Pack

1jonmon

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
212
1 Elk hunt a year for the foreseeable future. Maybe a hiking trip a year. Is the Alps Outdoor commander a good choice or is there a real reason to go with one of the high end bags? I'm planning on a 10 day second rifle in Colorado this year.


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mathews8pt

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
339
Location
Ohio
Im no backpack hunting expert as ive only done 1 elk hunt, but i love my kifaru. I used it as a day pack with 20 lbs and ive carried 100lbs in it and never thought i needed anything better. I paid $400 for it used on here and its been well worth it IMO. If your going to buy a "cheap" pack brand new for 2-300 dollars, id recommend saving a little more $$ and getting a used high end pack for similar money off of here.
 

boom

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
3,181
my huntingest friend carries a no-name pack. he kills deer, elk..things just die around him. he doesnt even recognize pack names mentioned here on Rokslide..hell, he isnt on rokslide. he never sees the label on my pack because he is such a fast ass hiker, i cant get in front of him to put my label in his face.

he just hunts. he sews up his pack occasionally. i think one day he will need a better pack..maybe his will bite him in the butt when he needs it most.

this annual elk trip? you hiking it in? i think volume is key.
 

RainMaker71

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
31
It depends on your type of hunting. I have that same pack (older version from 2012) and it can definitely haul some meat. I will say that if you're heading back 4+ miles you're going to be a little sore. The lack of load lifters and that heavy frame can make a long hike a little painful. I liked the setup and it's served me well but I'm super excited to get the new Reckoning out in the field to see if I can tell a difference.
 

oldgoat

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
1,768
Location
Arvada, CO
So, you don't hunt the rest of the year? My pack goes mountains for elk and some small game and then to the plains for turkey and deer! If you're young and really durable and tough get whatever and enjoy the suck, if you got some years on you, get a good pack!
 
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1jonmon

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
212
Hiked in last year, probably will this year. Same old story, need best bang for buck...this is an expensive hobby. I know bad boots will ruin a hunt but will a pack ruin a hunt by the same extent? If so then I should plan on which pack


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1jonmon

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
212
Im no backpack hunting expert as ive only done 1 elk hunt, but i love my kifaru. I used it as a day pack with 20 lbs and ive carried 100lbs in it and never thought i needed anything better. I paid $400 for it used on here and its been well worth it IMO. If your going to buy a "cheap" pack brand new for 2-300 dollars, id recommend saving a little more $$ and getting a used high end pack for similar money off of here.

$200-300 cheap?


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7mag.

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
1,412
Location
Buckley, Wa.
Hiked in last year, probably will this year. Same old story, need best bang for buck...this is an expensive hobby. I know bad boots will ruin a hunt but will a pack ruin a hunt by the same extent? If so then I should plan on which pack


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Lots of packs are very comfortable packing camp and gear, but when you're packing out a 100lb+ load of meat and gear, that's where the high end packs shine.
My friend has a "meat hauling" pack he bought at a box store. After we packed out 1 deer and 1 elk together (seperate hunts), he now refuses to pack meat on his back.
 

NevadaZielmeister

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
690
Location
Reno, NV
You can ruin a hunt with a cheap pack or the wrong boots.

Here here brother. This is the best advise in this thread.

I went with a good pair of Danner boots and a Kifaru brand new. I have hiked with it now about 30 times since receiving it in January and have never had any problems at all. By far, the best pack I have ever owned, and this coming from someone who has mountaineered and backpacked for decades.

Do the right thing, get the Kifaru, you'll enjoy the hunt even more.
 

mathews8pt

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
339
Location
Ohio
$200-300 cheap?


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Maybe cheap is the wrong term, but if you look at the prices of frame packs I think 2-300 dollars would be at the low end of the price range(new prices). I'm sure they will get you by but I like to buy gear I can recoup my investment on if I decide to sell, hence buying a more quality pack used.

Maybe if I lived out west and only hunted weekends I would consider a lower priced pack, but I don't want my pack falling apart on my 2 week hunt I get to do once a year.


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mrbillbrown

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,105
Location
Edmond, OK
Maybe if I lived out west and only hunted weekends I would consider a lower priced pack, but I don't want my pack falling apart on my 2 week hunt I get to do once a year.


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I spend all year thinking (obsessing) about my CO trip to hunt elk each Sept. Countless hours spent searching, researching, training, preparing and the last thing I'm gonna worry about is my pack failing. Too many other variables to worry about. Buy the best boots and pack you can afford.

I'm running Kifaru and haven't once regretted the purchase because I know it's not gonna let me down.
 

boom

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
3,181
in my experience , 100 lbs of anything in a pack sucks. my only criteria is that the pack holds together, and stays fitting on my back. no shifting to the side. lots of packs fit that criteria. i once packed in a propane tank..the bigger one to a friends tent camp. it sucked..but my brothers old ass JANSPORT pack did it. that Jansport is my brother's lucky elk packing out pack. if it is on our trip, at least one elk dies. it is always tucked into a truck box..as a lucky charm. :)

Me? i am a pack hound. i think i am homing in on my "the one". the Metcalf ticks all the buttons for me. i hope to get it dirty this year..i'll make sure the lucky charm is in the truck. but i can guarantee that metcalf isnt going to make 80 lbs feel like 40. none of them do.
 

