Packs with load lifters?

c5mrr270

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As some of you know my pack was stolen recently while hunting, it was a mystery ranch cc and it served me pretty well, but it had no load lifters to speak of. So now that I'm in the market for a new pack I was curious as to how much the load lifters helped the overall comfort of the pack with heavy loads?

I know it seems like a dumb question but I've never owned a pack with functional load lifters. I moved out to Utah about five years ago and have since been cutting my teeth in the back country. I started with an eberlestock, a j109 I think, and then moved to the crew cab. The crew cab made a good day pack but it seemed to be less comfortable with loads above 50 pounds. I learned to let the shoulder straps out and really cinch down the waist belt and that helped but it seemed to make the pack feel kinda sloppy. My wife has an arc teryx with load lifters and is always raving about how much they help so it has me curious.

So I guess my question is what has been your guys' experience with load lifters vs. no load lifters?
Thanks in advance.
 

HellsCanyon

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm one of the few that really like load lifters, but prefer to have a bit more weight on my shoulders than on my hips. So I don't rely on the load lifters as much as others. With that said, I still wouldn't own a pack without functional load lifters. If anything to keep the load close in to the top of my torso rather than pull the weight off my shoulders. I got by for years using packs with marginal or non existant load lifters and they worked great for me. Still aren't in the same league as my Kifaru, but they did work.

Mike
 

ScottR_EHJ

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Get a pack with functional load lifters, you won't regret it.

Last year I did several load outs with a Black's Creek Bounty Hunter and the thing never failed. The major flaw though is that it didn't have load lifters and it really put a hurting on my shoulders. Because I was being pulled by the shoulders backwards the whole time it also made downhills a little bit precarious at best.

Packs with functional load lifters also do a much better job not forcing the weight out backwards, but rather up to a point where balance is better. When meat was in my Bounty Hunter it always felt like I was sending weight straight behind me which forced me to bend over too much.

My G2 Longhunter, none of this is an issue as the weight is distributed the way that it should be. The weight is not on my shoulders but rather on my hips, and there is no fight over where the weight is being distributed.

Get a pack with load lifters!
 

Slim Jim

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I am buying my kifaru this spring for the same reason. I have the eberlestock j104 and it is a good pack but when hiking deep into the backcountry with the pack loaded it kills my traps and shoulders. Having the load lifters will improve the comfort considerably
 

squeekieslayer

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I owned a MR longbow without any lift. Was sturdy as hell but not great for long heavy loads. In fact, I liked my empty badlands 2200 with the meat shelf better for heavy loads. I now have the Kifaru DT system. It is HANDS DOWN more comfortable. As with the guy above, I occasionally want some weight on my shoulders. I do it to give my hips a rest and I like it for some reason on my knees when going down hill. Just loosen the lifters, snug the shoulders and loosen the belt a bit...good to go. It gives you the opportunity to be more dynamic with your weight and customize your load as you go.

You wont be upset, there is NO downside to having good lifters, there is to not having them.

Joe
 

larryschwartz

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As some background, here is a link to a thread that talks about loadlifters...http://www.rokslide.com/forums/showthread.php?1331-Blue-Widow&p=17105#post17105

The key thing is to make sure you get a pack where the LL's attach a couple of inches ABOVE your shoulders, othewise they will not be "functional" at all. They really don't lift any of the load, what they do is to lift the shoulder straps off of your shoulders so that all of the weight rests on your waistbelt/hips. They can also help to keep the pack closer to your shoulders which helps with balance like HellsCanyon mentioned.

Larry
 

hammer0419

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They will make all the difference in the world. Mystery Ranch makes some very high quality pack. However they are no comparison to Kifaru when it comes to comfort. Get yourself one of the Timberline packs and see that all the buzz is about. Since you liked the Crew Cab, get a DT1,2,or 3.
 

thru-hunter

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My McHale pack uses a completely different system with the bypass harness in place of standard load lifters. Instead of attaching to the shoulder strap like every other manufacturer they go into a sleeve along the front of the shoulder pad and go all the way down and connect to the frame by your hips. This allows you to adjust the shoulder straps at any amount you want while the bypass harness keeps the load controlled.

