Do Some Pack Brands Fit Certain Body Shapes Better?

Lionhound1975

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Aug 25, 2019
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Has anyone observed if some pack brands tend to fit certain body shapes better? I understand that MR, Kifaru, SG, EXO and SO are all very adjustable.

I have a stocky build (5'8, 190 lbs., 44" chest, 35" waist) and have a MR 6500 and a NICE Crew Cab that both fit me well. I also have a Kifaru Mountain Warrior on a Duplex (circa 2016) and a Kifaru Bikini with Apollo bag that also are very comfortable. For me, the MR NICE frame (with OV load lifters) and MR 6500 are both more comfortable that the Duplex frame up until around 80 pounds. With lighter weights the Duplex sometimes feels like I am wearing a board on my back. I have loaded both to around 115 lbs. to compare them and the Kifaru Duplex was clearly more comfortable on my back to carry the weight around. So for me both the NICE and Duplex frames are comfortable but for different reasons and uses.

I have never been able to try a SG, EXO, or SO but would be interested to hear if any of you think that certain body frame/shapes work better for different brand frames and belts. For example, if Stone Glacier packs/belts work better for thinner, wiry guys, etc.
 

kata2012

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Aug 13, 2017
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First off, I have very limited experience with packs. I have an eberlestock mainframe with a little big top that does everything I need it too.

That being said, I saw this comparison video the other night and it addresses your exact question.


I'm sure others will chime in with more experience and knowledge, but I thought I would share the video at the very least.

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rstanforth

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May 6, 2020
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I have watched that video a few times and think it is very informative. 1 issue that I have is that I have a very long torso, so some frames, even in tall sizes don't fit me. I really wish they would have had a Kifaru in there for comparison.
 

kata2012

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I with they would have included kifaru on there as well. I would also like to see this test done again with more weight to see how they all handle under heavier loads.

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ScottinPA

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May 13, 2016
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Russell PA
IMO, yes. Back in 2016 I had EXO, KUIU, MR (NICE frame) , and Kifaru packs, some at the same time, to try out. EXO I couldn't get comfortable for me, even talked to Steve about what I should try. KUIU and MR fit pretty good but sucked with 50lbs. For me, Kifaru worked the best. That said the MR NICE with no lifters was sweet for hiking thru timber.

For reference - 5'-6" 180lb, 32 waist, 29" inseam.
 

RockChucker30

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Short answer YES. Different pack designs fit different body types better or worse.

There are really only 3-4 suspension styles on the market.

Most common is a twin vertical stay system with big lumbar pad. This fits stocky or curvy back builds pretty well.

I have a very challenging build to fit. I'm built like a telephone pole....flat back, no hips, no butt, and I curve my shoulders forward while under load. Most packs slip on me.

A lot can be done to make a pack fit different body types, but not all suspension styles will work for every body type.
 

rstanforth

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May 6, 2020
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As for the differences in size and fit, I got my EXO K3 3200 and I was able to borrow a Kifaru Duplex Lite with a 44 mag pack to try. The EXO K3 fits me perfectly, because the frame runs along the outside of the pack around my shoulders, but the Kifaru has a middle horizontal frame support that puts a significant amount of pressure on the inside corners of my shoulder blades.

For reference I am 6'2", but I wear a size 50 coat, so I am one of those tall extra wide shouldered people. Due to this the EXO does not have any pressure points, being outside of my shoulders, but the kifaru has 2 points where it hits right on each shoulder blade.

So the Kifaru frame, which most people love, and I really, really like the 44 mag pack, doesn't fit me at all.

I have 2 pacls to really compare now, the MR Sawtooth and the EXO K3 so I will be working with those 2 to figure what to run.
 

Billy Goat

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I tried several packs side by side at one point, guess it was early 2018. They definitely fit me different than others. I'm a flat back, 33" waist, 5'10" and 175ish.

