2013 KUIU ICON Reviews??

LaHunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
1,238
Location
N.E. LA
I wanted to see if any OWNERS / USERS of the new 2013 Icon packs would give some feedback. Interested mostly in 5200 / 7200 size.

Would like to hear about 1) frame and suspension functionality / durability 2) load hauling ability / comfort 3) pack fabric durability
4) pack access / organization (pockets / zippers / compression straps) 5) how well does it compress down to day pack mode 6) waist belt comfort.

I have seen just a few posts with reviews, but not many.

I know there are other great packs available and there is already quite a bit of good info on them.


Please no hijackers, just real life feedback and reviews

Thanks
 

Kotaman

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Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
2,921
Location
North Dakota
Don't try to go from a Kifaru to a KUIU...You will HATE the KUIU. I HAD a T2 went to a KUIU 5200 and hated it. Ordered another T2. In fact I returned the KUIU after one hike. With that said I think it is a very well laid out, functional pack. It compresses very nicely and the waist belt and shoulder straps are very comfortable. I think the fabric on the pack is very nice and should be durable. Where I have problems with KUIU packs is under heavy weight. I cannot keep the pack up on my hips. They sag horribly. I've decided after two KUIU packs that they are not for me. AS much as I love KUIU stuff, the packs just don't work for me.

The other issue I have is that 50 lbs. feels like 100 with the KUIU. With my T2 50 feels like 25. This is my second attempt at KUIU packs and I think I have them out of my system now. Maybe it's the carbon frame, maybe they just don't fit me but I was crazy to stray away from my Kifaru.
 
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LaHunter

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Joined
Mar 9, 2013
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1,238
Location
N.E. LA
Kotaman,

Thanks for info.
Does Kuiu make Icon owners sign a 'vow of silence'?
I really expected more Icon owners to have some input, even if it is just training with the pack loaded.
 

hunthard

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
58
Location
Belgrade, Montana
Mine is a not a 2013, Generation 1 I think. I personally love mine. I will say I have never had a kifaru and I was going to buy a kifaru originally but found a good deal on the kuiu from a fellow rokslider. I am a skinny guy and I do wish the waist belt went a little smaller but its not terrible and fits me better than anything I've had before. I find it to be very comfortable and it's all I use since it compresses to almost nothing for day hunts. Tons of pockets for organization, well layed out, easy to get into all parts of the pack. I have yet to haul anything real heavy in it so we will see on that one.
 

krummholz

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I have the 2012 KUIU Icon 5000 and really like it. I don't think there is much different about the 2013 besides a slight change to the frame and hip belt along with the bigger top lid that gives you the 5200. I picked up the 1st generation 6000 model as well, but I just couldn't get it to fit me since I'm pretty skinny. The 2012 is very comfortable for me, I've carried 100+lbs in it and did not have any problems. The only issue I had was the load lifter straps loosening up a bit, regardless of how heavy the load is. All the other straps and hip belt stayed nice and tight and I never have to adjust them once loaded up and on the trail. I love the organization of the pockets which was a big reason I went with the KUIU instead of Kifaru. Sure you can add all the pockest you want to the Kifaru which is really nice for customizing, but with each pocket added the price and weight increases. I do wish the load sling was bigger. It will fit ~1/2 a boned out deer or a boned out elk quarter, but if you want to haul more than that it needs to go inside the bag.

Here it is loaded up with all my day hunt gear plus my entire boned out muley from last year. Easily handled this load and more..
View attachment 9957
 

HockeyDad

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
101
Location
Littleton, CO
I have an original ICON Bag and a 2012 frame. Have hauled out 4 elk and 2 deer with it, and totally love it. Twice I have carried out both front quarters and both backstraps in a single load, so that had to be close to 90#. My other comparisons are an Eberlestock J34 (1 Elk and 1 Deer). its been regulated to by daughters pack and an Alaskan Guide - 2 camping trips was all it took to regulate it to a backup.

Let me start by saying that their customer service is second to none - Hence the reason I have the newer frame. I have also spent some time on the phone with their guys on the fit of the bag. I'm a bigger guy - 6' 225#, so I don't have the waist belt issue, and it sticks in place very well even when packing meat. The shoulder straps are comfortable and do not leave your shoulders sore after packing heavy loads. Last year after 2.5 days of Rifle Elk season, I had packed out 2 elk, and over 23 miles of meat hauling round trips no shoulder soreness. I know that Aaron doesn't like the icon because of the load lifters. I haven't had much of a problem with mine. I can transfer the weight from hips to shoulders pretty easily through manipulating hip belt, shoulder straps and load "stabilizers'. Mostly I do this depending on the terrain I am walking through.

As for durability of the bag, its holding up well. No rips or tears in the material or seams. Zippers are still functioning as they should. Same with all the straps and buckles. I have used the pack pretty heavily during hunting season - The remainder of the time, its stuffed with a 40# bag of salt and I walk probably 15 miles per week with it. So the straps and fabric gets a pretty good workout.

Best of all, I love the organization capabilities of the bag. There are a lot of nice little pockets in the pack and the lid for putting your stuff without the need for external pockets. The pockets, combined with the horseshoe opening lets you get into those pockets without having to open the entire bag and remove its contents to find what your looking for.

Compresability is great as well. I use mine as a daypack, summertime family camping or scouting and when I am backpack hunting. So it can have 10#, 50#, or 100# in it and it is able to be strapped and secured just fine.

As for me - the Kuiu ICON is my pack - I know others don't like it, but it works for me just fine.
 
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AZ Vince

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Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
495
I just ordered a Kuiu Icon 5200.
They are on sale right now. I'll see how it works for me.
 