Takes a bit to learn how to get it set up and adjusted but I love it.
 

DirtyD

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I wouldn't buy a pack without them! On prolonged hunts (even with daypack weights) my shoulders would start to scream. Once I learned what load lifters were and how to properly adjust a pack, I never have any discomfort.
 
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c5mrr270

c5mrr270

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They will make all the difference in the world. Mystery Ranch makes some very high quality pack. However they are no comparison to Kifaru when it comes to comfort. Get yourself one of the Timberline packs and see that all the buzz is about. Since you liked the Crew Cab, get a DT1,2,or 3.

I do like the looks of the dt3, cause honestly 85% of my trips are weekend trips with the other 15% being 4-5 days. It's hard to drop that much coin on a pack though sight unseen, it worked out with my MR but its still hard.

I guess my next question is: is there anybody in the Salt Lake, Provo, Park City area that has a timberline that I could look at?
 

RosinBag

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Based on your above post, I wouldn't go with the DT3. That is cramped for 4 to 5 days of gear and an animal. The DT 1 or 2 series compress down to almost nothing for day hunting, and can expand to take care of all your other types of hunting also. It is much easier to not use the room if you don't need it, than to wish you had more and didn't. I wouldn't go with anything smaller that the DT2 for what you described.
 

Walker6

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I went from a crew cab to a KU5200 and the difference in comfort is night and day. Take Aron up on his offer. He walked me through the research process and it was a big help.
 

sneek-ee

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I do like the looks of the dt3, cause honestly 85% of my trips are weekend trips with the other 15% being 4-5 days. It's hard to drop that much coin on a pack though sight unseen, it worked out with my MR but its still hard.

I guess my next question is: is there anybody in the Salt Lake, Provo, Park City area that has a timberline that I could look at?

c5- where do you live? I'm north of you i assume up in Brigham City, but i have a couple K packs you can take and try out.
I'm moving to Evanston in a couple weeks, but still close enough. shoot me a pm
 

squeekieslayer

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Hey, I grew up in evanston, I will actually be in SLC/evanston on the 3-8th of Jan. I have 2 DT frames, one with the regular metal stays and one with the carbon fiber curved back stays. I have one set up with a bunch of pouches and a grab it, one with a DT3 bag and hunting cargo panel, and a DT1 bag.

I would be more than happy to meet you one of those days and let you take a look. Pretty much all the combos of the duplex system you can have except the DT2 bag.

Joe
 
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c5mrr270

c5mrr270

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Thanks for all the offers guys! I live in Heber City so SLC or Evanston is close enough for me so I will keep in touch with you guys. Aron I will also give you a call, hopefully by the end of the week. Thanks again guys.
 

hammer0419

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I have the DT3 and it holds quite a bit more than I had originally thought it would. I can easly get 3-4 days worth of gear in it. I have quite a few pockets and a super nice 2000cui sil nylon bag made by Hills People that I can strap on to my DT3. It is super compressable and only weights 5oz. I could fit all my clothing in the silnylon bag and meat in the main bag.
 
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c5mrr270

c5mrr270

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Based on your above post, I wouldn't go with the DT3. That is cramped for 4 to 5 days of gear and an animal. The DT 1 or 2 series compress down to almost nothing for day hunting, and can expand to take care of all your other types of hunting also. It is much easier to not use the room if you don't need it, than to wish you had more and didn't. I wouldn't go with anything smaller that the DT2 for what you described.

It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to upsize, but I've never come close to maxing out the crew cab, mostly because I hike in water and food early in the season. Also its mostly during the early season archery hunts. However, I would like to start going for longer and in more remote places.
 

RosinBag

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Then upsize....you won't regret it. The times you need the extra room you will be patting yourself on the back. Because if you don't and you need you will be kicking yourself in the a$$.
 

bigeasygator

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I have a KU5200 and it compresses extremely small. If you were packing it to the same size as a 3700 or 2200 it would easily fit as a carry on. I think the pack functions better the more it is packed given the way it's constructed (I have yet to use it in the field) but I think it could easily serve as a daypack as well if needed.
 
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