I switch the bag out for a 6000.
I am ordering the Mystery Ranch Selway 60. Big enough for all the gear i might need, but packs down to reasonable size when 3/4 empty.
My first choice would be the Seek Outside pack line. Next would be a tie with Kifaru or Stone Glacier. I would never recommend Mystery Ranch, I just didn't like them. They are heavy and didn't fit me well at all. Kuiu is one that if they improve the suspension/Belt I would like.
Horn Hunter Full Curl System. Pack your camp in and then you can minimize it down to a light, functional day pack that you can haul all the meat you can carry.
SG Solo or 5900. Great day packs, as well as meat haulers.
All mentioned above are good. What separates good day hunter/meat hauler pack from great is if the pack can do all described and doesn’t weigh 7-10 lbs Empty. Making a comfy, indestructible pack that can carry 300 lbs isn’t hard.
I could wrap a 12” thick 12” wide pad around my waist and shoulders and carry 100 pounds more comfortably. But 99% of the use is not carrying meat.
Be careful and add all the components of each brands finished packs.
Some are a little elusive on real total weight.
And then when you get it all put together, Frame, main compartment, accessories. and weigh it. It equals 4 more days worth of food or water. Now if it’s just a meat hauler than that is a different discussion.
Now you have, or will have recommendations for a bunch of packs. Your decision should be easy now ;)
Great info/recommendations! Much appreciated. It looks like guys who buy and use Kifaru are incredibly loyal to the brand...The flexibility of using the same frame and switching out packs appeals to me, as the comfort level of a pack is certainly contained in the frame. Using a frame that has my “grooves” already molded into it when I switch from day hunting to load carrying, really appeals to me, even though it means buying additional packs. Less Gear to pack for a trip, as well.
Brotsky, the Kuiu system you use accomplishes a similar mission. From what I’ve seen, the Kifaru appears a bit more stoutly built than the Kuiu gear. Have you ever had the opportunity to compare them side by side? I’m apparently a Neanderthal and break stuff that shouldn’t break. Using broken stuff in the mountains isn’t cool....lol
Thanks again for all the great info!!
I have compared kuiu and kifaru side by side. Both great packs. A couple hunting buddies have the kuiu packs.... on the last pack out a couple years ago, we switched packs to see how we liked them... I had to fight him to get my Kifaru back :)
Try the mountain warrior with the guide lid, plus a couple side belt pockets and you are set. The packs fold down to almost nothing for day trips and it’s something you could do a 7 day pack in trip with no issues as well.
SG Solo or 5900. Great day packs, as well as meat haulers.
I have an older Kifaru Late Season Pack and a Duplex with a Lid and Grab It and/or Cargo panel. Both excellent options for being ready to haul meat at any time. The grab it sling really helps on the Late Season. If I kill, I put the contents of my pack in a stuff sack and put that in the grab it so I can fill the main pack with meat. Works very well. Kifaru's belt and suspension is tough to beat.