External Packs

Outdoorsman3830

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May 5, 2012
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Cheyenne, WY
I'm interested in trying out an External Frame Pack next year, even if it simply turns into a great meat hauler. Here are a few I've been reading up on:

Barney's Freighter Frame with the Yukon Pack
Badlands Ox
Adventure Outfitters - Janssens Hard Core Hunt Pack

I've had good experiences with Badlands and know they will make me a small waist-belt, but I haven't received a clear answer from Barney's on whether they will make a small belt for me or not. The review of the Barney's Frame by Luke Moffat was very detailed and helpful and Nate Simmons wrote a good review on the Hard Core Hunt Pack, but haven't found much other information on its performance. The Barney's Frame is definitely my first choice at this point, if they make a small enough waist-belt to cinch down on my 28 inch waist.

Does anyone have any other recommendations or experience with these packs.

Thank You,
 

cmeier117

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Feb 24, 2012
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Salem, OR
I would look at the Duplex frame from Kifaru. You can get the cargo panel and it would be the best hauler around and then add any 4 of their hunting bags...
 

dreamingbig

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Feb 29, 2012
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Washington
I ditched my cabelas alaskan external frame in favor of a Kifaru DT3 with a cargo panel. In my opinion, it has been a great upgrade. I don't have any input on the ones you mentioned but I almost went down the Badlands Ox route.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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cmeier117,
I've spent a lot of time looking at the Kifaru packs, especially the Duplex Frame with a Timberline Pack. However, I wouldn't consider the Kifaru an External Frame, even though it sounds like it will handle 100 plus pound loads almost as well as the Barney's Frame. I will definitely test out a Kifaru pack someday, but have more interest in switching it up a bit and testing out a top notch external to compare. I've spent time using:

Osprey Exos
Badlands 2200, 4500, & Sacrifice
Mystery Ranch NICE 6500 & Load Sling
Eberlestock Just One & Dragonfly

The Mystery Ranch is by far the most durable pack I've used so far, but found the Badlands 4500 to be one of the most comfortable packs under heavy loads. The Eberlestock Dragonfly is a well rounded pack that handles heavy loads relatively well.

Thank You,
 

Easton

Junior Member
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May 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Alaska
Outdoorsman3830,

I have the Barney's Yukon pack/frame and absolutely love it!! I have used a Barney's for the last four years and wouldn't use any other pack for an all out 7-10 day backpack hunt. It holds everything. I just got back from a 10 day sheep hunt and had to carry a sheep and a half (my partner got hurt) plus camp, gun, etc. ten miles back to the strip. It handled the weight very well. Now, honestly no pack is going to make a 130+ lbs. feel great but I was never worried about something breaking. Most guides here in AK use a Barney's pack for good reason. Several of my friends have one and they love them as well.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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cmeier117,
I'm hoping to make it down to Colorado next year for a week-long high country mule deer hunt. Then I'll go to Idaho for another 10 plus days bowhunting deer and elk. If the Colorado trip falls through again, I will spend about 3 weeks pursuing elk and deer. I typically get 6 miles or more back and usually have to climb a few thousand up to find the mature bucks. If I harvest both my deer and elk, I will use the remaining time to scout rams and goats.

Within the next 5 years I plan on making it up to Alaska for 3 to 4 weeks to bowhunt Caribou and maybe get some Dall Sheep pictures. I'd love to hunt Dall Sheep, but don't see myself moving there anytime soon or paying for an expensive guided hunt.
 

RosinBag

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Roseville, CA.
Barney's is absolutely hands down the best external frame still being made. I have had their frame for over 15 years, never put a bag on it, just used it for hauling meat. Can't be beat. You could also look at getting one of the old Dana Design frames, which can be found on eBay occassionally for a pretty penny. The Ox is a waste of money in my opinion, overhyped and really never took off as a solid pack.

I would personally choose the Duplex by Kifaru as it can be made into any type of pack you want it to be. No pack is comfortable with 100 plus pounds, it is which one is more manageable. I think the Duplex suspension is the most comfortable at 100 plus, even when compared to the Barney's. The Barneys are so popular in Alaska because they go up to 8000 cubic inches and have historically proved themselves over and over in the Alaskan bush. the guides up there generally pack in their gear and their clients gear and need the structure and space that Barney's offer.

Unless you need that type of pack, the Kifaru would be tough to beat.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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Easton,
I'm very interested in the Barney's Yukon Pack & Frame. That is the primary pack I'm looking at. My only concern with the Barney's Frame is that the waist-belt probably won't cinch don't securely enough for my 28 inch waist. I've called them and they feel confident that it will tighten enough, but have no extra room to tighten. Luke Moffat pointed out that the belt is good down to 30 inches or so. I will definitely bite on the Barney's Pack if they are willing to make a smaller waist-belt for me, even if it adds to the cost a little. I'm trying to remain open-minded to other options, but know the Barney's Pack is most likely the best external frame on the market (except for maybe that Archwood 37 Trillion).
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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RosinBag,
The capacity is a little more than necessary, unless I'm packing most of my wife's or dad's gear. Last time my dad went with me I hiked my pack up to the top and then went went back down to as far as he made it and packed his pack the rest of the way.
 

