Going from Kifaru to Seek Outside

sndmn11

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I'm going to try to keep this as brief as possible, lol.

I've used a Kifaru frame for about 7 years now. Currently have a DT1 and Highcamp 4800 bags. I also have a Mystery Ranch Scapegoat 25 for day use when I'm not packing meat. My Kifaru has been solid, and feels great under a big load.

The downside, however, is weight. I've been watching some of @sndmn11 , @mtwarden posts among others about their success with Seek Outside packs. I have almost always carried meat in the bag.

I didn't read your whole post as I just got back from sheep muling and am sitting on the throne.

PXL_20220906_173335078.jpg
That is all the meat from a ram and a two day camp. No horns or cape.

I will add more to my wingspan pockets review tomkrrow or the next day.
 

ethan

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I used a kifaru for years for everything from backpacking, hunting, and load hauling and switched to a Seek Outside a couple of years ago and have loved it ever since. I’ve carried up to 100 lbs in it and its as comforttable as any other pack I’ve ever had that much weight in. The biggest thing for me is how light the SO is and how small it compresses. The quality is as good as any act I’ve ever owned as well
 
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I’ve owned and tried Seek, Kifaru, SG, MR, and Exo.
I’ve had the Seek bag the longest, and owned the older style from 2019 (sold it after 3 years). I bought a new Kenai in 2022 and returned it. Seek is just not comfortable above 40-50 lbs and will not stay up WITH a lumbar pad. Without the lumbar pad the frame hits the top of my butt, and even with the pad it hits my butt over 40 pounds.
The SG was way to strappy, the side pockets were almost useless, and the cordura used seemed cheap compared to Kifaru and Exo. Oh and the frame height was to much.
The Kifaru was great, I love the reckoning bag, but the shoulder straps were to thin and narrow, and the lumbar pad was to big.
I ended up with an Exo K3 and it is money with the firm foam pad. Best bag layout, built really well, very comfortable, and easy to use. The frame is adjustable for height as well.
If you like Kifaru, I would stick with them.
 
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woods89

woods89

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Well, I'm going to try the Kool-aid. I just bought a used xpac Lanner out of the classifieds. Not integrated, and a little more weight than the new ones, but it looks like it should fit my needs well.

I won't be selling any of my Kifaru stuff until I put some hard use on it. I'll load up 90 lbs or so and make sure it works. If not it'll be a catch and release.

Thanks to all who commented. This place is a wealth of great info!
 

Peaks&Creeks

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Well, I'm going to try the Kool-aid. I just bought a used xpac Lanner out of the classifieds. Not integrated, and a little more weight than the new ones, but it looks like it should fit my needs well.

I won't be selling any of my Kifaru stuff until I put some hard use on it. I'll load up 90 lbs or so and make sure it works. If not it'll be a catch and release.

Thanks to all who commented. This place is a wealth of great info!
Make sure you dial in the pack fit. There's a lot more adjustment options than on the other packs. I am loving my SO Unaweep, and have recently bumped up my training weight to 100 lbs from 60 lbs. It carries like an absolute dream with both weights. But, it did take me about a week of tinkering with the fitment. I think folks that don't find this pack comfortable probably didn't do a proper fitting, and for some I'm sure it just doesn't work. It's definitely a pack for someone who already has experience fitting packs and backpacking. I've tried Stone Glacier, Kifaru, and Kuiu. SO definitely is the most comfortable at all weight ranges for me.
 
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woods89

woods89

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Make sure you dial in the pack fit. There's a lot more adjustment options than on the other packs. I am loving my SO Unaweep, and have recently bumped up my training weight to 100 lbs from 60 lbs. It carries like an absolute dream with both weights. But, it did take me about a week of tinkering with the fitment. I think folks that don't find this pack comfortable probably didn't do a proper fitting, and for some I'm sure it just doesn't work. It's definitely a pack for someone who already has experience fitting packs and backpacking. I've tried Stone Glacier, Kifaru, and Kuiu. SO definitely is the most comfortable at all weight ranges for me.
Certainly. I've been reading and watching as much content as possible on this. Once it gets here I will mess with it a bunch, and I plan on trying lumbar pad/no lumbar pad and with/without frame extensions. I'm going to use it this fall and if after a few months use I can't find a sweet spot then I'll reevaluate.
I want this thing to work pretty bad, and I'm going to exhaust every option I have.
 

sndmn11

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Certainly. I've been reading and watching as much content as possible on this. Once it gets here I will mess with it a bunch, and I plan on trying lumbar pad/no lumbar pad and with/without frame extensions. I'm going to use it this fall and if after a few months use I can't find a sweet spot then I'll reevaluate.
I want this thing to work pretty bad, and I'm going to exhaust every option I have.
I have the opposite view as @Peaks&Creeks, I think they are very simple to set up. The simplest thing to do is measure a straight line from where you want the middle of the lumbar area to your C7, then adjust the harness so that the middle of the yoke to middle of lumbar matches that measurement. For me that has worked getting anyone setup in a few minutes.
 

*zap*

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On frame fit a lot depends on where a person puts the belt in relation to their iliac crest. I found that right on top of the iliac crest and keeping the belt pushed down as I tighten it has worked best for me. Get hip belt set and then shoulder straps get tightened.
Then some pack shoulder straps are designed to hug the top of the shoulders and some are not.....ymmv. Good fit is essential to frame performance evaluation.
 

