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Thread: New Style Packs... Weight Distribution and Does size matter?

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    Default New Style Packs... Weight Distribution and Does size matter?

    I need a new sheep hunting pack and am rethinking my approach and dealing with sticker shock... The approach I've taken and advice I've given when guys ask about packs isÖ.. 7000+ cubes able to haul 100lbs+ without buckling the frame all in about an 7-8lb pack.

    I've been reading about the MR Metcalf and the Stone Glacier Solo. 3300-4500ci bags that pull away from the frame giving you a meat haul area. Interesting concept as opposed to stuffing a bag of meat in with the rest of your gear and trying to get the weight where you want it. Most of the time a guy doesn't need a 7000+ ci bag. But you need a good frame and the ability to haul the meat and gear obviously.

    I think I could make either one of these work for an 8-10day walkin hunt. 8-10 days worth of food is my bulkiest heaviest "item". A guy could put it in a bag in the meat area along with your tent. That would leave plenty of room in the main bag I would think. Especially the Metcalf with the Lid.

    The light weight of the StoneGlacier packs sure is appealing. MR and SG both use 500d cordura. I suspect the weight savings for the SG packs is the frame.

    MR has an excellent reputation and the NICE frame can be used for other applications as well.

    Then there's the Kifaru Highcamp. They say you can use the pack as a compression panel to haul meat the same way. No pics though. "Detach the bag from the Bikini Duplex Frame it was designed to work with and the bag can become a "compression panel" for carrying a load of meat between itself and its frame (see our optional Load Haul Kit for details)."

    Thoughts-Opinions on these three packs? I like the simple approach, strong "new school" external frames and not having a bunch of bells and whistles.

    Mystery Ranch Metcalf $519.00
    3600ci 5lbs 12oz
    4500ci 6lbs 15oz with Daypack Lid





    Stone Glacier Solo $569.00
    3334ci 3.63lbs
    Stone Glacier Terminus $609.00
    6300ci with lid 3.95lbs





    Kifaru Highcamp


    4800ci 4.5 lbs $581.00
    7000ci 4.7 lbs $601.00

    Here's Kifarus approach. The "load haul kit" appears to be a piece of fabric.

    Last edited by Snyd; 02-11-2013 at 08:17.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Size does matter. I've found that the bigger the pack, the bigger the ego, and the more concerns I've seen. As an example, I can't tell you how many times I've had to head back into Ship Creek with my 5 lbs Alaskan II backpack and empty out Barney Packs of owners who don't know their own limits. Now it's not to say everyone doesn't know their limits, but I've seen more than one hunter maxed out with gear going into the field, since they have enough room for the kitchen sink and a microwave. Sometimes too much of a good thing isn't such a good thing if someone doesn't know how to utilize such a great product.

    If I had to choose a new pack though I like the Metcalf with a lid. I think the additional space would be nice for larger moose quarters since an Cabela's Alaskan II can be a tight fit occasionally. Also, I don't like strapping my gun to the side of the pack, I prefer the frame to protrude upward, and hang my gun strap over it and have my arm hold onto the sling while I'm walking. Thanks for the comparison and input....good stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    I'm stepping back and rethinking my approach. The approach I've taken and advice I've given when guys ask about packs isÖ.. 7000+ cubes able to haul 100lbs+ Large cubes so you can stuff everything in there including meat.

    Most of the time a guy doesn't need a 7000+ ci bag. But you need a good frame and the ability to haul the meat and gear obviously.



    I've been reading about the MR Metcalf and the Stone Glacier Solo. 3300-4500ci bags that pull away from the frame giving you a meat haul area. Interestesting concept as opposed to stuffing a bag of meat in with the rest of your gear. I like the idea of being able to spread the meat vertically and have it close to the back.


    I think I'll start another thread about these style of packs.

    Synd,, I did a lot of research before I bought my Timberline and looked hard at the Stone Glacier packs. The just of it was that when you put the meat on, it moves too much weight too far back and makes the pack very uncomfortable. It moves the center of gravity too far away from your body, forcing you to lean into it and makes you it harder to keep your balance.

    So just keep that in mind while doing your research.
    Last edited by stid2677; 02-11-2013 at 08:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Synd,, I did a lot of research before I bought my Timberline and looked hard at the Stone Glacier packs. The just of it was that when you put the meat on, it moves too much weight too far back and makes the pack very uncomfortable. It move the center of gravity too far away from your body, forcing you to lean into it and makes you it harder to keep your balance.

