Order EXO K4 or Stick with Kifaru

Dalen88

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
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168
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East Kootaneys B.C
I sold my kifaru setup and got the k4 and have zero regrets about it, I liked the kifaru a lot, still do, but my past experiences using previous exo’s and kifaru, I knew I was going to like the k4.

My 2 packs the past couple years were a k2 with a k3 belt, and duplex lite, and though very different, I had a hard time picking a favorite of the two

The changes they made with k4 is a clear tie breaker for me, I don’t know how the k4 can be improved upon for what I like out of a pack…. Not saying that will be the case with you, but it certainly is for me, I was able to come out ahead too, selling a very used 2 yr old pack and getting a brand new k4.

Exo kept their prices very reasonable, kifaru has become ridiculous… even from a couple years ago when I got my kifaru frames and bags. I like everything exo is doing as a company and what their goals are… can’t say that about current kifaru, but that is my personal feeling on the subject, but when given a choice, I will support the business that appreciates their customers
this is so true about the prices didnt realize untill i just built 2 similar systems and the kiafru was just over $200 more. I own a K2 and wanted to try a kifaru because everyone rants and raves about them but i dont care for the bags and the frame doesnt work well for me, so trying to sell my kifaru stuff and will be buying a K4 set up. also really like the way steve seems to run his company.
 
Joined
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oregon coast
this is so true about the prices didnt realize untill i just built 2 similar systems and the kiafru was just over $200 more. I own a K2 and wanted to try a kifaru because everyone rants and raves about them but i dont care for the bags and the frame doesnt work well for me, so trying to sell my kifaru stuff and will be buying a K4 set up. also really like the way steve seems to run his company.
100% agree, and I like the k4 better so far, have had 80# in it so far, and has that same side to side stability like my duplex lite had. They really did kill it on the k4… there is no compromise with the k4.

Kifaru makes a great pack, but I don’t know there is any longer a category where they have anything over exo with the k4, even durability, I don’t see anything wearing on the k4 any faster than a duplex lite, yet they are very lightweight… so much thought went into k4
 

sivart

WKR
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
638
I agree w the OP. Kifaru has the most comfortable belt to me, and I don't think it's close. But as much as I love their frame, I hate their bags. Heavy, and not nearly as thought out as an EXO bag. I do, however put up w/ Kifaru's bags, because I love their frame so much
 
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Kifaru tactical fanatic here. Everyone has a favorite. And, that is mine. There’s a lot of things that get thrown around on hunting forums. In the backpack world it’s weight and price.


A duplex light and a 44 mag bag is going to push almost $875 delivered. A exo kit with 5000 CI +\- is going to run you close to or at $800 delivered.


I’m a huge Kifaru fan. And while everyone is complaining about pricing, it’s basically slightly less then 10% more than an equally equipped exo.


The second big variable is weight. Once again, people post weights like there is a huge disparity. A lite frame and 44 mag is going to come in slightly under 7 pounds. An exi is slightly under 6. Is one pound a huge deal? To me it’s not. It’s a bottle of water or a pair of hiking boots versus an equally sized leather boot. If that keeps you off the mountain then you need to work harder.

Im not advocating for Kifaru or against exo. I’ve talked to Steve on the phone. He’s great and no doubt makes a great pack. But, buyers reason their choices in all things. And, hunting packs are no different. For a potential buyer, it’s hard to Wade through those reasonings sometimes.


This post is just something to help you consider your compromises. Good luck and God Bless. No matter your choice, get it and get busy living. Life is short.
 

wnelson14

WKR
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
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Kifaru tactical fanatic here. Everyone has a favorite. And, that is mine. There’s a lot of things that get thrown around on hunting forums. In the backpack world it’s weight and price.


A duplex light and a 44 mag bag is going to push almost $875 delivered. A exo kit with 5000 CI +\- is going to run you close to or at $800 delivered.


I’m a huge Kifaru fan. And while everyone is complaining about pricing, it’s basically slightly less then 10% more than an equally equipped exo.


The second big variable is weight. Once again, people post weights like there is a huge disparity. A lite frame and 44 mag is going to come in slightly under 7 pounds. An exi is slightly under 6. Is one pound a huge deal? To me it’s not. It’s a bottle of water or a pair of hiking boots versus an equally sized leather boot. If that keeps you off the mountain then you need to work harder.

