KUIU Icon 5000

norcalblacktail

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May 3, 2012
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My friend and I stopped by KUIU to pick up our packs last Friday before a weekend early season bowhunt/scouting trip here in Northern California. The gracious and ever so helpful customer service ladies allowed us to bring our gear in and load our packs up before we headed out. I had probably 20-25 lbs in my pack including water and food for 3 days. My buddy had slightly more as he had the spotting scope and tripod. The grin on his face when he put it on was something I won't forget. He has a Misery Ranch 6500 that he said he would never sell but after putting the Icon on he asked me how much I thought he could get for it since I had just sold mine. To say this is the most comfortable pack I have ever worn is an understatement. When you tighten the load lifters it makes the pack feel one with your body. They flex the frame so it transfers the weight to your hips. That 25 lbs now felt like nothing at all. I know 25lbs isn't much but for a pack to make the weight feel as if it isn't there means the load lifters are designed correctly. Many packs don't have this crucial feature designed right.

Here's my initial thoughts.

- The new lumbar pad is perfect size and very tacky so it stays put in your back. There is no slippage when loaded down with weight.

- The memory foam in the shoulder straps and waist belt is much more cushioning than the previous material and the waist belt now goes smaller to fit those with a 32 waist (it tightens down to probably a 29 waist).

- The new velcro adjustable shoulder straps are genius and so easy to adjust it amazing. It is now adjustable for those with a shorter torso length. I'm 5'9" and there is still another 1" in adjustment down.

- There are many small details that were added such as the small web keepers on every loose strap and hydration tube holder on the shoulder strap.

- The internal organizational pockets are larger and fit much more.

- The four way zip side pockets are brilliant and will come in very handy.

- The waist belt pockets are a huge improvement over the stretch mesh and are just what I had hoped for.

- The frame is slightly thicker and beefier making it not flex under heavy weight. I loaded it up with 90 lbs when I got home and it was still the most comfortable pack I have ever worn.

- The new Duraflex hardware is sweet.

- It is easy to put into load sling mode and makes the pack capable of carrying a boned out buck no problem.

- The outer center pocket is larger than the Gen 1 and it will comfortably fit my sleeping bag, pad, down jacket, and extra merino. My buddy fit his spotting scope and tripod in it.

- You can also now look uphill without the back of your head hitting the pack.

Now I know some guys and other pack manufacturers say you can't use carbon fiber in a frame and it won't work blah blah blah.... Well I say BS...Jason has and it is an absolute homerun. If that train of thought existed everywhere we would still be in the stone age. The innovative thinking that Jason and KUIU uses is something you need in today's world of below average products that flood the market. The first gen had its issues and KUIU fixed them with this one. I don't know of any other pack company that listens to its customers' requests as well as KUIU does, implements them and has them ready for the next hunting season. Am I mad that Jason came out with a new pack so soon after buying the Gen 1 Icon? Not at all, it is still a great pack and I sold it to someone who is very happy with it. In my opinion this new pack makes the other heavy packs on the market obsolete. The way it organizes your gear, carries a load and adjusts so fast to the user is astonishing. For those that are on the fence about buying one, don't be. This pack is the best hunting pack I have ever worn and I really can't believe it is just the 2nd gen of a new company because it blows away the competition that has been around forever. I have to take my hat off to Jason and the crew because they continue to push the envelope and develop gear that we can rely on when mountain hunting.


Here are a few pics from the weekend. The hunt was a typical early season hunt here in CA. 105* with ticks and mosquitoes. We saw 10 bucks but getting within range proved to be very hard with the dry grass and many eyes. It was a good trip overall though. Cant complain when you get to chase Blacktails in July. One cool thing I learned was that I can range out to 2200 yards with the new EL Range binocs as long as the target is reflective. (green leaves)







Follow up post.

Just got back from a quick 3 miler with 100 lbs in the pack. I put a 50lb salt bag in the main compartment, a 35 lb weight in the load sling, and a 10 and 5 lb in the top lid. Here are my thoughts...

- The pack did not move from my waist. It stayed put like its supposed to and did not move down my hips at all. The lumbar pad sticks comfortably in your lower back and doesn't move. This was the biggest question mark for me and it exceeded my expectations.

- The frame does not flex like the Gen 1 when loaded down with a lot of weight. It feels solid like an external tubular frame.

- The way the frame arches and has minimal attachments gives you a lot ventilation on your back keeping it cool.

- The pack did not squeak at all. I mean completely silent. The way the pack attaches to the waist belt has been simplified with a pouch that the frame slides into and then has a flap that goes over it and velcros to the other side.

