Kifaru / Mystery Ranch / KUIU / Badlands

fencesitter

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Jan 25, 2013
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Colorado (south suburb of Denver)
I'm new to the forum, and am enjoying the site thus far.... It seems to be a solid group who are bound to a common passion.

If this is redundant to a prior post, then I apologize, but I'm wondering what the thoughts are toward the best hunting pack manufacturer, hands down. I know that it all comes down to preference as well as fit. I've owned some of the older Dana Design's Packs (prior to Mystery Ranch), and have owned several Badlands packs (2200, Superday, 2800, 4500, and Monster), and now own a couple of KUIU's pack's (ICON 3000, 5000, 6000). Should I be looking in a different direction, and moving to Kifaru or the newer Mystery Ranch (I hear that they are heavy). I've also owned a couple of the Sitka packs, but was never a fan of the hip belt (not stout enough IMHO).

Thoughts / Suggestions welcomed!
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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SE Wisconsin
kifaru is very highly thought of around this forum by myself included, there are happy mystery ranch customers although all of their packs are on the heavy side, and stone glacier is new to the party---but seems to be gaining followers quickly. One of the prostaff here is in the middle of reviewing a stone glacier pack and i believe comparing it to a kifaru model.

what i have used: badlands, eberlestock, tenzing, kuiu 5000, and now the kifaru dt1

based off my limited selection, kifaru is the ONLY pack as soon as i put it on i was like oh my god this is the most comfortable pack ive ever worn i see what i have been missing out on. i carried out two 100+ lb loads this december, and while 100lbs is 100lbs in any pack, it hauled incredibly well and i wasnt in the pain i would have been in with any of my previous packs.

that being said, packs fit differently for everyone. the kifaru customer service will bend over backwards however to make sure their pack is working for you, i know this from first hand experience. also i see your from colorado, maybe make a trip to their location and go try one on to see if you like it!

good luck in your search.
 

ohhiitznik

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Feb 24, 2012
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Rochester Hills, MI
Take a look at Kifaru.. You won't go wrong there. Or you can wait and take a look at stone glacier. They are a little lighter and look well built. They have a review going on right now of the stone glacier packs. See which options you like best and go from there. I have a Kifaru Bikini Timberline 1 and I love it. (Previously a duplex) I loved the duplex frame and know first hand it can haul a load like nothing else.
 

jherald

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Sep 16, 2012
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809
Location
Alaska
When I first started hunting, I hauled whatever I could fit into an ALICE style pack. I moved into an Alps brand external frame then slowly saw the light when it comes to a good pack and bought something better when I could save up for it or when I got a job that paid enough to get a decent pack. I digress slightly, I came to the point where I could buy a really good pack so I dove in and bought a Stone Glacier when they started making packs. It was between Stone Glacier and Kifaru, due to the lighter weights. I leaned away from Mystery Ranch due to the heavier weights.

Stone Glacier has only one fit of frame but the shoulder straps are adjustable to fit your body style to a certain point, and the waist belt is slightly adjustable. Kifaru you can get two different sized frames and several different sized waistbelts, although the Stone Glacier will cinch down pretty small on the waist if need be, about down to 29'' or so.

The Stone Glacier fit me well so I stuck with it and now have been accessorizing it. I've hauled 100 lbs. in it as a tester and for that kind of weight, it felt as good on my back as 100 lbs. extra can feel. And it's large enough to tote around everything I need and still be able to take out a whole boned out animal and horns/cape/hide etc.

I like modularity as well. My one Stone Glacier frame will accept all their bags and accessories with no mods. I believe it is the same way with Kifaru company where their own bags and frames are all interchangeable but don't quote me on that.

It is all about your own personal preference. For me, I've found the pack for my own style of hunting. I've got the Terminus bag at 6,300 cu inches and will soon be adding the smaller bags for my frame for short trips and day hikes.

I would suggest checking out Stone Glacier, Kifaru and Mystery Ranch as the top 3 for a good quality pack if your in the market for a new one.
 

Lawnboi

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Mar 2, 2012
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North Central Wi
Im going to stick with kifaru based on modularity alone. Well and they are really light.

Iv owned eberle, and badlands and have played with a few MR packs. I own a few kifaru packs and have no intentions of switching any time soon.
 

blb078

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Dec 18, 2012
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306
Location
Wentzville, MO & Port Charlotte, FL
Here's my take on packs, and this is mainly from reading the forums by no means am I an expert on this. KUIU, Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, Stone Glacier are tops and mostly depends on the person as to which one they like. Then there's McHale packs, which from what I've read are in a league of their own, but you'll pay for it and have to wait a while to get one. All the other store bought one's are what' they are, some are good, some bad, but none as good as the 5 previously mentioned. I just ordered a Stone Glacier Terminus and it should arrive Mon. I went with it over a Kifaru Highcamp mainly because there was no wait for it, and it was just slightly lighter, although I believe it's also slightly smaller too.
 
