Eberlesstock just one j34 vs jp9 blue widow?? OR???

Teeton

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Feb 18, 2013
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Ok I'm not a green horn at backpacking been doing it for a lot of years. I've had eureka packs, as I have a eureka outlet not to far from my house. So with Eureka I get to try the packs on and load them up."Something" I can not do with other packs and Eureka does not make a pack I'm looking for. So I've been looking at diff pack companies on the net. I've looked at many diff companies No other way but the net. :/ So the pack I'm looking for I want to be a bivi pack but also a day pack. Now I'm 5-9 and weigh in at 195. with about a 17-18 inch back.

So I've come to the Ederlestock packs at this time. So I'll start with the j34 pack it weight is 7Ibs. 8oz ( I did look from the pack sizes that I did see somewhere, now I can't find them ) The j34 close up to 2300 ci in daypack mode and 4600 in bivipack mode. This pack (j34) is about 2 inches narrower than the jp9 and the j34 comes with a gun scabbard witch I don't need but I could use it for something else, like my walking poles or ?

Now the jp9 weight is 7Ibs. 12oz if you remove the top fannypack it weight is down to 6Ibs. 12oz It closes down to 2200 ci in daypack mode and up to 4700 in bivi mode. I also hear that the frames a little stiffer on this pack. (maybe better than the j34 pack)

The only bad think I hear about these packs is that the load lifters don't work to good.. Does any one have first hand experience with the load lifter on these packs? (Remember I'm 5 foot-9)

Some of the other companies I've looked at are Sika, Stone Glacier, Kafaru and Kuiu packs. I like the frame system on the Stone Glacier, but don't like what I think is a brite color packs and lack of places to tie other things to the pack.

Ok thats all for now,,, Tee
 
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WV Hunter

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I can't really say anything good about the Bluewidow I had. I really wanted to like it since I paid $300 for it but with any type of load it really sucked for me. I'm 5'9 and weigh 165lbs for what it's worth. I tried everything to get the pack to fit properly, bending the AL stays, adjusting the ladder height and so forth and just could not get the pack to work. I even emailed Eberlestock asking for some help and never got a response. Empty the pack fit and felt like nothing was there. With more than 15 lbs the pack dug into my shoulders/arm pits and slouched off my back. Loadlifters were non existant. The pack just isn't in the same league as some of the others you listed (Kifaru, Stone Glacier and KUIU)
 

trapperjay

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I'm in a different situation, a total greenhorn. However, all my research pointed to Kifaru, MR, Kuiu, and SG to some extent. I am 5'9" and went with a DT model from the Kifaru line for now. I will report back on how it handles loads-- exchanging the dt3 for a larger bag-- but the frame and 32# was a breeze.
 

Jplus4

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Feb 29, 2012
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I have used the J34 for a few years now and it's been OK. Yes there are better packs out there. But they come with a high price.
I am 5'9" 185 right now and the lifters have worked for me, on the other hand my partner is an inch or two taller than me and he has had problems with the lifters. It has suited my purposes by holding my gear for three to four days and being expandable for meat (only carried meat once). If I'm bow hunting, I use the scabbard for my water bladder which can be easier to access than the side pouch. Decent pack in my opinion for the price.
Having said all of that, I am eyeing the upper end packs now - the Stone Glacier sure looks like something I'll have to save for!
Josh M
 

Slim Jim

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I had the j34 and used it for a couple of years. I would not buy it if I was you. I would spend the money if you can swing it and get one of the higher end packs with functional load lifters. I truly believe that part of the reason I have a shoulder injury right now is because of the j34 pulling down on my shoulders when loaded. You get what you pay for and your body will thank you for spending the extra money.
 

ohhiitznik

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If you're going to get a lower priced pack, look at the horn hunter full curl. Also take a look in the classifieds for some used packs from Mystery Ranch/kuiu. If you can swing a new one I'd say Kifaru, Stone Glacier, Kuiu, Mystery Ranch. Any of those will treat you well.
 

littlebuf

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Dont waste your money.save a little more and step up to a kifaru or MR.at your size they both offer a lot of options.it will be cheaper in the long run when you hate the eberle
 

jmez

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I currently have a Blue Widow. For the price range it is an excellent pack. Depending on how you use it may not be necessary to spend a lot more money on an upper end pack. 50# and under it works well. Get over 50# in it, different story. The load lifters don't work at all, they attach right behind the shoulder straps. They may work on someone 4 foot tall but I doubt it. They are simply in the wrong place. The pack is also pretty heavy if weight is a big concern. Pack is extremely tough and has a lot of adjustibility for fitting. If you are carrying light to moderate loads on one trip a year to the mountains I think it would be a good choice. Spend the extra $400 on a lightweight bag and shelter.