- I had no hot spots or pressure points and actually felt great after the hike. My shoulders/traps felt good. There was no digging in at all. Once you figure out how you like your shoulder straps it is very comfy.

I'm smiling because I have never had 100lbs feel this good. :D


 

Matt Cashell

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Feb 25, 2012
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Western MT
I must be the only person that really likes my GEN 1 Icon 6000. It is very comfortable for me. I spent last weekend with it loaded down with a "hero dad" load (around 60 pounds), and didn't give me any comfort issues at all. I found the load stable, and didn't notice any flex in the frame.

There are some things I don't like about it. It squeeks ... sometimes. The belt doesn't allow for easy accessory attachments. The spotting scope pocket will not fit any of my scopes except the ED50. The hydration port is too small, and makes it finicky to get the valve through. Although attaching a bow is a piece of cake, a rifle mounts and dismounts with a little more fuss.

It seems KUIU really took a look at these issues with the GEN2. It looks like a really nice pack.

Keep us updated on how it goes, especially when the shine wears off and the gremlins start to show up.
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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norcal, how did you feel about heavy loads and a pivoting waist belt? I think in Arons review of the 2011 frame and 6000cu bag, he said it was great until you had a really heavy load as it can throw you off balance....honestly I would guess the same thing, what do you think in your time wearing the pack so far?

I already ordered mine, just hoping it wont be an issue
 

lastcall

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Feb 25, 2012
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Alaska
Im wondering the same thing. I will get mine tomorrow, its on the Fedex truck awaiting delivery.
 

sk1

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load it up, take some pictures, and let me know what you think!! I dont have a tracking number yet
 

HellsCanyon

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May 29, 2012
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Lewiston ID
Looks like a great pack for sure! Would really like to get the GF one sometime in the future... what is the overall pack weight empty?

Mike
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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The 5000 comes in at 6.4 oz.
yeah i think the frame is like 3.3lbs and then the 5000 bag is 3.2lbs
then of course i ordered the 2 hip pouches which will add a couple ounces but well worth it to me

and the 7000 bag weights 3 more oz than the 5000


i called kuiu today and they said it takes 3 or so days to "build" the pack? i guess assemble the parts or something, and then i should have a tracking number before the end of this week and receive it mid-week next week, i cant wait
 

garrenj

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Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Western Oregon
I've got about 30 miles with 33lbs in mine so far, I know not a ton of weight but thought I'd post my initial thoughts. Packs I've used in the past are - Kelty Red Cloud 6000, Badlands Sacrifice (twice before it was sold), Wilderness Packs Bighorn.

-The lumbar pad does take some getting used to but overall has been fine.

-Shoulder straps are the most comfortable of any pack I have tried to date.

-It has been completely silent, which is a first for me I always seem to end up with something squeaking.

- I really like the pockets and organization of the pack especially for a 3.2lb bag. Being able to lay it down and load everything from the front is awesome. Plus with all the internal pockets keeping stuff like the the first aid, game bags out of the way is nice. I don't have to dig around looking for what I need, like with the Wilderness Pack I've been using the past three years.

-I'll also second the great back ventilation

- The buckles seem very solid

Planning to head out this weekend on a 3 day elk trip and then 9 days starting on the 15th. Hopefully will get to test it out with a load.

Good luck with yours sk1
 

fillthefreezer

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Jul 10, 2012
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eatonvile, wa
I've got about 30 miles with 33lbs in mine so far, I know not a ton of weight but thought I'd post my initial thoughts. Packs I've used in the past are - Kelty Red Cloud 6000, Badlands Sacrifice (twice before it was sold), Wilderness Packs Bighorn.

-The lumbar pad does take some getting used to but overall has been fine.

-Shoulder straps are the most comfortable of any pack I have tried to date.

-It has been completely silent, which is a first for me I always seem to end up with something squeaking.

- I really like the pockets and organization of the pack especially for a 3.2lb bag. Being able to lay it down and load everything from the front is awesome. Plus with all the internal pockets keeping stuff like the the first aid, game bags out of the way is nice. I don't have to dig around looking for what I need, like with the Wilderness Pack I've been using the past three years.

-I'll also second the great back ventilation

- The buckles seem very solid

Planning to head out this weekend on a 3 day elk trip and then 9 days starting on the 15th. Hopefully will get to test it out with a load.

