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Stone Glacier Sky Talus 6900 Review
By Justin Crossley, Rokslide Staff

The Sky Talus 6900 is a full featured backcountry pack designed for everything from day trips in 4000 C.I. bivy mode to expedition trips of 7+ days. It features a 6400 C.I. main bag and a 500 C.I. removable lid. The volume can be increased even more with the load shelf to over 8000 C.I. for those long excursions or when packing out your animal on a successful hunting trip. The bag features four external pockets and attach points for multiple internal pockets when more organization is desired. The waist belt is also designed for the attachment of belt pouches or holsters, etc.
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I tested the Sky Talus with the Krux frame and 3-piece medium belt. At first the belt was tough to get as tight as I like it with a load, but once the power-pulls were added I found it worked well for me with loads from 20 lbs. to over 80 lbs. I found the shoulder strap and waist belt padding adequate for comfortable hiking on long trips. One small complaint I have is the perforated material that lines the inside of the belt and shoulder straps tends to get pine needles stuck in it.

Pack fit is a very personal thing but with the adjustment this pack offers I feel it will work well for most body types. The rifle carrier attaches to the frame and does a great job of keeping the weight on your hips. It includes a strap for the top of the rifle with a quick release buckle that holds well but due to the location above/behind the shoulder strap, I found it tough to reach and release quickly with the pack on.
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The Sky Talus bag is one of the most versatile pack-bags I have used. I really liked the two lower side pockets for water bottles or longer items like hiking sticks, or the butt stock of my rifle. I tried the optional water bottle pocket which hangs off the shoulder strap under your arm but decided that I preferred to just use the lower side pockets. For extra organization, I used two Swing-out Pockets attached to the inside next to the center zip and the Camp Pocket attached against the frame inside the main bag. I found that I really liked the internal pockets and was impressed with how light they were. The two long, zippered side pockets featured the same water resistant zippers as the main bag and gave me a great place to put jackets and other items I needed quick access to. I feel the side pockets should have been longer to fit spotting scopes better but made do with my spotter just inside the center zip. The little "bucket" pocket that sits next to the center zip was perfect for holding the feet of my tripod.
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There are four side compression straps on each side of the Sky Talus 6900 which work great for keeping loads from sliding down whether I was using the load shelf or simply putting the load inside the main bag. The top compression straps also work to tuck the top of the bag nice and tight when in bivy mode. I packed one bear out of the Idaho backcountry using the main bag which is my preferred method and I tested the load shelf during multiple training hikes with sand bags. I'm confident in saying both work well depending on your preference.
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The removable lid fits the pack well and is a good size for gloves, lunch, jackets, or whatever I needed to keep readily available without loosening compression straps and opening the bag up. I thought the loops that the lid straps run through in the front worked awesome for keeping the straps from sliding down the sides of the pack. The dual attach points for the straps going down the back of the pack was another cool feature that I liked and they worked well when going from full blown expedition mode to bivy mode.
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Pros:
• Weight for the Sky Talus with lid and frame is just over five lbs.
• The ability to use as day pack or multi-day
• Hydration bladder compatible
• Center zip for access to main bag
• Versatile pocket layout and options
• Load shelf for packing heavy or odd shaped loads
• Very water resistant design and materials
• Plenty of compression straps to keep loads high and secure

Cons
• Side pockets should be bigger for spotting scope
• Location of rifle carrier top strap was hard to reach
• The belt should come standard with power pulls
• Perforated liner material on inside of belt and shoulder straps can collect debris
• The under-arm water bottle holster can be annoying
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Now days, hunters have a few great companies to choose from when selecting a hunting pack and Stone Glacier is one of the best. After my testing, I think the Stone Glacier Sky Talus 6900 should be considered whenever a versatile, light weight pack is what you seek.

Here is a video of the Sky Talus in Day Hunt Mode

Here is a video on water testing: Water Testing

You can ask Justin questions or discuss this article here

 

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