Looking to pick up a new pack for a sheep hunt. Any ideas?
Looking to pick up a new pack for a sheep hunt. Any ideas?
I have been using a Badlands 4500 for my hunts the last three years... While I haven't been on a sheep hunt in that time, this is the pack I would take... bad part is the price... I paid $300
To tell you to literally not listen to anything else and pay the seemingly ridiculous amount of money ($540 for my set up) for a Barney's pack. I was a staunch opponent of the pack initially, I was a rabid internal frameite. Over time however, I began to question my presumptuous assumptions. Eventually I began dropping not so subtle hints and this last fathers's day my wife surprised me with a new kevlar Barney's pinnacle pack.
I had a fairly epic fall...my buddies sheep (it was his year) taped at 38x13" on the strong side, my moose taped out at 62.5", my goat taped out at 9.75x5.5"(he ended up scoring 51 4/8 official B&C points), and I harvested 3 bucks on Kodiak to top it off. I had my Barney's pack through all of it, and I've never been more pleased with a piece of outdoor equipment.
Trust me, buy the damm Barney's...you will NOT be dissappointed!!!
Last edited by sockeye1; 01-20-2009 at 06:49.
I you absolutely can't part with that much money for a pack, keep an eye on Craigslist and on the swap and sell forum on this site. From time to time there are good deals on frame packs.
For sheep, a key element is the weight of the pack. I had a cabela's pack a few years ago and it wasn't bad. I got a Barney's pack (Kevelar pinnacle) and I am here to tell you it is a nicer pack. The main thing is that it is bigger AND lighter. I think my old pack was about 12# empty and the Barney's pack is under 9# empty and almost 50% larger in capacity. To top it off, it is local and more comfortable.
Do a search on this site for "pack" and you will find numerous threads.
These packs are made by Dana Gleason of Dana Design fame. They are the best internal frame you can buy for the size. The Kodiak or virtually identical G7000 are great top quality packs. The price is ~$600 though. Barney's are top quality for external frame. In the steep or thick an internal excels while on open ground or with crushing loads.
the mystery ranch grizzly looks like a nice pack and is pretty pricey, but i think it is an internal frame. some like the internal frame for mountain hunting as it hugs your body closer, so it doesn't sway as much. i just got a barney's hunter pack with freighter frame for mountain hunting. pack is in kevlar (the black with white checkered look) vs the camo which i think is cordura? my pack is at 8 lbs. which is pretty light for an external considering many heavy load 5500 cu in internals weigh 7 lbs+. and that is only for 5500 or so cu in. the hunter i think is 6800. search threads to find the differences b/w that and the pinnacle.
other companies: mystery ranch (internal and external, NICE frame system), dana design (internal), kelty, cabelas, old fashioned military alice pack (although having carried 70 lbs in one of those, they are very uncomfortable). there are other options out there, but the barneys is heavy duty external and lightweight, at least for me it is. the shoulder straps are oh so soft and cushioned. i have never had a pack with that much cushioning in the shoulder straps. stop by barney's sports chalet and check them out. they offer a military discount as well.
good luck shopping.
All the past backpast threads on packs have always leaned toward Barneys Sports Shalet packs. Go into any large guide camp and, frankly, I can not remember seeing a guide in Alaska with anything but a Barneys pack.
Three of my recent sheep, goat and brown bear clients purchased Barney packs after their Cabellas packs suffered catastrophic failures.
Man-Up and don't sweat the weight, you are always going to be overloaded anyway. You might as well have a great shoulder harness and a superior waist belt.
And most important if your in Southcentral AK....Bob H. has absolutely, positively been sensational in the customer service department.
Over time...if you really do hunt alot in Alaskan hunting conditions...and are consistently successful (therefore really heavily loaded)...a Barneys backpack is a bargain.
Alaska True Adventure Guide Service
I'll chime in for the hundredth time on the Barney's pack. There's a reason why even penny-pinching guides throw down for these packs. They work.
You don't have to spend $600 for one either. I just met with Bob Hodson (the owner of the company) and he was talking between $300-$400 for his simplest one with a good frame and good suspension (straps and waist belt). Bob told me that his prices are coming down a bit from what they once were, as a result of a number of factors. At the same time his quality has actually improved. I'll post more on this when I have the facts straight.