Fireman5569

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Sep 17, 2016
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Denver, CO
I recently switched from a Kifaru to a SO unaweep 6300 and got the wingspan pockets, I took the lumbar pad off and it helped a lot with the fit for me. I took it on a 5 day wind river hiking trip in Wyoming and I carried all of my stuff plus extras to keep my gf comfortable and it was amazing i did have to put the 2" extensions in as my base set up because I have a long torso and short legs with the dad bod going on. with that I will say SO has so much adjustment options it can seem confusing but once you get it set for you its going to be Great. i also shaved almost 6 lbs. off of my pack weight switching from a reckoning with OGL on a tactical frame to the unaweep.
 

Peaks&Creeks

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I have the opposite view as @Peaks&Creeks, I think they are very simple to set up. The simplest thing to do is measure a straight line from where you want the middle of the lumbar area to your C7, then adjust the harness so that the middle of the yoke to middle of lumbar matches that measurement. For me that has worked getting anyone setup in a few minutes.

I agree with you that the the initial torso fitting is simple. It was figuring out where the bag should ride i.e. lower on the frame or higher, lumbar pad or no lumbar pad, floating hip belt or captured hip belt, 2” frame extensions or 4” frame extensions etc. For me, bag centered on frame, captured hip belt w/ lumbar pad and the 2” frame extensions are perfect for majority of circumstances. With 100 lbs weight, I like the 4” frame extension, but everything else the same. I do enjoy the floating hip belt without lumbar pad and no frame extensions when I’m carrying 30 lbs or less during summer backpacking trips.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

sndmn11

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I agree with you that the the initial torso fitting is simple. It was figuring out where the bag should ride i.e. lower on the frame or higher, lumbar pad or no lumbar pad, floating hip belt or captured hip belt, 2” frame extensions or 4” frame extensions etc. For me, bag centered on frame, captured hip belt w/ lumbar pad and the 2” frame extensions are perfect for majority of circumstances. With 100 lbs weight, I like the 4” frame extension, but everything else the same. I do enjoy the floating hip belt without lumbar pad and no frame extensions when I’m carrying 30 lbs or less during summer backpacking trips.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I had been using my past frames with a captured belt, but left the most recent one floating as it came out of the box. I have liked it. I have never tried without the lumbar pad but am going to do so this weekend.
 

wind gypsy

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I've had gen 2 duplex, Seek Revo frame, k1 and k2 exo, and SG xcurve.

-Exo k2- most comfortable with light/no weight. 2nd most comfortable with lots of weight. Just doesn't keep a heavy load up on my hips as well as xcurve or I'd still have one.
-X-curve - Most comfortable with a heavy load for me. Not great but not bad with light weight
-Seek Revo frame - 2nd most comfortable with light/no load. Did not carry heavy loads particularly comfortably for me. Something about it squeezes and makes my hips ache more than any other pack. A buddy i lended it to said the same. That really in depth pack test/review from a couple years back had similar sentiments IIRC. Still use it as my mobile whitetail hunting pack.
-Kifaru gen 2 duplex - least comfortable of the bunch with or without weight

Exo bag designs are my favorite. SG 2nd. SO probably 3rd.
 
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woods89

woods89

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I appreciate the tips, guys.

I ordered 2" and 4" frame extensions tonight. The pack comes with their lumbar pad.
 
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woods89

woods89

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My SO Lanner showed up today. Some initial thoughts.

-This will be more comfortable for me to hunt with without lots of weight than my Kifaru. Lots more flex, and of course lighter. Doesn't have that backboard feel of the Duplex frame.

-I love the bag layout. The way the roll top can be folded over and strapped down with the shroud pocket accessible when day hunting is very well executed. The big mesh pocket will be great for stuffing layers on the go. Side pockets swallow my tripod nicely. And, I've never had a side zip, so I'm really enthused about that.

-Currently using the 4-in-1 buckle, lumbar pad installed, belt uncaptured, frame strap wrapped, and 2" extensions installed. I'll see how this works with weight, hopefully tomorrow.

-I see a lot of people talking about swapping frame extensions in the field. This seems like a bit of an ordeal, especially thinking about it being dark and hands being cold. Any tips? Honestly I don't mind the 2" extensions, and may just use them permanently.

Overall, I'm quite impressed. I'll try to keep posting updates as I get more testing done.
 
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woods89

woods89

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I walked around my yard for awhile this afternoon with some weight in it. First 50, then 70, then 90 lbs or so.

This pack definitely takes adjustment. I was having some issues with the belt moving and with the frame hitting my rear. I lengthened my torso just a bit as the yoke was definitely below my C7 and that 3/4" to 1" change completely eliminated the problem. I also found that not completely cinching the belt tight actually helps it stick, which was a nice discovery. Still using the same settings. I tried capturing the belt and found I really like having it uncaptured better for heavy weight.

I'm still curious about frame extension changes in the field. It looks to me like I need to have torso length dialed for this to carry well, so I'm not sure I want to be messing with that right before I load a quarter up. 2" frame extensions keep load lift with 90 lbs just fine, and honestly I think I'm fine with using them any time I'm actively hunting and possibly packing meat. I anticipate removing them for off season stuff. Does anyone make witness marks so it can be quickly configured back to known settings when you install extensions?

All in all, I'm impressed. It's stupid light for what it is, and as noted above, the bag is very well designed. I think with a little further tweaking it will wind up being my one pack solution.
 

ozyclint

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Will Kifaru ever bring back integrated frame packs like the non duplex timberline 2 I have? I got it because it is the same bag as a DT2 but with less weight..
I love it.
 

ethan

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I leave the 2” extensions in all the time. For me, it’s just enough to help out with heavy loads and still out of the way and not an issue with light loads. They are really easy to change out, but like you I’m not sure I’d want to have to mess with it in the field
 
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