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#6477127 - 10/02/16 12:54 PM Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs?
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
Like the title says, I'm looking for reviews and input from those who own or have personally used a Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs. I'm looking into both pretty hard as I need a new elk pack. What say the THF?

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#6477129 - 10/02/16 12:55 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
Cleric Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 2579
I would add exo to the list. I have there's and have been happy.


My issue with mystery ranch is the weight of the pack.

But I don't think you can go wrong with any of those three

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#6477162 - 10/02/16 01:35 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
Exo is also on the list as well. I see people always knocking the weight of the Mystery Ranch packs but I guess I don't get it. I'm looking at the MR Metcalf pack which weighs 6.1 lbs. The Kifaru setup I'm looking at is the hunting platform frame which weighs anywhere from 3lbs 2oz to 3lbs 14 oz and adding the Duplex Timblerline 1 (Dt1) which weighs 3lbs 2 oz. So you're looking at 6lbs 4 oz for the Kifaru frame/pack or 6lbs 1.6oz for the MR pack.

The exo K2 5500 is 5lb 4 oz.

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#6478092 - 10/03/16 07:41 AM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19246
Loc: Corsicana
Kifaru, MR, Kuiu, Stone Glacier, Exo, Eberlestock, and a number of others are all excellent packs. It's kind of like boots - you just need to find the one that: 1)fits you best and 2)has the features you like best for what you do with a pack.

That said, I prefer Kifaru of your two choices, but that's just me.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6478106 - 10/03/16 07:51 AM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
Mystery ranch won't sell bags separate so you have to buy new whole pack if you want to go up or down in bag size.

Kifaru is a great pack, they are the most expensive and I don't like bag options. With that said if you have a really long or short torso, they will custom make a frame for you. They are the king for load hauling over 100lbs. Also have great accessories.

EXO new k2 frame jumped it's weight comfort up a bunch.. I'd say with in 95% of the Kifaru duplex over 100lbs.

I think EXO has the best bag options and best price. I have both 2000 and 3500 packs. I did a 6 day trip to Idaho just using the 2000. I used the load self to haul my stove and heavier stuff(food), and gear was in bag.

All three are good packs, stone glacier is another one i'd add to your list(great pack but bags are minimalist type).

Note note that if you are in need asap you need to call Kifaru and see what thier lead time is. They don't stock packs, tents or bags. They make them to order.

MR, SG, EXO will have them in stock and can ship immediately.

I'm an EXO fan, price and expansion options made it a no brainer for me. I've been using EXO now since they came out, I did upgrade to new frame this year. Think this was my 4th back country hunting using EXO.

You won't notice a difference in any of the 4 under 60lbs though.

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#6478507 - 10/03/16 11:19 AM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
Thanks for the awesome input Bobo. I had SG on the list as well as Eberlestock but ruled them both out for various reasons. I'm definitely between MR and Kirafu with Exo still in the running as well.

I've been doing a bunch of reading on some other sites and came across some posts about Kifaru maybe slipping in quality a bit or having some packs with QC issues get sent out and some guys wrote about how they had Kirafu and they were afraid to cinch the load down anymore because they felt like the strap was going to rip off of the pack where it was sewn on. I'm guessing they worked these issues out and maybe it was just a few packs with issues that made it through. Everyone says they have outstanding CS so I'm sure it would be a non issue (even if I had a quality problem).

The only thing I've read about MR is that they are heavy, but with that you get an absolutely bomb proof and ridiculously tough pack. Also, I don't really know how MR packs are heavier because according to Kirafu's website, the pack I'm looking at combined with their hunting frame is heavier than the MR pack.

I'm definitely not in a hurry to buy as I probably wont get to go out this year due to a pretty bad injury I've been recovering from the past few weeks. So this is just early prep for next season.

I really need to look for some places up here in Colorado that stock some of these bags and see if I can try a few out. I'm sure that would help me decide.

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#6478893 - 10/03/16 03:25 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
Problem with high end packs is most are direct to consumer type companies, but have great return policies for that reason.

Kifaru has the ultralight frame option that puts the weight closer to EXO and SG. It uses carbon arrows for the lateral braces. Weight thing does make a difference to a point. One pound difference is the a sawyer squeeze vs hand pump filter, or 20 degree bag to 0 degree sleeping bag, 1 person tent to 2 person..etc but if you train hard it's not a big deal.

I honestly don't think you can go wrong with a pack from those four companies. I have used all but the SG. All of them have great CS. They are basically the gold standard in the western hunting community as far as that goes.

