Tall guys - Mystery Ranch or Kifaru?

rye_a

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
276
Location
Colorado
I have decided that it is time for me to get serious about a pack system, and I have narrowed my choices to either going with the Kifaru Duplex frame system (specifically the Timberline series )or the Mystery Ranch NICE system (specifically the Wolf Pack). The positives that I have come up with for Kifaru are lower weight and the fact that it is a Colorado company and effectively right up the street for fitting, repairs, etc.(although this means I will pay sales tax). The positives that I have found for Mystery ranch are the design that is more modular and incorporates more exterior pockets and durability (one of my hunting buddies is a Green Beret who has used his MR all over the world and it is still in great shape).

The question that I have is whether one or the other systems works best for tall guys? I'm 6'4", so not ridiculously tall, but having a system that handles heavy loads well and that has functional load lifters is important to me.

So, do you other tall guys recommend the MR or the Kifaru system?
 

stephen b

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Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
489
Location
Mckenzie Valley, Oregon
Both great companies and both make great bombproof packs. But I vote for- Kifaru; and I have had both; and I am not a tall guy ( 5' 81/2"). So for your Ht.- I would definitely say Kifaru. All my MR stuff is sold except for a Military MR bag that fits fantastic on the Kifaru Duplex frame.

Regarding your concerns for modularity and pockets:

The positives that I have found for Mystery ranch are the design that is more modular and incorporates more exterior pockets and durability (one of my hunting buddies is a Green Beret who has used his MR all over the world and it is still in great shape).

As far as modularity- I have found the Kifaru duplex frame to be even more modular- and that was even before they came out with the Timberline bags for it- now it (Kifaru duplex) is even more modular and more choices than MR. And as far as external pocket, you are thinking of the Timberline series- it will actually have more ext. pockets on it than the MR bags. Now internal pockets is another story- MR comes with more (at least their milt. and hunting ones have more). But I am not a fan of a bunch of int. pockets, and I cut almost all of mine out of the MR bags that I have.

Regarding modularity of the duplex frame- here is a thread that I posted regarding bags that work with it:

http://www.rokslide.com/forums/showthread.php?735-The-Kifaru-Duplex-frame-(MMR)-amp-bag-versatility-(one-modular-pack-fans-journey)

Plus if you are a Colorado fella- you will be supporting the local economy- and even with those tax dollars ;^)
 

luke moffat

Administrator
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
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0
I have decided that it is time for me to get serious about a pack system, and I have narrowed my choices to either going with the Kifaru Duplex frame system (specifically the Timberline series )or the Mystery Ranch NICE system (specifically the Wolf Pack). The positives that I have come up with for Kifaru are lower weight and the fact that it is a Colorado company and effectively right up the street for fitting, repairs, etc.(although this means I will pay sales tax). The positives that I have found for Mystery ranch are the design that is more modular and incorporates more exterior pockets and durability (one of my hunting buddies is a Green Beret who has used his MR all over the world and it is still in great shape).

The question that I have is whether one or the other systems works best for tall guys? I'm 6'4", so not ridiculously tall, but having a system that handles heavy loads well and that has functional load lifters is important to me.

So, do you other tall guys recommend the MR or the Kifaru system?
Having owned a duplex frame and used a NICE 6500 for 2 years and hauled out quite a few animals with it, I'd say you at 6'4 would be better served with the taller 26" duplex frame than the NICE frame.

Plus with the advent of the DT series of packs for the Duplex frame the Kifaru Duplex frame is just as modular as the Mystery Ranch or more so as you have 6 different packs that can go on the Long Hunter Duplex frame to chose from plus the cargo panel plus you have 3 different lid options to choose from weighi in between 3.5 to 14oz depending on which one you choose.

The Mystery Ranch NICE frame has 5 different style packs to choose from plus the load sling (similar application to the Kifaru Cargo Panel) plus only one lid option that weighs in at 17 oz.

With that said, both companies are wonderful with top notch customer service. I really liked my NICE 6500 when using the NICE 6500 bag with the frame extension built into the pack, with the longbow and load sling though I found the frame too short for me and I'm only 5'9. That coupled with the fact that the NICE 6500 is 40% heavier with 700 less cubic inches and doesn't haul the weight as well (for me) made me go Kifaru.
 

DaveS

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
238
Location
Kalispell, MT
I'm 6'2" and I had a NICE frame with both the Crewcab and Wolfpack bags. The NICE frame on its own and with the Crewcab had the same shoulder lift as my Kifaru G1 Late Season which is 21". They both started feeling uncomfortable at around 50-60 lbs. The Wolfpack has "frame extenders" built into the bag providing shoulder lift closer to 26" - similar to a Kifaru duplex frame or T1/T2. The NICE 6500 and 7500 bags have the "frame extenders" as well while the Longbow does not. I sold my NICE frame and went with Kifaru. I also prefer the Kifaru belt and lumbar pad over the NICE frame.

