Wear and Tear SG vs EXO vs Kifaru

Stoke_82

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Mar 27, 2019
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I'm notoriously hard on gear from pants to boots to packs. I'm looking to upgrade my hunting pack from a hiking bag to one of the above mentioned in title.

I mostly do overnight hunts but on occasion stretch it out to max 5 days.

My question is would there be a difference in wear and tear ratings on bags/buckles/frames in anyone's opinion between the listed brands. Unfortunately up here in Canada mail order on all three would be my only option and really isn't an option.

It's not that I don't take care of my gear I just seem to be tough on stuff.

I'm looking for rokslide in the field experience here.

Cheers

STOKE_82
 

GregB

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I've had a Kifaru for about 3 years now and haven't had any issues with durability. I've used it for summer backpacking trips, backpack hunts, packed out a couple deer and an elk, so it's had a fair amount of use. I feel like I can be fairly hard on my gear as well.
 

david_227

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I've tried all 3 of those pack but have the most experience with Kifaru... I have mainly used Kifaru the the last 3 years. Every year I have had a failure but never that I had to stop a hunt (mostly stitching coming apart on heavy loads) I attached some pictures. One other time I had a buckle break. I am pretty hard on stuff too (not intentionally, just seems to happen). I don't really have an opinion if one brand is better than another. Maybe someone will chime in who has more experience with all 3...


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sneaky

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Out of the brands mentioned, SG uses the lightest weight Cordura in their packs. That being said, durability of their gear has never been a concern amongst guys who use them. I've carried EXO packs since 2014, haven't had any issues with buckles, straps, tears, etc. Kifaru users experience will most likely mirror those sentiments. All 3 are much more durable than any of the hiking brand packs. All comes down to personal preference.

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Muleyslayer14

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I used an Exo 3500 for everything last year and recently got a kifaru muskeg 5000. I have nothing against exo their pack did me well. I carried many sheds and animals and backcountry camps in it last year. The zippers are well made, the fabric proved itself durable, the frame is very comfortable. I really enjoyed the ergonomics of the zippers and pockets. So far I have enjoyed the kifaru, however I do have to say it’s more of a “confusing” pack in terms of buckles and changing things off the frame. I’m sure I will become more used to the pack with time. The biggest advantage I see with kifaru over exo is the versatility of the frame and all the options kifaru sells. I think both frames are equally comfortable and distribute weight well. I will say the muskeg is less water resistant than I expected which was a slight let down, I may have gone with a different pack if I knew that.
 

Yellowknife

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I've used SG since the first run for hunting, backpacking, and work. Lots of abuse from ATV's, airline baggage handlers, etc. Usually pack 3-4 animals a year. It's seen some pretty good use.

I have had stitching come loose on a set of shoulder straps, lost a meat sling attachment point one year, and last season I had the velcro fail that holds the frame stays in. Also lost the sternum strap once, and had to get a new one. The only major tear was a hole in the bottom of a bag when using it as a loaded high speed sled down a mountain side. Not really a preventable thing in that instance.

Mine is an early generation pack, and most those issues have been beefed up over the generations with additional bar stitching, etc, and are less likely to occur with the current packs. The only one that had any real effect in the field was the velcro for the stay pockets. I still got the sheep out, but with an effectively shorter frame. They offered to upgrade it to the current style, but I hand stitched them closed and permanently cured the issue.




In the photo you can see the frame stays sticking out the bottom. Essentially making my 26" frame into a 24" frame. With the crossed stays, it couldn't really go further than that, so it was still workable, but certainly less comfortable.

All the other "failures" had enough redundancy built into the system they were of no effect until I could get them back and fixed.
 

Topo_trekker

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Sep 6, 2016
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Northern Colorado
Stitching will be the weak point on all of these packs and with repeated use and abuse with heavy loads it’s bound to happen at some point. All have awesome warranty so unless your unusually tall(Kifaru) I’d go with whatever is closest to home(Fastest shipping if anything ever does happen).


