Thru-Hike Pack??? UL or Lite Kifaru or SG or ???

Joined
Jul 3, 2012
Messages
878
Location
Central Cal
Were it me; and this is what I do every summer. - Skip the thru - hiker forums, skip the z-packs bag made for 20lbs total load and go straight to a pack with a legit waist belt that actually works for more than holding your bag against your back. For a couple extra pounds(at most)you can keep the weight off your shoulders and be much happier.

I run a Bikini frame with a lightweight no frills bag that comes in around 3.5lbs and carries the full size Bear Vault loaded sideways. Something from S.O. or Stone Glacier would be a good choice as well.
 

Kevin_t

Senior Member
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Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
968
Location
Colorado
IMO, many of the UL packs will not give the durability and comfort you are probably used to. I have seen a lot that look pretty ratty, and have heard of frames breaking at 25 lbs etc. Packs more in the 2 .5 lb plus range, should generally perform much better and have the stronger materials and build needed for some longevity. The Sierras also are not the easiest terrrain on packs.
 

beefman

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
748
Location
CO
I run the SO Gila for all my general backpacking and scouting trips and I really could not be happier with the pack. It weighs just under three pounds and, for me, carries heavy loads extremely well. For summer scouting with all the optics and water, its easy to be in the 50lb range for even a short trip. I also use it as my hasty bag for SAR and it works great for that - it seems like I'm always lashing on weirdly shaped items to my backpack and the stout frame really helps distribute the load.

I second the points made above about the comfort and long term durability UL style frameless packs. A few of our SAR members run 2 lb cuben bags and they're all smiles until they need to strap a 100 meter rope to their pack.
 

R_burg

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
424
Location
AZ
R_burg--my SG pack has their newer belt. I did not find it overly comfortable in comparison to the Kifaru and nowhere near as comfortable as my Barney's Frame pack. My Barney's frame pack is simply a cumbersome, but comfy workhorse when it comes to packing heavy loads--so not fair to compare it to the SG. I had a hard time getting the belt adjusted right--tension wise. When I would cinch it down, it would at times slip back far enough to loosen up and sag unless you really overly cinched, which it would then hold tight, but so tight it would cause upper hip pain. It was fine with just camp gear/food/rifle--but once I added a sheep, it was a somewhat miserable packout going back and forth from too loose to too tight. Chalked it up to the pain of success--but admit the closer sheep season gets the more I think about other alternatives. Really liked the bag itself--I can run it like I do my Barney's during moose season with spotter on one side, rifle on the other, and tripod on the back. Plenty of room, relatively lite for the size. Good quality of construction, just couldn't get the webbing to adjust and hold right for me. Maybe user error. Before I abandon it, I should likely call up SG and ask if they had others with similar issues or know how to fix it.

That really stinks. Although I did not own one, I tried their old belt when I was demo'ing packs and didn't like it much. Conversely I like the new belt a lot for me it didn't really lose anything to the Kifaru. Like you, I love the SG bags, they stand out in a crowded marketplace these days (for my particular wants and packing.... Not taking anything away from Kifaru, Exo, MR, or the like).

Hope you can get that dialed in before this season starts.
 
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Wildwillalaska

Wildwillalaska

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
217
Location
Kenai, Alaska
I e-mailed SG today as I also needed a small piece of fabric to patch a hole in the pack--which was my fault. The sharp shale in the Wrangells is pretty unforgiving on fabrics, even cordura. Will let you know what I hear as far as the belt tensioning goes. And it honestly could be user error on my part--maybe just holding my mouth wrong with I try to tension it causing it to slip. May be some little technique/trick to it.
 
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Wildwillalaska

Wildwillalaska

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
217
Location
Kenai, Alaska
Folks at SG were good about getting right back. Sending a patch kit for the hole, and on the belt, they also sent a video link with some tips and tricks to dealing with the tension issue. Seems to address the exact complication--so will give it a try. I can see how one of the tips seems to fix the issue entirely of getting it too tight--which simply shows a way of releasing a very small amount of tension in a controlled manner--anyway, looks to do the trick, so will report after giving it a try.
 
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