Kifaru hunter frame vs tactical frame

William Hanson (live2hunt)

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I've been a kifaru guy for awhile so when they came out with an upgrade to my beloved duplex I jumped at the chance to experience the new and improved kifaru goodness. Per the recommendation for my usage I ordered the hunter frame and like any gear junkie I was like a kid in a candy store when it showed up. My initial impressions were exactly as expected, it is well made just like my old duplex but it was more comfortable in a couple ways and the new load lifter system is way more convenient and it is noticeably lighter, basically everything you want in an upgrade.

Well I mounted my emr2 to the frame through some weight in it and gave it a test run for about 1/2 mile, came back and adjusted some things and went again until I got it mostly dialed and had Frank and Aron on the phone a couple times to make sure I was doing it right. Everything felt pretty good at 30 lbs but certainly had a different feel than my old duplex, much more flex to the new one so it moves with you better. So I started in with my normal training regimen of weighted hikes with varying weights, distances and speeds.

After a pretty fair amount of use, 500-750 miles last year and some more fine tuning I came to the conclusion that I did like the frame but I didn't love it. The flex was nice at lighter loads but once I got north of 60 lbs I had a very difficult time keep the weight on my hips where it belongs. It seemed the new frame was superior in many ways but sacrificed some of what I loved about my old duplex to obtain that.

At the suggestion of a friend of mine who had similar issues as me, I decided to give the tactical frame a go, so I traded my hunter for a tactical with aluminum stays. I haven't had it terribly long yet and I've only got 30 or so miles on it, but in my opinion the tactical is superior in every way but weight. This is the upgrade I was hoping for in the hunting frame. While it is noticeably heavier in the hand the way it rides makes the extra 1 lb. 1 oz. unnoticed and worth every oz. on my back. It locks into place and stays where it belongs regardless of load or weight.

I am quite sure that the hunting frame works for many guys but for me with the way I hunt and train the tactical solved my issues and simply works better. If you are not quite happy with your hunting frame don't give up on kifaru, give the tactical a try.

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mrgreen

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Jul 23, 2013
Messages
409
This is the upgrade I was hoping for in the hunting frame. While it is noticeably heavier in the hand the way it rides makes the extra 1 lb. 1 oz. unnoticed and worth every oz. on my back. It locks into place and stays where it belongs regardless of load or weight.

I am quite sure that the hunting frame works for many guys but for me with the way I hunt and train the tactical solved my issues and simply works better. If you are not quite happy with your hunting frame don't give up on kifaru, give the tactical a try.

Do you mean the lumbar pad "locks into place"? That's my issue. Changing to composite stays helped, but it still tries to slide down.
 
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William Hanson (live2hunt)

William Hanson (live2hunt)

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Do you mean the lumbar pad "locks into place"? That's my issue. Changing to composite stays helped, but it still tries to slide down.
Yes. Aluminum stays can also help with that in that you can bend them to exactly fit your back profile. I have not done that yet and it is still already locking into place very very well

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dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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With the frame options it's hard to say what is optimal as each persons back is diff. I've ran the UL duplex for two seasons now and put many miles on it with light and heavy loads, it just flat out works perfectly for me. The arrows may flex but the pack locks into place easily and places the weight on my hips.

Prior to this I ran the bikini for a few years and had zero complaints about it but some others had fit issues that they didn't with the duplex at the time.
 
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William Hanson (live2hunt)

William Hanson (live2hunt)

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With the frame options it's hard to say what is optimal as each persons back is diff. I've ran the UL duplex for two seasons now and put many miles under with light and heavy loads, it just flat out works perfectly for me. The arrows may flex but the pack locks into place easily and places the weight on my hips.
Yes that's exactly my point, the hunter just wasn't quite right for me yet the tactical is perfect. For my uses and back profile and the way I move, the stiffness of the tactical just works better but ymmv.

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jlsteel

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Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
73
Location
B.C.
I've been a kifaru guy for awhile so when they came out with an upgrade to my beloved duplex I jumped at the chance to experience the new and improved kifaru goodness. Per the recommendation for my usage I ordered the hunter frame and like any gear junkie I was like a kid in a candy store when it showed up. My initial impressions were exactly as expected, it is well made just like my old duplex but it was more comfortable in a couple ways and the new load lifter system is way more convenient and it is noticeably lighter, basically everything you want in an upgrade.

Well I mounted my emr2 to the frame through some weight in it and gave it a test run for about 1/2 mile, came back and adjusted some things and went again until I got it mostly dialed and had Frank and Aron on the phone a couple times to make sure I was doing it right. Everything felt pretty good at 30 lbs but certainly had a different feel than my old duplex, much more flex to the new one so it moves with you better. So I started in with my normal training regimen of weighted hikes with varying weights, distances and speeds.

After a pretty fair amount of use, 500-750 miles last year and some more fine tuning I came to the conclusion that I did like the frame but I didn't love it. The flex was nice at lighter loads but once I got north of 60 lbs I had a very difficult time keep the weight on my hips where it belongs. It seemed the new frame was superior in many ways but sacrificed some of what I loved about my old duplex to obtain that.

At the suggestion of a friend of mine who had similar issues as me, I decided to give the tactical frame a go, so I traded my hunter for a tactical with aluminum stays. I haven't had it terribly long yet and I've only got 30 or so miles on it, but in my opinion the tactical is superior in every way but weight. This is the upgrade I was hoping for in the hunting frame. While it is noticeably heavier in the hand the way it rides makes the extra 1 lb. 1 oz. unnoticed and worth every oz. on my back. It locks into place and stays where it belongs regardless of load or weight.

I am quite sure that the hunting frame works for many guys but for me with the way I hunt and train the tactical solved my issues and simply works better. If you are not quite happy with your hunting frame don't give up on kifaru, give the tactical a try.

