Difficulty finding comfortable pack - lumbar issue

Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
20
Location
U.S.
Hoping someone with a similar issue can shed light on what worked for them. I'm used to backpacking with a traditional backpack - my Osprey Exos 58 has no lumbar pad and carries up to 35-40lbs very comfortably. I'm getting into backpacking hunting now.

In searching for my first hunting pack I tried Mystery Ranch, Kifaru (both the duplex and tactical frame in 24" and 26"), Exo and Stone Glacier (Krux and Xcurve frames). I experienced the same issue with all of them - it feels like the entire load is being carried on a tiny section of my lower back where the lumbar pad sits. This was the case regardless of how I loaded the bag, or what was in it (regular gear + sandbag, or just regular backpacking gear). When using the sandbag, I never put the weight in very bottom of the pack and always elevated it at various heights. Using a load shelf didn't help.

I talked with Kifaru customer service to make sure the fit was right (ended up sizing down to a 24" frame), and even with a traditional backpacking load out the pack was uncomfortable weighing under 40 pounds. Heavier weight only exacerbated it.

Has anyone experienced this lumbar issue and were you able to find a comfortable setup?
 

*zap*

WKR
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
7,236
Location
N/E Kansas
kifaru, as far as I know, is designed to put the weight on your hips.
MR and Sg you should be able to split the weight between shoulders and hips.

might be a fit procedure issue. maybe you should saddle up and have some pics taken from the sides/back/front and post those....
 

Kenneth@Kifaru

Lil-Rokslider
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Oct 13, 2022
Messages
158
Hey man! defiantly don't take this the wrong way. No matter what backpack you have in the industry. under heavy loads you are going to feel some of the weight. coming from a backpackers world to the hunting world are 2 completely different things. Hunting it requires more gear= more weight and the goal is to come out heavier sometimes 100lb. on your back. My advice is to choose whatever frame and bag you want. Load it up with 50 lbs. and train. If you hear of anyone saying that when they have 80-100 lbs. on their back and it doesn't feel like there is anything there. They are lying. More mental toughness takes over for guys than general strength. fitting could be the main cause also. if the waist belt isn't in a precise spot on your hips. than it will feel way more than it should. and also to the shoulder straps and than to the load lifter angle. send me pics of you wearing the pack with weight (either brand pack) and i can help you out.

[email protected]
 

Drenalin

WKR
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,762
I’ve had similar issues. Seek Outside without a lumbar pad was a revelation for me as far as fit.
 

colby12

WKR
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
423
Location
Oklahoma
If you haven’t yet, follow the fit guidance from the companies, in the proper order adjust it accordingly. The ones you mentioned have good CS and can point you the proper direction. SG has been my choice for the past few years and the lumbar pad took a few tries to fit properly. After the lumbar pressure is corrected the pack sits pretty well(for me). At some point, as pointed out above, it just sucks and you’re going to deal with it or you’re not.
 

Highlands Hunter

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
214
Many lumbar pads have shims you can remove to reduce the pressure. I used about 80lbs and put it on my Kifaru lumbar pad to flatten it.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
689
Location
MT and TX
If you haven’t yet, follow the fit guidance from the companies, in the proper order adjust it accordingly. The ones you mentioned have good CS and can point you the proper direction. SG has been my choice for the past few years and the lumbar pad took a few tries to fit properly. After the lumbar pressure is corrected the pack sits pretty well(for me). At some point, as pointed out above, it just sucks and you’re going to deal with it or you’re not.

Same here. Most of the packs the OP mentioned have a lot more adjustability than you’d think. I have my SG XCurve frame dialed in perfectly now. But it took the help of a few buddies to get it fit just right and having me try different loads where they could see what was happening when the weight changed significantly.
 
Top