If you go on several western hunts or plan on carrying a lot of weight then the higher end pack would be a better choice. If money is no object then also would look into the higher end stuff. Don't let the color of the Stone Glacier scare you , it is pretty dull. About like the gray color that is in these text boxes when typing a response.
 

realunlucky

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How many days a year are you going to use your pack and how much weight are you planning to carry? A 600 dollar pack isn't for everyone and you can get a backpacking pack for less. I beat my kelty it's not the lightest but for two for three trips a year I can't spend the money on something that sees minimal use. And yes an elk quarter will fit in the bag have had front and back boned out in there, but you'll make another trip for camp. I'm not machine enough to take it all on my back even if it fit
 

Backpack Hunter

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The pack itself is well constructed, but you will have difficulty or are pretty close to having difficulty with your 17-18" torso range. If I was going to spend $300 or so on a pack I would look for a used Kifaru Longhunter, the Horn Hunter Full Curl, or a Kelty Cache Hauler with a Cabelas Alaskan bag provided your body style fits.
 

Biggs300

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Dec 17, 2012
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My two main packs are are a J34 and Kifaru standard Longhunter G2, so I can't comment on the Elerlestock Blue Widow. I am 5' 10" and weigh 195 lbs with torso length is just under 21". I really like the J34 for its versatility because of its ability to expand especially using spike camp duffle. I'm also a fan of the rifle scabbard. The belt and duplex suspension system is beefier on the Longhunter and would likely allow it to haul heavier loads more comfortably and the load lifter straps work well. That said, for the way I hunt I prefer using my J34 and it works nicely as a daypack. Last year, I used it on a backpack hunt in CO and had it loaded to about 60lbs and it worked fine for the 7+ mile trip. If I were going to carry 60 lbs or more with any frequency, I'd probably go with a Kifaru. However, The J34 worked much better after shortening the torso more than necessary for my torso length and rebending the stays. The comfort level improved considerably.
 
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Teeton

Teeton

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How many days will I use it? Bivi hunting up 21 days.. Just hiking in the east if I get out a lot, up to a another 21 days. I also do over night turkey hunts as I live 45 minutes from were I hunt in New York State and 1 1/2 to 2 hours from were I hunt in New Jersey. I strap on my double Bull Blind with min gear. Hike out in the evenings "trying" to roost a bird. After it's dark move in close, set up the blind, cover with a tarp if it's going to rain. Pull out my pad and bag and I'm ready for morning.. Only need my turkey stuff, l-e-d light, good book, water and some food for one day. No reason to roost a bird, walk back out just to walk back in, in the morning. It could be an hour walk back to my truck.. No I don't really need it for the turkey hunts, but I'll get to know the pack. Tee
 

Broken Arrow

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I am 5'8" 165# and have a blue widow. Like mentioned before there are better packs and it does take some time to get everything adjusted right. 50 or less it feels fine @ 70 it was there but not unbearable at 90+ you will be doing the loosen this tighten this now switch shuffle. The lifters do work for me until I pass 70# then they don't work well. Like mentioned about if you're only using it once or twice a year then spend the extra on other stuff. If money is not an issue buy a top end pack. I'm a rookie and buy no means an expert. Just how I would do it. And why I have a BW.
 

Coyote Commander

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Im 6' and 155 lbs with a 19" torso, which I guess is "short" for my height.

Id say im at the absolute upper limit of what this pack can accomodate as far as torso length and having workable load lifters. Im pretty comfie in mine up to about 60-65 lbs. Than it can get a bit prickly.