Im not advocating for Kifaru or against exo. I’ve talked to Steve on the phone. He’s great and no doubt makes a great pack. But, buyers reason their choices in all things. And, hunting packs are no different. For a potential buyer, it’s hard to Wade through those reasonings sometimes.


This post is just something to help you consider your compromises. Good luck and God Bless. No matter your choice, get it and get busy living. Life is short.
EXO k4 5000 system is $699 that’s with a lid, shipping was $21 for mine. 44mag plus frame is $800 (no lid) plus shipping.
Plus tax for both.
 
Joined
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For me it came down to fit and function with heavy loads. The K2 and K3 I had were a dream to use under 40lbs. Fast, light, 3 day weekends were my jam for a number of years. I do a lot more 10-14 day trips now out of the pack. I could honestly never get the Exo frames to work. I tried last year for a sheep hunt and it was honestly miserable. I switched up mid season for a ten day elk trip and it was night and day for me.

The Kifaru is just built like a tank for my back. I love the frame and the rigidity of it. I get no slipping and it trucks through the mountains. Don’t get me wrong though I’d love to try the K4 and the new hip belt. It looks fantastic.

I do really appreciate Exo’s design philosophy on the bag and still look for the same setup in a Kifaru. Everything a backcountry hunter needed had a home.
 
Joined
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I’m aware of that. I almost didn’t post that because every time I have, it’s the same thing. FWIW, a lid on a 44 mag isn’t needed nor designed for in practical use.

6% x 700 is $42. Plus $21. ( I don’t know how you got shipping for $21 but I’ll roll with it.). $763.

$800 x 6% is $48. Plus $21. That equals $869.

That’s a $106 difference.

In my case, the shipping from Idaho is going to be more than from Wyoming. The last shipping freight I got charged from Kifaru was $25. I don’t profess to know the exact amount from exo. But, I assumed $35. Which put it slightly less than 10%.


As I said before OP, a lot of things get thrown around on the internet. Just make sure you apply that to your reasoning. Because people are freaking out like it’s a huge disparity. To some it is. To others it’s not. Eitherway it’s something that isn’t a stark standout.
 
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rclouse79

WKR
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
1,763
I recently made the switch and don’t have any regrets: the k4 is awesome! I also don’t have anything bad to say about Kifaru. My timberline was a kick butt pack that I loved for many years, and Kifaru has awesome customer service. Part of the reason I switched was because my pack was finally starting to wear out and I liked the idea of supporting a local company that was right in my backyard if I ever needed anything. In my opinion it is like choosing between a couple super models for your girlfriend. You can’t really make a wrong choice.
 

madcalfe

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May 9, 2019
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British Columbia
I can’t say much for the exo but I’ve ran a stone glacier and kifaru tactical now. And I don’t know which I like better. Stone glacier gets the nod for 1-7 day hunts, and kifaru for my 10-14 day sheep hunts. I’ve also customized each
95136976-A825-4B38-9BE8-0D489981365F.jpeg30821CD9-6C1D-4B07-877B-A47306AAB4C2.jpeg3DFF6C93-1B4F-4756-A7A7-9684332C6DF8.jpeg88731438-F329-46DF-B1BE-1ABEB7ED89A3.jpeg
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
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Location
oregon coast
I recently made the switch and don’t have any regrets: the k4 is awesome! I also don’t have anything bad to say about Kifaru. My timberline was a kick butt pack that I loved for many years, and Kifaru has awesome customer service. Part of the reason I switched was because my pack was finally starting to wear out and I liked the idea of supporting a local company that was right in my backyard if I ever needed anything. In my opinion it is like choosing between a couple super models for your girlfriend. You can’t really make a wrong choice.
Yeah, certainly can’t go wrong with either choice. If it wasn’t for the k4 being what it is, my kifaru would still be my primary pack for the majority of my hunts.

Now, I will be in the K4 until Steve builds the ultralight pack he’s hinted about and if that never comes to fruition, I assume I’ll want the K5 in a few years when that happens… I have been torn between which was my favorite, my k2 with the k3 belt, or my duplex lite… it was tough to decide which I liked better.

