Kuiu packs question from experience guide

Sickforit

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
25
I guided and packed hunters in both wilderness, and private lands for ten years. Those days are past at the moment, as I took a good job a few years ago to better provide for my family while raising my kids. I can't justify he best of the best gear all the time like I did when it was my livelihood. I have had mystery ranch and Kifaru packs and love them and know the benefits. But I am still able to buy Kuiu at a good price, and wondered what people think of them for private use. 80% day pack type use, with some meat and trophy packing here and there as I still guide a very little. What do y'all think about the perfoof the icon 3200 and ultra 3000????? Thank you in advance
 

IdahoElk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
1,873
Location
Hailey,ID
1.get ready for a barrage of Kuiu hate.
2. I have both the Ultra 3000 and Pro 3200 and have no complaints yet.It's a great day pack and when something is harvested I haul meat with them back to camp where the horses do the rest.I'm only hunting 1-2 miles from camp and carry 60lbs at the most each trip.
 

Jordan Budd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,480
Location
NW Nebraska
My Kuiu dislike comes from breaking the frame with only 80lbs in it. Then them giving us hell when we tried to get it fixed.... since my buddy wasn't the original owner they wouldn't replace it. Since then I've heard story after story from a number of guides we work with about frames breaking in half. I don't even want it to be a question if it's going to break or not, so I choose to steer way clear of that situation.


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Firestone

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
151
Location
Northwest Montana
I think a 3200 would work great for what you are wanting to use it for. Especially if you are getting discount, cause if you don't like it you should be able to get your money back no problem.
 

Danny Hoey

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
426
Location
Veradale, Wa
I haven't used a ton of packs, but I do own a ultra 3k. Haven't hauled more than 50#'s yet but for a 80% day pack it would fit the bill. It has a smaller profile but still has enough room for essentials in the pack. Also, the option to sandwich meat between the bag and frame is pretty sweet. If you're ever in the Spokane area, let me know and you can give it a test run.
 

wbymaghntr

Newbie
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
5
Location
oregon
I had an icon 3200 that I bought new last summer it was good till over #50 then the straps wouldn't hold it up and even empty is squeaked really bad.After packing a boned out Blacktail 1.5 miles I sold it and bought a kifaru
 
OP
S

Sickforit

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
25
Has anyone packed out decent/full meat/trophy loads with good results?
 

ColoradoHunterHiker

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Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
216
Location
Colorado
I've used the Icon Pro series (1850, 3200, 5200) for the last couple of years. Have several videos about them and their various set ups here: Colorado HunterHiker
- YouTube


I've since sold them and moved on to try the Kifaru packs...

They hold weight well up to about 50-60lbs and frankly these packs fit my body well. After that, the other packs shine. Keep in mind, Kuiu is an "ultralight weight" system. Their packs are designed to be light. That comes at a sacrifice of some comfort when you put heavy weights on them. Not bad packs, especially for those not consistently hauling meat. My guess (yes, its a guess) is that if you go with a kuiu pack, you'll be disappointed in its heavy load carrying abilities since you've already had SG and Kifaru packs. But, that's just a guess.
 

snakelk

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
636
Location
Oregon
We've packed out a lot of meat loads with our Kuiu packs and haven't had any complaints or problems. We've loaded them both ways, with meat between the bag and frame, and meat in the bags, using various combinations of bags and suspensions (Ultra, Icon Pro, 3000, 3200, 6000, 7200). I prefer the Icon Pro suspension and belt, and my ultra suspension now collects dust.

Last elk pack out was a 5.5 mile trek back to base camp with about 2 miles of that off trail with a steep ascent/descent. We had no issues and the packs performed nicely. Yes, I have used a Kifaru (duplex DT2) for a similar hike in the same area with a similar load and had zero complaints with that system as well.

For a Kuiu system and 80% day packing, the Icon Pro 3200 would probably be the best choice. You'd have a nice bag for a day pack, and the ability to haul a load of meat between the bag and frame when needed, all with the Pro suspension which is a little more supportive than the Ultra.
 

yak

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
149
Location
Windsor, CO
I've packed out elk with my Kuiu 3000. Used it for a couple years, now I have Kifaru. Loved the Kuiu bag, even stole the zipper pulls and some of the straps to put on my Kifaru. No complaints on how the Kuiu carried a load other than it seemed to flex and sag quite a bit. I didn't care for the flex in the upper stays. Not to hate on Kuiu, but my primary complaint was that my frame/pack interface squeaked bad. I couldn't stand it listening to a squeak all day in the high country, so I changed.

Now that I have a Kifaru, its my go to pack and an obvious upgrade when trying them on side-by-side.
 

Yotekiller

Senior Member
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
114
Location
Idaho
I hauled out an elk and a mule deer with an Icon Pro 3200 last fall. I was using the TAG BOMB bags and filling them. I would guess I had several loads approaching 100lbs with gear. I didn't have any problem with the pack but I have never used a high end super expensive pack. Maybe I just don't know what I am missing?
 
