What Pack?

Bob Vetter

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Jul 25, 2010
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This question has been asked a million times over, but i need current info. Myself and a Friend are heading to Montana we want new packs. The Budget is $400 each. Main uses will be in this order; 1st day hikes, 2nd meat hauling and 3rd 1-2 night over night if necessary.

I'd like to know what you all think

Thanks

Bob
 

neffa3

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High end used backpacking pack, any of them that has what you're looking for. One that fits and isn't pink. Then camo it up with a couple cans of spray paint. I found an older Osprey that has worked very well for me. I borrow a metcalf on a meat hauling trip this year and though it was nicer, it wasn't nice enough to justify the cost.
 

belly-deep

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High end used backpacking pack, any of them that has what you're looking for. One that fits and isn't pink. Then camo it up with a couple cans of spray paint. I found an older Osprey that has worked very well for me. I borrow a metcalf on a meat hauling trip this year and though it was nicer, it wasn't nice enough to justify the cost.
You don't need a camo pack to kill game.
 

Flatrock

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I've got a KUIU Icon 3200 I'm going to sell. Let me know if you're interested. Don't even know what I'd sell it for but it'd less than $400 to your door.
 

Bob Vetter

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So the question I have it this, so far we have looked at many packs, they are all good with there own pros and cons. They all have one thing in common..........they are all for multiple over night stays. We are mostly day packing, that's are number one thing. Wouldn't we want something geared more for hauling shit out, rather than hauling shit in? Its just an observation is all and I ask because I want to solve our problem.
 

Flatrock

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So the question I have it this, so far we have looked at many packs, they are all good with there own pros and cons. They all have one thing in common..........they are all for multiple over night stays. We are mostly day packing, that's are number one thing. Wouldn't we want something geared more for hauling shit out, rather than hauling shit in? Its just an observation is all and I ask because I want to solve our problem.
It depends. It's always nice to have a little extra space. A bigger bag usually doesn't weigh much more either.
 

DirtyDan

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Most of the hunting specific packs (Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, Kifaru, Exo) have the capability to separate from the frame creating a load sling. If you run a smaller bag for day hunting essentials you can still pack a load out. Best this you can do is set a budget and figure out what's important for you, organization or weight savings and start narrowing it down.
 

sneakypete

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KUIU 3200 would be great, I have one but at 400 buy new. It'll carry an elk qtr, half deer.
 

Flatrock

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What are some of the things it depends on? Thanks
Mainly just how versatile you want it. You had mentioned you might want to do some short, 1-2 night hunts. If that's the case, it'll be tougher with a daypack to do that. Kuiu has a pretty good system where you can just swap out for a bigger bag if you want to pack in for a night or two.
 

2ski

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Bozeman...Seeley when I can be there.
So I was looking for a pack that I would mostly use for day hunts, but wanted the ability to carry a load out. I wasn't really looking for a multi-day pack. I settle on the Kifaru DT2. Definitely not what I was looking for. But I'm happy with it. I spent a lot of money but it carries weight awesome. That said, you don't want to spend that....close to double your budget.

So a lot of these high end packs are more than your budget. Usually by a few hundred. So I would look a few places. Kuiu ultra. I don't have any interest in Kuiu products so I haven't paid attention to any recent reviews for these. When they first came out, the reviews weren't stellar for them. However, you don't need a stellar pack. Any pack will carry day pack loads decently. You just need it to handle okay to carry a load out. Especially for that price. Another option I thought of, if you are both spending $400, pool the money, buy a Stone Glacier pack and a Badlands or something cheap. Take turns with the heavy nice pack when you have it loaded with an animal. Put a smaller amount of meat in the Badlands(or other cheap pack/Alps/Tenzing). I've never used one, but the Crooked Creek Horn Hunter is supposed to be a good pack, if not a bit heavy, so you might look for one of those. I always see used ones around.
 

Curvebow

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My son & I bought used EXO 3500 packs for a Colorado backpack in style elk hunt this year. Both came with meat shelf attachments. Unfortunately we didn't get to use that feature. :( However, my son continued to use his pack for both NYS bowhunting, it caries a climbing treestand very well, and for remote Adirondack day hunting. These packs "crunch" down to carry smaller loads and can expand quickly in case of hauling meat out. And, we each paid $400 or a bit less for the packs, delivered. My old Kelty Super Tioga frame pack(circa 1980's) will never again be seen on my back!