My only complaint with Kifaru was bag options, and how the compression works on them. Aaron did a gritty podcast showing a new bag they are releasing that fits more my style though. Unless I do a DYI hunt in the NWT I don't ever see myself needing more then a 4K bag. The EXO 3500 is very conservative on size I'd say it's closer to 4500. It also compresses really well to a day pack mode. As far as Kifaru quality, don't buy right before or durning season, I think they get slammed and in a rush(they all hunt). My tut I bought this year had some bad seam work(still sealed up great, just look like crap), and on my stove they miss drilled the collar, took me two seconds to drill another hole but still when you spend that much on gear you don't expect to have any issues.

Tough choice either way, I've been there, but I will say higher end pack makes life a lot more bearable on day 3-4 of a long hunt. Well worth the investment. If you where closer I'd let you play with my EXO.

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#6479265 - 10/03/16 06:45 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
I see the lower weight of the ultralight frame. That makes sense. I'm not really a fan of carbon fiber so I'd likely avoid that anyway. I've broken too much carbon fiber stuff in the mountains already, I just don't trust it.

All of my hunts will be DIY, probably just me and my wife and maybe my dad. So I definitely want a larger pack as I'll also use it for non-hunting trips. And I'll probably get a smaller day pack/scouting pack in the future. A guy can never have too many packs.

I guess I'm really not too concerned about weight, as I do go to the gym 6 days a week and hike a ton when I'm not injured. I'm recovering from a surgery on my right leg so I've been out of the gym for a bit which really sucks. I'm finally able to walk again and its nice to at least have some mobility. A few more weeks and hopefully I'll be back to normal.

I will keep that buying advice in mind. I'm sure most of the guys that work for those pack companies are hunters so its probably best to order from them all in the off season. I have to say, I'd definitely be pissed if I spent that much on some gear and it had poor stitching and required more work.

I imagine I'll just save up and try to narrow it down to two brands, buy both and see what I like best. That has worked well for me in the past.

How are you liking your tut? We are going to need a wall tent or tarp tent or tipi of some sort and I've been wading through all the options. Looking at Seek Outside and tentipi also.

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#6479529 - 10/03/16 09:20 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
I like the tut, it's easy to pitch in a pinch. It's a two man tent with gear. Three would be an emergency type deal, due to having center pole. I really bought it just so I could use a stove and move around if I got caught in a storm. Stove was nice to dry out clothes, but burn time in the 18" smith stove isn't long. You have to feed the beast for say.

I got a over a foot of snow and tut handled it very well. Condensation wasn't bad for most part. Open the front and it airs out really quick. Being able to walk into was very nice, one of my biggest complaints about ultralight freestanding tents is mini me door sizes.

It was nice not having to worry about getting dirt all in my tent floor. And was really nice I could keep all my gear in the tent, and not have to worry about tripping over my stuff trying to go pee in the middle of the night.

I've stayed in a sawtooth before and personally I think if you are using a stove and two people the sawtooth is a better use of space, easier to feed stove also. But again tut works well for two and a stove(it's tight with a stove and gear though). Just two people and gear tut works better the sawtooth for the money

Lot of pluses to it, it fits the mold as to what it's sold todo.. I got to spent 14 hrs straight in the tut via white out conditions and it was nice being able to move around some and stand up. For three people and gear id step up to a 6 man tipi probably.

I love my mountain hardware UL2 ghost, I like my tut. But I'd go nuts in the MH ghost UL2 if I had to spend 14hrs in it.

Function and design(for what it was ment for) it passes the test extremely well, price wise I think it's expensive for what it is. I haven't used a seek outside tent over night but price wise I'd say they would be hard to beat. I know the Kifaru material is super mil spec and it's very nice don't get me wrong, but I don't think the cheaper fabric to the SO tents should be a concern. I just don't see the SO stretching enough to matter. Not to mention you seam seal it same way, and that silicone has a lot of stretch to it anyway. I will say this the Kifaru smith stove is nice and easy to assemble but I absolutely hate the hole size. It was painfully small for my hands. Just a pain to build and feed fires in it.

If the TUT was 150 or 200 cheaper I'd say it was a hell of a deal.











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#6479539 - 10/03/16 09:29 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
I don't know where you live in CO but I heard onshotgear in englewood carries a few Kifaru packs/frames but I'd probably just got to Kifaru since it's probably only 30 min from oneshotgear. Think EXO still has a 30 day no questioned ask return policy

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#6480047 - 10/04/16 09:50 AM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
Texas buckeye Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2953
Loc: Keller
Bobo, do you remember the name of the pack Aaron was talking about in that podcast? I would love to see it/hear more about any new pack bags they are making. Their newer EMRII seems to shrink down into day pack use, but that bag has been out for a while. Just curious as I have been looking at packs for a while, no specific reason, just like good gear and you never know when you might need it.

