Barney's Packs vs. Kifaru Duplex Frame System

Matt W.

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Have not heard much about Barney packs as of late and am curious if the new stuff is just designed better or if they are just not in the current buzz around packs. ???

I'm leaning toward a Kifaru setup and my buddy is pretty sold on the Barney light weight pack. Its quite a bit cheaper than an equivalent Kifaru set up.

What would be the pros and cons of each system when compared to each other?

Thanks!
 
B

bearguide

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all the guides that work with alaska outfitters are still using barney's packs. they will carry huge loads.
 

RosinBag

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I have an old Barneys Freighter Frame, I never bought the bag for it. I have only been hunting in Alaska twice and everyone there used them for the most part. They are very stout, but I don't think mine is as comfortable as my Kifaru Duplex Frame is.

Hopefully Luke will chime in, he lives there and may know more about why so many in Alaska prefer the Barney's.
 

Aron Snyder

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I've used both, but prefer the Kifaru for comfort as well, but several AK guides to use them.

The B pack is an external and pretty large and the K is more of a hybrid internal/external and a sleeker design. The K packs will have a lot more options that can attach to the Duplex frame and that may be something to consider as well.

As Doug said, Luke is gong to be the best guy to answer this as I only used it for a couple trips.
 

justin davis

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all the guides that work with alaska outfitters are still using barney's packs. they will carry huge loads.
Kifaru duplex frame will carry huge loads as well. As huge as your body can handle.

The comfort goes to the kifaru in my opinion
 

billy molls

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Barney's packs, in my opinion, are for guides, MR and the Timberline are for guided hunters. DIY hunters may go either way. I have never guided a guy in Alaska who likes an external frame pack, even Barney's. They don't offer the flexibility of the latest models of internal frames. I haven't used the Timberline, but I am going on a Tur hunt in Azerbaijan this July and think, after what I am reading on Rokslide, I will try it.

At least 80% of the guides that I guide with in AK use a Barney's. I have the Pinnacle, which I believe is the largest (8300 I think). It is VERY durable, and VERY functional, and simple. The newer suspension system really helps the comfort and ability to pack large, heavy loads. The primary reason that everyone likes them, I think, is that they are easy to strap a moose quarter to. A BIG moose hind quarter will weigh over 165 lbs.(I have seen one weighed. It was hock to hip ball.) I have heard of guys weighing them at 190, and I wouldn't doubt it. Antlers also affix very easily. A lot of hunters and guides still use them, because that is what they know and it is what they have.

I personally loved the comfort of a MR 7500 pack, and found it to be far superior to a Barneys. I used it on Kodiak brown bear hunt last spring. It handled a 10'3" bear hide superbly, which weighed well over 100 pounds. However, I found the pack to be way too complicated. Too many pockets and zippers, that all led to compartments that were too small for my use and liking. I am like most guides and don't like gadgets and lots of "features." Like I said, that is why guides like Barneys; the simplicity.

So in my opinion, If you are a on a DIY caribou or moose hunt in AK, Barneys is the way to go. (And by the way I have used the lighter Nylon, not the heavier Cordura, and it is plenty durable: 6 seasons, and about 200 flights, and a fair number of animals haven't put a rip or hole in it yet,,,,, knock on wood....!)

I you are DYI hunting bear, sheep, goat, deer, or you are hunting with a guide for any animal, i would focus on MR or, it sounds like Kifaru as got the hot ticket....?

Best of luck!!
 
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Matt W.

Matt W.

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All good stuff. I tried one on a few years back in the shop never felt that aha moment when something just fits. I'm a DIY hunter and live in AK. I backpack for sheep, when I go after the big guys I'm never to far from a wheeler or a raft. Common knowledge about the Barney's and externals is that they handle super heavy loads better than internals, but are not as comfortable under normal use.

