Help me choose - Kifaru a good choice for dedicated daypack?

Bateman

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May 1, 2013
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Hi all, this is my first post and I joined this forum hoping to get some advice choosing a pack. What I need is a solid daypack that I will use for day hunts (I live in the east, so it will be stand/blind hunting for whitetail, turkey, coyote) as well as for day hiking and travel/EDC. I do not need to haul heavy loads or carry meat - I will get another pack for that later when the time comes. I was considering the MR Dragonslayer, but I see a lot of recommendations for Kifaru over MR. Some Kifaru options seems like they might work for me, eg. Spike Camp, Express, X-Ray.

Does it make sense to go with a Kifaru for my purposes? Will the advantages of a Kifaru still be evident (and hence justify the higher cost) in a dedicated daypack model, or does Kifaru really only shine in the heavy load type packs?

One concern I have with Kifaru is the apparent lack of pockets. It seems like most of their bags are very minimalist with only a single large compartment. Is this true (hard to tell from their website)? For a daypack, organization and ease of access to all parts of the pack are important to me. I'd probably be less inclined to go with a single compartment top loading pack unless other factors made up for this.

Am I looking in the wrong place with Kifaru for this purpose or is there a model that would suit my needs? Looking for sub-$400 price point. I am 5'9", 165lbs.

Thanks for reading, looking forward to your advice!
 

bbrown

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Mar 9, 2012
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Hi and welcome.
I currently run the MR Dragonslayer and I really like it for a day pack. The tri-zip design is great for packing and gear access, it has just the right number of pockets for me, built solid and I have packed out several elk and it does work well. My only complaints are the spotter/tripod sleeves on the inside take up a lot of the CI when you are using it for multiple days however its not an issue (and I actually prefer them on the inside) for just the day pack style hunt. Also, I wish it was a bit bigger with functional load lifters but neither of those really apply to a day pack needs like you are searching for.

There is a lot of love on here for Kifaru (which is not a bad thing) and the Spike Camp, T3 or the Late Season may work as well or better depending on your style and needs.

Good luck in your search and the toughest part about these 2 pack companies is you order direct which makes it hard to compare both in person but you can order one from either and return the one that does not fit you needs as well as the other. One thing is for sure - both are american made, quality packs with great customer service.

I will say this - I plan on picking up a T2 in the future but I will be keeping my DS. Unless they combine the 2 like we talked about on another thread - then I would have my perfect pack... I think.
 

cmeier117

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I would look at the Timberline 3 to be honest and that way you have pockets. 4 on the outside, a water bladder pocket, and the included chamber pocket. It can be ordered with 24 inch stays and would serve you well on short over night trips as well.

Here is a video that Aron (Owner of Rokslide) did on the Timberline 3. You could also get the 24 inch bikini frame a DT3 bag and then you only need to buy an inexpensive big bag when the time comes. You could use it for hauling stands and blinds too. ;)

http://vimeo.com/38709445
 

cmeier117

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Sorry, I missed the $400 dollar limit. I wouldn't hesitate to get one of their smaller military packs as well. If you call and talk to someone at Kifaru they can give you the detail on some of those Military bags as far as the pocket layout etc...
 

dotman

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Sorry, I missed the $400 dollar limit. I wouldn't hesitate to get one of their smaller military packs as well. If you call and talk to someone at Kifaru they can give you the detail on some of those Military bags as far as the pocket layout etc...

Keep in mind some are priced without a belt in the tac section.
 

larryschwartz

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Feb 26, 2012
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Annapolis, MD
Just an observation, but if all you need is something to carry your day hunting gear and you won't be beating it up, then you probably do not need to buy a pack from a high end manufacturer like Kifaru or Mystery Ranch. Their gear is made to take abuse and heavy weights with the resulting price tag. You can probably find something that will meet your needs and will stand up to the level of use you are anticipating with something you can find at Walmart or KMart, or Bass Pro or Cabelas for under $200, probably under $100 at the first two. Fieldline makes a variety of packs that might fit your needs, as do other mid-range manufacturers.

Just make sure that it fits your torso length and that it has a waist belt if you want comfort carrying your dayhunting gear. Keep in mind that a tree stand or blind, food and water for the day, and your other "stuff" can easily get upwards of 15 - 20#s, so a waist belt will be a nice thing to have.

If you do want a high end pack I would look at the new Xing and Zippy from Kifaru. They both have some organization pockets designed into them. Also, Kifaru's design philosophy is to make a clean/slick pack body and then add pockets/pouches for whatever your organizational needs are.
 

Lawnboi

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If you like high end, quality, American made gear I think you will really appreciate putting your money into a kifaru pack. Like others have said it may be a little overkill, but IMO its worth it (that's why I bought a spike camp.

I own a spike camp legacy. Depending how much organization you want you can add and subtract pockets. You can run 2 belt pockets on the sides to house a number of small things as well as the pocket in the lid. You can add a lot to the thing, it is very modular. For the modularity reason alone I bought the kifaru for a day pack. Add a grab it and lash strap and it will carry my bow, or a treestand, a dead turkey could easilty be strapped in. You can even haul a blind with it.

The spike camp allows for use without a belt (the t3 and late season like some have mentioned will NOT work without a belt) This is great for edc. Also for edc you can remove any hunting specific pockets you don't need. The spike camp is a pretty bare bones pack, but with a few added pockets is gives me really more organization than I personally want.

If you have any questions regarding the spike camp you can ask away, im very very happy with mine. It is the most comfortable pack I have ever owned with a 20-30lb load in it, and is currently my favorite kifaru pack if that says anything.
 

bbrown

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Mar 9, 2012
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If you like high end, quality, American made gear I think you will really appreciate putting your money into a kifaru pack. Like others have said it may be a little overkill, but IMO its worth it (that's why I bought a spike camp.

