Exo K4 with Kifaru Bag?

Movadius

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
116
Debating trying the Exo K4 frame but I'm not a fan of the profile of their bags. The features and layout look great but the taper towards the bottom of the pack and the super tall and narrow profile of their packs is not appealing to me. I want to be able to use it for whitetail and also camping and backpacking in eastern canada woodland, lots of overhanging brush. Seeing how high their packs sit above the shoulders was not appealing.

It looks like it would be fairly easy to attach a different company's bag to their frame though. Has anyone done this with the K4 yet?
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2013
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I can't help with your question but had to mention that I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw the profile of their bag. The frame looks to be very well thought out and designed but the narrowish and taller profile you mention, concerning the bag, doesn't look quite right to my eye either. My current pack top sits right about the height of my ears and on more than one occasion I was wishing it was lower as I was crawling under deadfall.
 

Mark at EXO

WKR
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We do keep our bags narrower for many reasons. Our larger bag models expand in height and depth (front-to-back) off of the frame. That said, you can control a lot of the pack's profile by how you decide to pack the volume. With our roll-top design, you don't have to have a tall bag that sticks up high, since you could have the bag rolled lower. And with 4 frame height options, we could also keep a lower profile frame on you.

To make a comparison, let's say you were doing a 5-day backpack hunt with either a 3600 or 5000 bag. For the 3600 you may need to use more height because you need to use most of the bag's available volume. But if you were to do that same hunt in a 5000, you could keep a lower profile and not have the bag as tall (compared to the 3600) because you could get the same amount of food/gear in the larger (circumference) 5000 bag without needed to expand the 5000 as tall.

One thing we don't show in a lot of our photos that convey the possibility to have a wider bag is the use of the full-length side pockets, which do expand outward. If you use those for gear (shelter, clothes, food, etc), you could create a shorter/wider profile as well.

Holler if you have any Qs.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
5,107
Location
oregon coast
Debating trying the Exo K4 frame but I'm not a fan of the profile of their bags. The features and layout look great but the taper towards the bottom of the pack and the super tall and narrow profile of their packs is not appealing to me. I want to be able to use it for whitetail and also camping and backpacking in eastern canada woodland, lots of overhanging brush. Seeing how high their packs sit above the shoulders was not appealing.

It looks like it would be fairly easy to attach a different company's bag to their frame though. Has anyone done this with the K4 yet?
Like mark mentioned, it’s really not a concern, I live on the Oregon coast and there isn’t much brushier terrain, so I will adjust how I pack for what I’m doing… day hunting in the brush, I will keep the bag rolled down (easy to do even if you bring way more stuff than you need) and often don’t put the lid on, and the highest point sticking up is the frame… it’s no higher profile than any other pack of the same frame height.

You have to get pretty close to max capacity for the bag to get noticeably tall, knowing that, buy the right bag that you won’t be pushing its capacity limits and you are good to go, and there isn’t much weight penalty going with a bigger bag

I certainly understand your concerns, but with a lot of time with exo packs and several other packs, it’s not really a thing, if it was, I wouldn’t use them because I spend a lot of time in the brush, no getting around it here

If kifaru bags hooked up directly to a k4 frame, I wouldn’t even consider it still, I very much prefer exo bags, and it’s not close. I have spent a lot of time in a kifaru and they are a great pack, but their bags are pretty far behind exo imo… the Stryker xl was the only bag that I liked from kifaru, and it’s nothing special, but you can at least access the load shelf pretty quick… every bag exo has made has been easy to use the load shelf, and I like the layout a lot more.

Exo bags can be as low profile as any
 
Last edited:
OP
M

Movadius

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
116
We do keep our bags narrower for many reasons. Our larger bag models expand in height and depth (front-to-back) off of the frame. That said, you can control a lot of the pack's profile by how you decide to pack the volume. With our roll-top design, you don't have to have a tall bag that sticks up high, since you could have the bag rolled lower. And with 4 frame height options, we could also keep a lower profile frame on you.

To make a comparison, let's say you were doing a 5-day backpack hunt with either a 3600 or 5000 bag. For the 3600 you may need to use more height because you need to use most of the bag's available volume. But if you were to do that same hunt in a 5000, you could keep a lower profile and not have the bag as tall (compared to the 3600) because you could get the same amount of food/gear in the larger (circumference) 5000 bag without needed to expand the 5000 as tall.