Kotaman

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Oct 12, 2012
Messages
2,921
Location
North Dakota
I'd love to see how many Kifaru owners went from Kifaru to KUIU and were happy. The guys I find that are happy with the KUIU packs are either coming from a "production pack" or are new to larger packs. I just don't think (my opinion only) that you will find many happy guys that have gone from a MR, Stone Glacier or Kifaru to a KUIU pack and are thrilled with their decision. I'm sure there are guys out there that love their KUIU packs and they fit them perfectly. I've had all three generations of the KUIU Icon and the KUIU Ultra and they simply don't work for me. I LOVE KUIU clothing though...
 

PA 5-0

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Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
471
Location
Suburb of Philly
I just ordered a Kuiu Icon 5200.
They are on sale right now. I'll see how it works for me.

Normally, I am carrying my '12 frame and 3000 bag at about 27-30lbs. Never know its on my back. Love the pack layout, pockets, etc. Training for an AK Dall hunt now. I have worked up to 5 mile hikes every other day with 55lbs in it. Not an issue with the pack. Knees are raging, but pack is very comfortable with no hot spots, rubs, etc. Nothing negative to speak of. I have a new 5200 bag for the sheep hunt. Love it.
 

LJ Buck

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
859
Same as KOTAMAN. THe packsags under heav weight bad. I am a happy Stone Glacier Owner.
 

CGSwimmer25

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Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
159
Location
Alaska
I had a 2012 Icon and loved it. Used it on several mountain hunts and carried heavy loads with absolutely no problems at all and very comfortable. I made the mistake of selling it to purchase the Ultra and now I wish I had kept it. Two of my hunting buddies purchased the original Icons and have had no issues with theirs also. Both still use them on every hunt.

I think as far as reviews go, most people post more when they want to discuss the negatives they find in a pack. You get alot of the same guys posting on several different forums about how they don't like a certain pack and expect others to jump on the bandwagon. You never asked about Kifaru in your first post but every thread here pertaining to Kuiu always turns into a "Kifaru is far superior" thread. I personally never liked the pack I tried out from Kifaru. Also hated Kifaru's gun bearer and really liked how the gun carry setup was on the Icon.

I'd say if your interested in the Icon, buy it and try it out. If you don't like it then send it back within kuiu's 60 day window. Good luck!
 

MuleyFever

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Nov 7, 2012
Messages
6,040
Location
S. UTAH
Agree with Swimmer on the Icon. Loved my 2011 Icon. Sold it for a 2013 Icon 5200. I didn't really get to use it and sold it for an Ultra. Sent the Ultra back and ordered a Kifaru. Hopefully I am done playing musical packs.
 

Stresd

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
83
Location
Surrey B.C.
I have had a, now well used Icon 7200, for over a year now. Exellent pack for my purposes and I won't be selling it. Amongst other things, I have had both a Billy and Dall in it. Only issues I've ever had with my Icon, were the crappy zipper pull tags which were easily upgraded.
 

str_8tup

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
148
I was also in your dilemma not to long ago. Almost pulled the trigger on a Kifaru but just couldn't spend the $700.00. At that time was looking hard at the Icon 5200 and then i seen they went on sale and bought one. So far, I do like the pack. Very well thought out pockets other than having the water bladder on the side of the bag instead inside the main bag against your back. Have hauled about 50lbs in the bag and felt a lot of pressure down on my lower back. I also tried the load sling mode with about 60lbs and it felt 100% better. I believe thats the difference of the load sling being up higher on the pack, way it looks, might be about 4" higher on the pack than when inside the bag. The material I don't think will be an issue. They reinforced the load sling shelf and the whole back of it with 500 Cordura. Over-all should be a pretty solid pack. If i had the money to purchase one of the "BIG 3" packs out there I would take a hard look again at Kifaru's Nomad and Stone Glaciers Sky 5100.
 

AZ Vince

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
495
Got my Kuiu Icon 5200 today thanks to FedEx.
So far I'm liking what I've seen of the frame, bag, and all. I didn't have much chance to play with it before I had to leave for work. I'll poke around with it more tomorrow.
 

AndyB

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
320
Location
North Wales UK
Used my 5200 on last years Elk hunt, only used an estock x2 before, so thats as far as my experience with packs go so take this for what its worth. I picked it up from a friends when I arrived in the US so hadn't put hands on it before my hunt. When I first put it on with around 30lb in it I was initially a little miffed as it didn't feel as comfy as the x2 with the same weight, which I had with me as well) load lifters worked well just couldn't seem to get the belt right, seemed a lot stiffer than the estock. Anyway faff'd around a lot and got it good enough. The set up vids that are on the Kuiu site would have been a big help but I dont think they had all been posted at that time.
During the week the pack worked great, all gear and camp were organised well and accessing my gear was easy, a couple of my mates commented how easy gear access was compaired to their packs, they seemed to have to drag everything out to get at something.

We did not get anything on the ground so around 30lb was all the weight I carried in it, ( enough to stay out at least 5 nights) At one point when we were in an all day rain/thunderstorm, and on a 6 mile fast route march back to main camp before dark,I did notice that I had to keep lifting the pack up as it seemed to slip down at the back, I put this down to all the water from the constant drenching. (reason we had to go back down was my friend didn't have his down bag in a waterproof stuff sack and he got it soaked, he had to hang it over a bucket when we got back)
One thing I was not too keen on was all the excess in the top lid, I now pull down the excess and fit the top compression strap over it to tidy up the loose material. I think I have sorted the fit out with the belt, it feels a lot comfier for me with a standard 2" car sponge fitted in the lumbar pad and feels a lot more secure, I don't think I was getting sufficient lumbar contact before when the belt was pulled tight.
I really like this pack and after i got it dialed in have no plans to change it.
 
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