I have the Icon 5000, got a it packed up today with a backcountry load in, all in all, pretty comfortable, not sure on the lumbar pad yet, it is quiet thick. The suspension is very comfortable and the frame starts to take a bit of shape to your back. Load lifters work fine. It is very stable, walking, running and jumping around.
My main concern is the pack body material, although the more I fiddle around with the pack the more I seem to like the material.
I cannot give a comparison sorry as have not used the Kifaru. I come from a background of using super tough military gear and even suprised myself when I opted for the 'light' weight Icon. I guess it is all in the quality of manufacterer, I have seen heavy canvas packs made for the Australian Army, have shoulder straps blow out all over the place when carrying massive loads in the NZ alps.
I have used the Icon 5000, T1, T2, T3 and the DT1. I would chose the BT1 over the Icon on durability alone. I have never used the BT1 but Kifaru has been building pack for a long time. So it's just an educated guess that the bikini will fall into a long line of super tough and super comfortable packs.
I wouldn't doubt the durability you mention one bit Ryan, that is my main concern with the Icon. I had my mind made up on a K pack, then a few things swayed me, did I make the correct decision, buggared if I know, and I am not mentioning that too my wife. See how I go, it may go back as yet, may...
I know everyone is different, packs are like boots.....but i dont see how that icon frame is comfortable on anyone, i hated it from the second i tried it even with no weight in it. that aside, i know its obviously comfortable to some, but i do agree durability is in question.....if nothing else it just doesnt feel durable. when i loaded it up with 65 lbs, you should have seen me baby that thing setting it down. Now maybe i didn't need to do that, but that frame just didnt give me the impression it could handle me being rough with it. That feeling alone was enough to make me send it back, I cant go on a backpack hunting trip scared I might break the pack. The pack actually breaking may be the furthest thing from the truth, but I need to be confident in my gear, just the same as a bow.
People don't have the bikini frame yet, but kifaru has proven they flat out get it done when it comes to packs....i know it might be a little more money depending on what combination you choose, but I believe kifaru is the right choice over the icon. I had the kifaru DT1 and couldn't have been happier, my bikini frame will be here soon!
good luck with your choice, i chose the icon 5000 first, and between having it shipped to me and shipped back to kuiu was out $60.
I have the Icon 5000 and think it is an excellent pack. I've had it for 5 months and the last thing I have been worried about is frame strength and bag durability. I really like all the pockets on the bag. I agree that packs are like boots and for me the Icon fits my frame very well. BTW, I also own a Kifaru that I also like so I'm not trying to bash them. They are both great pack companies.