    So just keep that in mind while doing your research.
    Yup, I suppose it depends on how much weight and how far out back it's hanging. Also, if I guys has say 60-125lbs of sheep/head/cape secured nicely up and down directly on the frame, how much are you going to be affected by 25-30lbs in the bag cinching it down?
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Great topic as i find hauling the meat directly against the frame very appealing.That system will lighten up the amount of bag material needed to carry your gear.One thing for sure is the MR pack will not break .I would only question how well the load lifters are going to work with them being that far back behind the meat.

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    I am giving this unit some serious consideration. http://akrange.com/products.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I am giving this unit some serious consideration. http://akrange.com/products.html
    They sell these at the sports shows, well built, but man are they heavy. I would guess close to 10lbs empty, I looked at them one year and tried one on, just way too heavy for me.
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    AkRange packs are heavy!

    Snyd- Re the Kifaru Highcamp, you can indeed put meat between the frame and bag. I have a photo somewhere I'll post up.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Right now over on Rokslide there is a testing thread between the SG Terminus and the Bikini/Highcamp. Right now the guy is only going over the SG pack as they are still building the Highcamp for him to test. So far the videos of the SG testing has been interesting.

    Looking up above at the MR photos the load lifters do appear to be rather low on the frame. If its sagging down under weight then they will provide little assistance if they are below the top of the shoulder. I think this issue is why folks that know always recommend getting a Kifaru pack with 26" stays no matter how short you think you are.

    If I win a sheep tag this Friday I will be happy but well behind the curve on everyone else when it comes to pack selection. I'll probably just go with a SG Terminus since there is a huge lead time on the Kifaru stuff right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    AkRange packs are heavy!

    Snyd- Re the Kifaru Highcamp, you can indeed put meat between the frame and bag. I have a photo somewhere I'll post up.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Last year I was in the market for a new pack and looked at many. I narrowed it down to a Kifaru or MR. I ended up purchasing the Kifaru DT1. The MR that I was looking at that a buddy of mine had (comparible in size to the DT1) weighted 12 lbs. The DT1 weighs less than 8 lbs. I think MR makes a great pack, but just too heavy IMO.

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    Snyd,

    Personally I'd rather go "UP" with my load than "BACK". Meaning the idea of putting the meat between your frame and your hunting gear is cool if you wanna maintain a lower profile. However, I like the weight of everything to be as close to my back as possible and just load the heaviest items (the meat) as close to the center of my back as possible and load everything around that.

    So for me a big packbag that can hold everything inside the pack is what I prefer. I put on the MetCalf at the SHOT show and it seemed fit very similar to the NICE 6500 I used to haul out about a dozen animals with and it should as it uses the same frame with the frame extension to provide the lift. They are a nice pack indeed. Just too small for me to want to use as a extended trip backpack hunting pack as I don't like the idea of the meat between the frame/pack and would rather have it all in a big bag as I stated before.

    I used the Stone Glacier for a week deer hunting but only got to haul one small deer out of the woods with it. My thoughts is that I think its pretty amazing that Kurt beat out 95% of the hunting packs on the market in comfort on his first try....pretty impressive and did so while still being under 4 lbs which is lightest in its class as the KU hunting packs from Kifaru are kind of a different animal in that they don't have a removable frame and only 5200 is as large as you can get the standard bag without adding pockets. The SG is a great pack and fits me pretty darn well. I really don't think you can go wrong getting one of those. I especially like the horizontal compression straps going across the back of the packbag as well to snug things up really well when the bag isn't fully loaded.

    For me nothing fits like the waistbelt on a Kifaru so thats how I roll. I have a 8500 cu in packbag that can go on either my G2 frame or the Bikini frame I have on order. Also have the 7000 cu in Highcamp bag on order as well.

    We'll see how the bikini frame compares to the standard G2 frame. I have also used a Timberline 7200 cu in pack for 2 years and hauled out have a dozen animals with that pack as well and I really like it at 5.5 pounds. But its hard to not like the new bikini frame pack on paper atleast....time/use will tell how it plays out in the field...

    Hope that helps....

