Kifaru Lite and Exo K3

Joined
Nov 16, 2017
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Central Oregon
I mean I could for a fair weather hunt.
But I hate using the snow collar as I don't want it sticking up. So I loose alot of space there.
On a late season hunt I doubt I could. But it would be close.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
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WA State
Can you share your gear list for doing that?


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I don't have a full gear list written out anywhere but here's the jist of it for early September. Like I said, I cant speak to mid/late October when you'd need to bring more stuff.

K3 4800 on Kifaru lite frame (great combo, BTW, highly recommend)
Thermarest Neoair X therm pad
20 degree EE quilt in compression sack
Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus shelter in sack
Sawyer squeeze filter w/ bladder and hose
MSR Windburner stove kit
Little possibles pouch
Inreach
13,000 MaH battery pack
Headlamp and then an extra headlamp
Kill kit (alaska game bags, tyto w/ a couple extra blades, latex gloves) in a gallon zip lock and squeeze the air out
Vortex highcountry tripod
Vortex spotter
Kuiu glassing pad between bag and frame
Costco trekking poles
Swaros on my chest
Bow strapped to the outside
Skre down puffy in sack
Super lightweight rain jacket from some random company that packs small into its own pocket
Beanie and light gloves
Mid layer fleece
Extra pair of socks and underwear
Rest of my clothes on me
Pocket knife, wind checker and phone in my pockets
I bring about 3000 calories per day of food. Bars, almonds, Mtn Mush for lunch, Snack stuff and 1 Mountain House for dinner each night.

I put my shelter and sleeping pad in one of the long vertical pockets on the side and that helps save space for food in the main bag. I know that seems like a shit show but it works pretty good, especially if you fill the other side pocket up and even out the weight. You definitely need to unroll the snow collar a bit to make the food fit.
 

CO-AJ

WKR
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Apr 23, 2020
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Colorado
I would be interested in that gear list as well as I am putting my gear list and weights together now for backpacking trips.
 
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Sep 7, 2016
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El Dorado HIlls
I don't have a full gear list written out anywhere but here's the jist of it for early September. Like I said, I cant speak to mid/late October when you'd need to bring more stuff.

K3 4800 on Kifaru lite frame (great combo, BTW, highly recommend)
Thermarest Neoair X therm pad
20 degree EE quilt in compression sack
Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus shelter in sack
Sawyer squeeze filter w/ bladder and hose
MSR Windburner stove kit
Little possibles pouch
Inreach
13,000 MaH battery pack
Headlamp and then an extra headlamp
Kill kit (alaska game bags, tyto w/ a couple extra blades, latex gloves) in a gallon zip lock and squeeze the air out
Vortex highcountry tripod
Vortex spotter
Kuiu glassing pad between bag and frame
Costco trekking poles
Swaros on my chest
Bow strapped to the outside
Skre down puffy in sack
Super lightweight rain jacket from some random company that packs small into its own pocket
Beanie and light gloves
Mid layer fleece
Extra pair of socks and underwear
Rest of my clothes on me
Pocket knife, wind checker and phone in my pockets
I bring about 3000 calories per day of food. Bars, almonds, Mtn Mush for lunch, Snack stuff and 1 Mountain House for dinner each night.

I put my shelter and sleeping pad in one of the long vertical pockets on the side and that helps save space for food in the main bag. I know that seems like a shit show but it works pretty good, especially if you fill the other side pocket up and even out the weight. You definitely need to unroll the snow collar a bit to make the food fit.

So like I said in my post above, the only way to make a 4800 work for 7 days is use a quilt and a tarp or extremely light weight shelter. For many guys/girls quilts, or even down for that matter, are not an option in the backcountry.

a regular down sleeping bag, 2 man tent, and 7 days of food would fill the majority of the main bag of the 4800. I'm not disagreeing with you that you cannot make it on 7 days, but again most people are not using quilts and single wall 1 man shelters.

And by all means this method works great, but for me I would rather carry a pack that weights 3oz more and gain 1,700cu.in of more space so I have nothing strapped to the outside and when packing and moving camp fast in the dark I do not have to worry about playing tetris with my gear.
 

Meridian90

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
206
By all means, get whatever bag you need for a week. The 4800 works great for me.

The K2 5500 has over 6000cc in actuality. I plan to just update some straps on that and use it on my K3 frame when I need the extra space. I'll use my 4800 on shorter hunts.
 

JNDEER

WKR
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May 2, 2012
Messages
1,564
It is always good to see how different people’s body types really dictate what pack they use. It’s not a all pack fit one world.

I tested the exo gen 1 and gen 2 all summer long and found the gen 1 was better holding on the waist then the gen 2, but with super heavy loads (elk quarters) the gen 2 held the weight better despite not holding to my waist as good. Wonder if the gen 3 exo is more of a good blind between the two?
 
