backpack advice..PLEASE HELP

Revharvey9576

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Aug 7, 2011
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Alright..I'm a newbie to backcountry hunts. However I've been doing pots of research and physical conditioning.

Obviously Kifaru and Mystery Ranch are the favs.

SO...on a very limited beginner budget would you buy a Mystery Ranch Multicam or the Military Gen II ILBE pack?

The latter is the cheaper of the two but has good reviews for the price.
 

Revharvey9576

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Aug 7, 2011
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Forgot to mention...we are planning a WY mule deer hunt in 1-2 yrs (currently have 3 pps) after our antelope trip this year. Hope to archery elk within next 3 years
 

Jwill

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On a very limited budget, I would look on craigslist until I found a good deal on an older backpacking pack.
 

StrutNut

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Go to REI or a similar retailer and get your torso measured. Thats a great place to start as without know that number you might get the wrong size pack and even the best pack will be uncomfortable. I too was on a budget and I only plan on hunting west a few times so spending $600 on a backpack didnt seem like a great idea for someone with a limited budget. I got my Torso measured and ended up with an Eberlestock Blue Widow and really like the pack. Having said that if I started to hunt west more often I would spend the money on a very good pack with properly adjusted load lifters.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Lots of ways to skin the cat. I've done a boat load of backpacking and a lot of backpack hunts. I've used Arc'teryx, HMG, Dana, Lowe Alpine, Kifaru, REI, Mystery Ranch, and Stone Glacier.

For $250 and under I'd look for a used Dana, in fact there is a Dana external on the 24hourcampfire right now for like $150. Any decent backpacking pack will work, I just like how they're built.
Used MR's are infinitely easier to find than used Kifaru or Stone Glacier just 'cause there way are more out there. $400-$450 should get you in the game no problem if you watch the forums.

Kinda just depends on what you want, but given you haven't done it a bunch yet I'd go budget on the front end and dial in your big pack purchase down the road. Good luck and have fun!

And +1 on getting a torso measurement.
 

brymoore

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I have all three packs you mention at my house. ILBE is third by a good margin to the other two packs. The other two packs are personal preference but I prefer MR. Buying used would be a smart choice if you're only going to use the back occasionally.
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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I have never used one, but the horn hunter full curl backpack tends to get a lot of mentions when it comes to best bang for the buck in the backpack department.

If you get a good deal on a used backpack you can often get your money back out of it when you upgrade down the road. If you buy brand new you are going to have a harder time getting your money back, but even then, on the better brands they often sell used for 80% or so of what they cost brand new.

There are generally quite a few backpacks for sale on places like archerytalk as people tend to upgrade toward the higher tier packs.

There was a glut of used Mystery Ranch backpacks last year as people were upgrading to some of the new lighter packs, and it seems to have leveled out since then, but there are still some showing up at a pretty good discount.
 

mdhunter

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I have a mystery ranch pack that is dang near indestructible that has served me well. My only complaint is the weight. Ounces make pounds. If you plan to backpack for a week or more I would be checking lighter options.
 

WapitiBob

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On a true "very limited budget" I'd go to REI this weekend and get an XT85 while they're on sale. It'll pack a Deer or Elk quarter just fine and after you get some use on it, you can sell it and buy what you need based on the experience you got with the XT.
 

fowl_minded

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You get what you pay for

If your on a budget I think this site has some of the best used packs that come up. If your not on a budget i would look at SG, MR, EXO and Kifaru. i went back and forth on all of them and I even put a thread up to get some feedback on here. In my opinion if your going to get a pack like that dont skimp! Jump in and take the plunge on any of these packs youll be glad you did. i was and Eberllestock guy for a long time and I thought i would never get one of these or spend that much but im telling you after a few shed trips and pounding the hills this spring for a Bruin i am very happy with my Stone Glacier i bought this year. i love it now if i could just dump a bear or have some luck come my way to pack one out that would be fantastic! In my honest opinion dont skimp buy it right the first time with whoever you choose. hell if your not hunting for three years that should be more than enough time to save up. good luck
 
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I just dumped my MR due to wieght and went with a KUIU. It's been awesome bear hunting this far. Take a look. Prices are reasonable too.
 

VAspeedgoat

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I have the horn hunter full curl system and love it. It will go on its first western hunt this fall, but I have used it at home for hunting and camping. The reviews have said that shorter guys don't like the way it fits as well as the blue widow. I am 5 10" and it fits fine.

Also check ebay for more expensive packs also, I found a good deal on my second full curl system pack. I originally had just the full curl combo but really wanted the bigger capacity bag for camping.
 

Baerman

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there are lots of hunting pack threads on this forum. search and you will find all kinds of input.
 

WyOpitz

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Aug 18, 2011
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Wyoming
Love my Exo, use it all summer long for backpacking trips and it is AWESOME! Just got back this morning from one, carries weight well, I like pockets so that is another reason to go with Exo. You can organize your stuff.
 

jims

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Feb 12, 2006
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I'd watch Rokslide, Kifaru, Ebay, and Craigslist for a used Stone Glacier or Kifaru. You body will thank you and it likely will be the last pack you buy in your life!
 

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