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Thread: Budget Frame Pack

  1. #1

    Default Budget Frame Pack

    I see Barney's is the top dog of frame packs, but I can't shake the price.

    Any other good options:

    1. Cabelas pack
    "Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model® Frame"
    On sale for $60. I'm concerned about comfort most. I know it won't last as long as a Barney's pack, but might do me the trick for a couple years.

    2. Knu - Pack
    -- around $130 (I think, website is being updated now)

    3. Bull Pack
    -- around $180

    4. Dana Designs
    find an old external

    Budget wise, I'm leaning towards the Cabelas or Knu-Pack. I haven't seen any of these packs in person, which is one downside. I want something that will be comfortable. I haven't seen info on the Knu-pack from people who hunted with it.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    In general it is still true today that one pretty much gets what they pay for.... Some posters here report satisfaction with their Cabela's packs and frames - don't know how hard they were used - good luck.
    Last edited by shphtr; 01-10-2009 at 23:48. Reason: editing needed

  3. #3
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    I've used the Cabela's for a lot of years and am happy with it. Carried half a caribou on year with no problem. I recently bought a used Barney pack but realy haven't put it to the test yet so can't compare to see if the extra money is worth it. Others out there will say it is but I personally am still experimenting.

  4. #4
    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    Default Cabelas and Badlands...

    This is what I use for packs, the cabelas guide pack I can carry a lot of weight with... the badlands is a good pack for carrying medium to light loads for me... I carried out more than half a caribou and the antlers with the badlands pack and it was fine... for a moose hunt I would want a frame pack... This being said one must realize I am about 6ft 4 in and 260 lbs so a medium load to me might be a bit more than what most consider a medium load... I wish I could try a Barneys pack but for only coming to Alaska for 7 to 10 days a year hard to justify the money... But I believe the guys here that swear by them...

  5. #5

    Default Camp trails

    This came up a while back & all I have ever used is the camp trails. Barneys makes there's out of gold I think? I have used and abused my pack carrying 100+ pound moose quaters, whole deer & black bears, 55 gallon bait barrels filled with bait, sheep & goat hunting every year, back packing, & so on. In 15 years or so I have bent the frame on one & AK airlines this past fall cracked the frame @ a weld on another. For under 100 bucks a piece I can live with that. They still both function & I have yet to pay out what one Barney's bag would cost.

  6. #6
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    This came up a while back & all I have ever used is the camp trails. Barneys makes there's out of gold I think? I have used and abused my pack carrying 100+ pound moose quaters, whole deer & black bears, 55 gallon bait barrels filled with bait, sheep & goat hunting every year, back packing, & so on. In 15 years or so I have bent the frame on one & AK airlines this past fall cracked the frame @ a weld on another. For under 100 bucks a piece I can live with that. They still both function & I have yet to pay out what one Barney's bag would cost.
    Absolutely the best for the money. The 'higher end' Camp Trails frames have a better & thicker harness and belt. Mine last from '95-'04; bent it badly rolling my '83 Big Red over, otherwise it functioned perfectly. I bought a cheaper Camp Trails frame (with a "moose" bag/pack) and put the better belt, shoulder & back pad from the bent-up frame on it. For spend-thrift's like myself its Camp Trails or bust.

    On another topic, I'd like to know what Barney's charges for his suspension system ONLY! If he'd sell you that for a reasonable price, you could put that on a Camp Trails and have an excellent frame/suspension combo; doubt he'd do that though, as I think that's all a Barney's frame is!

    Tim
    Last edited by tccak71; 01-11-2009 at 10:48. Reason: addition

  7. #7
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrafter View Post
    I see Barney's is the top dog of frame packs, but I can't shake the price.

    Any other good options:

    1. Cabelas pack
    "Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model® Frame"
    On sale for $60. I'm concerned about comfort most. I know it won't last as long as a Barney's pack, but might do me the trick for a couple years.

    2. Knu - Pack
    -- around $130 (I think, website is being updated now)

    3. Bull Pack
    -- around $180

    4. Dana Designs
    find an old external

    Budget wise, I'm leaning towards the Cabelas or Knu-Pack. I haven't seen any of these packs in person, which is one downside. I want something that will be comfortable. I haven't seen info on the Knu-pack from people who hunted with it.

    Thanks for the help.


    i have used a cabela's frame, then went to a bull-pac. both were pretty good but not perfect. two years ago i bought this and am happy with it so far. it has a million adjustments, so that fit can be made for anyone, a nylon strap-bag contrapshun that holds quarters, bagged meat or whatever. this outfit sells new for about $140. and worth it. ** this frame is current issue for the military **

    might be worth try.........i like mine!

    this is a pack & frame by wilderness pack specialties. they sell through schnees boots from montana ( and they have a web site). this "plastic frame" is used by the military and designed to carry 120#. it comes with a wide and heavy padded belt + shoulder/chest straps.

    this rig is light, comfortable, and carries a heavy load. the frame (like a milk jug) will probably last forever.

    happy trails.
    jh

  8. #8

    Default Suspension

    It was 60$ for shoulder straps and 60$ for waistbelt, it's what I use on a Camptrails frame. Mine is sort of Frankensteined together with brown waistbelt, camo straps but so is my favorite rifle, blued action, stainless barrel I sort of like it that way and the critters dont know the difference. So until I need the frame this will do fine.