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nazca

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
27
I have the Icon Pro with 1850, 3200, and 7200 bags. I also purchased and returned the Ultra suspension and Ultra 1800 and 3000 bags.

I'm neither a Kuiu hater nor fanboy. I'm also not an expert... just one dude who likes to hunt.

I've had the 1850 and 7200 since 2014 and the 3200 I purchased last year. I've used them for:
- Many, many miles of day hiking & multi-day backpacking with 30-55 lbs loads.
- A fair amount of day hunting & multi-day hunting in Nevada, California & Alberta
- One solo, DIY caribou hunt in the Brooks range.

My thoughts:
- For light loads they are great. I love the 1850 and 3200 for day bags. The 3200 is a great size for day trips as well as weekend trips. If they made the 3200 originally, I wouldn't own the 1850.
- The 1850 squeaks a little when not loaded down. I've tried to fix it but I've only been partly successful.
- The 'Ultra' system doesn't make any sense to me. You only save a few oz, but you loose 100% of your organization. I really like the pocket setups in all of the Icon bags. Simple, sensible, just what you need without being over engineered.
- I was completely happy with my setup until my caribou hunt. Up to that point I had only packed out pigs and deer relatively short distances (longest pack out was a pig <2 miles). When I got my caribou I spent a full 48 hours packing it out. Any way you slice it, a packout like that is going to be a suffer-fest, but when I really tried to load the bag up I wasn't happy with how it handled the weight. The biggest issue was that I didn't like how it transferred the weight to the belt. It seems like it wants to rotate your pelvis backwards.... maybe I needed more core strength, but it seemed like the bag should have done a better job.
- I haven't had any issues with straps not staying tight like others have complained about.
- I doing a solo elk hunt this year in a wilderness area. I've been mulling upgrading to Kifaru. But I'm also thinking of getting some swaro el's, and maybe upgrading a few other pieces of gear... trying to decide what's more important. I can definitely suffer through a long elk pack out with my Kuiu, just not sure if I want to.
 

HarvDog

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2017
Messages
32
Location
Missouri
squeaking kuiu packs are easily remedied by sticking the soft side of a velcro patch to the frame, between the shoulder straps and the frame
 

coachjdub

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
287
I bought a Kuiu pack and sold it within a month. IMOP is is not comfortable at all. I just purchase a new Exo pack and am very happy with it.
 

bojangles808

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
936
Location
hawai'i
functionally as a daypack with all the pockets and organization the kuiu 3200 pack seems like a great pack. but once you stuff it over 50 lbs on pack outs then its not a very fun pack to wear. i just sold mine
 

Arrowslinger

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
591
Location
NorCal
I've packed out 2 bear and 2 bucks with my ultra. I have two bag sizes and use them depending upon weather and gear. Here's a full kit and deer, 5 miles in:
file_zps142e894d.jpg


I like the pack, it's not perfect, but none are.

Smaller bag and smaller buck, 5.5 miles in:
file_zpsjhj3e2cq.jpg
 

LaHunter

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
1,132
Location
N.E. LA
I've had an Icon Pro 5200 since 2014. Done lots of training hikes with 70 lbs with no issues.. I've hauled 1/2 mule deer (bone in) with the head for a mile back to my UTV with no issues. I've hauled an entire mule deer (bone in) with the head for about a mile back to my UTV with no issues. I can't compare my Icon Pro to the other popular brand packs because I have no first hand experience with them, but I'm happy with my pack and I plan to keep using it. I don't experience any sagging or swaying when my pack is loaded heavy and the belt locks in place well for me. A heavy pack sucks any way you look at it and 80+ lbs for any distance in mountain terrain ain't fun.

Good Luck with your choice
 

missjordan

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
1,068
Location
Missoula, MT
Has anyone packed out decent/full meat/trophy loads with good results?

Yes, my husband hauled out 3 bulls last season all loaded down with around 100 lbs of meat with no issues. I am going to purchase one for myself this year. Bought his pack new in 2016


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ReddingArcher

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
765
I've got the icon pro 5200 and hauled 2 boned out blacktails and my camp in one trip with it. I didn't weigh it but my guess is about 120 lbs. The pack did squeak but held up. I would like to upgrade to a kifaru or exo one of these days. Just too many stories out there of frames breaking. For a day pack I think you'd be fine with it.
 

Griz34

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
258
Location
Eastern SD
I'm planning to purchase a Kifaru reckoning or an exo 5500 this summer. For the last two years I've used the kuiu icon pro and have no complaints. I've packed out an elk, two mule deer, two whitetail deer and an antelope with some pretty heavy loads. I really like the kuiu 3200 for day hunts and will continue to use it for short hunts.

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