J34 opinions...

Bill in MI

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
14
Finally joined after lurking a little bit. Nice group of guys, a couple of familiar 'faces', looks to be a cool place!

I am looking at picking up a used Eberlestock J34 and have read the review in the gear articles but it mostly dwells on the 104.

For a smaller frame guy like me 5'8" 155lbs...how does this pack perform compared to some of the others in it's class as a bivy pack for3-5 days and as a meat hauler?

Am I missing something for a little more budget than this pack?

Thx
Bill
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,180
Location
Western MT
I actually think that pack is at its best with a guy your size. The j34 has an adjustable torso that should fit you pretty well. It is pretty much a j104 with adjustable torso length.

It still won't haul super heavy loads like the super-packs (Kifaru/SG/Kuiu/MR), but it is a solid pack.
 
OP
B

Bill in MI

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
14
I actually think that pack is at its best with a guy your size. The j34 has an adjustable torso that should fit you pretty well. It is pretty much a j104 with adjustable torso length.

It still won't haul super heavy loads like the super-packs (Kifaru/SG/Kuiu/MR), but it is a solid pack.

Please define super heavy- ie; an Elk rear quarter with trimmings, a 330" 6x6 head/horns?
Thx

Also, Justin- any more info on why and what you think would be better in class or for a step up in price point?- Thx again
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,180
Location
Western MT
Please define super heavy- ie; an Elk rear quarter with trimmings, a 330" 6x6 head/horns?
Thx

Well, with the J105 it was around 50 pounds. If your torso is pretty short, you should get some lift out of the J34, and it might be a bit higher. Can you test the pack with some weight before you buy? You might get some other recommendations if you give a budget.
 

Justin Crossley

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
5,314
Location
Buckley, WA
I would buy a quality used pack like a Bora. That pack will haul as much as most people can carry.
I just sold one for $150.00 because I got a Timberline.
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
I actually think that pack is at its best with a guy your size. The j34 has an adjustable torso that should fit you pretty well. It is pretty much a j104 with adjustable torso length.

It still won't haul super heavy loads like the super-packs (Kifaru/SG/Kuiu/MR), but it is a solid pack.

X2...eberlestocks are tanks but just not built for guys taller then 5'9.
 

Ryan Avery

Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
6,730
I agree with BB on this. The J series of packs are very tough. I used the Bluewidow for many years with zero problem. At this price point it's hard to beat them.
 

Broken Arrow

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
230
Location
Grain valley, Mo
I'm 5'8" 165# and I really like my widow I've had up around 100lbs and you will know its there but isn't terrible. If you have the money buy better but it is a great pack for the $$. And you could just roll it down the mountain if you don't want to carry it is almost indestructible!
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
4,647
Location
North Central Wi
I didn't mind mine when I had it. Im a short guy, so It did function pretty well. It was pretty uncomfortable with a load over 40lbs. I also hated it for a bivy pack, as a day pack I thought it was awesome. I just didn't care for the way it expanded
 

jcodyc40

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
120
Location
Helena, MT
I have a Blue Widow and I think it is a great pack. I have never experienced any hot spots or soreness with 25-60 lbs. I like the fact the Blue Widow has a removable gun scabbard and I like the lay out although it could use a couple of pockets for organization. I currently have my pack set up with 55 lbs and I use it to work out twice a week. I have modified the stays to make the load lifters functional and this has made a significant difference in the comfort.
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
I have a Blue Widow and I think it is a great pack. I have never experienced any hot spots or soreness with 25-60 lbs. I like the fact the Blue Widow has a removable gun scabbard and I like the lay out although it could use a couple of pockets for organization. I currently have my pack set up with 55 lbs and I use it to work out twice a week. I have modified the stays to make the load lifters functional and this has made a significant difference in the comfort.

You should post up a thread on your mod, thus could be very useful for others.
 

jcodyc40

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
120
Location
Helena, MT
I am currently putting the materials together to make it look a little more professional. I have been playing around with the stay length to find what works best for me and I am trying to make the adapter work with 3-5 inch longer stays. Once I get it all finished I'll post what I have.

Cody
 

Slim Jim

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
2,320
Location
Las Vegas, NV
I've used my J34 for the last couple of years and it is a very durable pack and great for a day pack. I've had to haul a whole bone out mule deer and gear for a three day hunt 5 miles in and it killed my shoulders but it got it done. Ive also taken it 8 miles deep for a week hunt in the backcountry. It will get the job done but if I was you I would bite the bullet and save for a better pack otherwise you'll be selling it in a year or two and get a kifaru like I did
 

arffdog875

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
136
Location
Clifton, CO.
I bought the J34, used it for the 2012 elk season as a day pack. I was plesantly suprised on how much weight it handled. The first two loads were a front and rear quarters, the third was head , antlers, cape and backstraps. I don't have any experience with Kifaru or MR or any other top end packs, but someday would like to compare them with a load. I opted for the J34 due to very limited budget, and will stick with the pack for a while as a day pack. I am starting to look for a better / larger pack for a sheep hunt or wilderness hunt, but for spiking out overnight or a couple of days the J34 will work fine.
 

Broken Arrow

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
230
Location
Grain valley, Mo
I didn't mind mine when I had it. Im a short guy, so It did function pretty well. It was pretty uncomfortable with a load over 40lbs. I also hated it for a bivy pack, as a day pack I thought it was awesome. I just didn't care for the way it expanded
I put camp in the spike duffel and just strap it on with the compression straps so I don't have to expand the pack. Makes it easier to bushwack.
 
OP
B

Bill in MI

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
14
150-300

I was thinking used to keep the price 150-300...

Thx for the replies and opinions so far.

Bill
 

big10hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
615
I have a buddy that would part with his Eberlestock Dragonfly. He even has the extra meat carry attachment. PM me if you are interested.
 

Backpack Hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
3,157
Location
Some wilderness area, somewhere
With a budget of 300 you could get the REI XT85 which I thought carried weight better than the J34....or you could hold out for a used Longhunter. I remember seeing them going for around that price a while back.
 
Top