WV Mountaineer

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
Messages
1,910
Location
West Virginia
I am Kifaru owner. Been using an Alps brand traverse, Nimrod wilderness pack, and assorted military surplus packs for a good bit now.
All work good and got the job done. I'm not going into the military packs. They just work. Now, I can say easily that I liked the traverse pack. Carried a bit of dead stuff in it. It does well until you get it upto 70 pounds. Then it goes down hill quick. Nimrod worked good too until about 60 pounds. That's fine as they weren't designed for anymore than that. I never remember being very uncomfortable with hunting loads. Where they showed their deficiency's was in heavy ruck training.



I told you that to tell you this. There is no comparison between them and the Kifaru. None. At 20 pounds there is none. At 80 pounds, get outtahere. It will take experiencing it to really believe it. But, that Kifaru hip belt and suspension takes those heavy loads and puts it where it belongs. When you are carrying 80 pounds up a steep grade briskly and, the only burn you feel is in your hips, gluts, and thighs versus your whole body aching and in pain, you know you got the right one.


If you intend to keep your loads light, you'll be fine. If you intend to suffer of sorts through heavy loads, you'll be fine with the Alps. It will do the work. However, if you'd ever strap a Kifaru pack on your back that was set up for you, you'd never spend the $300 on that setup. You'd instead sell something and save to put the Kifaru on you. Heavy loads is hard work in any pack. I'd rather work hard and get it done instead of hurt and work less efficiently.

I've been where you are at. I was the guy for years that said "No" to the price. On forums and to myself. Until I caught myself last year setting in camp the last day of bow hunting because i was dreading carrying a deboned deer 4 miles. So, I made the commitment to buy an upper end pack and would NEVER willingly go back to what I was using after doing so. If I get cancer again and, have to sell my stuff again to pay the bills, the Kifaru pack would be the LAST piece of gear to go. And, I've only been ruck training with it for ONE month. Just find a way to do it. Skimp on clothes, optics, arrows, something and make it happen. You'll be so glad you did.


I applogize for typing so much. but, it is that big of deal to me now I have experienced it myself. God Bless
 
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aion2come

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
458
Location
Joplin, MO
My friend bought an Alps Traverse for his first "backpack" hunt against my advice. He came to regret that quickly due to the lack of load lifters. Keys to a good pack: Good belt, good load lifters, good construction, enough volume, and proper fit. You can find packs in the $300 range used for sure. I'd skip the Alps pack and go for a Horn Hunter, Kelty frame hauler, or even just buy a Kifaru frame and have a friend sew you a homemade cargo panel ... then just get some stuff sacks. That will at least get you pointed in the right direction. I have tried a bunch of packs, and if I were doing it over and had limited funds, I would find the frame I wanted and buy that ... it works for that year, and let's you buy the bag later. Save you a ton of money I guarantee and you'll be happier from day one onward!
 

ColoradoHunterHiker

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
216
Location
Colorado
10 days is a long time to be in the backcountry with an uncomfortable pack. That said, yes, you could do it with any pack. The price you pay for Kifaru comes with comfort - especially at weight. Other packs, you are paying for a lightweight rig, not necessarily one that carries heavy weight well - but i'll be fine for just hoofing camp around. The Alps packs are great entry level packs. They are large, heavy, but they will carry a load - just not as comfortably as a kifaru, Stone Glacier, or Mystery Ranch pack will. I'd spend money first on good boots, get them broken in. Then another costly item will be a shelter - Again, look at Kifaru and Seek Outside. After that, yes a bag becomes important. Spend as much as you can for a good pack, but DON'T let the price of a pack keep you from going. In other words, if you can buy a 2-300 dollar pack and go - do that. If you can save some more funds, you won't be sorry with a higher end pack. Good thing is, they last for a good long while and hold their value pretty well!

Good Luck
 

Rizzy

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
1,413
Location
Idaho
Using a high end pack now will pay dividends later in life......
 

dirtytough

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,276
If you plan to go every year the first year I would buy a frame from one of the better companies like Kifaru, stone glacier, etc. Then I would use a dry bag if I couldn't afford a pack to go on the frame that year. The next year I would grab a bag used and you will be set with a great frame and pack.

Heck somebody might even let you borrow a bag to use on your frame if you ask.

Regards, Branden
 

seldomseensmith

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
494
Location
New Mexico
When guys that are clearly needing to save some cash ask this question I am continually shocked that no one mentions the ILBE pack. Is there some sort of Kifaru code that won't allow it? It was designed to carry 120#, it is large enough for a week long hunt, designed by Arc teryx , is insanely durable and I got mine essentially brand new here for $120 shipped. It isn't the perfect pack but I can't get over how great it is. (And the flap on the outside appears to have been specifically designed to carry my wood stove.)
In my opinion, at $120-150 you don't hit anything that touches it for all around hunting packs until you get to AT LEAST $300
 
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