    The barneys frame is designed better it has the extra crossbar instead of the long vertical pins, he'll sell the suspension if they have any extras in stock.
    Last edited by whitepalm; 01-11-2009 at 13:06. Reason: more

  9. #9

    Default

    Your best bet is the old Dana Pack. Those bad boys are pretty bomb proof. If you can't find one I think these packs are a good buy and are pretty comfortable with a load.

    https://www.huntingfishingdirect.com...-pr-17907.html

  10. #10

    Default

    Campmor Moose Freighter. Been using it for 15+ years and it has been on some demanding hunts (including 3 sheep hunts) and carried many a heavy load. Never once have I had an issue with it, not even a broken pin though I always have spares with me.

    $95.00 when I bought it new. 13 years later I replaced the shoulder harness with one from Barney's, this spring it gets a new waist belt. That will make the total cost of approx. $215.00 over the course of 16 years. I think that is pretty tough to beat !

  11. #11
    Member gusuk1's Avatar
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    Default cablea's

    i have one thats going on ten yrs and never failed me,packed a lot of heavy loads,always try and line it with a bag to keep the blood from soaking.before that i used a alice back (army issue)cheap and tough and can pack a load.

  12. #12

    Default Packs.....

    I have a Barneys and Kifaru which are both great packs but this year I tried out a Kelty. (the model name escapes me at the moment. Digital camo one at Sportsmans) Anyway, I did the haul road death march and packed out a young bull caribou in one trip 5.5mi and also three sitka blacktails on Kodiak. The deer were all one loads as well. This pack did just fine. It is an internal frame so it was great for hunting but didn't handle the weight as well as the external Barneys. Overall it did fine, though if I do the haul road thing solo again it will be with the Barneys pack. I think this pack runs in the $170 range???

  13. #13
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    Default In the same boat...

    I too am looking since my 8 year-old Kelty bent all to heck on me this year. I think I've been abusing it pretty good...when I went back and checked the literature it turns out it was only built to carry 40-60 lb loads.
    I stopped by Barneys on a trip down to Los Anchorage, and their stuff is the best there is. The customer service is great too, but I can't afford it.
    Before the Kelty I used an ALICE pack too (the large bag). I don't want to go back to that! The frame was one size fits all, and after spending 10 days in it I had blisters on my back because I couldnt' get it to sit correctly for my height (6'1' with a long trunk). To put the weight on my hips, I had to adjust the straps in such a way that I got blisters on my upper back, when I brought it back up, it relieved the blisters but all the weight was on my shoulders (caused my lower back to start hurting). Only used that for 3 seasons before moving to the kelty.
    A friend let me borrow his Dana Designs K2 Short Bed this year after the kelty bent, and I really liked it. It was a little heavier, but way more comfortable and fit my body well. They've quit making them though, so until my buddy decides to move on to something better, I'll have to find something similar.
    Growing up everyone had Camp Trails, maybe I'll try that...I just need to find a spot locally (interior) and put one on my back before I buy.

  14. #14
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Camp Trails

    My old pack frame is a Camp Trails. When I bought my Cabela's Alaskan II, it turned out to be the identical frame. I think it is now called the Moose Pack with the lower frame support. The only difference between the CP and the Cabela's is the quality of the waist belt. The 28 year old pack is better all around.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  15. #15
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    I have routinely praised my Camptrails Moose freighter. There are nicer packs out ther and I own two of them, but it has been hard to go wrong with a 5 lb pack. Those Cabela's models can get down right porky.

  16. #16
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    Hated my cabelas outfitter pack. Sold it and sucked up the price on a barney's. I used the barney's pack for my sheep hunt and then on my moose hunt. Hands down it payed for itself on the moose hunt. We had to hike the meat back to camp 2 miles away. It wasnt bad with the barney's and it held up great. Everytime I ever put anything into my cabelas pack it was a pain in the @$$! I know the price is a kick to the jewels but beleive me it's worth it for hunting AK.

  17. #17

    Default kelty

    I have an old Kelty I got at the "right price". the bag looks like junk. THe straps are pretty sad. I might actually try it this fall.

    THis year I used a barney's frame with a lame internal frame bag strapped to it. The real deal sure would be nice....

  18. #18
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    I have routinely praised my Camptrails Moose freighter. There are nicer packs out ther and I own two of them, but it has been hard to go wrong with a 5 lb pack. Those Cabela's models can get down right porky.
    Depending on the model they weigh 10-12 lbs! Too heavy unless weight isn't an issue. That's the only reason I wouldn't buy one.

    Thought the Barney's Pinnacle pack & frame was like $500! What were you looking at for $170-frame only?

    Tim

  19. #19
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    My old pack frame is a Camp Trails. When I bought my Cabela's Alaskan II, it turned out to be the identical frame. I think it is now called the Moose Pack with the lower frame support. The only difference between the CP and the Cabela's is the quality of the waist belt. The 28 year old pack is better all around.
    I second Dave , my son-in-law has a Camp Trails and its the same as my Cabelas. It works OK but I haven't ever sheep hunted. Carries Caribou short distances just fine. I guess you have to think about WT. ,Distance, Terrain and how often you will do it. Good luck, happy hunting

  20. #20

    Default

    I had issues with the Cabelas pack this year packing out caribou. The frame was flexing too much. Also the little pouch for the meat was pretty darn small. I had to get creative with the tie downs. Not a fan of the Cabelas. Of course their are a couple of other models from Cabelas that look Ok, but the Alaska model without the meat shelf is junk. I spent my money and bought a Barney's pack after my misadventure. Carried loads much better hunting for moose.

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