Lighter pack for High Country Mule Deer

LitenFast

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
417
Location
Ellison Bay, WI
I’ve had a Kifaru since 2013 first a EMR2/bikini (interesting pairing I know) bought a duplex hunter frame in 2016 and sold bikini. Bought a Reckoning to try to lighten up a bit in 2019.

I was a packer for 3 years up in AK fit sheep/caribou/griz hunts where the Kifaru definitely shined with heavy awkward loads and carrying all my gear as well as some from clients.

Now I am doing hunts for myself I’m wanting to look at lightening up my pack, especially with (hopefully) a high country mule deer Sept rifle hunt this fall.

My reckoning on hunter duplex and guide lid is 7.5# on my scale, adding 2 medium pouches on the bag, a gun bearer, a small pouch and water bottle holder on my belt I was about 9#.

All this has me looking into other options. Every guide I worked with in AK was running a SG. Very tempted to try out a sg x curve with a solo or 40/56 in the 5# range with a lid.

Also toyed with the idea of finding a bikini frame and lighter Kifaru bag from the classifieds as most of my accessories would still be useable.

I’m far from listing all my Kifaru gear but looking for a lighter option for some of these early season backpack hunts to lighten up. Would only sell the Kifarus if whatever I try ends up being so good I’m comfortable letting go.

What have other guys wanting to lighten up gone with for light high country trips but still hoping to come out heavy with meat.

Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

fngTony

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
3,529
Location
Colorado
I’ve had better fit, comfort and organization in kuiu vs sg although I don’t have any field time with other brands. Just my preference and body type, SO would be my next pack if weight was still a high priority. It’s
 

Marble

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
2,603
There have been a few other threads in the last several months from people wanting to shave some weight off of their empty pack. I would advise the OP to go and look through them.

Sometimes the grass isn't always greener.

I'm not saying the SG, exo brand etc will not work. But if your pack is comfortable at 100 pounds, why keep looking? And by comfortable I mean you don't have a few days off, laying in pain because of your pack.

I hope you find what you're looking for!



Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

slick

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
1,799
I don’t say that as a blind follower or fan boy.

Exo has too many pockets and if I was going that route I’d just go Kifaru.

Seek outside just doesn’t do it for me.

New Kuiu packs are nice but it took them nearly 10 years to then do exactly what SG does with fabrics and load shelf etc.

If it was all based on fit and nothing else then throw all that out the window. If it’s based on weight, functionality, and simplicity--- Stone Glacier
 
Last edited:

sneaky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
9,259
Location
ID
I don’t say that as a blind follower or fan boy.

Exo has too many pockets and if I was going that route I’d just go Kifaru.

Seek outside just doesn’t do it for me.

New Kuiu packs are nice but it took them nearly 10 years to then do exactly what SG does with fabrics and load shelf etc.

If it was all based on fit and nothing else then throw all that out the window. If it’s based on weight, functionality, and simplicity--- Stone Glacier
Too many pockets? On an EXO? WTH? There's a zippered front stretch pocket, the lid pocket, and a side pocket on each side. There's more zippered pockets on an SG than an EXO. Stretch side pockets are a wash because both SG and EXO run those.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

OregonHunter13

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
87
I would personally go with the exo K3 4800 or 6400 if you need more room. The 6400 only ways 5lb 12 ounces and the frame is adjustable unlike the stone glacier. I really enjoys being able to add the extra length on my frame to put the loads of meat up higher when packing out.
 

rm06

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
398
Location
CO
There have been a few other threads in the last several months from people wanting to shave some weight off of their empty pack. I would advise the OP to go and look through them.

Sometimes the grass isn't always greener.

I'm not saying the SG, exo brand etc will not work. But if your pack is comfortable at 100 pounds, why keep looking? And by comfortable I mean you don't have a few days off, laying in pain because of your pack.

I hope you find what you're looking for!



Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

This

I started with Kifaru, went SG for 6 years and now back to Kifaru. Mostly a fitment issue for ME, the SG couldn't handle weight much above what I went in with. Lighter doesn't always equate to better - and I am a "cut the handle off the toothbrush" guy
 

ColoradoV

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
407
I have one pack a kifaru. Had to send in the frame to get fixed and have new shoulder straps put on this year. Just got the frame back 3 week turn around and 59 usd to fix 👊👍.

One thing I have found as true is lightweight = less durable and last thing I want when solo chasing a big buck is a pack failure. The kifaru has never let me down.

Good luck w your choice seems to be a lot of good options out there but for me I again will run a Kifaru.

Sure hope to pack out a couple more on this pack!!

98E259B7-0D5F-448D-AB1A-B8B26565FC3F.jpeg 01F8E4F4-A363-4AA2-9CA3-3F73F95F0501.jpeg 9258556D-31AC-4DB4-9035-3399EB377DB9.jpeg
 

slick

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
1,799
Too many pockets? On an EXO? WTH? There's a zippered front stretch pocket, the lid pocket, and a side pocket on each side. There's more zippered pockets on an SG than an EXO. Stretch side pockets are a wash because both SG and EXO run those.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
To each their own.

My bag has zero pockets. They've busied up their newer designs, but they still offer a more bare bones option.
 
Last edited:

TX_hunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
100
What about a 357 mag? 5.5lbs per the website. I haven't used one but I'm interested in getting one myself. Per kifaru it's good for up to 80ish lbs.
 

mrbillbrown

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,436
Location
Edmond, OK
I miss my Kifaru Bikini frame terribly. Wish I’d never let that thing go. Paired with an Argali it was crazy light for a 7000ci pack.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

sodaksooner

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
971
Location
Tulsa Ok
So I bought a KUIU Icon 5200 many years ago and it lasted until my last hunt, and broke the frame (known issue) They sent me a warranty replacement Icon Pro 6000(newest version) and it was drastically improved. I finally got out the other night with about 45 lbs in it doing some hill repeats and it absolutely fit like a glove, much better than the old version. I know they don't get a lot of love on this forum, but I have been totally fine with either version for quite a few years. If you have the opportunity you might check them out. Mine will be elk hunting this year and on a high altitude mulie hunt next year if all pans out.
 

Pacific_Fork

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
791
Location
North Idaho
My SG has had to be sent in for repairs twice on the frame stays and hip to shoulder traps. Around 10 animals packed out with these issues.

I caution you to realize lighter the pack the less durable. I’m stilling using my SG standard frame and 6900 bag but I may in the future get a more durable pack.

What I like about the SG is it’s simplicity and ease of use. When I look at the Kifaru it looks like I’ll need an engineering degree to operate. They put way to much webbing everywhere I don’t get it.
 

mavinwa2

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
477
Location
Res WA ST, winter>Gilbert AZ , NR>AZ, UT, NM, CO.
keep the Kifaru....lighten or reduce other gear packed.

Had a SG for 2 seasons. Lighter weight yes, but 2 holes worn in fabric within that time.
but then it was a SG pack from years ago.

My Kifaru Reck, never a problem for 8 seasons now. Tortured that pack with heavy meat loads...my back a little less so. But got the job done solo.
 

Winternews

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2022
Messages
11
FWIW, some of the Seek Outside packs are 6300+ cu and half the weight of some packs mentioned here. It looks like they have gotten more complicated since I bought mine, the Unaweep, which was just a giant drybag with a floating pocket on the back that doubled as a compression panel. I have it in lighter weight Xpac and use it packrafting, caribou hunting, etc. It has plenty of room for a 100 mile trip and you can carry a hind quarter, car battery, inflated raft, mountain bike, whatever, on the outside due to the compression system. Everybody’s needs are different and there is nothing wrong with a big complex pack if it works for you, but the simple ones are good too.
 
Top