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What do you see in the difference in the Gen2 Duplex versus the tactical frame? I still have the old duplex and have always been tempted to switch to a new frame but never did as the duplex works great
 
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William Hanson (live2hunt)

William Hanson (live2hunt)

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Joined
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Messages
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What do you see in the difference in the Gen2 Duplex versus the tactical frame? I still have the old duplex and have always been tempted to switch to a new frame but never did as the duplex works great
The padding on the shoulder straps and torso pads is softer and more comfortable. The adjustments are easier to make on strap length. The load lifter height is much easier to change and the way they are now also makes putting on and removing the bags much easier. There may be other things as well but that's what stands out to me. I loved my gen 2 duplex but I think the upgrade is worth it.

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COlineman78

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Apr 29, 2015
Messages
2,814
Location
Littleton, CO
With the frame options it's hard to say what is optimal as each persons back is diff. I've ran the UL duplex for two seasons now and put many miles on it with light and heavy loads, it just flat out works perfectly for me. The arrows may flex but the pack locks into place easily and places the weight on my hips.

The other problem is that different people have different definitions of a heavy load. A 60-65lb pack for a weekend trip isn't out of my norm.
 

Tim M

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Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
279
Location
Grand Junction, CO
I ran the original Duplex frame for quite a while and then switched to a Bikini frame, with a few mods I fell in love with it and couldn't have been happier however I missed the way that the duplex frame allowed me to just absolutely cinch down a load and the way that it settled in place and did not move with loads over about 60 lbs so I gave the new hunting duplex frame a try.

Long story short I train at least 2 or 3 times a week out here doing good vertical with 60 lb + packs all year long in addition to my normal backpacking and hunting trips and just never could get comfortable with how the pack rode or carried for me. I had been a flat stay on my bikini frame and aluminum on the original duplex so when I ordered the new frame I ran flat composite stays and found that the pack always wanted to lean back at the top so that I had to really tighten the load lifters and lean fwd but the pack would still seem like it was slipping down my butt too... not what I expected from a Kifaru but OK.

Over the course of 6 months of training and backpacking with it I had probably driven Aron crazy by calling or texting every week or so as we tried to make it ride correctly for me (he keeps telling me that I'm just his messed up problem child as we laugh) so I finally just made a day trip over to Kifaru and had him and Frank help me out with it. They ended up making a set of half flat back aluminum stays that fit my back and the pack felt like it was made for me so I went back to my normal training and backpacking again typically carrying 60-80 lbs then backpacked all summer and hunted with it.

As the summer went on I started to notice that I was having to really tighten my load lifters again and that the pack kept trying to slide down a bit with the heavier loads (not putting weight on my shoulders but sliding down none the less) making me wonder if I had done the right thing in selling my Bikini frame. After archery season was over I continued to train, hunt and mess with my frame. I started to call Aron again and can't believe the wonderful customer service that I have always gotten even when I was bugging him multiple times a week, we continued to try several things and after 15 1/2 months (and way too many miles) of hard use on the original Hunting Duplex frame we eventually decided that the frame sheet just wasn't quite rigid enough for the kind of loads and I was always carrying so we swapped out and I have now been running a Tactical frame for the last 3 months.

I have almost 150 miles on my Tactical frame now in the snow, mud and heat with an average training load of 65 lbs or more and a few overnight backpacking trips with lighter loads so I'm pretty comfortable saying that I have found the perfect setup for me... I am not saying that it is going to be perfect for you but as William said this frame is absolutely worth the slight weight penalty to me and I will recommend it to anyone that is going to consistently carry loads that are north of 60 lbs.
 

reaper

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
1,895
Location
Quebec,CANADA,speaking French.
I've been a kifaru guy for awhile so when they came out with an upgrade to my beloved duplex I jumped at the chance to experience the new and improved kifaru goodness. Per the recommendation for my usage I ordered the hunter frame and like any gear junkie I was like a kid in a candy store when it showed up. My initial impressions were exactly as expected, it is well made just like my old duplex but it was more comfortable in a couple ways and the new load lifter system is way more convenient and it is noticeably lighter, basically everything you want in an upgrade.

Well I mounted my emr2 to the frame through some weight in it and gave it a test run for about 1/2 mile, came back and adjusted some things and went again until I got it mostly dialed and had Frank and Aron on the phone a couple times to make sure I was doing it right. Everything felt pretty good at 30 lbs but certainly had a different feel than my old duplex, much more flex to the new one so it moves with you better. So I started in with my normal training regimen of weighted hikes with varying weights, distances and speeds.

After a pretty fair amount of use, 500-750 miles last year and some more fine tuning I came to the conclusion that I did like the frame but I didn't love it. The flex was nice at lighter loads but once I got north of 60 lbs I had a very difficult time keep the weight on my hips where it belongs. It seemed the new frame was superior in many ways but sacrificed some of what I loved about my old duplex to obtain that.

At the suggestion of a friend of mine who had similar issues as me, I decided to give the tactical frame a go, so I traded my hunter for a tactical with aluminum stays. I haven't had it terribly long yet and I've only got 30 or so miles on it, but in my opinion the tactical is superior in every way but weight. This is the upgrade I was hoping for in the hunting frame. While it is noticeably heavier in the hand the way it rides makes the extra 1 lb. 1 oz. unnoticed and worth every oz. on my back. It locks into place and stays where it belongs regardless of load or weight.

I am quite sure that the hunting frame works for many guys but for me with the way I hunt and train the tactical solved my issues and simply works better. If you are not quite happy with your hunting frame don't give up on kifaru, give the tactical a try.

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Reading this make me happy,ordered a tactical 24" last week,now...the wait.

Envoyé de mon E6560C en utilisant Tapatalk
 
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