Kuiu Ultra 6000

Luke Moffat

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            Given all the drama surrounding this pack when it was introduced I was apprehensive to purchase it for review.  I do my best to avoid such nonsense and feel that “taking sides” with gear companies doesn’t do any good.  Rather I just prefer to call it like I see it and choose the gear I use because it’s best suited for my needs given what I can afford.

Eventually the gear junkie in me won out.  In April I bit the bullet and ordered up a Kuiu Ultra 6000 in sage green with the tall frame and small waistbelt. I couldn’t resist trying out a 6000 cubic inch pack that is only roughly 3.5 pounds with a frame stiff enough for heavy loads, and a price tag of only $350. Below are my thoughts on the pack.  Others may come to different conclusions. Take these opinions for what you paid for them :)

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A Season with an Icon – KUIU’s 1850 pack system

Darin Cooper

KUIU-1850 KT Bull

Kurt Toney packing a boned front quarter in his carbon framed Icon 1850 and a massive 8 x 7 rack

After trying about seven different daypacks in as many years, I found myself once again doing pack research going into the 2013 season. I didn’t find many that I either hadn't already tried or that suited my needs until I got a chance to check out a friend’s KUIU Icon 1850.

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Read more: A Season with an Icon - KUIU's Icon 1850 Pack System

Mystery Ranch NICE Metcalf Initial Impressions

By Todd Kelly

When I heard that the guys down at Mystery Ranch (MR) had a new bag design for the NICE frame system, it got my attention! I could not wait to see what they had come up with. The announcement came this spring during the 2013 SHOT show where the NICE Metcalf bag was revealed.

I have been through many backpacks over the last 10 years and finally settled on the NICE frame system in 2008. The NICE frame fit my body well and really handled heavy loads like no other frame system I had tried. The only issue I had with the NICE frame was the use of a functional load lifter which is reserved to the larger 6500 and 7500 bags with their frame extensions built into the bag, while the smaller daypack sized NICE bags lacked any actual usefulness out of the load lifter hampering their ability to handle really heavy loads comfortably.  My original purchase of the NICE 6500 was great for backpack hunts and hauling heavy loads, but left a lot to be desired as a day hunting bag. It is too large for my liking, even while compressed, so when I read about the Metcalf and its smaller, low-profile design with frame extension, I put my order in as soon as they were available and immediately put it to work.

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Read more: Mystery Ranch Metcalf Bag - NICE frame