To keep from bashing anyone or sounding like a fanboy I'll just recommend you look into who you can return packs to. Go ahead and order 3-4 and try them side by side with weight to determine which you like.

It's just like boots, certain high end very nice boots simply don't fit my feet, others do. Doesn't make one good or bad.

Not exactly answering your thread except for two of us who tried the kifaru we couldn't make it stick, lumbar bad slipped and weight went to the shoulders. We are both pretty slim and flat back. One of us settled on SO and another on EXO. Some companies are making stays that can be fitted to your back, I think that helps.
 
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Smokeslider

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Dec 17, 2018
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OR
Short answer YES. Different pack designs fit different body types better or worse.

There are really only 3-4 suspension styles on the market.

Most common is a twin vertical stay system with big lumbar pad. This fits stocky or curvy back builds pretty well.

I have a very challenging build to fit. I'm built like a telephone pole....flat back, no hips, no butt, and I curve my shoulders forward while under load. Most packs slip on me.

A lot can be done to make a pack fit different body types, but not all suspension styles will work for every body type.
Appears we have the same body type. I'm currently playing with a SO Goshawk 4800 and struggling a little bit with belt slippage. I've tried all the belt configurations, lumbar pad, captured, not captured, etc. Tried various sized of belts. They all seem to slip when carrying 50+ lbs. Any recommendations to try or a different pack type?
 

winoschubert

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May 5, 2020
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California
First off, I have very limited experience with packs. I have an eberlestock mainframe with a little big top that does everything I need it too.

That being said, I saw this comparison video the other night and it addresses your exact question.


I'm sure others will chime in with more experience and knowledge, but I thought I would share the video at the very least.

Sent from my SM-G970U1 using Tapatalk
Thanks for this video, super helpful!
 

cullenz

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Oct 14, 2015
Messages
37
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Durango, CO
For me it is always been the curvature of the frame. I haven't really had belt slippage issues with any of the high end packs, so it has always came down to how the frame shape fit my back (I have a curved back). My SO and SG (Xcurve) frames fit me the best out of any packs I've tried. Exo was just too flat for me, I never got a good fit. I also have a Kifaru setup with composite stays and it does everything I could ever ask it to do, but it doesn't fit me as well or as comfortably as the SO and SG frames. The curve on both those frames really follow the shape of my back well. Like was said above, packs are a lot like boots. Different body types will like different frames.
 

BBob

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Jun 29, 2020
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Southern AZ
Appears we have the same body type. I'm currently playing with a SO Goshawk 4800 and struggling a little bit with belt slippage. I've tried all the belt configurations, lumbar pad, captured, not captured, etc. Tried various sized of belts. They all seem to slip when carrying 50+ lbs. Any recommendations to try or a different pack type?
I'm the same. I get slippage no matter what pack I've ever tried when the weight gets above a certain point. I just don't have much for the hip belt to grip to. When the weight gets really high I just cinch everything up tight and hike the belt up now and then when it slips too far. That said there have been packs I have owned that fit way more comfortable than others. My current pack is equal to my best fitting pack ever from my past which was a Dana Arc Lite series. That old Dana and my current pack fit like a glove and are great to carry. I've owned a Dana Arc Flex series (Terraplane) that was good but the Arc Lite frame fit super nice and had a great carry. So if you're like me I'd say like others have said try packs until one feels great and be ready for heavy loads to potentially slide and just deal with it. It's supposed to be an uncomfortable epic at that point isn't it? ;)
 
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Kevin_t

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Appears we have the same body type. I'm currently playing with a SO Goshawk 4800 and struggling a little bit with belt slippage. I've tried all the belt configurations, lumbar pad, captured, not captured, etc. Tried various sized of belts. They all seem to slip when carrying 50+ lbs. Any recommendations to try or a different pack type?
What you wear also affects how well a belt stays put. Fleece or similar a pack will stay put far better than slick base layers or rain jackets .


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