One thing we don't show in a lot of our photos that convey the possibility to have a wider bag is the use of the full-length side pockets, which do expand outward. If you use those for gear (shelter, clothes, food, etc), you could create a shorter/wider profile as well.

Holler if you have any Qs.

Thanks for the reply! I hadn't considered the factors you brought up. I'll likely always be using the side zipper pockets but I assumed they would take up internal space. I didn't realize they expand outwards.

Do you happen to know the capacity of the bags when the top is rolled down all the way (to about the length of the frame)?
 
OP
M

Movadius

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
116
Like mark mentioned, it’s really not a concern, I live on the Oregon coast and there isn’t much brushier terrain, so I will adjust how I pack for what I’m doing… day hunting in the brush, I will keep the bag rolled down (easy to do even if you bring way more stuff than you need) and often don’t put the lid on, and the highest point sticking up is the frame… it’s no higher profile than any other pack of the same frame height.

You have to get pretty close to max capacity for the bag to get noticeably tall, knowing that, buy the right bag that you won’t be pushing its capacity limits and you are good to go, and there isn’t much weight penalty going with a bigger bag

I certainly understand your concerns, but with a lot of time with exo packs and several other packs, it’s not really a thing, if it was, I wouldn’t use them because I spend a lot of time in the brush, no getting around it here

If kifaru bags hooked up directly to a k4 frame, I wouldn’t even consider it still, I very much prefer exo bags, and it’s not close. I have spent a lot of time in a kifaru and they are a great pack, but their bags are pretty far behind exo imo… the Stryker xl was the only bag that I liked from kifaru, and it’s nothing special, but you can at least access the load shelf pretty quick… every bag exo has made has been easy to use the load shelf, and I like the layout a lot more.

Exo bags can be as low profile as any

Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate it.

Do you think the 5000 would be overkill for east coast backcountry camping and whitetail hunting? Most of my trips would be around 2-3 days, but may have some go up to a week.

I was looking at the 3600 but Mark's comment about being able to fill the 5000 up and roll it down shorter for the same capacity got the gears turning.
 

98XJRC

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Messages
249
I used the 4800 last season for exactly what you’re describing. 2-3 nights and also for whitetail. The beauty of the EXO bag is that if you don’t need the space you can easily compress the bag to the shape and size that you need. I used it throughout the season for just evening sits to carry my saddle, platform, and one stick to and from the truck and never once had any issues.

I just purchased the 5k as I want the ability to use the pack for longer trips not to mention some of the heavier pieces of insulation clothing that we use sometimes in the trees can be extremely bulky.
 
OP
M

Movadius

Lil-Rokslider
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Oct 21, 2022
Messages
116
Yeah... Especially since I plan to use it for winter camping as well, the 3600 would have to be filled to capacity and it would still be cutting it close. 5000 seems like the way to go.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
5,107
Location
oregon coast
Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate it.

Do you think the 5000 would be overkill for east coast backcountry camping and whitetail hunting? Most of my trips would be around 2-3 days, but may have some go up to a week.

I was looking at the 3600 but Mark's comment about being able to fill the 5000 up and roll it down shorter for the same capacity got the gears turning.
I think it would be a great choice, probably perfect for what you’re looking for, not wanting the pack getting too tall

Another nice thing about the k4 is that it doesn’t feel saggy even with most of the weight low in the bag, it handles that incredibly well… I have loaded mine purposefully bottom heavy just to see and it would take some dense weight low in the bag to make it feel saggy. I’m beyond impressed with what they have done with the k4, like it more every time I wear it
 

croben

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 21, 2022
Messages
289
I think the 5000 is a great all around pack. It compresses down extremely small for day hunts, but is big enough for many days if needed.

I’ve had the K3 4800 since it came out and love it. It truly has been my favorite pack so far. I usually keep the bottom of the pack cinched down more so everything doesn’t collect down there and throw stability off. I keep the roll top rolled down the majority of the time, so the pack sticking up is really never an issue. I think you’d be a lot happier with that system than you think.

With that said, I do have a duplex lite frame and it is the best fitting frame for me and extremely comfortable. I haven’t tried the K4 yet, but I haven’t heard a single bad thing about it.
 
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