The Ultimate Backcountry Pack for a 10 Day Alpine Hunt

Matt W.

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A do it all backpack means different things to different folks.. I've been researching packs with a vengeance the last year or so as I search for MY ultimate pack. I looked at Mystery Ranch, KUIU, Kifaru, Osprey, REI, Used Dana Designs, Barney's, and a few others. I wanted a pack that felt like it was snug to my back when climbing and twisting in rough Alpine country, and more importantly could handle 80lb+ loads with some reasonable comfort and capacity.

Its not in my budget to purchase each of these packs and try them out (I let Luke do that). :)
As such all I have really been able to do is read what others have used them for and combine that with a bit of hands on here and there.

The Timberline pack really intrigued me, but from what I have read a more sturdy frame would be better suited to MY chosen use. Plus I like the optionality of being able to take different bags on and off of a frame. I explored a variety of internals and just kept coming back to a frame...

My research is leading me to the Kifaru EMR Platform Frame (In Coyote Brown or Multicam) as my choice of frame. Its burly, yet somewhat light (debating Composite Stays), and been around long enough to be proven. For a pack bag the Longhunter seems overly simple (probably by design). I wanted the added features that many packs have. A modified Timberline or something similar on the EMR frame was my mental build.

I saw the thread on here by "stephen b"
http://www.rokslide.com/forums/showthread.php?735-The-Kifaru-Duplex-frame-(MMR)-amp-bag-versatility-(one-modular-pack-fans-journey)
This spurred me on in this effort. I have heard rumors that Kifaru may be designing a modified Timberline bag for the Kifaru frame. While this interests me, I was highly intrigued by the KUIU Pack Bags. I have tried the ICON frame on and it just did not feel right on MY back. However, the 6000 pack bag (at 48ozs) was clearly designed by a hunter for a hunter.

If purchased the EMR Platform Frame, went with the Composite Stays and ordered the ICON 6000 pack bag I would have a 7lb pack, that although not the lightest pack around it would have the right combo of attributes I am looking for. There a lot of straps on the ICON 6000 pack bag so if a guy really wanted too I am sure one could find a few things to cut and save a few ounces here and there..

I am hoping that there are two guys out there who know each other and have the two packs (ICON 6000 bag and a Kifaru Frame) and can try to attach them together for me. In my little day dream they would even throw some loads in them and see what they thought.. :)

Anyone out there have the time and gear lined up to help me out? :) It would be greatly appreciated. If not perhaps I'll just nut up and buy them.. I'm fairly sure I could return the ICON bag as KUIU's customer service is great if I could not get them to mate up and stephen b's thread shows options galore exist for the frame.....

Look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments...
 

bowhnter7

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I love the way the EMR type frame sheet feels on my back, downside is obviously the weight. I also think the idea of some sort of multi sized hunting specific bags to go on and off a somewhat lighter frame sheet would be awesome idea.
 

cmeier117

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I have a Timberline and I can tell you it carries 120 lbs better than I thought any pack could. If you were carrying Moose Quarters or a bunch of quarters all the time I could possibly see where the Duplex frame from Kifaru would be a wee bit better but they carry the same from what people have said. It sounds like you need to email Aron or PM him. I know he has both those packs and may be able to answer your questions better. I would try a Timberline 1 but that is just me. I look forward to seeing if you can attach a Icon 6000 to the frame. Good luck!
 

bowhnter7

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I have a Timberline and I can tell you it carries 120 lbs better than I thought any pack could. If you were carrying Moose Quarters or a bunch of quarters all the time I could possibly see where the Duplex frame from Kifaru would be a wee bit better but they carry the same from what people have said. It sounds like you need to email Aron or PM him. I know he has both those packs and may be able to answer your questions better. I would try a Timberline 1 but that is just me. I look forward to seeing if you can attach a Icon 6000 to the frame. Good luck!
I'm not saying the Timberline series can't do what your talking about......currently I have two at my house.

BUT.

I did try on the duplex frame and to me there is a big difference in feel from the frame sheet and the two individual stays. Everyone is different but to me I liked the feel of the frame sheet over the two indy stays.