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May 6, 2020
Messages
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The K3 3200 is on the way! I always pack a tarp and a woobie just in case but mine is for day use mainly. I do like many of the features it has and I hope I can be impartial when the Kifaru 44 Mag arrives. I HOPE! LOL!
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
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I have to disagree with that for my setup. What’s your gear list for that?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I Have a full gear list file on my pc. I’ll try
To post it in the next few days when I’m home. I didn’t mean to come off the wrong way, but to say you can’t do a week out of the bag is incorrect. For most hunters the 6400 would be more suitable. For those that don’t pack anything but the essentials and the most packable sleep system can do it. I d run a 950 fp 10 degree quit and a 1p trekking pole tent (x mid). For a September hunt I can fit all heat and 6 day’s food in the pack comfortably. I prefer to put days 7+ food between the bag and frame rather than having the roll top above my head.
 
Joined
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Location
El Dorado HIlls
Alright...
Well last night i completed my testing of the Exo K3. Again this was head to head with the Stone Glacier Xcurve frame. Like Jordan stated in her opening post I am mostly keeping this to the frame/suspension. I do like the Exo bag and layout, but am not the biggest fan of the narrowing done at the bottom. I get why its designed that way, but if you want to pack a synthetic bag or even a down bag in stuff sack it makes it real tough.

With that said, after testing the K3 60 lb sand bags I ended up coming to the conclusion that the Stone Glacier Xcurve checked more boxes for me.

The Exo K3 is a well built and quality product, but the deal breaker for me was the overly soft lumbar pad. It also had alot of slip once you put the pack on. After 20 minutes into a hike I would experience more slipping than I liked. Although I thought it was better than the K2 I didn't think the overall feel was that much different from the K2.

Another key factor for me was when I would switch back and forth with the sand bag I notice that the sand bag felt like 60 lbs with the Exo and when I put it in the SG it felt lighter.

I will say this result is what I like for my personal feel and what I like in a frame. I have had multiple phone conversations with Exo and their philosophy is different. They are looking for the lightest weight pack and a flexible lumbar pad. They feel that makes it the most comfortable no matter what weight is in the pack. They test their packs relentlessly, so I trust them that in their testing that was the best for them; however, for me alone it doesn't work.

This thread is meant for the 4800 reveiw so I'll keep it at that. I may post a new thread giving my perspective on Kifaru, Exo and SG.

I am looking forward to Jordans review of the K3 frame. The cool thing about actually trying something is I know. what is good for me may not be good for someone else.

I will say any of the big 3 packs would work and feel good probably on most, but once you compare the 3, there are some differences.
 
OP
Jordan Budd

Jordan Budd

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Alright...
Well last night i completed my testing of the Exo K3. Again this was head to head with the Stone Glacier Xcurve frame. Like Jordan stated in her opening post I am mostly keeping this to the frame/suspension. I do like the Exo bag and layout, but am not the biggest fan of the narrowing done at the bottom. I get why its designed that way, but if you want to pack a synthetic bag or even a down bag in stuff sack it makes it real tough.

With that said, after testing the K3 60 lb sand bags I ended up coming to the conclusion that the Stone Glacier Xcurve checked more boxes for me.

The Exo K3 is a well built and quality product, but the deal breaker for me was the overly soft lumbar pad. It also had alot of slip once you put the pack on. After 20 minutes into a hike I would experience more slipping than I liked. Although I thought it was better than the K2 I didn't think the overall feel was that much different from the K2.

Another key factor for me was when I would switch back and forth with the sand bag I notice that the sand bag felt like 60 lbs with the Exo and when I put it in the SG it felt lighter.

I will say this result is what I like for my personal feel and what I like in a frame. I have had multiple phone conversations with Exo and their philosophy is different. They are looking for the lightest weight pack and a flexible lumbar pad. They feel that makes it the most comfortable no matter what weight is in the pack. They test their packs relentlessly, so I trust them that in their testing that was the best for them; however, for me alone it doesn't work.

This thread is meant for the 4800 reveiw so I'll keep it at that. I may post a new thread giving my perspective on Kifaru, Exo and SG.

I am looking forward to Jordans review of the K3 frame. The cool thing about actually trying something is I know. what is good for me may not be good for someone else.

I will say any of the big 3 packs would work and feel good probably on most, but once you compare the 3, there are some differences.

Thanks for putting this here!! Happy to see that you did a comparison of those two. The reason I haven't included Stone Glacier in with this is I just haven't seen a bag design I loved. So it's not a pack I've personally been itching to try like the K3. Don't feel like your hijacking this thread, we're all just trying to help people make a selection so if you want to post more by all means go ahead. Room for all of us.
 
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Messages
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I have to disagree with that for my setup. What’s your gear list for that?