I think that is what draws me to the duplex frame from Kifaru, its seems to be the best of both worlds. If lived in the L48 I'd just get me a T1 and call it good... As for the big loads.... It takes some help to lift a 160+ pack onto the average dude's back, and even then most guys run a chance of hurting something.. :) I have a knife and am willing to start cutting if something is that heavy. :)
 
B

bearguide

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i agree with billy molls, the barneys are great for loads, but not as comfortable as other packs. i want to try the t1. i am currently using a dana design which is comfortable and hauls more than i want to carry. i like the idea of cutting stuff up if it is to heavy
 

luke moffat

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Certainly haven't field tested the Barney's nearly as much as Billy, but having tried Mystery Ranch, Barney's, and Kifaru I can say they are all top notch. There is a reason most the guides (Billy included) use Barney's packs as their work packs, and thats cause they don't break no matter the weight. I firmly believe more critters have been hauled out in Barney's packs in Alaska in the past 25 years than any other make of pack. They simply work.

They are lighter than Mystery Ranch packs, though not quite as comfy as Mystery Ranch packs or Kifaru packs when loaded going in, but when you tip something over, thats where Barney's shine. Mystery Ranch packs are nice I hauled 135 pounds off the hill on Kodiak with one (yes my 150 pound frame was hating me ;) ) But I would say Kifaru is king for comfort for me as I like how I can snug the hip belt all the way. If you have less than 30" waist and 100+ in a Barney's pack you might run out of room to cinch it any tighter. That said, you simply can't go wrong with a Barney's for hauling weight.
 

akrdkill

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+1 on what Luke said....i think the Barney's are weight hauling machnes, but there alot diff. than kifaru's. the kifaru's are meant to put the weight on you waist & snug everything in, thats why they have all the different adjustment straps. no matter there all good packs, well built, & will haul more than we can probably carry.
 
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Matt W.

Matt W.

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Thanks guys, I'm convinced I'm headed in the right direction. We'll see if I can convince my buddy.. :) I'm going to try to get him to hold off until I get my pack before he does anything. If he really wants Barney all we have to do is drive down there. If he likes my pack the wait is a bit of a bugger, but at least he'll be able to test between the two..
 
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cmeier117

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Barney's packs, in my opinion, are for guides, MR and the Timberline are for guided hunters. DIY hunters may go either way. I have never guided a guy in Alaska who likes an external frame pack, even Barney's. They don't offer the flexibility of the latest models of internal frames. I haven't used the Timberline, but I am going on a Tur hunt in Azerbaijan this July and think, after what I am reading on Rokslide, I will try it.

At least 80% of the guides that I guide with in AK use a Barney's. I have the Pinnacle, which I believe is the largest (8300 I think). It is VERY durable, and VERY functional, and simple. The newer suspension system really helps the comfort and ability to pack large, heavy loads. The primary reason that everyone likes them, I think, is that they are easy to strap a moose quarter to. A BIG moose hind quarter will weigh over 165 lbs.(I have seen one weighed. It was hock to hip ball.) I have heard of guys weighing them at 190, and I wouldn't doubt it. Antlers also affix very easily. A lot of hunters and guides still use them, because that is what they know and it is what they have.

I personally loved the comfort of a MR 7500 pack, and found it to be far superior to a Barneys. I used it on Kodiak brown bear hunt last spring. It handled a 10'3" bear hide superbly, which weighed well over 100 pounds. However, I found the pack to be way too complicated. Too many pockets and zippers, that all led to compartments that were too small for my use and liking. I am like most guides and don't like gadgets and lots of "features." Like I said, that is why guides like Barneys; the simplicity.

So in my opinion, If you are a on a DIY caribou or moose hunt in AK, Barneys is the way to go. (And by the way I have used the lighter Nylon, not the heavier Cordura, and it is plenty durable: 6 seasons, and about 200 flights, and a fair number of animals haven't put a rip or hole in it yet,,,,, knock on wood....!)

I you are DYI hunting bear, sheep, goat, deer, or you are hunting with a guide for any animal, i would focus on MR or, it sounds like Kifaru as got the hot ticket....?

Best of luck!!
Good info and it all makes sense! I am curious if you have tried the Kifaru Longhunter Rendezvous (8500 Cu inches)? It does not apple to me and my hunting at all but I would love to hear how it would compare the the Barney's? Like you said the downside to MR being to many smaller pockets it has one big bag. Thanks for the info and insight.
 

