If you could have have only 1 bag....

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I’m new here and this is my first post. I have a background in hiking/camping and competitive shooting but not so much in large game hunting. I’ve killed my share of varmints and even Texas hogs. Originally from The Great State, I currently live in Calgary Alberta.

I’d like to move in this direction of backcountry hunting. I’m looking for 1 pack right now that has the versatility do it all. I’m looking at the MR pintler or Selway. But I’m open to feedback or suggestions.

I run an Osprey 65L for multi-day hiking.

Thanks

John




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deerhunter628

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For a one bag set up i think you want a much bigger pack. If you are looking for just a day pack the pintler would be good. Most of the Kifaru bags compress pretty good for daypack mode but can handle multi day
 

ljalberta

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1 bag is gonna depend on your uses. If your day hunting or doing short weekend trips a smaller bag will work. If you are getting into the 7-14+ day hunts, your gonna want that 1 bag to be a whole heck of a lot larger. Kifaru, SG, Exo, Seek, MR are all great options. What you'll find is packs are like boots. Some people will love what doesn't work for others.

Welcome to wonderful Alberta by the way. You'll find it has some of the greatest public land hunting opportunities in North America.
 

Mt Al

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Someday we, the rokslide posters, will require that you tell the story of how you went from Texas to Alberta! Good on you, big change.

IMHO, you defined what you want "versatility to do it all". Since you up North, to me, that means a slightly bigger bag for day hunts to hold compressed puffy pants, jacket, extra socks, small stove for coffee/warm noodles if you're glassing. I had the same requirement, wanted one pack vs. many so I could load it and leave my stuff in all season. I think a "medium" size bag works because for overnight you can hang a tent, sleeping bag and pouches on the sides, back, top and bottom.

I chose to stick with 3000/3500 cubic inches, load shelf, didn't care if it was panel load, tri-zip as long as it had provisions for external pouches/loads. I bought the MR Selway and love it, but any of the brands would work fine: Stone Glacier, Exo, Kifaru, etc. Getting the right waist belt size, fitting the shoulder pads properly is more important than the brand. The greatest frame with a poor fit makes it not work, which isn't the pack company's fault.

The Selway tri-zip is OK, allows for a small-ish lid on the top, which I really like, easy to get to the contents. In my perfect world "they" would make a full-on panel load with a small, integrated lid vs. the tri-zip. Maybe one of them has it and I didn't see, which will cause nightmares and I-want-itis.
 

bsnedeker

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Hands down for me it would be a kifaru 26” frame, a reckoning bag and a guide lid
Strongly concur with the Big Pack mentality if you want one pack to do it all. I wanted the same thing and went with the Kifaru Crater on a 26" frame. It sucks down really well and you could throw a small Volkswagen in that that thing it has so much space! It has a lot of straps to it, but I picked up some Web Dominators to deal with that so I can get it ready for the trail in very little time.
 

mrbillbrown

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My one and done pack set up is the Kifaru Bikini frame, AMR bag, and Guide lid. It's does everything I could ask for from short day trips to 10+ days (if I wanted to stay out that long).
 
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I've come to like my Eberlestock Mainframe with superspike duffle attached. I could add the batwings, a stuff sack or drybag between the two if I need more space but haven't needed to yet. I came to hunting from backpaking/mountaineering with a Granite Gear Vail pack for reference. I had one of Eberlestock's "Just One" packs that was really versatile but a little heavy and a waste if you don't pack a rifle. Haven't found a scenario the mainframe with superspike can't handle from hauling chainsaws to using as a drag bag, to going to the in-laws with just the duffle.
 
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Not a huge back country hunting kind of guy. At least not yet. But, from my limited experience spiking out a few times for 3 days, I really like my Kifaru frames and a DT2 bag. I could get 10 days out of it in temps found on mid September elk hunts at 9000-10,000 feet. I know because I have packed it up to see if every thing would fit. I wouldn't want to try anymore because I'd have to cut too much food from my bag. I don't think I'll routinely ever do 10 straight days out though so, it was all for experiments sake. However, the DT2 packs down nicely for day hunting. And, with the two zippered pockets, the bungee retainer over top of them, and the two side pockets, it has plenty of organization and easy access without having to dig through a big bag for pullouts and spare clothing.
 

FlyGuy

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I don't have experience with Stone Glacier, EXO, or mystery ranch but if you are doing primarily day hunts up to 3 day trips then I like the Kifaru Woodsman. If you are going in for 5-9 then I like the Reckoning. Longer trips than that is out of my league.

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Vurtle

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Kifaru 26” duplex lite with a exo mountain 3500 bag. I like Kifaru a lot, but I find myself liking the exo 3500 bag a lot too. It fits the 26” duplex lite perfect. If Kifaru made a bag similar to the mountain rambler but with a sleeve to fit the 26” frame in the 3500 ci range and a roll top closure, I would have gone that route. Pods8 is suppose to be helping me out with a custom bag that meets my needs. I do not like the way the rambler mounts to the frame. The exo bag is very well thought out, it just needs a scabbard. I call my duplex exo hybrid “El Duplexo!”

PS - fellow Texan here that misses my time living near the Rockies! Private land is great for those who own it, but the lack of terrain and mountains to explore gets boring here. I was born to wander!
 
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ridgefire

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I have a few different packs but my go to is my Kifaru Timberline 2, guide lid and duplex frame. It works great as a day pack or multi day pack.
 

Conundrum

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I had both an Exo 2000 and 5500 bag on an Exo frame. Liked both but sold the 2000. The 5500 is only a lb heavier than the 2000 and 1/3 lb heavier than the 3500. I like leaving my pack mostly packed so switching bags back and forth wasn’t a pain but got old with the rifle pocket and lid. And the 5500 compresses small enough to be considered a carry on. If Exos fit you, it might be a good option.
 

WJS23

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Dec 18, 2017
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EMR2 or the new version with a guide lid on a 24 or 26 inch frame will handle anything. My wife runs the dt2 with a guide lid. I would go with a bigger pack that you could use as a day instead of a smaller pack with a load shelf I think fitting all my stuff for a 10 hunt in a 3000/3500 pack with stuff in the load shelf leaves little room for packing out meat but I could be wrong I have never tried that.
 

LandYacht

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Kifaru KU5200 if you can find one. Lighter than any day pack you could use and can still carry 100+ pounds with no problem.

If 5200 isn’t enough space you can add long pockets, pods, E&E, pouches, and/or a grab-it, to expand to as much room as you need for still less weight than any frame you’ll look at.

Durability was the main concern with these packs. Most Kifaru packs are made of cordura, so there is little doubt to their longevity. The KU series was constructed of a material more similar in appearance to silnylon, however, let me be clear it is most definitely not silnylon. I just use that description to give some sort of reference if you have never seen one of these packs. The bottom of my pack is cordura, but the prototype packs were all KU material.

The longevity has not been an issue with my pack. I’ve put it through the ringer for darn close to 10 years. It has one small nick in the body that has never spread. These small nicks, it seems, were ultimately the demise of these packs. Not because of their structural nature, but rather the customer’s desire to have an unblemished pack. Too many returns to have them repaired. That last bit is all from the Kifaru forum. The pack is a double layer material and was designed that way to anticipate these blemishes, but that was little solace it seems and warranty repair requests drove the pack to its demise.

You can read about them on the Kifaru forum for more information.

Anyway, I know it’s old school to have an internal frame pack. It’s even more archaic to have a pack that’s not able to swap out bags, but it’s my one and only and I’ve never wanted for more. If you are aiming for a light weight setup there is no other option, that I have found, that comes close to matching the load hauling capability with the down right silly light weight of this pack.


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