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Hopefully this comes through.
 

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caochs

FNG
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
26
Ohhhh it on, I like it.
I'm running and Exo 4800 on a Kifaru 26"
I definitely miss the simplicity of the Exo.
I'm the odd ball out, all the kifaru options are over whelming and none of the sizes and layouts really work for me.
Think I finally may have figured out how to adjust it.
Excited to see what you think of the K3
I'm considering the same thing... a 4800 on a kifaru frame. The exo bag attaches well to the kifaru frame? Thanks!
 

aion2come

WKR
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
504
Location
Joplin, MO
Looking forward to the comparison Jordan. I run the hunter Kifaru frame for elk and an older Exo for deer. Will likely update to the newer frames for both packs in the next year or two. Build my own bags. I have to say that the Exo design for how the bags come off the frames was something I had been thinking about for a while. I haven't seen their's in person yet, but it looks sweet. Anyway, looking forward to your comparison. BTW, can you convince Aron to offer to embroidery the Husker "N" Kifaru bags as an upsell. LOL. You and I and all the rest of Husker nation would dig it!
 
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Central Oregon
So this is on a 26" frame.
I think the 4800 would be a little loose on a shorter frame. And you don't get multiple load lifter options as if you were using a kifaru bag.
I ordered a 2 kifaru lid strap kits and extra buckle pack. And some of the exo rock lobster buckles so I didn't have to cut them off them off. But should have just cut them off and used auto locks.
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Formidilosus

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Shoot2HuntU
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I’ve showed this picture before, but there’s around 20 packs lined up here, of somthing like 40 total that we evaluated for well over a year.

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Every viable pack was procured and included (except for Exo). Multiples of Kifaru, Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch, SO, HPG, etc. Most were eliminated very quickly due to design, carrying, failures, etc. Over 40 people (44 IIRC) we’re educated on pack use, fit, load carrying, design, etc. Only about 10% had any clue about manufactures or models- they were not gear nerds and were totally unbiased as to brands- they didn’t know the difference between a Kifaru and a Slumberjack.

After using them all for months, switching back and forth, eventually everyone was told to grab whatever pack they wanted with a loadout of 100lbs for use in mountainous terrain. It was almost unanimous- SG R3. I think only 4-5 rated something higher than the SG packs- and all of those were Kifaru. The packs were ranked in order- SG, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, everyone else distant.

Most would have been happy with any of the three, and there’s quite a bit that went into each choice, but what was obvious was that almost all of the people that preferred Kifaru had very deep lumbar curvature and well developed glutes. Really as far as body shape and size that’s all that really stood out.

We did not have an Exo pack in that eval. Every person got a SG and Kifaru. Those packs have been, and continue to be used heavily with very little compliant. However, this year I have been using an Exo. So far it carries excellently, and the hip belt and shoulder straps may be the best of them all for me- locks in without being extremely tight, does not slip, and very rarely needto adjust them. The bag design is excellent for how I use them, and the lid doesn’t freaking flop and sag.


I say all this because most are seeing one or two packs, probably making a decision without being able to use them, being influenced by media/personalities, etc. I genuinely expected Kifaru to run away with that eval. But when used by a relatively large number of people that didn’t care about brand, or reputation, or anything else because a pack is just a piece of gear and they just want the one that hurts the least... It didn’t turn out that way.


While I may prefer SG (and starting to prefer Exo as well), I would happily carry and use a pack from SG, Kifaru, and MR, and potentially Exo. What the last few years has shown me is that when 90%+ of people say that only one of the top packs is good... they haven’t used the others.
 
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Jordan Budd

Jordan Budd

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Took the Exo on a day hike yesterday with 20lbs or so. No complaints on the lighter end.. that new lumbar pad makes a huge difference versus the first one they released. The bag was okay, but not my favorite. After getting used to having 2 way zippers on everything and then not having them can be an adjustment. Like the outer stretchy pocket for example.. the zipper ends at the top, so when you have a lid attached you have to unbuckle the lid or reach up under the lid to find the zipper. Not the end of the world but something I noticed.

Last week I loaded up the Exo with 60lbs and walked a couple of miles with the goats. One thing I noticed on the load lifters was when I snugged them up to where it felt right and comfortable, there was still a little bit of slop/travel side to side with the frame. So I continued to tighten until that travel in the frame no longer existed and while it did stop, that extra tightening puts pressure on the shoulder straps about at my arm pits. Not unbearable, but certainly noticeable in the distance I went. That's one thing that hands down differs from the Duplex Lite frame.. I can snug the load lifters up on that frame to where it's comfortable and the load transfers but it doesn't have any extra play in the frame, it just sticks to my back with no added pressure on the shoulder straps.

This week I'm planning to do longer hikes with weight in both packs.

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