Stone Glacier EVO 3300

prm

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So, I went 0 for all in the draws this year for any back country hunts. Good time to purge and try some new things. I have a Kuiu Pro 3600, Mystery Ranch Mule, and a Kifaru Stryker XL. I am a fan of using as small and lightweight a pack as possible, and for that I like the Kuiu or MR. I also like the flexibility of an easy to use load shelf. Place camp gear in a bag, drop it in and go, then remove once in the mountains and begin hunting. For that, the Kifaru is excellent. MR is good too in that regard. The ease of use on the Kuiu ‘load shelf‘ is not great. Looking at the SG EVO 3300, it appears to have an easy to use load shelf in a lightweight, capable frame. Given the condition if my back, and getting a little older, I don’t anticipate hauling both meat and camp so big voluminous bags are not for me. Hard for me to imagine going over 80-100 lbs ever. My 5-day load is a little under ~50lbs when rifle is included.

Has anyone loaded the SG with a few days of stuff for an October mountain hunt? Overall experience with the pack? Seem like a bombproof pack?
 

fatlander

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It’s hard to call any pack other than a kifaru bombproof after owning a kifaru. Not to snub my nose at SG or EXO, but they’re just not on the same level of materials. I’m currently running a SG Sky 5900. Love the fit of the pack, replaced every buckle on it with hardware from kifaru. Broke more SG buckles in 3 months than I did in 3 years of use and abuse with my kiffy.


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prm

prm

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It’s hard to call any pack other than a kifaru bombproof after owning a kifaru. Not to snub my nose at SG or EXO, but they’re just not on the same level of materials. I’m currently running a SG Sky 5900. Love the fit of the pack, replaced every buckle on it with hardware from kifaru. Broke more SG buckles in 3 months than I did in 3 years of use and abuse with my kiffy.


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I do appreciate the toughness of the Kifaru. I recall picking up my meat loaded pack by one strap and thinking about the odd forces being applied to straps and buckles and how easy it would be to break something. I look at the Kuiu, and just can’t imagine it is as durable. Tiny buckles and straps. I’m not real concerned about a pack failing once I’m carrying it. Buckles and zippers need to be robust.
Also, before any mentions it, I did watch the backpack tests. Well done, but they don’t cover the EVO frame or 3300 bag.
 

fatlander

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I do appreciate the toughness of the Kifaru. I recall picking up my meat loaded pack by one strap and thinking about the odd forces being applied to straps and buckles and how easy it would be to break something. I look at the Kuiu, and just can’t imagine it is as durable. Tiny buckles and straps. I’m not real concerned about a pack failing once I’m carrying it. Buckles and zippers need to be robust.
Also, before any mentions it, I did watch the backpack tests. Well done, but they don’t cover the EVO frame or 3300 bag.

I prefer the straight back profile of the EVO frame as opposed to the Xcruve. Tried them both on side by side in Bozeman last year the day after packing a bull out with my duplex light with normal stays.

Ended up ordering an xcurve frame with the EVO stays.


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Dos Perros

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What do Kifaru materials get you that an SG doesn't?

Looking a the Kifaru frame: it's covered in nylon packcloth. X-pac, which is what SG uses, is a superior material in every way, albeit it's probably a little heavier and certainly more expensive. Kifaru does have a beefy frame sheet, likely 1/8" HDPE. That does add a lot of rigidity, and weight. To me this is the most significant difference between Kifaru and competitors. SG has a flimsy frame sheet, 1/16" or thinner HDPE (likely). Kifaru uses composite stays. I think there is a good chance the stays are more robust than SG's carbon fiber stays; has anyone ever broken an SG stay? I put mine on a dirt bike and throw it all over the place, I don't worry about it.

Looking at the Kifaru bags: they're 500D Cordura or a mix of Cordura and X-pac. Same deal as SG bags.

The nylon webbing, buckles, other hardware are comparable.

I would suspect the foam in the SG is more durable, just from personal experience with both frames.
 

Dos Perros

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@prm I have both an SG X-Curve and a Kifaru Tactical frame. Both are very nice products. When I want to be light no doubt I'm grabbing the SG. If I kill something a ways from the trailhead I might go back for load #2 with the Kifaru because I think the taller belt helps it carry weight better. If I could only have one it would be the SG, because it fits my style of hunting better.
 
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fatlander

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What do Kifaru materials get you that an SG doesn't?