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fencesitter

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Jan 25, 2013
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Colorado (south suburb of Denver)
Thanks guys! I appreciate the insight.... Good Information! I've owned an Eberlestock, but only the Slingshot. My buddy owns one and the things squeak badly against the yellow rubber coated frame. In your opinions, are the KUIU packs in the same class as Kifaru? Again, thoughts and suggestions are appreciated and welcomed. Also, is there a Kifaru model that I should be looking at, hands down?
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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Thanks guys! I appreciate the insight.... Good Information! I've owned an Eberlestock, but only the Slingshot. My buddy owns one and the things squeak badly against the yellow rubber coated frame. In your opinions, are the KUIU packs in the same class as Kifaru? Again, thoughts and suggestions are appreciated and welcomed. Also, is there a Kifaru model that I should be looking at, hands down?

IMO no but I have never owned a Kuiu so you would need to ask someone that has had both. Just say the Kifaru pack is way ahead of eberle and badlands and their packs are what sold me to pretty much own everything else they have.

Also considering you are in Kifaru's backyard you would be crazy not to go to their showroom and check their stuff out before buying :)
 

Backpack Hunter

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Feb 26, 2012
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Some wilderness area, somewhere
The most important part of a pack is fit, so having said that my preference at this point is going to be Kifaru. They are a pretty lightweight well made pack, made out of quality materials, made in the USA with a great suspension, and you can adjust almost all of them to fit correctly.

For me personally, I found the KUIU pack did not fit and subsequently was murder on my back.
The Mystery Ranch packs were heavy, and I had to go with the 6500 to get any kind of angle on the load lifters, I do not think the new Metcalf is going to solve that dilemna.
I have owned the Badlands 4500, 2800, 2200, and Sacrifice. I never experienced any real failures with these, but must say that the comfort level with larger loads left a lot to be desired, especially with the Sacrifice. All except the Sacrifice are pretty heavy comparably as well.
I don't think I will ever own another Sitka pack. The Sitka 45 I owned had both arm straps rip off on a packout, to say I was upset would be an understatement.

As mentioned since you are in CO I would at least run by Kifaru and try some stuff on. Again pack fit is the most important, from there you can determine pack needed for hunting style, etc.
 

Matt Cashell

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Kuiu packs are top shelf packs, IMO. There are valid questions about a CF fram durablility wise, but the Icon 6000 I have has served a couple season extremely well without any failures.

You are comparing some high end gear, and all of these companies have diehard fans that place their particular favorite above all the others.

And I agree totally with BH, fit is key, and accounts for some preferring one over another.
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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SE Wisconsin
i agree with BH and BB in that fit is key, and if kuiu is the one that fits you the best, than absolutely go with it. In my opinion though, kuiu is not in the same class yet as a kifaru. They are really trying hard to be, but just not even close, they are still on the outside looking in. This is from my success with kifaru, and my limited use of a kuiu 5000. However, if that kuiu 5000 i bought had fit me perfectly, i may be saying the same positive things about kuiu. That just reiterates that fit is king, but I think kifaru has more satisfied customers (opinion)
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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If any of the packs you listed above work for you and are comfortable, then I'd say rock on. But if you are looking to try out some more and experiment further than sure. Lots of pack will get it done, and pack fit is a personal thing so just cause someone likes a certain pack doesn't mean it is the end all and be all for everyone.
 
R

red

Guest
If any of the packs you listed above work for you and are comfortable, then I'd say rock on. But if you are looking to try out some more and experiment further than sure. Lots of pack will get it done, and pack fit is a personal thing so just cause someone likes a certain pack doesn't mean it is the end all and be all for everyone.

Your bang on Luke, It's a bad idea to buy a pack just because it seems popular at the time. Find one that fits you well and is the right size for what you are going to use it for.
 

ohhiitznik

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Feb 24, 2012
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Rochester Hills, MI
Like luke said, anything that fits you out of those 4 companies listed
MR
Kifaru
Kuiu
Stone Glacier

Are going to do well for you. I love the Kifaru because my duplex frame helped me save a life. I carried a hiker with a broken ankle ~4 miles in the duplex frame with some handy horizontal lashing straps and some interesting body positioning on the frame. He weighed about 160 lbs give or take 10 lbs. Granted it took a lot of willpower but there was no way I was doing that without the duplex. If I had a blue widow I would've had to walk out to get help and having a storm rolling in above treeline and hes hypothermic I couldn't stay and play as we say in the EMS field.
 
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