I agree with this completely. I tried the Badlands and Eberlestock packs first and while they worked they had issues. Buying a quality pack costs more up front but it will last longer, perform better and have a higher resale if you decide to upgrade in the future. I had my heart set on a MR pack and had not heard much about Kifaru at the time otherwise I probably would have gone that route especially since they are less than an hour from my house and I like to support small local business when I can. No worries though - I am sure they will get some more of my hard earned money here soon.
 

Brandon Pattison

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Feb 25, 2012
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You are further ahead to buy a good pack first. Most of us can all testify to that. You will take a hit if you sell it and even more so if you don't. I use a DT1 for everything; hauling bait, turkey blind transport, treestand transport, whitetail hunting, mountain hunting and training. I like it way better than the idea of a daypack (which is where I too started). I keep my GPS, rangefinder and camera on the right side of the belt and a large pouch on the left for essentials. I am used to this set up from using it A LOT vs. switching back and forth. I don't know about you but once I get my gear right I hate to have to mess with it. Kind of like taking my truck to the dealer for a recall and some dick messes with my seat or mirrors. When you want to switch up your hunt just up end it, dump it out and take mission essential stuff. I could have bought two Kifaru packs for the amount I lost in trial and error. Buy used. Take your time and research. Take my advice with a grain of salt as I am a nobody compared to some on here.
 

Brandon Pattison

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My lid has all of my treestand goodies in it and it hangs right next to me on a screw-in step too. The amount of weight you might gain from a T3 to a T1 is minor compared to having the option to throw anything inside, including small foreign cars. Good luck in your search...
 
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Bateman

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May 1, 2013
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Thanks guys for your input. I have already been down the Badlands/Eberlestock road and I am ready for a more serious pack. Would love to go straight to the Timberline series, but I think it would really be overkill for what I need right now. I have toyed with the idea of starting with a Kifaru frame and a few pockets for now, and upgrading to a Timberline bag later. Would this work well? If so, then:

1. What are the pros/cons of bikini vs duplex frame?
2. What would be a good combination of pockets to get to make up a nice ~2000CI pack, and which would still be useful later in conjunction with a Timberline bag?
 

cmeier117

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I won't comment on the frame comparison as my bikini isn't here yet. But I love my duplex. I have thought about this as well and I think a couple long pockets and a back pouch would be nice. Or a medium pod. That would get you 2200 cu inches. And maybe add a grab it to haul a bow, blind or tree stand. All those pockets could easily be added to a timberline pack later or easily sold.
 

justin davis

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Bikini-Lighter more flexible than duplex
Duplex- stiffer..carries a heavier load better

Both are good thou. Both carry heavy weight very comfortable.

Late Season functions as a nice day pack. With ability to pack meat if needed. My late season carries elk quarters very comfortably.
 

Aron Snyder

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Thanks guys for your input. I have already been down the Badlands/Eberlestock road and I am ready for a more serious pack. Would love to go straight to the Timberline series, but I think it would really be overkill for what I need right now. I have toyed with the idea of starting with a Kifaru frame and a few pockets for now, and upgrading to a Timberline bag later. Would this work well? If so, then:

1. What are the pros/cons of bikini vs duplex frame?
2. What would be a good combination of pockets to get to make up a nice ~2000CI pack, and which would still be useful later in conjunction with a Timberline bag?

Back Pouch

OR

E&E

500 mid long

Claymore
 

cmeier117

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What I mentioned minus pod would be $575 with bikini frame. That's gives you tons of options and the ability to add relatively cheap bag later. It's more than your $400 limit but would be cheaper in long run I would guess.
 

Lawnboi

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Why get a frame if you don't plan on carrying heavy loads? I love my bikini frame, but it has its place. Its wearable as a daypack but it still feels like im strapped to a board. Where as with my daypack I don't sneaking around in it and shooting my bow in it. You do get the versatility though to get a bag in the future, or use it as a hauler. Pockets will likely cost you about what a bag will for the thing as well

Carrying a treestand with the frames is very nice though. Easy on off.
 
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Bateman

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May 1, 2013
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Why get a frame if you don't plan on carrying heavy loads? I love my bikini frame, but it has its place. Its wearable as a daypack but it still feels like im strapped to a board. Where as with my daypack I don't sneaking around in it and shooting my bow in it. You do get the versatility though to get a bag in the future, or use it as a hauler. Pockets will likely cost you about what a bag will for the thing as well

Carrying a treestand with the frames is very nice though. Easy on off.

I will certainly need load hauling capability later on, so the idea would be to kill 2 birds by using the frame as part of my daypack setup at present, then doing a relatively inexpensive upgrade to a big bag later. Your 'strapped to a board' comment resonates with me though - my concern with the frame+pockets approach is that it compromises on the ease and mobility of a true daypack. It certainly does not seem ideal to use a big frame to carry around a few simple pockets, although the ability to carry a stand or blind if needed would certainly be welcome. Good point re. the cost of pockets vs bag as well, I will have to cost this out.
 

SHTF

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Gotta Chime in here. Nimrod Pinnacle Pack. www.nimrodpacks.com go check them out. Most comfortable Lumbar Daypack youll ever wear. Robby Denning is actually reviewing this backpack in his Blog. You can check out what he says on his Blog site. Also see Ikesoutdoors review of the Lumbar pack. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o9OA-ZcE4k8 about 140$ and it will hold close to 2000 ci with the included waiste pouch on the belt. Has stays to keep your loads distributed.
 
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