Looking a the Kifaru frame: it's covered in nylon packcloth. X-pac, which is what SG uses, is a superior material in every way, albeit it's probably a little heavier and certainly more expensive. Kifaru does have a beefy frame sheet, likely 1/8" HDPE. That does add a lot of rigidity, and weight. To me this is the most significant difference between Kifaru and competitors. SG has a flimsy frame sheet, 1/16" or thinner HDPE (likely). Kifaru uses composite stays. I think there is a good chance the stays are more robust than SG's carbon fiber stays; has anyone ever broken an SG stay? I put mine on a dirt bike and throw it all over the place, I don't worry about it.

Looking at the Kifaru bags: they're 500D Cordura or a mix of Cordura and X-pac. Same deal as SG bags.

The nylon webbing, buckles, other hardware are comparable.

I would suspect the foam in the SG is more durable, just from personal experience with both frames.

When they’re side by side, it’s apparent.

Kifaru everything is just more robust. The cordura might be the same spec on paper but it’s heavier in real life. Kifaru’s buckles are heads and tails better. Kifaru’s attachment points of sewn in webbing on the bags are more robust than SG’s. Kifaru uses beefier zippers.

I never once felt like I could break my kifaru. I feel like I can break my SG xcurve stays without much effort. Meaning I could snap the stays where the load lifters attached if I wanted to, by hand. I don’t think I could break the Kifaru frame without some tools. I never thought twice about a stitch popping on my kifaru. I check my SG all the time after I tighten the snot out of something.

There’s a reason the kiffy packs weigh a few pounds more. They’re built different. Period.


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Dos Perros

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The cordura might be the same spec on paper but it’s heavier in real life.

Do you really believe this? Why?

What makes the buckles different, better?

I'll admit I haven't looked at the zippers in detail, I would guess them to be the same as far as size/weight/durability. I do recall SG has that 'waterproof' kind of zipper where the Kifaru doesn't.
 

fatlander

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Do you really believe this? Why?

What makes the buckles different, better?

I'll admit I haven't looked at the zippers in detail, I would guess them to be the same as far as size/weight/durability. I do recall SG has that 'waterproof' kind of zipper where the Kifaru doesn't.

You can feel it with your hands.

When comparing the kifaru stuff I have/had (44 mag, reckoning, tactical duplex, duplex light, shape charge, belt pockets, Sherman pockets, and water bottle holster) to my SG stuff (sky 5900, accessory pouch and SG bottle pocket) it’s apparent. Everything is heavier and better reinforced: the material itself(cordura and webbing), the connection points, the zippers, the buckles.

I broke more SG buckles in 3 months than I did in 3 years if exclusively running a kifaru. Broke 3 SG buckles in 3 months. I broke one auto lock function of a Kifaru buckle in 3 years and it still functioned.

I’m a fan of the SG, it’s what going to be on my back in the mountains this fall. A decent amount of their clothes are also going to be on my back.


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Dos Perros

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Agree to disagree on the fabric, to me it's the same stuff. Not willing to cut up a couple bags to debate it though. :)

I'll have to look deeper at the buckles. I've never broken a buckle except for a Kuiu waist buckle many years ago. I haven't been able to find published performance specs on Duraflex or ITW Nexus hardware; I would expect to be able to find weight and rated weight capacity, but I have tried and so far failed. That's interesting you perceive a difference because I would guess the difference and cost and weight are negligible, so both companies would be likely to pick the higher performer.

Construction, sure there could be differences. The Kifaru certainly benefits in that a lot of the hardware attachments are sewn through the HDPE. I'm not sure if that adds performance but I could see how it feels more rigid and stronger.

I've been thinking about ways to objectively test this stuff, but not sure I have the stomach to purposely break a nice piece of kit just to see, especially considering both do the job I ask them to do quite well.
 
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prm

prm

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This is a case of comparing two very, very good pack brands. The only time I am really concerned about durability is when I am picking it up by one strap when fully loaded. Perhaps I shouldn't do it that way…. Of course zippers and seams can be an issue, but I’m less concerned there.

Is the SG 3300 more robust than a Kuiu? Some element of subjectivity there I suppose.
 