For the Adirondack hunting, the pack could easily carry a fully boned out whitetail buck in one load, along with skull. And do it with relative comfort as well.

Many companies already mentioned make great packs, its just a matter of how many pockets do you want (how organized are you), color preference (minor really), maximum size, etc. Many are available used at bargain prices and are in great condition. Besides Hunt TaLk classifieds, check out Rokslide.com forums classifieds too.
 

wllm1313

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If you said recomend any pack price doesn't matter and you were using if for backpack hunting I would say Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch, or Kifaru and just get whichever fits you best and has the features that are most important to you, but given your specifications I would look at the outdoorsmans optics hunter or muley hunter pack, depending of if you think you will actually do some backpack camping or are just day hiking. These will run you almost exactly $400 and give you a good pack with a meat shelf which is what you need out of a hunting pack. I have never used one of these but they are the official pack of Steve Rinella and I have a couple buddies who really like them.
 

Flatland Crusoe

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Going from $400 to $600 opens up a lot of options for hunting specific backpacks. Really anything that fits well from Mystery Ranch, Kuiu, Exo, Kifaru or Stone glacier is a good option. They each have little differences and design philosophies, but all are offering frame systems with load cells and bags from 2000 to 7500 cubic inches. You probably want a bag with 3000-4500 cubic inches if weekend length overnights are on the radar. As mentioned bigger bags barely cost or weigh much more. The size of pack you need has lot to do with your other gear like the size of you tent, sleeping bag and other gear as much as anything.

You have to think of a pack as the centerpiece of your gear and hunting style while backcountry bivvy or even day hunting.

You can always get away with an REI style pack and put the meat in contractor trashbags for the packout which is what I did my first year out west. I put off buying a proper pack for 3 big trips and am now very happy after getting a Mystery Ranch metcalf as my go to pack.
 
M

MN Public Hunter

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Watch camofire. They have deals on mystery ranch from time to time for under 400
 

Bob Vetter

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Jul 25, 2010
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Thanks everyone. Does anyone have any recommendations for mountaineering packs? Gregory, Lowe Alpine, Mystery Ranch backpacking line, Kelty, Osprey ?
Just wondering if there where any stand outs? Thanks
 

Lawnboy

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So the question I have it this, so far we have looked at many packs, they are all good with there own pros and cons. They all have one thing in common..........they are all for multiple over night stays. We are mostly day packing, that's are number one thing. Wouldn't we want something geared more for hauling shit out, rather than hauling shit in? Its just an observation is all and I ask because I want to solve our problem.
I'm not sure what species you plan on hunting nor do I know your previous experience with elk but they are big critters. You better plan on 4 pack loads of boned out meat for an average bull. It's up to you to decide which pack will work best but most daypacks won't allow for 50+ pounds of meat and the gear you have for the day. This is why you are getting advice for having a tad larger pack. It only adds a little more weight but it might just be enough to wittle the trips out to 3 instead of 4 with that elk. Something to think about. My brother in Alaska has hauled out mountains of meat in his internal frame Mountain Smith non camo pack over the years. Don't think you need to spend 600 on a pack to be successful.
 

whiskeydog

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Oct 17, 2011
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Billings, MT
day pack that fits the bill...mystery ranch longbow! good for day hunt and for packing out 80+ pounds. you can probably find a good used one for 250ish
 

whiskeydog

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for mountaineering, I would definitely not be looking at mystery ranch. look to lowe alpine, arc'teryx , Gregory...or if you can find one, you can get the original mystery ranch...dana designs! the reason I wouldn't use mystery ranch for mountaineering is they are geared more specifically to hunting. you can get a lot more comfort out of the standard non-hunting packs. If I was buying a pack just for mountaineering, I would probably go lowe alpine...they are not expensive compared to a lot of the other brands and they are top notch. I own, or have owned every pack brand that you mentioned, and my favorite by far is the lowe alpine.
 
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