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    Great responses guys. I'm not convinced this is the way to go. I think these pack designs are specialty packs and the guys that will buy them are guys that have their gear and hunting style dialed in. The last thing you want is 65lbs of meat on the board and then another 50+ directly behind it. But, if you had that 65lbs+ of meat and horns distributed properly on a good quality frame/harness, and only had 25ish lbs back and up, like with the MR, it might not be an issue. But, it wieghs about 7lbs. So what would be the advantage over say the T1 at about the same weight? I don't know other than ease of getting the meat off the pack and stashing it for the night on the hike out. Price I suppose but I don't think it'd be a deciding factor.

    Up until a few days ago I wasn't even thinking about a new pack. I haven't spent any time researching packs the past few years and since I have started I'm finding all these "better mousetraps". About 10 years ago I think it was, I looked at the Eberlestock pack designs and came to the conclusion that they were to short and too much weight would be hanging off the back. These new packs are new designs on an old them in that respect.

    twb, do you know anything about that pic of the Highcamp? Like whats in the meat bag and pack and how heavy it is or how it sits on a guy?
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Snyd,

    Check your PM's. Hands on research is better than internet speculation, so lets see if we can't work something out.

    I too share the same concerns about stacking the load too far away from the body. However, the people that I've discussed this with who actually USE the system seem to think it works great. Like you said, it's the light weight 25 lbs of camp that gets pushed out, the the much heavier meat stays sucked in close, for no net change in the center of mass (theoretically). Going up with that load has been my traditional way of dealing with it, but that has it's own disadvantages.

    Traditional frame packs are also fairly wide, which helps keep a load from going too far up OR out. A perk to that system.

    Yk

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    ...Looking up above at the MR photos the load lifters do appear to be rather low on the frame. If its sagging down under weight then they will provide little assistance if they are below the top of the shoulder. I think this issue is why folks that know always recommend getting a Kifaru pack with 26" stays no matter how short you think you are...

    Ya, I noticed that as well. The NICE frame is the same, the Metcalf bag has 3inch extenders but when you get that bag pushed back it changes the geometry. Here's a pic of the load lifter extentsion

    http://www.mysteryranch.com/hunting/...e-metcalf-pack
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Mr Snyd pm sent
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    So here is the unbuckled view of the Bikini Highcamp with the meat shelf installed.



    I went with this setup after looking at a ton of packs. I've spent almost 2 months eyeballing them and it boiled down I this plus comparing my needs to the gear I have.

    I compared the Stone Glacier and Kifaru DT1 and the Bikini Highcamp.

    I like to be as versatile as I can, being able to adapt 1 platform to 4 seasons of back country was appealing to me. I already have a Barneys pack so I didn't need a full on external hardcore frame.

    I'm a gear junkie so I like to have things well organized. With a few pouches I keep the grab and go method.

    My ditty kit and meat kit doesn't change, but I don't always need them so they stay organized and on the shelf. My Barneys has a long pocket, so I didn't need a long pocket for a spotting scope.

    I have yet to order any mods for the pack, but will be doing so shortly. The meat shelf, grab-it and 2 large belt pouches, lash kit and repair kit will go on the list.

    You asked about the meat bag, which is a Kifaru hanging meat bag.

    Touch base with Luke, he has much more experience with these packs than I.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    I don't really understand MR's load lifter theory with the nice frame.They should offer a new frame with higher stays .I guess this is an easy retrofit for the bag on the existing frame.
    Crew Cab has the same problem.
    I also wonder how the carbon stay's with the new bag attach to the nice frame i have not seen any pics of that.It really is a nice setup just can't get past those lifters.Maybe it's not clear how it set's up in haul mode

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    Its been interesting following the discussion and the links to various packs. If you fellas are trying to come out in one trip, (de-boned meat with camp) I still think Barneys is hard to beat. Certainly competition is a good thing cause the consumer benefits.
    On elk quarter pack-outs down here, I like Barneys and Eberlestock. I really like the Eberlestocks rifle scabbard. It keeps the rifle accessible yet out of the way. Physics dictates that the expandable packs with meat onboard will move your center of gravity backwards thus making you lean forward to keep good balance. There are trades off with all this stuff.
    Ok, carry on.

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    All these new light weight packs are nice.....have you looked into the barney's frame?i use it along with light weight dry bags that I secure with bungee cords. It's not the fancy look anyone is looking for but that Barney's pack frame allows me to carry more weight than any of the packs and frames ive owned. I give most the credit to the suspension and yoke system they run. When your pack often reaches that 100lbs. Plus that frame is worth every penny.

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