first Kifaru - looking for recommendation

gjviii

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Jul 2, 2015
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i go out west hunting DIY elk once a year for about 2 weeks. We normally set up base camp and then pack in to spike camp which is about a 5-6 mile hike. My current pack set up is an Kuiu Icon Pro 5200 which i load and hike to my spike camp. Once there i unpack, set up my spike camp and swap the 5200 bag for an 1850 and use it as my day pack. Every year, i try to improve an item and this year i was thinking of getting a new pack. Understanding my current set up, can someone comment on my 'plan'. I have never seen or touched a Kifaru pack so i am up to suggestions or comments. Please let me know of any questions i may have missed. Thanks in advance for any responses. Also, i had plans of waiting till tuesday to call kifaru, but today i noticed a free rambler and thought i could order this weekend to take advantage of it.

I was thinking:
the Kifaru Hunting Platform Frame And Suspension. I would need recommendations on the needed size. I am 5'11 185. 33inch waist and 33 in inseam
Nomad 2 - or - EMR2
Native
Grab it
Guide Lid
Side Pockets
Large or Med Belt Pouch
Water Bottle Pocket
 

UglyJow

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Oct 25, 2015
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Personally I'd go Reckoning or AMR with some belt pouches and guide lid. Both will suck down to daypack mode easy.

Almost everyone here will suggest a 26" frame. I'm your height with an inch longer torso and I have a 24" frame and think that is the way to go. But pretty soon someone 5'2" will come along and say they have the 26" frame and love it. YMMV.
 

oldgoat

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Mar 5, 2015
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Arvada, CO
I love my Nomad, the new one looks even nicer! I'm your height and close to same dimensions after elk season but not before. Doubt you need the native with other things you listed but if you get Nomad you will want either a dry bag or Camp Bag. An assortment of pockets like you have listed is nice to have, I like a mini long next to the water bottle, fits perfect.
 

CBB15

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Feb 5, 2016
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I will play devils advocate. What is really wrong with your current system? Not judging, asking. I wouldn't let a rambler lead you.
 
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OR Hunter lost in Florida (WTF was I thinking?)
All I have heard is the Icon Pro is good, and doesn't share the shortcomings of the previous designs. You also have many people that prefer the Kuiu bags. I would also question why you feel you need to do a total overhaul. Since you already have the 5200 Kuiu bag, perhaps snag a Kifaru frame and run that for awhile and see how you like it.
 

Goat Boy

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Feb 25, 2012
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I would definitely say Reckoning as well! The Argali is also a good choice but the Reckoning is steps ahead as far as buckle configuration, center zip, side pockets and handles too and bottom.


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gjviii

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Jul 2, 2015
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I've been asked a couple of times why upgrade? Whats wrong with the kuiu? In all honestly, I was liking it to moving up in binos. When i went from Nikon to my swarovski's i notice a quality difference. When i updated my heavy sleeping bag to a lighter one, i noticed the difference. When i updated my REI tent to a Tipi, I found it better because i could stand up to get dressed and in the rain. After reading a lot of posts here, i was under the impression Kuii to Kifaru would give me 'more packing options' and better hauling of heavy loads. I have yet however not taken an elk, so i haven not had a chance to pack out one. In the summer for training, I use an old Kelty with 2 plates in them. I'm not sure i would feel comfortable with that much weight in the Kuiu. It could also be that i have never tried to pack that much
 

aaro9991

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May 10, 2017
Messages
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When you do down an elk, having a Kifaru pack will make a difference with the added weight. Additionally, I have a mountain rambler that is new if you're interested that is 20 bucks cheaper than the one listed. And go with a small belt unless you think you'll grow into a 34". A 26" frame will help you carry your load and for the same price, I'd also look at the tactical frame. It has a thicker frame sheet. PM me if interested in the rambler


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MtnManZ

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Jan 22, 2014
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216
For your waist size, go small belt like aaro9991 said. If you order new, ask Kifaru for a smedium belt, that's if your waist grows in the off season. If you go EMRII, you won't need side pockets. Guide lid and grab it for sure. I would do medium belt pouches...unless you have a good reason to have larges, like you want to hold A LOT of stuff on your hips.
 

oldgoat

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I heard if you order 500 bucks worth of gear from Kifaru, they are giving away a rambler. Probably limited number though.
 

FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
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The Woodlands, TX
I am your size and was in the exact same position. I was in Denver for work when I found out we drew our WY Elk tag, so I went out to the Kifaru office to get fitted and get some advise on a pack (I was completely overwhelmed with all the options. I spent some time with both Frank and Aron, and came away with the Reckoning on a 24" frame with a small belt. My hunting style is similar to yours, so this gives the flexibility I need to expand for pack in/out but easy to use as a daypack. I've never used the kuiu, had a Sitka 45 prior to this, but I bet you will be very happy with your upgrade.

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gjviii

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I am your size and was in the exact same position. I was in Denver for work when I found out we drew our WY Elk tag, so I went out to the Kifaru office to get fitted and get some advise on a pack (I was completely overwhelmed with all the options. I spent some time with both Frank and Aron, and came away with the Reckoning on a 24" frame with a small belt. My hunting style is similar to yours, so this gives the flexibility I need to expand for pack in/out but easy to use as a daypack. I've never used the kuiu, had a Sitka 45 prior to this, but I bet you will be very happy with your upgrade.

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looks like from all the comments, i'm going to investigate the Reckoning a little more. Did Frank or Aron give a reason why the 24 and not the 26? That seems to be the one i'm getting different responses to.
thanks again everybody for the responses
 

Squirrels

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Dec 29, 2016
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I'm a half inch shorter and Aaron told me 24" hands down


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ZDR

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Apr 20, 2013
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I'm 173, 5'11" with 32 waist, 33 in seam and also went with a 24 frame. Just took it out for my first hike with 55lbs and it is amazingly comfortable. Am using a Markhor pack with belt pouches and 2 medium pockets if needed for extra room. I'm sure a 26 would work fine, but I don't think I need it
 

FlyGuy

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Honestly, I don't remember any specifics, just that it was the right size for my height. I think I asked about the 26" b/c I'd heard the same things as you, but they didn't recommend it. I can't remember exactly why though. Sorry. If you call Frank I am certain that he will be happy to explain it, and he will explain it far, far better than I ever would.



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gjviii

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Jul 2, 2015
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so i called kifaru today and spoke with Frank. Ended up ordering a reckoning, native and a bunch of pockets. interesting part is he recommended my frame be a tactical 26". When i asked why 26 over 24 he stated 26 would be better for heavier loads. who knows, I'm guessing once i receive everything, i wont notice the difference.
Thanks everyone for the assistance
 

Jaysop

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Jan 17, 2016
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Charlotte NC
so i called kifaru today and spoke with Frank. Ended up ordering a reckoning, native and a bunch of pockets. interesting part is he recommended my frame be a tactical 26". When i asked why 26 over 24 he stated 26 would be better for heavier loads. who knows, I'm guessing once i receive everything, i wont notice the difference.
Thanks everyone for the assistance

Why did you pick a tactical over hunting frame? I had a hard time deciding which frame to get and settled on the hunting frame for hopes of getting a bit more flexibility out of the thinner frame sheet when I adjust the alum stays a bit. Just curious.
 
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gjviii

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Jul 2, 2015
Messages
155
Why did you pick a tactical over hunting frame? I had a hard time deciding which frame to get and settled on the hunting frame for hopes of getting a bit more flexibility out of the thinner frame sheet when I adjust the alum stays a bit. Just curious.
After speaking with frank and telling him about my PA hunting (carrying treestands and other odd stuff)he suggested the tactical for the added rigidity. We were going hunting until i told him what else i would like to do with it. hope that makes sense
 

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