Folks, when you're young and dumb (as we all were or are), you think you're Superman. You think that somehow you are built better, stronger, and... well... different from the other guys. So you do dumb things like packing out 165# moose quarters, or using pack frames that are not up to the task or, worse yet, pack frames that provide terrible support for your back and large muscle groups. What I can tell you is that the Barney's pack is Alaska-tough, AND it's nice to your body. After that it's up to you how much you want to try to stuff into the thing. It can handle the abuse if you can.
That's coming from a guy who packed out his first moose in 1986, in a Coleman Peak 1 pack and plastic frame. It was a nightmare that took most of a week.
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Hey Michael, I think I have your old Coleman!
I also have a Cabela's Alaskan II Freeighter pack that I've never had a problem with. If (when?) it does start giving me a hard time I'll take a closer look at Barney's.
Vance in AK.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
I had this same issue late last year, I needed a new pack. I asked for advice here and on the PV forum. Got a lot of good advice, but the best advice is to try on a bunch of packs with at least 50 pounds in them. And walk around the store for at least 30 minutes wearing it. I ended up buying the Eberlestock Dragonfly, I put about 75 lbs in it at Sportsmans Warehouse and wore it for quite a while. It's worked out great, I got a Kodiak bear this spring, estimated pack weight 110-125 lbs for three miles. Without the great weight support system in that pack I don't think I could have done it. It's also packed out half a caribou four different times in the fall. I bought the pack and then later the zip in suit case deal. The suit case is great for putting spare clothes in and then you have the main pack for animal parts and your "clean" clothes stay cleaner. good luck
Take Care, Rick
I have been using my trusty Campmor Moose freighter frame for 15+ years now. I like it so much I am afraid of the next choice I make when I replace it... maybe before next fall. The only thing I have had to do to it is replace the shoulder harness because the padding in the original got hard over the ears. I went to Barneys and purchased their harness. It is a great harness except for the noise, I sound like a friggen one-man band from all the squeaking !
My campmor has had many 100+lb loads carried over miles and rugged terrain without failure. It has a single compartment bag that is big enough to hold all but large moose hind quarters or complete rib sides. It cost $100.00. 13 years later another $65.00 for the shoulder harness.
I can't say this pack is for everyone but, it certainly is something to consider IMO.
Built in Washington. Absoluetly bombproof. They will custom make you one with whatever options/feautures you like.
They have a cool extension feature that allows the pack to go small, but extend to carry a full load without compromising the frame.
My sheep hunting buddy has one and i have a Cabelas. Cabelas isnt even in the same class. It serves its purpose for me but when its wore out im buying a Barneys. Hillbilly
If you're on a shoestring budget, try to find an older dana designs external frame (terraframe, shortbed, longbed, T1) or internal frame (terraplane, astralplane) on ebay or craigslist. You'll have to try and get a feel for what your size for the frame and waistbelt based on some creative googling of old gear reviews and such.
Partner this year scored a new-condition terraframe for less than $100.
I built my own and next year will be building the improved model. It's tougher than the barneys pack ( same Kevlar thread and higher thread count fabric) and has design elements no other pack can offer.....they should be available in limited numbers in fall 2009.
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I have a Kifaru Longhunter Guide pack that I used on an '05 sheep hunt and afterwards bought a Barney's Pinnacle pack.
If you're looking internal, I don't think you can go wrong with a Kifaru or Mystery Ranch.
If you're looking external, Barney's should be your only consideration.
The difference between the 2 for me is that the Barney's is compartmentalized (if that's even a word) better for access and the Barney's handles weight better. Of course, you could add pouches to the Kifaru. YMMV.
"The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt
I just bought a used kifaru longhunter. I was a bit unimpressed with some of the sewing - I had tried them on before at the Kifaru headquarters and have always wanted one....I do think that the barney's would be a better option - but I think that what I paid for a used Kifaru it will work for sheep next year...hopefully a lot longer than that!
I have been using the various Barney's external frame packs since the mid 80's....and continue to do so because they are the best I have found after trying most of the rest. After reading thru all of the previous comments I was struck by the fact that no one who had used a Barney's pack had found a sig fault with their purchase ..... sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said.