EXO K2 2000 vs KUIU Icon pro 3200

bojangles808

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
873
Location
hawai'i
If youve worn both these packs how would you compare them. looking for a larger sized day pack that i can day hunt in, do a 2 night backpacking trip in, and has no problem carrying 70-80 lbs if needed. also interested if you packed out meat in both the k2 frame and icon pro suspension, how they compare to each other.
 

Xtreme007

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
665
I can't compare the 2 however I have used the exo K2 a lot with the 2000 bag. It's a super solid setup. Last year I packed 3 deer and 2 elk with the K2 frame. Very happy with the Exo mountain packs and K2 frame.

That being said I have never personally owned or used a kuiu pack but have read several stories and reviews about the kuiu frames breaking under load. Not sure if this issue has been fixed or not. From what I have read the kuiu packs are not in the same league as the exo
 

camping1601

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
1,902
I owned the 2015 EXO and own a Icon Pro 3200 and would say there is no comparing these two packs. The Exo is a better pack.

With that said I also own two Kifarus and will likely be selling the Kuiu frame or keeping it for the wife.
 

doverpack12

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
2,346
I'll say its going to depend on what you like in a pack and your body type. I have used the original Kuiu Icon which I sold for more room and then ordered the Kuiu Ultra 3000 but after trying around the house sent back and bought the 2014 EXO with 3500 bag which drove me nuts with a non floating lid and seemed small for the size so I sold for the 2015 EXO with 5500 bag. The 5500 bag still just seemed like I could never fit anything in it due to the vertical side zip so I sold the system and got the Kuiu Icon Pro 3200 which worked great and provided far superior bag performance compared to the EXO.

I will say both the EXO and Kuiu Icon Pro frames work very well for me. I packed a minimum of two elk and two deer with each and had 30+ days hunting with each of the packs listed above. Hauled some major loads with each (didn't weight because it didn't matter it had to get packed, they were heavy). I know for sure the 2014 EXO seemed slightly less stable when loaded down which I think was due to the narrow frame where the shoulder straps were able to slide up and down the frame. 2015 this was a non issue but I still had to crank down on the belt and shoulder straps more than I thought I should to keep a load in place. I don't mind the belt but couldn't get the load to transfer the weight as well as I wanted to the shoulders then back to the hips. This could very well be my body type as I have some lumbar curve. The Kuiu just fits me and doesn't seem to want to move at all once I get the lumbar pad seated and tighten the belt I can tighten and loosen the shoulder straps as needed to transfer the load between shoulders and hips. I will say I like the extra compression straps on the EXO frame to help attach meat to the frame independent of the bag which I think is key to having a very stable load. However, I have a way of adding 2 compression straps to the Kuiu frame I can show or explain to you if you go that route.

I have messed around with a friends K2 frame and 2000 bag and unless I am missing something the cubic inches don't add up and the 2000 will never have the capacity that the 3200 does. I like the horseshoe zip access to each. I am a little unsure how well the roll top will actually work when loaded up to the max but hopefully someone else has loaded that much in a 2000 bag.

3200 is a great size and compresses down if you don't need the room and has plenty of pockets for organization. I have done 3 day backpacking trips in the summer with my wife so I was carrying more than my share of the stuff and it all fit. I did have to add two of the pack accessory pockets to the outside for a little extra capacity but worked well enough I sold my 5200 bag after that and my 6000 bag because I couldn't see myself needing the room.

If I missed anything ask away. I have packed the 2 biggest loads of my life with Kuiu frames and used both extensively and packed many big loads after those and no issues with broken frames. I know they do happen but I think there is something else behind why they break and alot of them were the originals which were much thinner.
 

beefman

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
738
Location
CO
I had the Icon Pro 3200 for about 3 days before sending it back and buying the EXO 2000. The frame on the Kuiu simply wasn't comfortable above 70 pounds. I really liked the layout of the 3200 bag- it had a good balance of pockets and zippers without being overkill.

I think you'll have a hard time finding someone telling you the Kuiu is a better system because of the proven comfort and durability issues with their frame. But if you're not planning on overloading it with weight all the time, I think its a fine pack.
 
OP
bojangles808

bojangles808

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
873
Location
hawai'i
I had the Icon Pro 3200 for about 3 days before sending it back and buying the EXO 2000. The frame on the Kuiu simply wasn't comfortable above 70 pounds. I really liked the layout of the 3200 bag- it had a good balance of pockets and zippers without being overkill.

I think you'll have a hard time finding someone telling you the Kuiu is a better system because of the proven comfort and durability issues with their frame. But if you're not planning on overloading it with weight all the time, I think its a fine pack.