I would say this if it was 120 pounds or 50 pounds. Both packs can do the job but your prolly right the frame sheet is going to haul more weight better. For me it wasn't about that it was about the fit I was looking for.
 

cmeier117

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I'm not saying the Timberline series can't do what your talking about......currently I have two at my house.

BUT.

I did try on the duplex frame and to me there is a big difference in feel from the frame sheet and the two individual stays. Everyone is different but to me I liked the feel of the frame sheet over the two indy stays.

I would say this if it was 120 pounds or 50 pounds. Both packs can do the job but your prolly right the frame sheet is going to haul more weight better. For me it wasn't about that it was about the fit I was looking for.
I would love to try a duplex frame sometime! I am sure it carries loads extremely well! The frame sheet would provide some more support and stability I suppose.
 

bowhnter7

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I would love to try a duplex frame sometime! I am sure it carries loads extremely well! The frame sheet would provide some more support and stability I suppose.
I'm a fan of the frame sheet even on other packs. Some Gregory packs have a stay inside a simple frame sheet and it totally changes the feel. I think Kuiu was on the right track with the frame sheet and the carbon I just think the carbon is too much of a liability.

The composite stays inside some sort of lightweight sheet to cut some of the weight and interchangeable bags would be a hit.
 

cmeier117

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I'm a fan of the frame sheet even on other packs. Some Gregory packs have a stay inside a simple frame sheet and it totally changes the feel. I think Kuiu was on the right track with the frame sheet and the carbon I just think the carbon is too much of a liability.

The composite stays inside some sort of lightweight sheet to cut some of the weight and interchangeable bags would be a hit.
I have not seen a Icon frame in person but if they could have done a Carbon Fiber/Aluminum hybrid frame it could help with the durability and rigidity for load hauling maybe. Some people are fans of the frame sheet style packs. You will never know until you try it.
 

sreekers

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I have the EMR frame and LOVE it. So far I have gotten it up to roughly 65lbs with the Longhunter Guide up some steep country and its done really well. I haven't figured out a way to duplicate meat yet, but am working on that.

I also bought the Cargo panel for the express purpose of load hauling from the truck in some of the areas I do day long archery hunts for elk. I can attach E&E for a pocket and call it good. With the MR Daypack Lid I have three solid pocket sizes and a place for my water bladder. Works out pretty well.

I haven't tried on a Timberline, and thought long and hard about which pack to get. Ultimately it came down to the fact that I can take the frame off and it adds some versatility.
 

DaveS

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I have a Longhunter (hunting version of EMR duplex frame) and I once had an ICON 6000 but not both at the same time. I really like the ICON 6000 bag and I'm very intrigued about putting one on a duplex frame after reading about the idea in Stephen's post so I viewed some of the Kuiu YouTube videos on attaching and detaching ICON bags to verify if it could work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrT3Dyh9lts&feature=related

What I've determined is that the ICON bag will probably need to be modified in order to attach the top of the bag to the duplex frame. Just connecting it with horizontal straps will not be work if the intent is to carry heavy weight.

The ICON bags have narrow slot pockets at the top that slip over the carbon stays of the ICON frame. These slot pockets are too narrow to fit over the duplex frame so some other method is needed to attach the ICON bag to the top of the duplex frame.

One method is to "hang" the bag from the 1 inch loops on the top of the duplex frame. In looking at the videos and pictures of the bag I don't believe there are any buckles or loops at the top of the bag that can be used for this. There might be some buckles for attaching the top lid but I would be concerned that these are not sewn to the bag in such a way as to support a heavy load. I believe it's possible to hand sew some loops to the bag that are strong enough.

Another approach is to do what was done to this pack to get it to work on a duplex frame http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=28876

I'm interested enough in the idea that I'm looking for a used ICON 6000 bag to try it out.
 

Aron Snyder

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A few months ago several people asked me to do this....I have tried it and it didn't come out the way I hoped:)

If someone was a competent sewer and had access to the webbing and buckles needed to morph them together....it could be done, but it wouldn't be perfect.

