Any advice on buying a new pack for hunting solo in deep country

Dixie Mountaineer

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Anyone have any advice for what pack to buy if i am hunting solo, several miles in, maybe with a horse and maybe not? Looking to use it in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. Many thanks to any who can help...
 

Backpack Hunter

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Determine what your needs are for the pack ie. duration of hunt, packing meat inside or outside of the pack, do you like one bag or a smaller bag with several smaller pockets, etc.Then test fit for your needs.
My personal preference in a pack would be a Kifaru.
 

RosinBag

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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.
 

slim9300

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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.

There is more truth to this statement than most can imagine. :)
 

Ryan Avery

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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.
Doug is spot on!
I figured this up the other day. In the last 5 years I have spent 1942.00 on back packs. I could of saved a lot of time, money and back pain by buying a top end pack first.
I would write down what your needs are, then buy one that is a bit bigger than your needs. Plus the high end packs keep there resale. I have a T2 that I will be selling to get a DT1 after the season. So it may never end:)
 

Slim Jim

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Listen to these guys on the Kifaru pack. I bought eberlestock a few years ago because of price and it is a good pack but when I hike in deep with a heavy load, the load lifters start killing my shoulders because the weight isn't transferred correctly. I wish I would of spent the extra $ to buy the right pack. Next year I will have Kifaru on my back
 

Matt Cashell

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I agree that going to a top of the line pack right away is great advice!

While Kifaru does make excellent packs, my recommendation would be to consider Kuiu or Mystery Ranch packs as well. Packs are like boots, some will fit better than others, and what works great for somebody else may not for you.
 

Jeff Martin

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Do tons of research, look at all brands, all models....research some more....then forget it all and buy a Kifaru.....i have spent more money than I want to remember learning this lesson. I feel stupid now.... :)
 

Dixie07

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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.
 

Ryan Avery

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BB is right. Packs just fit everyone a little different. I never liked the feel of the Kuiu frame(2011 model) But I have some friends that love it. Maybe there are some fellow Roksliders that live in your area with high end packs, ask around
 

Ryan Avery

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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.
 

hunting1

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Packs are like boots, but I would bet 90% or better you will be happy with going Kifaru! There are some who do not care for them, but few. I am sure most here can attest to how much was spent trying all the others and should have just bought the Kifaru from the beginning.
 

thru-hunter

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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.
 

Ryan Avery

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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.

We have the same torso length and about the same waist. Just not a fan.
 

cmeier117

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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...
 

Dixie07

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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.
 

Lawnboi

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dixie write up a review and some pics!

IMO my kifaru is absolutely perfect for me. after putting some pretty serious miles on it so far i am beyond happy with it, as I am with all my kifaru products.

Im in the same boat as everyone else, best to buy a nice one and be done! Not to mention its amazing how much more enjoyable a good pack be
 

cmeier117

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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.

Yep, if you get a solid color pack and aluminum stays.... I am not questioning the mchale packs as I am sure they are great and have heard great things from him. But... the way the Kifaru packs adjust and ride, they are pretty close to custom packs... If you have $1000 to spend, sure get a mchale or try them out. But probably 99% of Kifaru users are very satisfied with their packs, also being a hunting company it is nice to support them. I have hauled 120 lbs in my T2 for 40+ miles and a 80 lbs for twice that far and the comfort is excellent.

Not trying to start anything but just an honest question as I am curious and I am sure others are as well? What makes the pack "custom" Is it that he builds them one at a time and has...
-Custom waist belt size
-Custom pocket layout
-Custom material options and color
-Custom suspension (stay) height
-Custom shoulder strap length

Did I miss anything?
 

dotman

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Sounds like the McHale could be hard to resell if it has no way to adj for different torso's even if only an inch. I have yetto buy anything that I didn't want to upgrade, good thing about kifaru is they are super easy to resell and have tons of accessories that you can buy overtime and resell seperately, plus they can be fitted to anyone.

Kind of like buying alpha glass, easier to resell and get your money back out of. Not saying McHale isn't good just limits who you can resell to and if anyone is interested in a McHale they will know this fact before purchasing.
 
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