Why my pack sucks: Kifaru, Stone Glacier, Exo, Seek, Mystery Ranch, Kuiu, etc.

Please select either the first or second choice, then select your current pack brand.

  • I have tried multiple hunting brands

    Votes: 134 53.8%
  • I have used just one hunting brand

    Votes: 62 24.9%
  • Stone Glacier

    Votes: 30 12.0%
  • Exo

    Votes: 31 12.4%
  • Kuiu

    Votes: 31 12.4%
  • Kifaru

    Votes: 28 11.2%
  • Mystery Ranch

    Votes: 88 35.3%
  • Seek Outside

    Votes: 14 5.6%
  • Other Hunting Brand

    Votes: 71 28.5%
  • Non Hunting Brand

    Votes: 13 5.2%

  • Total voters
    249

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
5,202
Location
Aurora, CO
Packs get a lot of discussion on HT, but it always seems like people just cheerlead their purchase and it's hard to figure out what the downsides are of the various brands.

Let’s assume we are all intelligent adults, and purchased whatever pack we have for good reasons, don’t share those, you likely have on like 20 threads and it’s not helpful you can read that crap on the manufacturers site.

Please post what bag you have or had, seasons used, and a downside of the bag. We get it, ______ pack is the best, but if you had a gun to your head what's something you or someone might not like about your pack.

Also if you have had a catastrophic failure or issue with customer service please give us the dirt.
 
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wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
5,202
Location
Aurora, CO
Stone Glacier - 4 seasons
These packs are very pricey. There isn't any organization to them and inevitably you end up doing a total pack yard sale once a trip to find something.

Sitka 45 Bivy - 1 season
This pack was way too small for backpack hunting, the internal frame was a bizarre shape that it forced the load far away from your body which made 50lbs of meat feel like 100lbs.
 
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rideold

Active member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
503
Location
Front Range of Colorado
25 year old Gregory. No load shelf, pack bag is narrow, doesn't cinch down well for day pack use.

Oh, forgot to mention the other con is that it is a heavy pack.
 
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NoWiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,387
Location
Minnesota
Kifaru - 4 seasons - Disliked the weight and how "floppy" the pack felt. No load shelf.

Stone Glacier (current pack with no plans to change) - 2 seasons - I dislike the waist belt. You almost need to unbuckle the belt to adjust. Fine-tuning is challenging. It tends to slip a few times while trying to tighten up and is nearly impossible to loosen in small increments. It is slightly less comfortable than the Kifaru with 65+ pounds.
 

rwc101

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
402
Location
Laramie, WY
Mystery Ranch Pop Up 28. Two seasons. Couldn't find one in store, so I gambled on an online purchase. The pack works great, but I find it very small even for a day pack. I have a love/hate relationship with the water bottle pockets.
 

SnowyMountaineer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
1,618
Location
WY
Some years I used more than one of these in the same season, but:

Arc'teryx Bora 65/Needle 55: 3 years
-Biggest cons: @ 80# top end before load transfer suffers

Mystery Ranch NICE Frame/Suspension: 7 years
-Bags: 6500, Longbow, CrewCab
-Biggest cons: Heavy, good fit kinda tough to dial in

Kifaru Timberline (T1): 2 years
-Biggest cons: Too many pockets and zippers, padding was too soft under big loads (compressed too much)

Stone Glacier Krux/X-curve: 6 years (current)
-Bags: Solo, Sky 5100
-Biggest cons: Lumbar pad needed replaced after several years of hard use on my 1st gen Krux frame. Not the material wearing out but the padding itself inside got "packed out"
 
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dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,773
Kelty.10+ years still going strong...Problem is no one
sells them anymore! 😎
 

EYJONAS!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
1,119
I have had quite the collection of eberlestocks over the years. Never could figure out a multi use pack though. Extended trips required a huge bag, plus you had to load your bag with meat. Light day trips I used a smaller pack and they weren't worth two shits putting any weight on them. A lot of times I'd pack a load out then go back in with my freighter pack. So I was basically using 3 packs to accomplish what one Stone Glacier can do.

I guess I'f I gotta have any cons on SG yeah they're expensive but what isn't anymore. The organization isn't great but a guy can manage with using their camp , swing out pockets. I think it's helped me to minimize bringing to much. To me the pros outweigh the cons 1000 times. The durability, design, weight, service, etc. All are why I chose to go with them and will stick with them for ever.
 