Barneys

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Bob From Barneys

Hi Everyone -
For you who don't know me I am ,Bob Hodson , the owner of Barneys and designer of The"Barneys" packs.I was introduced to this great forum a few day ago.
By listening to you and by taking information from this forum You can help me continue to produce innovative outdoor gear that is suited for hard core use.
In regards to my packs - I always like to hear input into how they can be improved upon ... a forum subject to follow.
I really like what I see so far - creative discussions that are fair and honest.
In regards to packs - All is I can say is some guys like beer and some like whiskey !
Bob
 

a3dhunter

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Colorado Springs,CO
Hi Everyone -
For you who don't know me I am ,Bob Hodson , the owner of Barneys and designer of The"Barneys" packs.I was introduced to this great forum a few day ago.
By listening to you and by taking information from this forum You can help me continue to produce innovative outdoor gear that is suited for hard core use.
In regards to my packs - I always like to hear input into how they can be improved upon ... a forum subject to follow.
I really like what I see so far - creative discussions that are fair and honest.
In regards to packs - All is I can say is some guys like beer and some like whiskey !
Bob
Great to have you here, welcome and thank you for posting.
It is obvious through years of providing a quality product that you care about what you do.
 

ohhiitznik

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Those barney's frame look like the cats ass for strapping moose meat to them... If I ever go to alaska on a moose hunt I know what I'll have on my back!
 

chuckhanisch

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Mar 10, 2012
Messages
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I am going to be selling my Barney's Freighter frame, PM me if interested. I will post in classifieds in the next couple of days after I take some pictures.
Now, I will tell you my opinion as I have both the Barney's Freighter frame and the Kifaru MMR. For heavy loads the Barney's is the better pack but for overall versatility the MMR wins in my opinion. I have tried the Dana Design frames, Cabelas frames, Mystery Ranch NICE frame and several internal frame packs and for heavy loads the Barneys was better for me. I would love to keep both packs since both have their place but I can't afford that. If I could make the comparison to pickups I would say the Barneys is like a 3/4 ton diesel and the Kifaru is a half ton. If I had a 30 foot boat I would want the diesel but I only have a 18 foot boat so the half ton is fine and the 3/4 ton is probably more truck than I need.
 
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Matt W.

Matt W.

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I am going to be selling my Barney's Freighter frame, PM me if interested. I will post in classifieds in the next couple of days after I take some pictures.
Now, I will tell you my opinion as I have both the Barney's Freighter frame and the Kifaru MMR. For heavy loads the Barney's is the better pack but for overall versatility the MMR wins in my opinion. I have tried the Dana Design frames, Cabelas frames, Mystery Ranch NICE frame and several internal frame packs and for heavy loads the Barneys was better for me. I would love to keep both packs since both have their place but I can't afford that. If I could make the comparison to pickups I would say the Barneys is like a 3/4 ton diesel and the Kifaru is a half ton. If I had a 30 foot boat I would want the diesel but I only have a 18 foot boat so the half ton is fine and the 3/4 ton is probably more truck than I need.
Good analogy. Where would you throw the Timberline in this? 1/2 ton with a V6? :)
 

Yellowknife

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Like many Alaskan's, I'm solidly in the Barney Pack camp. Construction is top notch and I find the frame and harness comfortable with both light loads and heavy. My one complaint is that the bags have become a little TOO well featured. Lots of options added over the years with input from many many guides, has made it a good, but complicated bag. The "Pinnacle" bag I'm currently using has 8 pockets, two rifle holders, and a zillion straps. Unfortunately, it kind all flops around with partial loads.

A couple of years ago, I actually designed up a much simpler bag for my frame and tried to have it built by a local custom sew shop. Unfortunately, the project fell through for various reasons, but it would have looked very very similar what Aron and Kifaru came up with on for the Timberline. Basically, it had big (Pinnacle size) main compartment, one rear pocket, a simple long side pocket, and a minimal top lid. It was also supposed to have a very good compression system for day hunting. Are you listening Bob? Just think, it would be cheaper to make and you could charge sheep hunters a premium for the "extralite" version!

I'm serious! A pack like that could compete weight wise with the Timberline Duplex, but have the external frame that we Alaskan guys love for serious meat hauling.

Yk
 
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