Backpack Shootout - 9 Backpacks Go HEAD to HEAD ***Updated 8/5/2020***

Zach Herold

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Feb 1, 2019
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I will be testing some of the leading packs against each other. I have several tests lines up to simulate hunting and backpacking scenarios.

I Will Be Testing:
  • KIFARU
  • KUIU
  • Stone Glacier
  • Exo
  • Eberlee Stock
  • Initial Ascent
  • Mystery Ranch
  • Sitka
  • Seek Outside
I hope to do a two part test on the packs. Part One: Tests, features, specs, cost etc. Part Two: 5+ day trip taking each pack on a trip and reviewing its performance after the trip. If the people I am with or myself don't harvest on the trip, I will use that pack until I am able to have an actual pack out with it.
I hope to do a two part test on the packs. Part One: Tests, features, specs, cost etc. Part Two: 5+ day trip taking each pack on a trip and reviewing its performance after the trip. If the people I am with or myself don't harvest on the trip, I will use that pack until I am able to have an actual pack out with it.

***Update 8/5/2020*** The Backpack Showdown - Part 1

Please let me know in the comments:
  • Questions you have on each specific pack.
  • Tests you would like to see performed.
  • Anything else that comes to mind.
Thank you!
 
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LJ Buck

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Add Seek Outside and drop a few from the list to save yourself some lumbar pain.

Give feedback others don't give that a lot of Newbie backpack people can use, like the ease of getting it fitted or accessing the load shelf....
 

md126

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Apr 16, 2013
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Seek Outside would be a nice addition.

Looking forward to a good honest review. Some “reviews” are just specs, features, etc that anyone can get off the website.

Field use and honest pros and cons are what I’d be interested in.
Thanks
 

robby denning

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Seek outside?
If my math is right he’s got seven of the leading packs in there and five day trips planned for each one, so 35+days for just that part of the review. I think if we keep adding packs on this the review, he won’t be done till November and then it doesn’t help anybody in the market for a pack before archery season opens. If Seek Outside sees this and wants to send a pack right away we won’t refuse it, but we gotta get rolling on this.

Here’s the SO reviews we’ve published recently




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AK Troutbum

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If my math is right he’s got seven of the leading packs in there and five day trips planned for each one, so 35+days for just that part of the review. I think if we keep adding packs on this the review, he won’t be done till November and then it doesn’t help anybody in the market for a pack before archery season opens. If Seek Outside sees this and wants to send a pack right away we won’t refuse it, but we gotta get rolling on this.

Here’s the SO reviews we’ve published recently




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I totally get what you’re saying Robby, but to not have SO and include packs like ES? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Kevin, if you’re reading this, please get a pack shipped out ASAP.


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robby denning

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I totally get what you’re saying Robby, but to not have SO and include packs like ES? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Kevin, if you’re reading this, please get a pack shipped out ASAP.


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we have been covering SO!!

ES hasn’t been covered but there are lots of members at that price point, so it’s in there. Same with Mystery Ranch and KUIU, haven’t covered those as much.

No matter how many we cover they’ll always be people that want more in there.

I just tested three of the leading sleeping bags in their class, yet half the comments I get are “why didn’t you test this one? Or why did you test this one?”

At some point, too many products in a review becomes unmanageable for the writer, and even the reader.

We felt like this lineup is covering a wide variety and is still manageable for Zach.


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sndmn11

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If my math is right he’s got seven of the leading packs in there and five day trips planned for each one, so 35+days for just that part of the review. I think if we keep adding packs on this the review, he won’t be done till November and then it doesn’t help anybody in the market for a pack before archery season opens. If Seek Outside sees this and wants to send a pack right away we won’t refuse it, but we gotta get rolling on this.

Here’s the SO reviews we’ve published recently




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I hear you. I also can't remember ever reading about Kuiu, Sitka, or Eberlestock leading the way in anything performance based.

The point of head to head is to minimize variables and establish consistency in evaluation. Referring back to older individual reviews doesn't check those boxes.
 

robby denning

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I hear you. I also can't remember ever reading about Kuiu, Sitka, or Eberlestock leading the way in anything performance.
Fair enough, but there have not been recent reviews, if any, on those packs on Rokslide.


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robby denning

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First time I’ve heard of Initial Ascent so I looked them up. Straight into the $700 pack club, eh?
Yes we’ve tested their GEN 1 and 2. Good pack




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sndmn11

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Fair enough, but there have not been recent reviews, if any, on those packs on Rokslide.


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I think the perspective being expressed above, and I know my own, is that it seems established that those packs are lacking in many performance aspects. Unless there has been significant overhauls to bring them out of the basement it comes across odd/out of place/puzzling to have them included. I think there is also some strong USA made VS overseas made sentiment right now.

The Initial Ascent and Outdoorsman's seem to be an unknown quality and I think are great additions.
 

robby denning

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I think the perspective being expressed above, and I know my own, is that it seems established that those packs are lacking in many performance aspects. Unless there has been significant overhauls to bring them out of the basement it comes across odd/out of place/puzzling to have them included. I think there is also some strong USA made VS overseas made sentiment right now.

The Initial Ascent and Outdoorsman's seem to be an unknown quality and I think are great additions.
Sometimes choosing products for reviews comes down to how much time you have to get everything organized, how much time you have to test, and what has and has not already been covered before. And there are a lot of users out there that need the less expensive packs, so we try to include those if we can. Even if it seems odd.
USA vs the foreign seems to work itself out in the end with the quality. USA definitely winning these days. 🙏💪👍🇺🇸
 

sndmn11

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And there are a lot of users out there that need the less expensive packs, so we try to include those if we can. Even if it seems odd.
$595

$569

$559

I'll leave it lie. 🤐
 

Outlaw99

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Jan 26, 2018
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Tagged. Looking forward to following along on this one. Thanks to all who made it happen
 
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