Fj605

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
48
Location
Arvada, CO
I've been using an Alps OutdoorZ Commander frame. I plan on getting the pack this year so I can carry a few creature comforts with me.

My biggest complaint would be that it's a bulky frame. Not too heavy but can feel like there's a furniture dolly strapped on my back.

It's an affordable setup for a new hunter.
 

madtom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
607
Location
WY
Kuiu Icon Pro with 1850 and 5200 bags - 4 years of use
- Overall happy with it. Like the internal organization. Has enough buckles/straps without being annoying. Carries weight really well for me.

Mystery Ranch Pintler - 1 year of use
- Load sling function is sweet
- Too many buckles and straps going every direction and getting in the way
- Wish it had more/better internal organization in the Pintler bag
- Hip belt doesn't cinch or stay as comfortably on my hips as the Kuiu
 

TheNorthStar

Active member
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
252
Location
Minnesota
I've used a stone glacier sky 5900 for a couple years now, both Western and local Whitetail hunting. I've considered buying a 17-2200 bag to swap out in the past, but the thing cinches down so tight that I decided it wasn't really necessary. I guess I do have some off brand day pack that I use camping sometimes as well, but it's been falling apart for a couple years now and doesn't see any use while hunting anymore.
 

deer_shooter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
1,398
Location
Southwest Pa.
I bought a Kuiu Icon Pro 3200 in 2012 (?). Many good features that I like. Lots of pockets to organize stuff, very comfortable, the carbon fiber frame is very light and flexes when moving around with a load. What I don't like - the outer pocket that would be ideal for a spotting scope is about an inch too short in my opinion. I have never been able to figure out the load shelf, the carbon frame continually slides out of the 'pockets' they fit into on the top of the pack. That drives me nuts. I still have it and use it but wanted something a little bigger so bought a MR Metcalf. I like just about everything about it so far. It compresses down sufficiently so as not to be cumbersome as a day pack, load shelf is easy to use, pack is very comfortable for all day use. What I don't like - its heavy, no pockets to organize stuff, the day lid kinda flops around when the pack isn't full. The waist belt is a couple inches shorter than I wish it was. I have 38" waist and the belt is almost maxed out.
 

mulecreek

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
512
Location
Rock Springs, WY
MR 6500 and Crew Cab. At least 10 seasons. My go to for elk, moose, caribou and extended backpack hunts like a sheep hunt. Most comfortable pack I have for hauling heavy loads. Con - Its heavy just by itself relative to other packs.

Kuiu Ultra 6000. 5 or 6 seasons. Very lightweight. Use a lot for deer and antelope hunts. Con - squeaky and harder on my back and neck when hauling meat (heavy loads).

Eberlestock J34? Have had for maybe 15 years. Used 1 year. Killed a bull, never used again after that pack out. Scabbard is neat. Con - absolutely sucks to haul out meat. Its very old so maybe they have changed
 

Boomerusaf

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
1,166
Location
The Driftless Region
I used the tenzing 6000 for two seasons, the zipper broke on the main compartment. Also, it didn't hold weight very well. Now I have a metcalf for 1 season. I like the pack a lot but the only con is that it lacks internal organization. Its essentially one big compartment. I liked to be squared away so I added a few smaller bags to add organization. Other than that, I highly recommend!
 
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cedahm

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
488
Location
Colorado
Eberlestock X1 (Team Elk): Have used 3 years and packed all or part of 4 elk.
Pros:
Load shelf/balancer works well
Built-in Scabbard is nice but basically just takes up extra room/weight for me since I am either slinging or using the gun bearer.
Organization is great without being too 'compartmentalized' - particularly like the front access to the main compartment.
Price

Con:

The frame is about 1" short on me at it's 'tallest' setting (I'm 6'2").
It's pretty heavy even empty or with just daypack stuff in it
The Bow carrier setup is functional but the bow rides really high
I've used it on overnights/spikeouts a couple of times, but realistically it's a large daypack.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
106
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
With weight always top of my mind I had the Stone Glacier Evo Krux and 40/56 bag. Used on one extended hunt in the Rubys. Didn't like how the frame fit me. In hindsight I think the Xcurve would have been much better. I've used Kuiu for many years. Always have had issues with the pack (slipping) down my lower back with heavy weight no matter how hard I cinched the waist belt. The new waist belt and lumbar pad are a HUGE upgrade from the old. With just a couple heavy training hikes under the belt with the new system I'm much happier.