I will say that the NICE Wolfpack is a great setup because you can put the Wolf Alpha on the NICE frame in two positions. In the lower position the Wolf Alpha makes a great low profile day pack. In the upper position it has the shoulder lift to carry heavy weight comfortably for a tall guy. I think the Wolfpack is a great hunting pack.

With the introduction of the Duplex Timberlines along with the Cargo panel and all the external pockets I believe that Kifaru has the edge on modularity. Also Kifaru packs are right up there with Mystery Ranch on durability.
 
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sreekers

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,254
Location
Wyoming
I picked Kifaru over MR for exactly the reasons you are wanting. I'm just under 6'5" and had a very hard time finding a pack that could get me functional shoulder lift. The Duplex frame does, and Like Luke said you have 6 different options from the hunting line, and I am almost positive that the MMR bag will fit as well.

I put a MR Daypack Lid on my Longhunter because I liked the design, so as far as versatility goes I think the Duplex has it spot on.
 

ohhiitznik

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,677
Location
Rochester Hills, MI
I have decided that it is time for me to get serious about a pack system, and I have narrowed my choices to either going with the Kifaru Duplex frame system (specifically the Timberline series )or the Mystery Ranch NICE system (specifically the Wolf Pack). The positives that I have come up with for Kifaru are lower weight and the fact that it is a Colorado company and effectively right up the street for fitting, repairs, etc.(although this means I will pay sales tax). The positives that I have found for Mystery ranch are the design that is more modular and incorporates more exterior pockets and durability (one of my hunting buddies is a Green Beret who has used his MR all over the world and it is still in great shape).


The question that I have is whether one or the other systems works best for tall guys? I'm 6'4", so not ridiculously tall, but having a system that handles heavy loads well and that has functional load lifters is important to me.

So, do you other tall guys recommend the MR or the Kifaru system?


I'm 6'4 as well, I use a kifaru and I get plenty of lift. I can even wear it below my hip bones and get lift from it. Although I wear my pack somewhat high because my hip bones are high up. fear not with kifaru, itll fit you.
 

stephen b

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
489
Location
Mckenzie Valley, Oregon
One other thing that came to mind after I posted above; and was actually more of an issue for me regarding these two companies frames- at that is the shape of the frame and the stay style.

The MR NICE frame is a very tough straight type of frame. It has (2) vertical lateral stays and (1) vertical midline stay (all which are straight- no curve to them whatsoever ). The frame also has (3) horizontal stays- top, middle cross one and one lower- again, these have no curve to them. The comfort of the frame seems to depend on the frame's center padded section, the shoulder yoke, and the hipbelt;- it does not depend on any stay curvature for comfort. Really, to me I think of the MR frame as an- all be it, updated upgraded straight - packboard, with padding.

For me, it was the loss of curvature to the MR frame that was it's undoing. My back has a fairly classic athletic curvature to it. And it struggled with the lack of any curve to that center vertical stay and the straight center horizontal cross stay. It hit me right in the center of my mid- thoracic spine; right where a normal spine curves backwards. And I began to hate ( I know-strong word) that about that frame. And I eventually knew I needed to move on.

The Kifaru duplex frame has (2) parallel vertical stays that are mounted on a high density plastic sheet. It is more flexible than the MR frame, but still allows you to. Carry heavy loads. The stays have a curvature to them; the composite ones have a pre-formed set curve to them- for what Kifaru says "normal" shaped spines. Those work fine for me. Kifaru also has aluminum stays that work for straighter spines, or can be bent more than the composite ones if someone needs more of a curve.

So, to me the Kifaru has it all over MR when it comes to frame versatility. You can have your choice of frame Ht.; your choice of stay material, and you can get a stay that bends for your specific back.

For me, that worked with the Kifaru frame. I still had my MR Nice frame when I received my Kifaru duplex frame. It took me one try on of the frame and then (2) walk abouts with it on to decide it was a keeper, and that the nice frame was going to find a new home. One load was with 110 lbs. and one was with 35 lbs ( to simulate a load out and a bivy load)- and both were a lot more comfortable with the duplex frame. The frame carried the hvy. wt. very well, and it was also more comfortable and flexible with the lighter load than the MR one was for me.

just my 2+ cents ( and maybe what it's worth)
 

sreekers

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,254
Location
Wyoming
Another reason that I went with Kifaru over MR was the breathability. MR has the flat panel that Stephen B mentions, and very accurately describes. Because comfort is made from padding it hast to cover the whole of the back. For a tall guy thats a LOT of insulation over the top of clothing that already works to keep in warmth.

Kifaru has the two pads which cover plenty of space, and the belt/lumbar pad which work great. The difference is that air can get through and breath and I am a whole lot less sweaty after a 1500 foot ascent.

For me this was a big deal, for others it might not even matter.
 
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