Good luck with yours sk1
sort of off tpic but how dd the waist belt on your wilderness pack hold up in 3 years?
 

garrenj

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Mar 5, 2012
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Western Oregon
It held up just fine for me. The only thing that started coming apart was the stitching on the side pockets. Have you experienced problems with them?
 

fillthefreezer

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It held up just fine for me. The only thing that started coming apart was the stitching on the side pockets. Have you experienced problems with them?
i only use side pockets for my rain gear so they are jammed full but carry almost no weight.
my waist belt on the other hand completely folded itself and became useless. they sent me an updated one thats has thicker padding and an abs sheet and is definately alot stiffer but not as comfortable as the old one. hopefully it breaks in, its only fot about 30 miles on it
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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just got my fedex tracking number, pack will be here saturday morning! at least that's what it says

so if it arrives on time, hopefully i can mess around with it saturday, test it out carrying a load, and post a quick first thoughts review.....cant wait to get my hands on this thing
 

krummholz

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Feb 27, 2012
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Albuquerque, NM
Just thought I would add my thoughts on the new Icon 5000 pack....

I got mine a few days before the CO archery season started, so I was a bit nervous to head into the backcountry with an untested pack. But it worked great! Unfortunately I didn't get to haul any super heavy loads with it yet, but it felt great with 60 lbs for the hike in(~4 miles, 2500ft elevation gain) and about 70 lbs for a short hike back to camp with day hunt gear and 1/2 a deer in the load sling. I originally had the 6000 last year but had to return it because it didn't fit me, I'm glad it worked out that way because there seem to be some nice improvements over the original model.
Not quite as comfortable as the Gregory Palisade 80 I used last year, but WAY more functional! I loved all the pockets to keep things organized and could easily access anything in the pack without unloading everything or digging through stuff sacks! Load sling worked very well for boned out meat and was easy to use. The lumbar pad seemed a bit aggressive at first, but by the end of the week had pretty much formed to my lower back and felt fine.

My only complaint was that the load lifter straps seemed to keep loosening up. Wasn't a huge issue and with the relatively light loads it still carried well, but could become a problem with a really heavy load. Anybody else have issues with the load lifter straps slipping? All the other straps held solid the entire time.
 
OP
norcalblacktail

norcalblacktail

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Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
15
norcal, how did you feel about heavy loads and a pivoting waist belt? I think in Arons review of the 2011 frame and 6000cu bag, he said it was great until you had a really heavy load as it can throw you off balance....honestly I would guess the same thing, what do you think in your time wearing the pack so far?

I already ordered mine, just hoping it wont be an issue
No this one is very different from the first gen Icon. It is much stiffer under a heavy load and doesn't flex side to side. Once you get it and load it up you will see what I mean.
 
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norcalblacktail

norcalblacktail

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Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
15
Just thought I would add my thoughts on the new Icon 5000 pack....

I got mine a few days before the CO archery season started, so I was a bit nervous to head into the backcountry with an untested pack. But it worked great! Unfortunately I didn't get to haul any super heavy loads with it yet, but it felt great with 60 lbs for the hike in(~4 miles, 2500ft elevation gain) and about 70 lbs for a short hike back to camp with day hunt gear and 1/2 a deer in the load sling. I originally had the 6000 last year but had to return it because it didn't fit me, I'm glad it worked out that way because there seem to be some nice improvements over the original model.
Not quite as comfortable as the Gregory Palisade 80 I used last year, but WAY more functional! I loved all the pockets to keep things organized and could easily access anything in the pack without unloading everything or digging through stuff sacks! Load sling worked very well for boned out meat and was easy to use. The lumbar pad seemed a bit aggressive at first, but by the end of the week had pretty much formed to my lower back and felt fine.

My only complaint was that the load lifter straps seemed to keep loosening up. Wasn't a huge issue and with the relatively light loads it still carried well, but could become a problem with a really heavy load. Anybody else have issues with the load lifter straps slipping? All the other straps held solid the entire time.
Thats weird. I havent had any slippage issues even with 90 lbs in it in load sling mode. Keep us posted on that.
 

sk1

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Mar 28, 2012
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well my wife brought my pack up to me at work today....I will say it's interesting so far. I am not in love with the material, a little bit louder than i had expected. The pack seems to be growing on me after playing with it the last 45 minutes, I do have a slight concern with the lumbar pad just because i've experienced lower back injuries playing sports, I just hope the pressure there doesn't aggravate anything, but so far it does feel great. I put 40lbs in it, and I may need to do a little further adjusting on torso length and what not, but initially it does feel great. I love the padding on the hip and shoulder straps. I did experience a little squeaking but not from the frame, i believe it is my pack contents causing the issue, I put two SCBA bottles in there, and believe they are rubbing together. I ran around with the pack and everything felt great, felt like I could go for a 5 mile run and not even know the pack was on. I'll test it later tonight with somewhere between 80 and 100lbs on the incline treadmill and hopefully post some pictures of how things went and maybe a better review.....will keep adding updates with thoughts over the next week or so while I use the pack. Oh and I love the hip belt strap design, so far no slipping whatsoever.
 
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