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Jxferg7

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Feb 14, 2019
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I used an Exo 3500 for everything last year and recently got a kifaru muskeg 5000. I have nothing against exo their pack did me well. I carried many sheds and animals and backcountry camps in it last year. The zippers are well made, the fabric proved itself durable, the frame is very comfortable. I really enjoyed the ergonomics of the zippers and pockets. So far I have enjoyed the kifaru, however I do have to say it’s more of a “confusing” pack in terms of buckles and changing things off the frame. I’m sure I will become more used to the pack with time. The biggest advantage I see with kifaru over exo is the versatility of the frame and all the options kifaru sells. I think both frames are equally comfortable and distribute weight well. I will say the muskeg is less water resistant than I expected which was a slight let down, I may have gone with a different pack if I knew that.
This is spot on! Very confusing but the more comfortable you become the more you realize how versatile the Kifaru setup is! I got the Muskeg this year and with that got the OG Lid, Mediun Pouch and Cargo net and has proved to be a great setup using the net with dry bags and the pocket and lid on top when I don’t want to use the muskeg bag.
 

Muleyslayer14

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Nov 20, 2018
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One reason I went with the kifaru this year was I wanted the ultimate shed backpack. I purchased the frame, cargo net, native, two pouches, and water bottle holder. I was able to set the cargo net directly onto the frame and then “rig up” the native to be detachable and sit on top of the cargo net. The thought being I could haul sheds without restricting my bag, which I carry my spotter inside of. The native proved to be smaller than anticipated but it’s enough for 95mm spotter, compressed puffy jacket, possibles pouch, one extra nalgene. I then added the two pouches onto the native for misc gear and the other for food. Everything works great and I can detach the native and run it for a light setup if I want to run down a hill real quick and leave the heavy antlers on top. (Safely hidden of course) attaching the native onto the frame was complicated and it is certainly rigged on there but it’s solid and doesn’t bounce around. Only hiccup I have found is you have to be careful with objects coming in between the frame stays and rubbing on your back, or in my case impaling me when taking a good fall.

Another thought- don’t under estimate the size of the OGL I ordered one not comprehending how large it is, but it is my favorite accessory for the muskeg.
 

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Stoke_82

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Mar 27, 2019
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All good info thanks! I really have been weighting EXO and Kifaru higher as they do have heavy cordura in there construction. I will echo that the Kifaru setup just seems ( from the computer screen ) to be overly complicated.

I get normal wear and tear. I've been using a deuters guide pack for 3 years. Haven't had a puncture mark through the bag yet. Lost a couple buckles and have had some webbing fray out.

I'm really a lot more concerned about frame and bag durability.

Thanks for the photos Mulleyslayer14, Yellowknife, and david_227. Always good to see used equipment in the flesh and how it stands up to being put to work.

Keep it coming
 

SCOGS

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Out of the brands mentioned, SG uses the lightest weight Cordura in their packs.

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This isn't true. SG uses the same 500d cordura that Kifaru and Exo use, with VX-42 X-pac on the pack panel as well as 1" webbing on all compression straps. Exo actually uses a mix of 500d cordura and 420d ripstop with a mix of 1" and 3/4" compression straps. Kifaru's muskeg line uses VX-21 X-pac as well as some 3/4" straps. Seek outside uses more durable VX-42 X-pac in there packs, but all of there compression straps are 3/4".

As far as frames go, I can't imagine anyone breaking an Exo or Kifaru frame. The Exo frame is titanium tubing and Kifaru uses some sort of composite laminate that is extremely strong. SG's frame is not what I would call durable, it is essentially 4 thick carbon arrow stays, but I haven't read any stories that I can recall of anyone breaking a frame. Although, I personally had a broken stay in one of my packs, but have no idea how it happened so I can't conclude anything from that. Seek Outside uses a tubular aluminum that is reasonably strong but not in like with Kifaru and Exo IMO. They all use the same materials in the waist belt and shoulder harness.

The truth is, ive owned Kifaru, SG, Exo, and Seek Outside and they all make comparable pack of comparable durability and they will all stand behind theit product if you have an issue. But, saying SG uses a thinner Cordura simply isn't true.
 
