First do all pack

Robertsj22

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Bedford, Pa
Looking to buy my first pack. Being a pa guy I’ll be using it to pack out white tails and training for upcoming elk hunts. Hopefully in near future it will be hauling out elk. Also want it to be big enough to do archery backpack elk hunts. Budget is a big concern. I’m a dad to 2 small kids and I just don’t have 700 to drop on a pack. I’m not opposed to used.
 

jims

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
317
Start off with the best...either Kifaru or Stone Glacier. You may be able to pick up a nearly new one for around 1/2 price on Rokslide classifieds, ebay, Craigslist, or hunting website classified adds. You likely won't ever have to buy another pack and frame! If you are going to pack out elk you will likely need a bag with at least 5,000 to 7,000 cu in capacity. It will save a bunch of trips. You can compress the bags so they are small enough to hunt with but are large enough you'll save your first trip packing out meat!
 

SnowyMountaineer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
1,132
Location
WY
Agreed. I've seen gen 1 Stone Glacier Krux frames on Rokslide and bags for 350-400 total. I know that's not cheap, but it's a value. New Kifaru hunting frames are still pricey on there but again the older line is quite reasonable. That site is full of gear heads, about 10% of which seem to ever go hunting.
 

NoWiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,272
Location
Minnesota
I agree with the other two. Get a good quality used pack. You’ve got some time so keep your eyes open and you’ll find something. I wasted plenty of money on cheaper packs and have since had both Kifaru and Stone Glaciers. Loved the Kifaru but love the SG a little more.
 

mtmuley

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
4,192
Location
montana
Agreed. I've seen gen 1 Stone Glacier Krux frames on Rokslide and bags for 350-400 total. I know that's not cheap, but it's a value. New Kifaru hunting frames are still pricey on there but again the older line is quite reasonable. That site is full of gear heads, about 10% of which seem to ever go hunting.
I laughed too. Great deals on gear though. Lots of lightly used stuff. mtmuley
 

Bukwild3

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
259
I tried the cheap route and it worked fine for short packs but would not want to have to pack an elk out with the bag I bought. I have a Easton pickup xt. I have haul 2 antelope and 2 hogs with it. All were less than 1 mile hikes. Since then I have picked up a kuiu icon pro used. If you look they have guys selling lightly used packs for hundreds off.
 

Vrybusy

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
15
Location
Outdoors, PA
I'm a PA guy as well who hunts out west fairly often. Like others have mentioned, buy a quality pack up front and you'll be very happy. I own several brands and this year I purchased an EXO 5500. I should have done this a long time ago! Took it whitetail hunting this year and it performed great. Holds everything that I need, and can pack out a deer without any issues. No looking back! Good luck with your search.
 

genesis273

Active member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Messages
1,546
Location
North Carolina
I bought a Kifaru (7200ci) pack on Rokslide for a fraction of the original cost, and it was in great shape. Buy once, cry once, but get the absolute best you can afford, even if it's a used pack.
 

elkhnter

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
250
Location
Somewhere in the camper!
Going to try and put this nicely. Spend the money on a great pack. MR, SG or EXO. I’ve got 5 good packs before I bought my great pack, a EXO 3500. Even if you have to wait and save a couple more months, it’s well worth it.
Once you get the pack, you’ll need to start saving for boots and optics. I like the buy once, cry once. You’ll cry every hunt with a cheap pack and boots.
Best wishes and good luck.
 

DirtyDan

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Messages
240
Location
Ohio
First figure out what your budget is and go from there. If you've got the funds then look at the high end specific hunting packs like Stone Glacier, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, or EXO. But don't get wrapped up into the latest and greatest, super duper, tacticool, got to haves. There's been plenty of critters carried out of the mountains with cheap external frame packs that don't cost what a hunt does.
 

N2TRKYS

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
550
Location
Alabama
My first do all pack was a Blacks Creek Canadian. I only packed out one whitetail buck with it. I then upgraded to a Kifaru AMR. Both packs weigh the same, but the AMR more than doubled my capacity. I've only packed one bull elk in the Kifaru. The Kifaru packs weight WAY better than the Blacks Creek.

Good luck with your selection.
 

JeremyA

New member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
85
Location
Durango, CO
I ran an Exo 5500 this elk season in Colorado. The company is awesome. Very helpful. I suggest call Exo tell them what you want to do they will set you up. I love my Exo back but Kifaru is a great company as well and extends the helpful hand. Both are American companies. I went with Exo for this simple reason Steve Speck one of the owners answered all my questions and made suggestions and did not bash the other companies I was looking at. He was very personable and after I made my purchase they pushed my order after I asked about delivery and wanting to get my pack on my back and in the mountain before season starts. I will end with this, look at this purchase as an investment. A great pack is going to cost some cash but in the end it will last a long time. Good luck and happy hunting. FYI originally from PA live out west so I was in your shoes at the beginning.
 

archer wapiti

New member
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
220
Location
New Mexico
I've had great experience on Rokslide buying used. Don't be overly afraid of the process if you've not gone that route before. I wish I'd bought used to begin with, but now I just buy different bags or pouches to try. People who are jerks get called out when they're found out. I imagine the classifieds here are the same.

as far as what to get volume-wise, my experience is this (all with Kifaru): I bought a Kifaru 26 inch hunter frame and AMR bag, which is about 30 gallons capacity. If I were to fill that with elk, that's about 240 pounds. Not real practical. My point is that just because you can compress these giant packs down into 'day pack mode,' it's not the same as having a smaller pack. you're looking for a do-all pack so it is a compromise, but I found that having a pack that I can pack in a shelter, sleep system, and a week's worth of food is all I need. I'm never going to be the physical specimen that can carry 200 pounds, so why get a pack bag that big? I also get frustrated digging through voluminous folds of cordura looking for a beanie or water filter or whatever. currently I'm honing in on a Woodsman with a guide lid and some pouches to go on the sides. I currently have spotter pouches, but those are too big - my arms hit them on the back swing. Eventually I see myself getting a Native lid because I do use my guide lid as a day pack now, but it's just a little bit small for anything but the fair weather we often get here in NM in September. They must either be so unpopular that nobody's buying them, or so popular that nobody's reselling them.

Having said all this, I'm pretty sure that if I were to start this pack buying process again, I'd look at Mystery Ranch or EXO just because of the price. Now that I'm in Kifaru, it's not difficult financially to pick up a new bag or pouches, but the initial investment was a bit shocking.
That's one guy's experiences and opinion.
Hope that helps. Good luck on your decision.
 

Miller8812

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
34
I wanted an Exo but i found the Mystery Ranch Marshall on sale from $600 to $476 from Schnee's. Not cheap by any means, but Exo and Stone Glacier doesn't have sales.
 

2ski

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
237
Location
Bozeman...Seeley when I can be there.
Noone seems to give advice anymore where you buy part of your pack now and then part later. When I bought my Kifaru DT2, I saved up, bought the frame and a grab-it. That way I had the frame and could use the grabit and a cheap duffle for some stuff in PA. Next year buy a bag for the Kifaru and now you're hunting in style.
 

neffa3

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,652
Location
Wenatchee
Buy a cheap used pack at an REI Outlet/Garage Sale, then use to money you saved to buy another tag. Tags are more fun and the pack out won't be noticeably different.
 
Top