Measure your torso, if youre 18" or shorter, you'll probably like the blue widow. If your 20" or longer, you probably wont.

If it fits you, the blue widow is a good pack for its cost. Nice modularity with the spike duffels, but a bit heavier.
 

Biggs300

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Tee, just my opinion but it sounds like you might need to look at a couple of different packs. For a 21-day hunt, (bivy hunt or not) I wouldn't even try to use either my J34 or Longhunter. I turkey hunt using a bivy sack and/or tarp tent, sleeping bag, pad and carry decoys, food, water, and other gear. For a 3 or 4 day hunt, my J34 or Longhunter both work fine. But, for a 21-day hunt, I'd probably look at a hauler pack like Kelty Cache Hurler or, even better, (although a possibly a bit of an overkill) a Barney's Alaska Pack Frame and bag. Turkey hunting gear, although not particularly heavy can be bulky, especially if you are carrying blinds and decoys. Again, just my opinion, but a 21-day outing will require some serious pack space.
 

Justin Crossley

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Everyone I know who has used one of those packs has sold it and upgraded. I would look for a good used pack or save for a new one. I've learned my lesson about buying quality gear the first time.
 
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Teeton

Teeton

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Biggs300 Them 21 days is only 3/4 days, then back to truck for resupply. I just hunt with camp on back till dark and then start from there at daybreak. Tee
Tee, just my opinion but it sounds like you might need to look at a couple of different packs. For a 21-day hunt, (bivy hunt or not) I wouldn't even try to use either my J34 or Longhunter. I turkey hunt using a bivy sack and/or tarp tent, sleeping bag, pad and carry decoys, food, water, and other gear. For a 3 or 4 day hunt, my J34 or Longhunter both work fine. But, for a 21-day hunt, I'd probably look at a hauler pack like Kelty Cache Hurler or, even better, (although a possibly a bit of an overkill) a Barney's Alaska Pack Frame and bag. Turkey hunting gear, although not particularly heavy can be bulky, especially if you are carrying blinds and decoys. Again, just my opinion, but a 21-day outing will require some serious pack space.
 

Lawnboi

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I did not care for the blue widow at all for a bivy or spike camp pack. As a day pack it worked awesome.

Carrying sustained loads with it became very uncomfortable. And im 5'7

Built pretty tough though!
 

jcodyc40

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Dec 18, 2012
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Helena, MT
I have a Blue Widow and love it. I like to be able to take the scabbard out when I am bow hunting and feel it is the only way to carry a rifle. I have adjusted the waist belt all the way down and put the shoulder harness one notch down. I have also extended the stays and built an adapter that gives the pack functional load lifters. I am 6'4" 215lbs and have a 21.5" torso. I have carried my ground blind with it and it worked great.

Cody
 

Outdoorsman3830

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May 5, 2012
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Cheyenne, WY
Forget the J34 and go for the Blue Widow if set on Eberlestock. Eberlestock makes a very good packs that hold there own despite what some say. The J-Series type packs are not designed to give 30 to 45 degree angle load lifts, but more like 15 degree lift on the average torso. Your 18 inch torso is going to give you at least a 15 to 20 degree lift, if your wearing the pack properly. Eberlestocks are tricky to fit if you dont know or understand what your doing. It utilizes aluminum stays so you can change the frame's shape to whatever you desire. The Blue Widow will be more comfortable and a rifle scabbard can be mounted vertically along the back like the J34, but has a few different scabbard options depending on the weapon of choice.

Eberlestock is the more affordable option and it will perform extremely well. I have not used Kifaru or Stone Glacier, but the Mystery Ranch NICE Frame is a phenomenal design that is extremely durable. I am confident that Mystery Ranch makes the most Durable pack on the market. The NICE Frame is also setup to ensure incredible stability under heavy loads. Stability and Durability is where the NICE Frame really outshines the Eberlestock pack your interested in and most any other pack on the market. I haven't used Kifaru, but everyone claims they are extremely comfortable, especially the hip-belt. Take your time when choosing a pack and test it out whenever possible. Mystery Ranch offers a 60 day return policy and I believe Kifaru also has similar return policy for those who can't get a comfortable fit, which does happen occasionally.
 
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