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Mike7

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The stone glacier frame uses carbon and titanium I believe, and is very stiff. I haven't tried to break it, but can't imagine breaking it. In fact, the entire way that the SG frame sheet is put together is impressive. I think the fit for you is the most important amongst these packs.

I like parts of the packs from all three of these companies, and they all make at least subtle changes/improvements every few years it seems.
 

sneaky

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This isn't true. SG uses the same 500d cordura that Kifaru and Exo use, with VX-42 X-pac on the pack panel as well as 1" webbing on all compression straps. Exo actually uses a mix of 500d cordura and 420d ripstop with a mix of 1" and 3/4" compression straps. Kifaru's muskeg line uses VX-21 X-pac as well as some 3/4" straps. Seek outside uses more durable VX-42 X-pac in there packs, but all of there compression straps are 3/4".

As far as frames go, I can't imagine anyone breaking an Exo or Kifaru frame. The Exo frame is titanium tubing and Kifaru uses some sort of composite laminate that is extremely strong. SG's frame is not what I would call durable, it is essentially 4 thick carbon arrow stays, but I haven't read any stories that I can recall of anyone breaking a frame. Although, I personally had a broken stay in one of my packs, but have no idea how it happened so I can't conclude anything from that. Seek Outside uses a tubular aluminum that is reasonably strong but not in like with Kifaru and Exo IMO. They all use the same materials in the waist belt and shoulder harness.

The truth is, ive owned Kifaru, SG, Exo, and Seek Outside and they all make comparable pack of comparable durability and they will all stand behind theit product if you have an issue. But, saying SG uses a thinner Cordura simply isn't true.
I thought SG had originally used 320 Cordura in their bags?

Like I stated earlier, any of these companies will make a more durable pack than any of the hiking companies which cater to the lightweight crowd.

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SCOGS

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Correction on the SG frame... I was referring to the Krux and Evo frames that use straight carbon stays. The X-curve is definately stronger because it uses titanium at the bends to join the carbon rods.

The stone glacier frame uses carbon and titanium I believe, and is very stiff. I haven't tried to break it, but can't imagine breaking it. In fact, the entire way that the SG frame sheet is put together is impressive. I think the fit for you is the most important amongst these packs.

I like parts of the packs from all three of these companies, and they all make at least subtle changes/improvements every few years it seems.
 
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Stoke_82

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I think basically I had been looking at the SG 40/56 with Krux frame. Gave me enough room for an occasion 5 day, packs down for overnighter. Or go full on with a kifaru setup duplex frame + ( I don’t know which bag )

By the sounds of it can’t go wrong with either just wish up here in Canada there was some way to test the packs instead of “buy before you try”

I’ll probably end up buy one of each and returning the other. Can’t thank everyone enough for their input and time helping me out with my questions
 
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Stoke_82

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Just a question regarding the Kifaru gear. What is everyone running for packs with the duplex lite frame?
 

mfllood3800

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I run the AMR, the Fulcrum and the Tahr on the lite.
I have run all 3 on the Duplex Gen 1 and Gen 2 as well.
 

MtGomer

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Dec 18, 2016
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I have about 90 days in Montana’s unlimiteds on my stone glacier, and about another 70 in the same country of backpacking and Scouting, along with another 50 or so elsewhere deer and elk hunting , and i don’t even know how many days just day hiking or loading it up with a sandbag for training. Another 100 easily.
Nothing has ever broken.

Idk how it compares to the other two because I’ve never tried them.
 

goodgrouper

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Somers Montana
I can only vouch for the EXO, I've had the original 3500 since they came out in 2014. carried lots of heavy loads of meat and used it for all my summer backpacking as well, it's still in excellent shape with no damage I can find whatsoever.
 

pods8

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I thought SG had originally used 320 Cordura in their bags?

Like I stated earlier, any of these companies will make a more durable pack than any of the hiking companies which cater to the lightweight crowd.

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I think a couple of their bags are 320 but most are 500d just like the other brands for the body. The rear is on of the thicker xpac materials.
 
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