First load hauling pack. Complete MR pack or SG minimalist?

Lowbrowroyalty

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Sep 11, 2019
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Hello Everyone,

My first post on these boards.

I am a fly fishing and wing guide. All over, and currently in the FL Keys. I've got a lot of bags, mostly Watershed dry duffles and your typical lightweight hiking/fishing packs. Looking to purchase a load hauling pack, give something with a frame a try. Hauling duffles, gear, meat, ect.

Currently have a couple 5-8 day hunts/hikes planned over the next 2 month. Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming.

I am attracted to the Stone Glacier packs, and would love to go for one of the larger/largest options. I am just not sure I can justify the expense. As such, I was considering just a SG frame/minimalist type setup. Then using it with a dry duffle and the load shelf, or in someway modifying a bag I already own to allow the use of a bag and the load shelf.

Found a Mystery Ranch Selway 60 with the newer MT frame for what amounts to less than the cost of just the Stone Glacier frame. A little small for a only pack I think, but was thinking I could just add a duffle in the load hauler when needed.

Any thoughts on picking one solution over the other?

Thanks!
 
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Sock

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Jul 18, 2019
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I would say go with the SG, it gets you a frame and you can ad bags in the future. There is a good deal on a full set up by SG in the classifieds.

The xcurve compares, in my opinion, to backpacking bags. Only downside I find is the lack of pockets on the hip belts, that being said you can add them for extra money.
 

AkMtnRunner

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Jul 24, 2016
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I used to think cheaper packs could work just as well, then I packed a moose out just half a mile. It was one of the most physically painful experiences I’ve had. The last moose I packed out was with a SG sky talus 6900 and there was just no comparison. Much more enjoyable.

I don’t understand the minimalist perception of the SG bags. Especially with the available accessories these days.
 

justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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I am the opposite of the previous posters to this thread. I didn't care for the SG frame or packs and stuck with MR. I have several MR packs and frames. I do like the older NICE frame over the Guidelight frame myself. I had a custom bag built for my NICE frame a few years back and it has been all over the place with me.
 

Shoeghazer

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Sep 13, 2019
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I’ve been tossing around this same dilemma for about 4 months now... thanks for the info as well!



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Desk Jockey

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I will chime in to say if you don’t need a load shelf something like an MR glacier is a lot of pack for the $$$. High end hunting packs are worth it if you use them often enough but for occasional use you can get most of the function for less $$$.

I am an MR fan but don’t have a lot of experience with stone glacier. I tend to think the difference between a lot of top pack brands come down to matters of preference at some point.

A cheap selway or Metcalf is a lot of pack if you can get a good price, and both would handle 5-8 days with the right loading.
 
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Lowbrowroyalty

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Sep 11, 2019
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All great feed back and info. Excellent points.

Unfortunately it is probably true that I will not be using a pack for very much for big game hunting. Mostly packing fishing and camping gear. I do think the load shelf designs will be favorable for this, being able to put a dry bag between the pack and frame would undoubtably add flexibility without the bulk of a traditional frame pack. I do wish I could hunt more, unfortunately I live on an island, and being a non resident everywhere I enjoy, its hard to justify. Wing shooting fills the gaps for me. I bought some tags this year though.
 

Pigdog

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Sep 20, 2019
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I have a mystery ranch crew cab. Built to last, made in USA. Due to its ineffective load lifters and its heavy weight I would not get it again.
 

justinspicher

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Take a look at the MR terraframe. I used one for a 12 day backcountry trip in Oregon in June covering just over 100 miles with about 40lbs. It’s a “backpacking” style pack, but has a load shelf, lifters and separates from the frame without having to take the pack off the traditional way. It’s going to be used this season quite a bit.
 

Montana Slim

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Aug 16, 2019
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If you have a bunch of other packs and are not really planning on using it a ton, maybe just buy a used frame (kelty/etc) and save a HEAP of money... I have a quiver of packs and really like my MR G5000 and rarely wish it was bigger. For hauling dry bags around I'm not sure SG makes sense?
If you do go MR, I'd look used or pay attention to whether what you're looking at was made in Bozeman. The 3 I have had are burly and have taken some abuse.

- just playing devil's advocate
If you are coveting a new, high-end, sweet as, bomber pack... by all means get one!
 

*zap*

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I just add a few female buckles and my SG frame will work well for any dry bag.....my MR frame has no built in load shelf or long straps.
 

snowcamoman

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Feb 19, 2014
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If you're going to be hauling a bunch of odd shapes and sizes, just get a Barneys Freighter frame. It's one of the best hauling setups out there and you can strap as many duffle bags and gear items on as you want. The larger frame of the Barney's will be handy for dealing with the variety of things you'll likely carry. I used to be a rafting and fishing guide and that's the frame for that type of packing.

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