Help me pick a new pack

Drake4

Active member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
767
Location
Churchill, MT
I've owned and used quite a few. Got a couple different MR in the collection.
Kuiu is the best and most comfortable for me that I've found. Very versatile.
 

jonny5

New member
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
17
I've had a few different packs and I LOVE my stone glacier. Super comfortable, adjustable and very light weight. Good for a day hunt or for a week in the backcountry. I've had to re-sew a couple of the strap attachment points, but those were easy re-enforcements. The meat shelf between the pack bag and frame are a must have for me now...wouldn't do it any other way. Going on 6+ years now and it's still cranking.
 

Cope125

New member
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
11
By no means am I am expert on this. I bought my first pack last year. Did a lot of research. I ended up going with the MR Marshall. Was planning on being in the back country for 6-7 days. My thought was to go bigger. I didn’t want to chance to spend that kind of money, just to find out it was to small. Unfortunately, here in Texas, our hunting good stores don’t have all the packs in stores to be able to look at and try on. I did watch for sales, and saved quite a bit of money. I also saw what other services MR makes packs and gear for. I figured if it was good enough for them, than it would be good enough for me. Seemed like a good company to invest in. Just my 2 cents.
 

Beau_G

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Bakersfield, CA
It’s whatever you’re comfortable with. As long as it’s clean with tags, and they can put it back on the rack I’m not worried about. I did the same with boots this spring and was glad I did.
I reached out to Trail at the GoHunt Gear Shop. He said that I'd have to cover the return shipping, but as long as the packs were still in new condition with the tags still on, it's no skin off their back. I plan to order the MR Beartooth 80 and Metcalf, along with a SG Sky 5900.

I'll report back with my final decision.
 

rick19Kilo

New member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
26
Location
Bakersfield
I know, there's a million threads out there about packs. So many that it makes it difficult to decipher what's credible. I'm hoping you all can help me decide on a new pack....

Current Setup:
I've been using a cheap, ill-fitting Gregory 75L pack for the last handful of years. It gets the job done, but boy is it uncomfortable. The shoulder straps are thin and tend to dig into my traps and cause shoulder pain. Even after maxing out adjustments, the waist straps sit too low and restricts hip mobility. My hip flexors feel like they're on fire with any weight in the pack. Hunting is hard enough, there's no sense in punishing myself with an uncomfortable pack too!

What I'm looking for in a new pack:
I rifle and archery hunt for deer and elk. I mainly hunt multi-day (2-4 days) backpack trips and long, backcountry day hunts where I'm covering 5-10+mi, often times alone or with a buddy who is trying to fill his own tag. Point being, I'm usually packing my own animal + gear out for a sizeable distance...and the fewer trips the better. The 75L pack seems to been a good size for my needs, but I'm not opposed to something a little bigger. The packs with a meat shelf seem to accomplish this. Also, I'm typically carrying a spotting scope and tri-pod, along with the standard clothing/gear.

I'm loosely familiar with the "big name" hunting packs out there: Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, Kifaru,... but don't have any first hand experience with any of these. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any nearby retailers where I can test them out and compare. Browsing the GoHunt gear shop, the Beartooth 80 and Marshall from Mystery Ranch stand out. As do some of the Stone Glacier packs (e.g. Sky 5900), but their distinctions/features seems a little less clear to me.

Do any of these brands/packs standout among the rest? I'm willing to spend the money for something nice, so I wouldn't consider price the distinguishing factor (granted it's reasonable).

Oh, and I'm 6'2" 195lbs in case that factors in...

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks,
Beau
Hey Beau, did you end up buying a pack? I also live in bakersfield and have a beartooth 80 and a badlands 2200. I have yet to hunt with them but have had a couple trial hikes where I threw 40 lbs in the beartooth. Let me know if you haven't purchased one and we could meet up so you could check it out.
 

Beau_G

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Hey Beau, did you end up buying a pack? I also live in bakersfield and have a beartooth 80 and a badlands 2200. I have yet to hunt with them but have had a couple trial hikes where I threw 40 lbs in the beartooth. Let me know if you haven't purchased one and we could meet up so you could check it out.
Wow, that's an amazing offer. Thank you! Funny enough, I just ordered the 3 packs mentioned above and received them yesterday. I'll do some testing over the next few days and report back with my decision
 

Beau_G

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Well, after some fitting and testing, the results are in.

On paper, the Beartooth 80 was the perfect pack. Good size, internal organization, water blades pouch, and a good deal at $440.