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#6480242 - 10/04/16 11:38 AM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: BOBO the Clown]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
I don't know where you live in CO but I heard onshotgear in englewood carries a few Kifaru packs/frames but I'd probably just got to Kifaru since it's probably only 30 min from oneshotgear. Think EXO still has a 30 day no questioned ask return policy


I live in Colorado Springs, I looked the place up and its an hour from me. I'll definitely have to stop by next time I'm in the Denver area. Kifaru is also just an hour 20 away and the website says they have a showroom. Man, now I'm actually excited to go to Denver!

I definitely was thinking the Tut was a bit pricey for what it was, but then I started looking at the Tentipi stuff and its not so badly priced, but the Seek Outside stuff is definitely affordable. I definitely want something I can stand up in (or mostly stand up in), but that is tough because I'm a pretty tall guy (6' 7"). I also want something with adequate room because I will spend some time in it on 5-7 day trips whether hunting or just playing in the mountains.

I'm going to keep looking at shelters but so far I'm liking the looks of the 8 man Kifaru tipi. I could easily stand up and stretch and move around plenty, have more than enough room for 3-4 people, all the gear, sleeping setups and stove. Still trying to find the ideal packable stove. I found a very well built titanium stove made by Four Dog Stoves. They look solid and very nice/well thought out but they are spot welded and not packable.

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#6480678 - 10/04/16 03:25 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: Texas buckeye]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
Bobo, do you remember the name of the pack Aaron was talking about in that podcast? I would love to see it/hear more about any new pack bags they are making. Their newer EMRII seems to shrink down into day pack use, but that bag has been out for a while. Just curious as I have been looking at packs for a while, no specific reason, just like good gear and you never know when you might need it.


I'll say this much I really really like the 2000 bag from EXO. You can put it on a Kifaru frame. With a load self and a duffle you can make it a 5k package pretty quick. I just got tired of packing bag, unpacking at camp then repacking before I go out. Just easier to put filter, kill kit, game bags, rain gear, puffy, headlamp etc and forget about it. Although it doesn't take more then a few minutes to cinch down the 3k to daypack mode,

Pack name is
Reckoning

http://www.grittybowmen.com/gritty-podca...ith-aron-snyder

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#6480724 - 10/04/16 03:42 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41084
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: MacDaddy21
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
I don't know where you live in CO but I heard onshotgear in englewood carries a few Kifaru packs/frames but I'd probably just got to Kifaru since it's probably only 30 min from oneshotgear. Think EXO still has a 30 day no questioned ask return policy


I live in Colorado Springs, I looked the place up and its an hour from me. I'll definitely have to stop by next time I'm in the Denver area. Kifaru is also just an hour 20 away and the website says they have a showroom. Man, now I'm actually excited to go to Denver!

I definitely was thinking the Tut was a bit pricey for what it was, but then I started looking at the Tentipi stuff and its not so badly priced, but the Seek Outside stuff is definitely affordable. I definitely want something I can stand up in (or mostly stand up in), but that is tough because I'm a pretty tall guy (6' 7"). I also want something with adequate room because I will spend some time in it on 5-7 day trips whether hunting or just playing in the mountains.

I'm going to keep looking at shelters but so far I'm liking the looks of the 8 man Kifaru tipi. I could easily stand up and stretch and move around plenty, have more than enough room for 3-4 people, all the gear, sleeping setups and stove. Still trying to find the ideal packable stove. I found a very well built titanium stove made by Four Dog Stoves. They look solid and very nice/well thought out but they are spot welded and not packable.


Ya call EXO and see if thier frame would fit a 6'7 guy... I know Kifaru can make one not sure on Exo, you decision might of just got easier


As far as tipis don't think you can go wrong with either Seekoutside or Kifaru. Let me know if I can help any more.

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#6480822 - 10/04/16 04:35 PM Re: Kifaru or Mystery Ranch hunting packs? [Re: MacDaddy21]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1613
Loc: CO
Right on.

Just watched that podcast. That Kifaru Reckoning pack looks pretty nice. I heard Aron mention that the Reckoning pack had a load shelf and the way he said it made it sound like the other Kifaru packs don't have a load shelf? I wonder if that is the case. If I heard right he said he didn't really like the load shelf system but people have been asking for it. That was strange to me. I feel like the load shelf would be the ultimate way to carry meat out (significantly better than putting the meat inside your pack).

I definitely liked a lot of things about that pack and liked seeing everything he had inside. I do really like the idea of packing items in their own Kifaru (or similar) pullout bag. Looks like a great way to stay organized and only grab what you need out of the pack.

I think you are spot on about the tipis. Eventually it just comes down to how much you want to spend. Seek outside has an 8 man tipi combo that has a stove and one of the liners, for $1500. The Kifaru 8 man with a stove and liner is $1894.

Thanks again for your input, it definitely helped.

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