I'm guessing a Timberline bag on a Kifaru frame would work for you. If I was to guess, the weight of a Duplex frame and T1 bag would hit the scale at 7lbs 4oz's. This weight could probably be cut down to 7 lbs with a few mods at home.
 
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Matt W.

Matt W.

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A few months ago several people asked me to do this....I have tried it and it didn't come out the way I hoped:)

If someone was a competent sewer and had access to the webbing and buckles needed to morph them together....it could be done, but it wouldn't be perfect.

I'm guessing a Timberline bag on a Kifaru frame would work for you. If I was to guess, the weight of a Duplex frame and T1 bag would hit the scale at 7lbs 4oz's. This weight could probably be cut down to 7 lbs with a few mods at home.
Can one get a Timberline bag without buying the Timberline pack?
What didn't you like about the way it turned out?
What do you mean by not being perfect?

Thanks!
 

DaveS

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The composite stays inside some sort of lightweight sheet to cut some of the weight and interchangeable bags would be a hit.
I've had the same thought and lately I've been playing around with the idea of a KU duplex frame. I have a KU 3700 with an upgraded belt (5200 belt) and it carries 90 lbs very comfortably yet weighs under 3 lbs. This made be wonder how much weight could be saved if Kifaru's "KU" concepts were applied to a duplex frame.

I decided to compare the KU waist belt and shoulder straps to the duplex ones to see how much savings would exist. Here is what I found.

KU medum duplex waist belt - 8 1/2 oz
KU shoulder straps - 6 1/4 oz
Total is 14 3/4 oz

Longhunter medium duplex waist belt - 12oz
Longhunter shoulder straps - 10 oz
Total is 22 oz

Just using the KU waist belt and shoulder straps saves almost 1/2 lb.

I believe more weight can be saved by using the KU lumbar pad and raised torso pads and by using a thinner frame sheet or putting some holes in the existing one.

I could easily see a KU duplex frame having the same functionality, load bearing capability and basic feel as the current one but a pound or so lighter.
 

RosinBag

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I also tried to put the Kuiu bag in the Kifaru frame. It just doesn't go well together. If you are certain you have to have Kifaru frame, which is the best, buy a longhunter for now. I would guess at some point there will be other bags to fit that frame. The longhunter bag is not that expensive as a bag only. Trying to put two different companies products together usually ends up jacked up. You will will never buy another pack once you get into a Kifaru frame and suspension.
 

Aron Snyder

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Can one get a Timberline bag without buying the Timberline pack?
What didn't you like about the way it turned out?
What do you mean by not being perfect?

Thanks!
It looked rigged, webbing is different sizes, angles are wrong coming off compression straps, upper frame doesn't fit in hypalon material....and I'm sure I forgot something.

Like I said, it could be done, but you'll need to do some custom mods to make it work... half A$$....at best:)
 

cmeier117

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If someone wanted the Duplex frame but wanted a bag similar looking to the Timberline what are the options for putting pockets on longhunter bag? A couple long pockets and belt pouches?
 

sreekers

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If someone wanted the Duplex frame but wanted a bag similar looking to the Timberline what are the options for putting pockets on longhunter bag? A couple long pockets and belt pouches?
I have put a long pocket on each side of my Longhunter, and the E&E on back. It works well, but I still wish that I had integrated LP's on the side, would make life a lot simpler.
 

DaveS

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cmeier,

I ordered a small belt for my Longhunter and received a T1 belt. The new duplex belts fit both the Timberline packs and the duplex frame. As far as I can tell you should be able to attach long pockets to a Longhunter bag.
 
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Matt W.

Matt W.

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It looked rigged, webbing is different sizes, angles are wrong coming off compression straps, upper frame doesn't fit in hypalon material....and I'm sure I forgot something.

Like I said, it could be done, but you'll need to do some custom mods to make it work... half A$$....at best:)
Bummer... Wonder if we get get Jason and KUIU to design the next pack bag for Kifaru.. Now that would be sweet.. Either that or the folks at Kifaru take a look the ICON and tweak it. Its not perfect, but its the best pack bag out there in terms of functionality, IMO. I like the VIAS pattern and it would be quite the pack to have...
 
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