There isn't too many reviews out there on the Mystery Ranch Kodiak or Grizzly. Does anyone have experience with both the NICE Frame and the Internal Frame Models? What are the differences between them?
I use the Kodiak.I was going to get the Nice frame but after speaking with the guys at mystery ranch they suggested the Kodiak for my body type.Thin with out much for hips.I use mine for up to 10+ plus day sheep hunts and would not want to go with the smaller Grizzly more volume the better.Great pack will not break but there is a weight penalty vs other packs.I do not get sore carrying heavy loads but 100lbs is heavy all the same.I have not tried the nice frame but if it would work for you it is very versatile .Give the guys at Mystery Ranch a call they will steer you in the right direction.
I have the MR BDSB, which is the early version of the Grizzly or Kodaik, I think. It is 7400 ci, I believe. It is extremely comfortable, and seems to handle weight very well. I've never had sore shoulders or back from it. I am extremely pleased with this pack.
I spoke with the guys at Mystery Ranch, by the way they always have awesome customer service, and they recommended the NICE frame over the Kodiak even for my slim build due to some minor differences between the lumbar wrap systems. So eventually I will end up going with the NICE 7500 for 10+ day trips and the Load Sling with Long Pockets, Load Cells, and the Daypack Lid for shorter trips and day hunts. No reason to get the Crew Cab when the Load Sling is basically the same thing and ends up having the same capacity. Obviously heavier than a Kifaru or Stone Glacier, its just a system that fits my preferences.
You will really like the MR nice set up. I just ordered the new metcalf pack to go with my 6500 and dragon slayer. I have the load sling as well but never use it because of the lack of load lifters. I rather use the 6500 for hauling and I'm sure the metcalf will be great for that as well. Just something to think about before you order the load sling.
I have been using a Grizzly for about 5 years and I'll 2nd the remarks above, you can't break it, totally bombproof. Its comfortable and the fit is perfect. I have been considering the other packs due to the weight of the MR, but I'm not giving up on it just yet.
I can't comment on the NICE, when I spoke to the folks at MR, they recomended against it b/c of my height.
Your right both right, the NICE Frame standard Frame Height and Yoke won't give me the optimal 30 to 45 degree load lift. The The Load Sling will just be intended for one to three day hunts primarily. The Load Sling's ability to safely expand out to 5000 cubic inches gives me more than enough space for a week long hunt, but the comfort may not be quite where I want it for 65+ lb loads and thats where the 7500 will hold anything and everything for as long of trips as I could ever want in the backcountry. On the bright side, the 6500 was able to collapse and tighten down really well, so the 7500 should do just as well.