Still feel like I'm looking for that perfect combination of light weight and comfort.
 

Mtnhuntr

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
812
MR Metcalf 4300 - 1 season - Could not get used to the organization and felt I was constantly searching forever to find gear.

EXO K2 5500 - 2 seasons - Wish the full length side pockets stretched a bit more to more easily fit larger items like a 95 mm spotter.
 

NEWHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
362
Location
Brookfield, WI
MR Beartooth - a couple of months - haven’t really used it yet other than getting it sized up. So no real negatives from use yet.

I know you need straps for compression etc. but man this thing has a lot. Seems a bit overkill. I’ll know in a couple of months.

The pack alone is a bit heavy, but I couldn’t justify spending a couple hundred more dollars to shave a pound and change - especially considering I’m not going to use it a ton.

Camo would have been nice too . . .
 

MTGomer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
2,666
Location
MT —> AZ
I’ve used Kelty, Kuiu icon, the new Mystery Ranch Marshall and Stone Glacier on the Krux frame

I’m currently using the SG. I’ve had the Krux frame for 4 years and the Sky archer 6200 bag the same amount of time. This will be he second season mixing in the Sky Talus 6900 bag.



.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,212
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Started with a crappy pack and figured out really quick that it wasn't going to work long term to haul elk out of the woods on a regular basis.

Upgraded to an Eberlestock Just One J34 pack and was very happy with it. It hauled so much better than my first pack. I liked the rifle scabbard but never could really get my gun in or out very easily without having to drop the back. It was not water resistant at all, almost the opposite, like it attracted water somehow. A brief downpour that you would expect to just dry out after 30 minutes or so and the bottom of the pack would have an inch of water in it. At the time I would have said one of the drawbacks was the price (it was $200ish when I bought it I think). Thinking through now it had little aluminum stays that you could bend in half with almost zero effort, no load lifters, a heavy load would fall to the bottom of the pack and there really wasn't a way to keep it evenly distributed. No load shelf so you got blood inside your pack. And it was heavy to start out with.

I bought and sold a Outdoorsmans Optics pack in there somewhere. It was better than the Eberlestock but it was a rigid plastic frame and not very adjustable and I have a long torso and just couldn't get it to fit me.

My current pack is a Stone Glacier Solo. I added pockets to the belt and run an access bag on the bag to help with organization. It sheds water really well even without a rain cover. I wouldn't think you would need a rain cover unless you were going to be in heavy rain for several hours straight. The load shelf is awesome. You can really cinch stuff down and it stays put. It hauls weight really well with the load lifters I think it helps a lot. It is very light for such a good hauler. I've had it for 5 years now and hauled 3 elk and other critters out with it. Very durable fabric. Only cons would be the lack of organization options, but that is going to add weight and the price but all the high end packs seem to be getting pretty pricey. I do have one creak under heavy load that I need to figure out. It's not bad enough that I've spent more than 5 or 10 minutes trying to figure it out but thinking through all the cons I do need to get that sorted. I also like the rifle sling. Works well, carries the gun really nice and easy to get the gun out of the sling. I have to take the pack off to get it put back on though.

I did try out a Seek Outside pack back in 2013 when I was also looking at the Stone Glacier. I took it on one backpack hunt and one of the shoulder straps tore off when I went to put it back on the first day out after lunch. It was probably loaded with around 40 or 50 pounds max at the time and I just picked it up by one shoulder strap to put it on and the stitching on the strap just failed. I had noticed the stitching looked a little suspect when I got the pack but thought it was just looks and wouldn't affect performance. I was able to cobble things together with some extra rope and some spare buckles I happened to have with me but it was far from ideal and no way was I going to have faith in the pack after that. The fit and finish on the Seek Outside pack was no where close to the Stone Glacier and it wasn't much cheaper. It did have load lifters that could go an extra 2" higher than the Stone Glacier, but that would have been too high for normal use and I never got a chance to see if it would have actually helped or not since I was just trying to keep the pack together. The customer service was good and they did give me a full refund on the pack though.

I think that is my pack experience for what it is worth.
 
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