I have equal sentiments about the 3200. Full disclosure Currently Ive beenrunning a 3200 for the last year and a half and I've realized that it's a great pack feature wise and for day packing with not a lot of weight, but heavy pack outs are not fun. That's what got me looking at a 2000. it's fine when i train with 50 lbs in it but this weekend I shot one of my biggest bucks down in a canyon and it was an awful pack out. All i coul think think about was selling the pack when I hiking out lol. Maybe I need to try it with the added lumbar pad but the original lumbar pad felt like plenty enough cushion when doing training hikes. I dono
 

doverpack12

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
2,346
I have equal sentiments about the 3200. Full disclosure Currently Ive beenrunning a 3200 for the last year and a half and I've realized that it's a great pack feature wise and for day packing with not a lot of weight, but heavy pack outs are not fun. That's what got me looking at a 2000. it's fine when i train with 50 lbs in it but this weekend I shot one of my biggest bucks down in a canyon and it was an awful pack out. All i coul think think about was selling the pack when I hiking out lol. Maybe I need to try it with the added lumbar pad but the original lumbar pad felt like plenty enough cushion when doing training hikes. I dono

If it's not working probably worth trying an EXO or SG or Kifaru
 

beefman

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
738
Location
CO
Yeah I agree. If the Kuiu works for you under load then great, you saved some money and got a sweet bag. If its not working under load then I say bite the bullet for one of the high end packs.
 
OP
bojangles808

bojangles808

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
873
Location
hawai'i
Yeah I agree. If the Kuiu works for you under load then great, you saved some money and got a sweet bag. If its not working under load then I say bite the bullet for one of the high end packs.

sold the kuiu and ordered the 2000. thx everyone for the input
 

Bdgentile

Newbie
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
4
I'll say its going to depend on what you like in a pack and your body type. I have used the original Kuiu Icon which I sold for more room and then ordered the Kuiu Ultra 3000 but after trying around the house sent back and bought the 2014 EXO with 3500 bag which drove me nuts with a non floating lid and seemed small for the size so I sold for the 2015 EXO with 5500 bag. The 5500 bag still just seemed like I could never fit anything in it due to the vertical side zip so I sold the system and got the Kuiu Icon Pro 3200 which worked great and provided far superior bag performance compared to the EXO.

I will say both the EXO and Kuiu Icon Pro frames work very well for me. I packed a minimum of two elk and two deer with each and had 30+ days hunting with each of the packs listed above. Hauled some major loads with each (didn't weight because it didn't matter it had to get packed, they were heavy). I know for sure the 2014 EXO seemed slightly less stable when loaded down which I think was due to the narrow frame where the shoulder straps were able to slide up and down the frame. 2015 this was a non issue but I still had to crank down on the belt and shoulder straps more than I thought I should to keep a load in place. I don't mind the belt but couldn't get the load to transfer the weight as well as I wanted to the shoulders then back to the hips. This could very well be my body type as I have some lumbar curve. The Kuiu just fits me and doesn't seem to want to move at all once I get the lumbar pad seated and tighten the belt I can tighten and loosen the shoulder straps as needed to transfer the load between shoulders and hips. I will say I like the extra compression straps on the EXO frame to help attach meat to the frame independent of the bag which I think is key to having a very stable load. However, I have a way of adding 2 compression straps to the Kuiu frame I can show or explain to you if you go that route.

I have messed around with a friends K2 frame and 2000 bag and unless I am missing something the cubic inches don't add up and the 2000 will never have the capacity that the 3200 does. I like the horseshoe zip access to each. I am a little unsure how well the roll top will actually work when loaded up to the max but hopefully someone else has loaded that much in a 2000 bag.

3200 is a great size and compresses down if you don't need the room and has plenty of pockets for organization. I have done 3 day backpacking trips in the summer with my wife so I was carrying more than my share of the stuff and it all fit. I did have to add two of the pack accessory pockets to the outside for a little extra capacity but worked well enough I sold my 5200 bag after that and my 6000 bag because I couldn't see myself needing the room.

If I missed anything ask away. I have packed the 2 biggest loads of my life with Kuiu frames and used both extensively and packed many big loads after those and no issues with broken frames. I know they do happen but I think there is something else behind why they break and alot of them were the originals which were much thinner.

Can you post a photo of the icon pro 3200 with the accessory pouches attached? I'm debating whether to go with kuiu or exo and usability of the accessory pouch would definitely help.
 

doverpack12

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
2,346
Can you post a photo of the icon pro 3200 with the accessory pouches attached? I'm debating whether to go with kuiu or exo and usability of the accessory pouch would definitely help.

One on the bottom that has the tent fly and one on the back with my clothes. This was a 3 day backpacking trip and I was carrying most of the stuff for my wife and I.

IMG_5307.jpg
I had one I cropped and Zoomed in on but the computer didn't like it and wouldn't upload it.
 

Bdgentile

Newbie
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
4
One on the bottom that has the tent fly and one on the back with my clothes. This was a 3 day backpacking trip and I was carrying most of the stuff for my wife and I.

View attachment 49850
I had one I cropped and Zoomed in on but the computer didn't like it and wouldn't upload it.

Thanks! Yeah I'd preferably like to use it mostly for 1-3 days and then add the accessory pouch to extend to 5+ days. Do you think it would be possible to attach it like a lid?
 

coachjdub

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
287
If youve worn both these packs how would you compare them. looking for a larger sized day pack that i can day hunt in, do a 2 night backpacking trip in, and has no problem carrying 70-80 lbs if needed. also interested if you packed out meat in both the k2 frame and icon pro suspension, how they compare to each other.

I've owned both frames and suspensions, I found the Exo to be far a more comfortable at hauling loads then the Kuiu. Kuiu frame felt very stiff like a board on my back. The belt was also lacking. Exo's new belt and the K2 frame is money. I've only had 40lbs in it so far but its noticeably more comfortable then the kuiu to me. Can't wait to put it to use this fall.
 
Top