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prm

prm

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I just played with the Kuiu pack to use it like a load shelf. Certainly not as easy as the Kifaru and the Kuiu ends up with multiple little buckles supporting the weight. Seems like a series of weak points. Not really a true load shelf.
Watched a few videos of the Stone Glacier. It at least has a real load shelf, thats a good thing. But using it is a much more complicated process than the Kifaru. The whole removing the load lifters and separating the pack is much more involved. The load shelf concept seems more like an after thought rather than a design intent. I say this without having actually done it myself, so take with a grain of salt.
 
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Dos Perros

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Is the SG 3300 more robust than a Kuiu? Some element of subjectivity there I suppose.

Yes I think so. 500D and Xpac vs 300D (or maybe it's 330D). Also SG uses 1" straps and Kuiu 3/4". There have been mentions of catastrophic failures of the Kuiu frame at the top, although I don't really get it myself, those things are pretty beefy. But I think no doubt the SG should be more robust than the Kuiu, really no debate there.
 
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Jethro

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The load shelf concept seems more like an after thought rather than a design intent. I say this without having actually done it myself, so take with a grain of salt.
I've never got the impression that anything with SG packs was an afterthought.

I have no experience with any other packs you mentioned, but SG. The load shelf procedure takes a couple practice runs and the first time in the field you'll most likely still wonder "how did I do that before". But after couple times its no problems. Provides solid weight carrying and functional load lifters.

I still use Sky 5100 and original Krux. So my strap configuration is slightly different than what's available now. Use it all year long, and it gets no special treatment. Never broke a buckle or tore a strap or had any issues. 2 holes in bag from trek pole puncture. Tenacious tape fixed those.
 
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prm

prm

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The Kifaru Stryker requires the user to unbuckle 2 and loosen another 2-4 buckles, drop load in, re connect the same 2 buckles to where they were connected. No messing with load lifters or straps under the bag. It couldn’t be easier. Hence my being somewhat baffled at how Kuiu and SG went about it.
I agree that with some practice the SG will be fine, it just seems more complicated than necessary.
 

fatlander

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The Kifaru Stryker requires the user to unbuckle 2 and loosen another 2-4 buckles, drop load in, re connect the same 2 buckles to where they were connected. No messing with load lifters or straps under the bag. It couldn’t be easier. Hence my being somewhat baffled at how Kuiu and SG went about it.
I agree that with some practice the SG will be fine, it just seems more complicated than necessary.

The striker is basically just a load sling with a small pocket on it, that’s how they’re able to make that work.

For the bigger (backpacking sized) packs, their load shelf actually pales in comparison to SG. I much prefer SG’s load shelf design than the shelf that was on my reckoning and 44 mag.


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prm

prm

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Just found Robbie’s review. Seemed to work well for him.

Will add one accessory pocket and the water bottle holder. I do not prefer lids.
 
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prm

prm

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Has anyone carried a camp bag in the SG3300? Curious how a bag with my tent, food, etc would work on their load shelf. Everything I would carry while hunting would always be in the main bag (first aid, water filtration, extra jacket, kill kit, misc. supplies kit, etc.). My current setup allows me to drop off camp bag, and be ready to hunt in very little time. I am not sure if the shelf would support a camp bag setup very well or of it is more suited to wrapping around meat.
 

Fjellvei

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What do Kifaru materials get you that an SG doesn't?

Looking a the Kifaru frame: it's covered in nylon packcloth. X-pac, which is what SG uses, is a superior material in every way, albeit it's probably a little heavier and certainly more expensive. Kifaru does have a beefy frame sheet, likely 1/8" HDPE. That does add a lot of rigidity, and weight. To me this is the most significant difference between Kifaru and competitors. SG has a flimsy frame sheet, 1/16" or thinner HDPE (likely). Kifaru uses composite stays. I think there is a good chance the stays are more robust than SG's carbon fiber stays; has anyone ever broken an SG stay? I put mine on a dirt bike and throw it all over the place, I don't worry about it.

Looking at the Kifaru bags: they're 500D Cordura or a mix of Cordura and X-pac. Same deal as SG bags.

The nylon webbing, buckles, other hardware are comparable.

I would suspect the foam in the SG is more durable, just from personal experience with both frames.
+++ X-PAC on the SG load shelf is so nice. I appreciate the robust materials used strategically vs an entire sack of packcloth
 

Cant hit em

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The SG meat shelf is awesome design , I had the OG Krux frame and liked It. With the Kifaru i don’t even bother with the meat shelf i toss meat in the pack. You cant go wrong with either company they are both top notch gear, it just comes down to what fits your body type best.
 
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