Doug is spot on!If you buy a Kifaru then you only have to buy one pack. If you buy something else, then you will try it, sell it and eventually end up buying a Kifaru. So it seems you should just buy a Kifaru first.
My Neighbor has a McHale Pack. I have used it to do some hiking/training. I would take the Kifaru everytime! Just a lot more comfortable to me.My advice is if you are going to spend near $900 on a Kifaru, why not consider a fully custom McHale Pack for about the same money. That is what I ended up doing, and could not be happier.
My Neighbor has a McHale Pack. I have used it to do some hiking/training. I would take the Kifaru everytime! Just a lot more comfortable to me.
That's the point of trying them out first. Everyone is different. When you get to this price point, there all good packs. Finding one that fits you is the key.
The McHale packs are not adjustable for different sized users. It is made to fit the customer so you really can't grab someone else's pack and expect it to just work for you. My McHale has widened shoulder strap mounting points and other minor changes based decisions I made while using the demo pack. I purchased my McHale before the current round of Kifaru packs came out so can't say how they would compare.
I will say It is pretty cool to be able to custom order every item on your pack from fabric to color and dozens of other options. Mine is all Dyneema with thicker stays and weighs in at about 7.5lbs and it costs a whole lot... I actually think the much cheaper Dyneema grid would weigh less and still offer long term durability. I definitely like the thicker thread and more robust stitching in the McHale packs compared to what i have seen on factory packs but they lack some of the designer flair that many production packs have.
Lots of cool new packs out there, and lots of different body types so buy what works for you and that you can afford.
I have a T2 and love it! I have a DT2 coming in a few days. I would say if you have the money buy a Kifaru and be done with it. If weight is an issue get a Timberline pack in the size you want. If you are carrying heavy loads on the pack out and don't mind an extra 20-21 oz than get the Duplex timberlines. Trust me You will save money and have the best of the best. They have nailed the suspensions on their packs and they are so comfortable, everyone that has worn mine hated putting their own pack back on. Never tried Mchale packs but they are way more and can get into a Kifaru for $600. It is a no brainer...
You can get into a Kifaru for $600, but by the time you get a T1 and accessories, I was at $900. I paid just over a Thousand for my McHale, and it is a fully custom pack, fitted to me and any features you want, Dan will accommodate.