Easton

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May 8, 2012
Messages
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Location
Alaska
Outdoorsman3830,
You should be fine even with a 28 inch waist but until you put one on with some weight you won't know for sure. My brother has a skinny waist as well and has not had a problem with his but he has not had it on a long hunt yet. I used to have the "hunter" pack by Barney's which has a smaller bag than the Yukon and it was great as well in case you wanted something more around 5200 cu.
 

bowuntr

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Mar 5, 2012
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Prescott, Az
28" waist.... My waist has never been 28". You have no business carrying 100#!!!! I have the Barney's Hunter, which is the same frame as the Yukon, just a smaller bag. I've used it to haul moose meat in Alaska. Best choice of the three... when I did my research. The Barneys belt is simple enough that a good upholstery guy could modify it for you. Ed F
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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Hands down the Barney's pack is the best of the three. In fact I feel for triple digit loads it is 2nd to none for most folks. Your situation with a small waist could be an issue but it would be worth calling those folks at Barney's as they do have some options to work for your smaller waist like myself.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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bowhuntr,
I'm 6'1", 165 lbs, 18.5" torso, 28" waist, and my waist doesn't shrink during the hunt since I have little to no fat on my body. I carry 60 to 80 pounds in my Eberlestock J107M Dragonfly a few times a week walking, climbing stairs, and doing step-ups. Then occasionally I throw in 100 to 120 pounds remind myself of how it feels. I'll admit I'm not looking forward to packing out a mature bull out of honey hole I found 6 miles back in some relatively rough country.

There doesn't seem to be very many guys with a 28" waist out there or there would be more packs on the market with smaller waist-belts. That has been the biggest problem with most low to mid grade packs, they don't offer small waist-belts. I'm definitely going to try and get them to shorten.
 

slim9300

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Feb 26, 2012
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Olympia, WA
bowhuntr,
I'm 6'1", 165 lbs, 18.5" torso, 28" waist, and my waist doesn't shrink during the hunt since I have little to no fat on my body. I carry 60 to 80 pounds in my Eberlestock J107M Dragonfly a few times a week walking, climbing stairs, and doing step-ups. Then occasionally I throw in 100 to 120 pounds remind myself of how it feels. I'll admit I'm not looking forward to packing out a mature bull out of honey hole I found 6 miles back in some relatively rough country.

There doesn't seem to be very many guys with a 28" waist out there or there would be more packs on the market with smaller waist-belts. That has been the biggest problem with most low to mid grade packs, they don't offer small waist-belts. I'm definitely going to try and get them to shorten.

That's crazy. I'm 6' 2" and 170 pounds with a 21" torso and 34" waist. I don't have an ounce of fat on my body. It's amazing how people can be built so differently.

If I were you, I would not even think about purchasing a Barney's pack with the standard hip belt. Based on what I have read 30" is the minimum with any kind of weight and it's not like they are cheap. Hopefully they can make something custom for you but if not I would look elsewhere.

The fact that you have not tried a Kifaru pack seems like a poor choice to me since it sounds like you could afford one. Remember, if you do like it you have the ability to send it back. The other option is finding someone close to you that will let you try theirs. I used to go the external framed pack route but then I realized it was not conducive to bow hunting and for me it's way more trouble than it's worth. The crazy thing is that my T1 carries 100 lbs. noticeably more comfortably than all three of my external framed packs.

Someday soon I'll buy a DT1 just to try. You can never have too many packs. :)
 

cmeier117

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Salem, OR
That's crazy. I'm 6' 2" and 170 pounds with a 21" torso and 34" waist. I don't have an ounce of fat on my body. It's amazing how people can be built so differently.

If I were you, I would not even think about purchasing a Barney's pack with the standard hip belt. Based on what I have read 30" is the minimum with any kind of weight and it's not like they are cheap. Hopefully they can make something custom for you but if not I would look elsewhere.

The fact that you have not tried a Kifaru pack seems like a poor choice to me since it sounds like you could afford one. Remember, if you do like it you have the ability to send it back. The other option is finding someone close to you that will let you try theirs. I used to go the external framed pack route but then I realized it was not conducive to bow hunting and for me it's way more trouble than it's worth. The crazy thing is that my T1 carries 100 lbs. noticeably more comfortably than all three of my external framed packs.

Someday soon I'll buy a DT1 just to try. You can never have too many packs. :)

My dt2 will be here tuesday and I can tell you the difference between it and a normal timberline. But I agree with your comment. It is also a more streamline pack to day hunt with.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

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Cheyenne, WY
Another external frame out there is the Blacks Creek Remedy 7 Solution. It kind of looks like a Longer Nice Frame or Horn Hunter with a bit of an Eberlestock Twist. Looks like a nice setup, not to mention durable.

I don't doubt that the Kifaru Duplex Frame is the best Internal Frame on the market, but it seems like the Barney's is the Best External Frame on the market. The Kifaru is obviously a better all around pack option. I'd still love to get my hands on a Freighter Frame.
 
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