The k4 has the best attributes of both, along with some new clever features, especially the row of molle that the Nalgene holder uses, and their weapon holder when it comes out which I’m using my gun bearer in now… I may just get something sewn up using the gun bearer, because I don’t think it can really be improved upon for my use besides a more intuitive way to mount it besides threading the Velcro through the molle slots like I’m currently doing… it’s pretty redneck but works, and mounting it there vs around the belt is significantly more comfortable, more than I expected
 

Gonz406

Lil-Rokslider
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May 25, 2019
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MT
Anyone slap a Kifaru bag on the new exo frame or vise versa ?
 
Joined
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oregon coast
Anyone slap a Kifaru bag on the new exo frame or vise versa ?
I have no idea why anyone would try to put a kifaru bag on a k4. Maybe there are people who have their reasons..The other way around makes sense but I don’t know if it would work, but previous exo bags do and many like that combo.
 

Kybosh27

FNG
Joined
Apr 7, 2023
Messages
14
Hey all. I haven’t had the chance to checkout the K4 in person. I’ve been running a Kifaru setup the last several seasons. I’m wondering what your opinion is between the k4 and Kifaru. Has anyone extensively compared the two? I’m debating whether or not to make the jump from my Kifaru setup to the K4. Anyone’s input is welcome. Thanks!
I’ve ran a Kifaru Hoodlum with the Duplex Lite Frame the last couple seasons. It’s an awesome pack and I have nothing bad to say. With that said I’ve always wanted to try an EXO and ended up getting the K4 5000 at the Hunting Expo in Salt Lake. Looking forward to using it this season. It felt awesome and the functionality of the bag layout is impressive.
 

Kybosh27

FNG
Joined
Apr 7, 2023
Messages
14
I have had Kifaru (multiple bags) and have a K4. There isn’t a wrong answer here. Buy both, keep the one that fits you the best and/or the bags appeal to you.
This is always my advice if you can swing it. Buy the packs you’re interested in and try them out side by side. Otherwise you’ll be on here second guessing yourself.
I have had Kifaru (multiple bags) and have a K4. There isn’t a wrong answer here. Buy both, keep the one that fits you the best and/or the bags appeal to you.
I agree with this. Best thing to do if you can is order the packs you’re interested in and try them out side by side. Otherwise you’ll always be seconds guessing.
 
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Apr 18, 2019
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I have had an Exo K2 with K3 belt, KUIU Pro, Exo K4, and Duplex Lite with 44 Mag. I did not like the Kifaru. I could never get it adjusted correctly to fit me well without sagging. That wasn’t a problem with the other three.

As far as comfort carrying weight (60 or more pounds), I’d rank it as K4 and KUIU at top (K4 May stand alone with more testing), K2/K3 next, and Duplex Lite a distant fourth place. I really like the layout of the Exo packs better than the others.

I also did not care for how heavy and complex the Kifaru system is. I guess I should have anticipated that because those are usually two trade offs anytime you make something modular. But damn, the Kifaru was almost 3# heavier than the similarly sized KUIU. That’s a mental block I can’t shake when I’m sharing a tarp with a buddy so we can shave 3# off our collective weight.
 
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…..But damn, the Kifaru was almost 3# heavier than the similarly sized KUIU. That’s a mental block I can’t shake when I’m sharing a tarp with a buddy so we can shave 3# off our collective weight.
What Kifaru setup were you running besides the lite and 44 mag. Mine with a large belt weighs in at 6 3/4 pounds. What configurations were you running to get yours that heavy?
 
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What Kifaru setup were you running besides the lite and 44 mag. Mine with a large belt weighs in at 6 3/4 pounds. What configurations were you running to get yours that heavy?

It had two straps on the meat shelf like an Exo and one hipbelt pouch. I’m not sure if the bag came stock with three side compression straps and two bottom compression straps, but this has that.

I can’t remember the exact weight, but it was n between 7.5-8 pounds with long shoulder straps and medium belt.
 

Dwight2180

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
129
Lots of good advice and opinions here. I had a k3 for a few years then got a kifaru tactical. I sold the exo right after they started teasing k4. I currently have all 3 sizes in the tactical and will probably end up with a k4 too. I like packs, gear and tinkering. Maybe one day I will find "MY" perfect match. Until then 🔥🔥💰💰🔥🔥
 
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