I loaded up the beartooth with 45lbs and was generally pleased with how it felt. Way better than my ill-fitting Gregory pack that I've been using. If I had only ordered this pack, I'd probably be content. But, I had more packs to try...

Next up, the Metcalf. It felt very similar to the Beartooth, just a little smaller. I really only ordered the Metcalf in case it happened to fit better than the Beartooth. Given the choice between the two, I would opt for the Beartooth just because of the extra space.

Last up was the SG Sky 5900. Straight out of the box, this pack was perfect. WAY more comfortable than the MR packs. Night and day difference. I really wanted to like the Beartooth 80, but after doing all kinds of tweaking and adjusting, it was never even as close to as comfortable as the SG.

The Beartooth just felt like the weight in the pack sagged low, and didn't ride as solid as the SG. The waist belt felt like it wanted to slide down as well.

So, I'm keeping the SG Sky 5900 despite it costing an additional $220.

I had to eat $67 in return shipping, but im really happy with my new pack. Thanks for all the advice here!
 

WVmike

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
78
Location
West Virginia
The Metcalf look like a great pack and pretty close in size to the pack I'm currently hunting with. I certainly haven't ruled it out.

I just don't really see any major downsides in going for a roomier pack. Sure, maybe some minor inconveniences when day hunting, but you can always cinch it down. You can't make a pack bigger...
I have a metcalf and it fits everything I need to in it and it has the shelf that you can use for meat/tent etc. I have also handled the beartooth 80 and it was a bigger version of the metcalf except with a zipper for the closure which I'm not a fan of zippers so thats why I went with the metcalf. If I would have to pick a different brand of pack, there are certainly others like exo, kifaru and stone glacier that come to mind. Just depends on your body type/needs and your wallet as well.
 

adeldarvish

New member
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Texas
Well, after some fitting and testing, the results are in.

On paper, the Beartooth 80 was the perfect pack. Good size, internal organization, water blades pouch, and a good deal at $440.

I loaded up the beartooth with 45lbs and was generally pleased with how it felt. Way better than my ill-fitting Gregory pack that I've been using. If I had only ordered this pack, I'd probably be content. But, I had more packs to try...

Next up, the Metcalf. It felt very similar to the Beartooth, just a little smaller. I really only ordered the Metcalf in case it happened to fit better than the Beartooth. Given the choice between the two, I would opt for the Beartooth just because of the extra space.

Last up was the SG Sky 5900. Straight out of the box, this pack was perfect. WAY more comfortable than the MR packs. Night and day difference. I really wanted to like the Beartooth 80, but after doing all kinds of tweaking and adjusting, it was never even as close to as comfortable as the SG.

The Beartooth just felt like the weight in the pack sagged low, and didn't ride as solid as the SG. The waist belt felt like it wanted to slide down as well.

So, I'm keeping the SG Sky 5900 despite it costing an additional $220.

I had to eat $67 in return shipping, but im really happy with my new pack. Thanks for all the advice here!
Great advice. I was going for the SG Sky 5900 myself and feel more confident about it after this read. Thank you!
 

Midwest Greenhorn

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Appleton, WI
I really like how this convo went full circle. Excellent follow up! I'll echo the comments on buying multiple and sending them back. That is how business works these days, if you treat the stuff well there is no loss to the business and they get a happier customer eventually.
 

Bambistew

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,234
Location
Chugiak, AK
Buy a stone glacier everyone else sucks.
I've seen a couple in action that I would say sucked quite badly. :) For a meat packing and camp, and non-bukly loads, they work quite well, same with MR. Once you add on weird heavy stuffy, the frames aren't ridged enough to keep it from flopping around.

I'm not sure there is a perfect pack. I've been happy with my Kifaru, IMO it has the most rigid frame of any of the "internal" type frame packs and is a do-all if there is one. You can also strap all sorts stuff to it in seconds. You can't with SG or MR. I was doing some research a while back, and Seek Outside caught my eye... A buddy had a Seek Outside pack this spring to pack moose antlers. It was a total POS held together with zip ties after one day.

There is ~80lbs of moose antlers strapped on on this pack. Impossible to do with either a MR or SG. We've tried it. I've packed out 1000s of pounds of moose antlers with this pack and it hasn't failed me yet, other than the foam on the shoulder straps being squished to nothing, but those are easy to replace.


20210601_184102.jpg
 

Birddog08

New member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
9
Metcalf all day. I trust it. And a lifetime warranty. It’s the whole package.
 

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