Why do Kifaru owners hate load shelves?

sndmn11

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Mar 28, 2017
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Morrison, Colorado
Still use a Kifaru Longhunter from 2000 with a Cargo Chair as my bear hunting backpack...and as a loner pack when friends or family hunt with me. Still in OK shape too despite packing a bunch of CO elk, then moose, caribou, bears, deer etc in BC. Cargo chair carries the meat low unless its a big critter with bone in, but was a good option in my opinion. Usually with a bear the chair to further confine the qtrs that are in the bag. Chair adds a lot of rigidity to the load.

My main pack is a Kifaru Reckoning with a meat shelf...which works well.

Did the long hunter's have the cargo chair on the back? We had siwash and late season packs from 2003ish where the cargo chair attached on the back of the pack, and between the short stays and the location of the cargo chair, packing meat was grueling.

Somehow I found the Kodak pics.
PXL_20220627_174908310~2.jpg PXL_20220627_175023490~2.jpg
 
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Poser

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Dec 27, 2013
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Durango CO
Yea, after Gen 1 they stopped. I just had to replace the belt and shoulder straps on my Gen 1 frame after I rolled past 40 animals on the frame. Exo makes good stuff, their bag layouts are by far the best, IMO.

They still have Gen 1 components laying around? My harness is getting pretty worn.


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S.Clancy

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Jan 28, 2015
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Montana
They still have Gen 1 components laying around? My harness is getting pretty worn.


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They did as of March. I talked to Jake, they have a K3 hipbelt conversion to the first gen, harness is a bit tougher, but he got me one. Mine basically felt like rope it was so worn out, the replacement did wonders.
 

Blockcaver

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Sep 9, 2012
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BC
Did the long hunter's have the cargo chair on the back? We had siwash and late season packs from 2003ish where the cargo chair attached on the back of the pack, and between the short stays and the location of the cargo chair, packing meat was grueling.

Somehow I found the Kodak pics.
View attachment 423510 View attachment 423511

Yup, the chair I rarely sat on! Too much hassle to turn it around as a chair.

I used the pack this morning to pack out my archery bear! I use the "chair" to cinch up very snug around the pack bottom with the meat in the bag...forcing more of the meat weight higher up in the pack. Worked fine again this year, Short pack out but heavy as heck.
 

WV Mountaineer

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Oct 2, 2016
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2,124
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West Virginia
Hey, I just got my first Kifaru pack. I've been a backpacker for a long time and have always tried to go light/spartan. Due to this, I decided on the 26" duplex light frame and a woodsman bag. The woodsman will be bigger than any pack I've used for multi day backpack trips.

Now that I am a hunter, I figure I'll more than likely be using the pack as a day pack after I drop off my camp. The majority of the year, I'll be using this pack in daypack mode. If I do get an animal down I figure I'll just pack up camp in the bag and use the load shelf for the meat. The first... or last trip is really the only time i'll have both meat and camp items on my back. Obviously I'll have to make multiple trips as I'm hunting elk and I'm usually solo or with one buddy. Seems like a great system to me, using the shelf. Keeps the weight against your pack and keeps your bag clean.

Am I missing something? Bored at work and already thinking about next year as I didn't see a single elk after spending 6 days in the mountains this year.
It’s been my experience that it takes more care to load the meat in the shelf properly without bulging the frame. Most of the weight gets easily packed too low unless you take care to strap it properly to prevent that.


Throwing meat in the bag makes it easier to strap weight higher if you have anything in the bag. I much prefer that but, I carry more deer then anything. They come out in one trip. So, I don’t want to put that hot meat in my bag. Wild game are like fish. The quicker it cools the better it tastes.
 

RockyMnt Hunter

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Aug 7, 2022
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11
I actually went to a kifaru pack- Stryker XL- just for the load shelf. I started out with an aluminum freighter frame, them moved up to an Eberlestock J107 Dragonfly 10 years ago. The Eberlestock was a huge step up in comfort, but it was a pain to get a whole hind elk quarter into and out of the main compartment. I pack everything out on the bone so I don't really want it in my pack anyway.
 
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