Kifaru Frame Length? Load lifters?

Bhatch

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Dec 27, 2020
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12
Im about to purchase a kifaru tactical frame and i have questions on the frame height and loadlifter function. Besides the fit of based on torso length how important is loadlifter height over the shoulder? im wanting to use this pack for all my hinting from eastern dayhunts to elk hunts. I dont really want the load lifters sticking up to far and catching brush. Alot of guys that whitetail hunt use a 22” frame and its even with top of the shoulders, but does this keep you from packing out heavy loads? I dont really understand the function and importance of the load lifters.
 

ORelkhunter9

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Aug 5, 2020
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4
It does all depend on your torso length. and the correct height of Frame will go a long ways in being able to pack a heavy load. A frame that starts out at shoulder length and putting a heavy load on will be a very uncomfortable pack out. For instance I am 5'7" and I use a 24" duplex lite frame. I find myself in Brushy situations and I have no problem getting through it even with the frame being over my shoulders. and when you do get an elk down it makes it way nicer on the back out to be able to the weight a bit higher and keep the frame closer to your back. Feel free to call customer service and they can help. Or you can PM me your dimensions and I can tell you what frame you need.
 

[email protected]

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6’0”. 230lb 30”inseam and 20 1/2 in torso( i think im measuring correctly)
With a 20 1/2 inch torso you will need a 26" Frame. and also long shoulder straps. And you can decide on a tactical and duplex lite. back[pack hunting I would get the lite but for whitetails the tactical will be good.
 
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Bhatch

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Dec 27, 2020
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How much you think the frame will stick up above my shoulders. I hunt some pretty thick places and alot of mt laurel. I packed out 92.8lb thursday of bear meat/hide/skull in an old badlands 2200. It wasnt ideal but i made it work. The “load lifter straps” on it are roughly 1.5 in above my shoulders and i was able to use them and the shoulder straps to get weight off my shoulders a couple times and onto my hips. That lead to whole new problem that you may have an answer for. I dont care heavy weight well on my hips (probably the pack i have) but i get pain in my hips pretty quick and end up with weight on my back and shoulders most of the time. This makes me wonder if tall loadlifters are going to benefit me much.
 

Ahiuranch

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Oct 5, 2022
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32
I am 5’9 215 30 inch inseam and I run the 26 inch frame. I wanted max load lift that’s why I went taller. I don’t understand the whole “it will get caught in brush” thing to be honest, not from you personally just from people in general. If you put a deer/elk rack or even a bow/gun on your pack it’s all gonna stick out way above your head and way above the 26 inch frame. If your walking through brush the antlers are gonna get caught in brush. Heck I get caught in brush without even having a pack on some times that’s why it’s called bushwhacking. Some times I think we as men always get caught up with the inches😂
 

uc3kimber

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Oct 11, 2022
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17
When I was at Kifaru and had them fit me to a frame they said the load lifter shouldn't go above the top of your ear, preferably mid ear.

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trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
How much you think the frame will stick up above my shoulders. I hunt some pretty thick places and alot of mt laurel. I packed out 92.8lb thursday of bear meat/hide/skull in an old badlands 2200. It wasnt ideal but i made it work. The “load lifter straps” on it are roughly 1.5 in above my shoulders and i was able to use them and the shoulder straps to get weight off my shoulders a couple times and onto my hips. That lead to whole new problem that you may have an answer for. I dont care heavy weight well on my hips (probably the pack i have) but i get pain in my hips pretty quick and end up with weight on my back and shoulders most of the time. This makes me wonder if tall loadlifters are going to benefit me much.
Load lifters on a BL's don't do squat as I'm sure you found out. You will hVe a different experience with a Kifaru or Mystery Ranch
 

Marble

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May 29, 2019
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2,611
How much you think the frame will stick up above my shoulders. I hunt some pretty thick places and alot of mt laurel. I packed out 92.8lb thursday of bear meat/hide/skull in an old badlands 2200. It wasnt ideal but i made it work. The “load lifter straps” on it are roughly 1.5 in above my shoulders and i was able to use them and the shoulder straps to get weight off my shoulders a couple times and onto my hips. That lead to whole new problem that you may have an answer for. I dont care heavy weight well on my hips (probably the pack i have) but i get pain in my hips pretty quick and end up with weight on my back and shoulders most of the time. This makes me wonder if tall loadlifters are going to benefit me much.
I've done what your doing with the 2200 and it's night and day. I use the kifaru 26" frame, 6'1" 220, long torso. I hunt in everything from open fields, thick thick brush, and heavy timber. The pack sits low enough behind me that I can set my bow on it and walk comfortably.

As far as load lifter configuration, it's a combination of several things. Frame height, shoulder strap length, actual load, where the lifter attaches to the strap (should be at or near the collar bone).

The height shouldn't be an issues with brush. I usually have more issues with the width. Forgetting to compress the pack or having a big load.

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BRTreedogs

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Nov 16, 2017
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Central Oregon
If the frame is tall enough, and the weight stays on your hips enough, all load lifter function does is allow you to take some of the weight up off your shoulders.

But if your not going to be packing heavy weight for very long you may not care as much.

Split the difference and go 24" Kifaru holds enough value im sure you can sell or trade the frame for a different height if you don't like what you buy.
 

strongarm

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Apr 19, 2021
Messages
50
@Bhatch the load lifter angle matters most when you have heavy weights, be that packing in a full camp or better yet packing out meat. I have a similarly long torso length, so as @[email protected] notes definitely get the 26" or you have automatically handcuffed yourself for those times when you do have heavy weight. It may be tempting to get the 24" as it will work...right up until you have heavy loads.

While a 24" would work, you will have lost the ability to transfer the load properly to your pelvis. Or perhaps better stated not able to transfer the load in a more ideal way based on your anatomy. The higher frame is not necessary for day hunting or lighter load scenarios and make you slightly more nimble in heavy cover, but in my opinion it will hamper you during a load/pack out.

The load lifters themselves won't be in the way in brush/cover, as the frame and bag (and any peripherals, like lids or pouches) will be above the load lifter, even in its highest position. It's about the height of the frame itself.

The Kifaru frames have 3 positions for the load lifters from the shoulder straps to the bag (or frame, if you ever wear a frame without back for meat/meat quarters, or bulky items). With a light load or while in day mode you can lower them to get the straps out of your peripheral vision. The load lifter function itself will draw the frame in toward your back and allow the shoulder straps to "lift" off your shoulders. Don't go crazy there, just cinch them up a little bit to raise the straps off your shoulders a touch. This will affect the geometry of the whole system and you'll feel it settle the load down onto your pelvis, provided you have your belt positioned correctly.

Depending on what you go with—again based on your torso 26" is really the best for you if you plan on ever carrying heavier loads—you won't notice any of this until you have weight in the pack. It will be awkward with bare frame/empty pack. When you get weight it will settle down on your body pretty noticeably, so during setup be sure you load that bag up with something.

I'm an eastern and western hunter, so elected for the 26" knowing I want optimal performance in the worst-case scenario...which is actually the best case scenario because it means I'm packing out heavy elk meat. The 26" could be considered overkill in many ways on the east side, but it sounds right-sized for your body. The load lifters will function as load stabilizers with a smaller frame for your anatomy, meaning it will keep the frame closer to your back, which will still help and be more comfortable than the frame pulling away from your body. You'd likely get some "lift" with a 24," but again perhaps less than ideal based on your torso.

Both when loaded heavy and loaded light like in day mode, I'm constantly adjusting shoulder straps, load lifters, and sternum strap just to mix up where the load is affecting my body. This helps prevent over-stressing any particular part of your body throughout the day and helps increase stamina across a long day. Conditions will dictate this, too, like if crawling up steep slopes or in scree/boulder fields where you may want a little more freedom of movement.

I debated the Duplex Light vs. Tactical for some time since I'm a bit of an overkill guy and like the heaviest duty...everything. But, I elected for the Duplex Light vs. Tactical. Having a number of elk seasons and backpacking trips on my back with the Duplex Light I've not yet had a scenario where I wish I would have opted for the Tactical frame.

If you've not had a Kifaru frame before, you will be shocked and pleased how it handles heavy loads. I realized I'd been beating myself up for longer than I'm willing to admit before I transitioned to the Duplex platform.
 

AlwaysAble

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Oct 17, 2022
Messages
5
actually PM me on this account. I am ORelkhunter9. I work for Kifaru.
I am 5’4, 160, 25” insole, and 32 inch waistband. If I measured correctly I’m about a 16” torso. Looking to get a tactical frame for the 44 Mag I just purchased to replace my military issued ruck. Trying to find the right balance between the frame being able to carry weight (the Army loves giving us heavy loads and telling us to walk fast) and having good head mobility while wearing a helmet. Currently thinking either a 22” or 24” Duplex Tactical with a small waist belt and large straps. Any advice?
 

[email protected]

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I am 5’4, 160, 25” insole, and 32 inch waistband. If I measured correctly I’m about a 16” torso. Looking to get a tactical frame for the 44 Mag I just purchased to replace my military issued ruck. Trying to find the right balance between the frame being able to carry weight (the Army loves giving us heavy loads and telling us to walk fast) and having good head mobility while wearing a helmet. Currently thinking either a 22” or 24” Duplex Tactical with a small waist belt and large straps. Any advice?
22" Frame can defiantly still work for your height and torso. you wont have the load capabilities like a 24" frame. having a 16" torso you fall right in the middle for short shoulder straps. the only reason you would go into longer shoulder straps is if you have a big chest. and also having long shoulder straps and a 22" frame don't really go together well. for instance i am 5'7" and 165. I use a 24" frame and short shoulder straps.
 

[email protected]

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22" Frame can defiantly still work for your height and torso. you wont have the load capabilities like a 24" frame. having a 16" torso you fall right in the middle for short shoulder straps. the only reason you would go into longer shoulder straps is if you have a big chest. and also having long shoulder straps and a 22" frame don't really go together well. for instance i am 5'7" and 165. I use a 24" frame and short shoulder straps.
I am 5’4, 160, 25” insole, and 32 inch waistband. If I measured correctly I’m about a 16” torso. Looking to get a tactical frame for the 44 Mag I just purchased to replace my military issued ruck. Trying to find the right balance between the frame being able to carry weight (the Army loves giving us heavy loads and telling us to walk fast) and having good head mobility while wearing a helmet. Currently thinking either a 22” or 24” Duplex Tactical with a small waist belt and large straps. Any advice?
and we don't recommend putting 44 mag on a 22" frame because it would sag so much that it would rub your butt. with your specs I would say get a 24" frame, small waist belt, and short shoulder straps. you will be just fine with head clearance.
 
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