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  1. #1

    Default Backpack for Christmas

    My wife is getting me a backpack for Christmas. I've been putting off buying one for a while. Ideally I'll be doing everything from day hunts, up to 3-5 day backcountry hunts. I've got it narrowed down to three.

    Mystery Ranch Metcalf
    Kuiu Icon pro 3200 or 5200

    I keep leaning toward the Kuiu 5200, just because of how modular it is. I like the idea of being able to organize my gear with all the pockets. Is there any kuiu users on here? I'm curious how the bag performs packing out meat compared to the Metcalf.

    thanks
    If a man is as good as his word, and his word means nothing. Then how good is the man???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Bitterroot Valley, MT
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    I thought I would want more pockets too, as I was that guy. But the Metcalf performs supremely and I like how it holds weight. So my thought, forget the pockets.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  3. #3

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    Just saw another broken Kuiu pack on instagram the other day. I'm with 406, don't worry about the pockets, that's not what you're paying $400+ for in a legit hunting pack.

  4. #4

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    I'm going to have to throw the Exo Mountain Gear k2 3500 into the hat. The padding on the metcalf is uncomfortable to me, the way it runs down the middle. My 3500 has impressed me so far.
    Life is too short for stupid dogs and ugly guns.

  5. #5

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    Is price a concern?

    Just wondering why the big three Exo, SG, and Kifaru aren't on the list?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 406life View Post
    i thought i would want more pockets too, as i was that guy. But the metcalf performs supremely and i like how it holds weight. So my thought, forget the pockets.
    this +
    You can't get lost if you don't care where you are going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    The boot of Minnesota
    Posts
    289

  8. #8

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    That video is a complete joke.

    I would definitely add SG, Exo, Kifaro, and SO to the list of packs to consider.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    The boot of Minnesota
    Posts
    289

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    They are a bit biased in the video but I originally had a tenzing tz 6000. I sold it immediately after watching this video. A month later Scheels had the metcalf 25% off. I love it so far. I've only hauled geese out with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    The boot of Minnesota
    Posts
    289

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    SG was in that video and it passed all the "tests"!

  11. #11

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    I have a KUIU 3200 Icon Pro. Best pack I have ever had. I used it for a 3 day back pack hunt. Form me it had all the room I needed and strapped on my sleeping bag on other items on outside. Maybe a little bit bigger would have been better. I use this pack for day hunt trips and its not to big. The load hauler worked great packing out last year.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWiser View Post
    That video is a complete joke.

    I would definitely add SG, Exo, Kifaru, and SO to the list of packs to consider.
    Truth although it did show how much of a joke Badlands, Tenzing, Eberlestock packs are... might as well go hunting with your kids Jan Sport school bag. Packs like that are find if you are day hunting and then either doing vehicle retrieval or going back and getting a frame to haul your meat out on... but if you are seriously backpack hunting SG, Exo, Kifaru, SO and Mystery Ranch are really the way to go... in my mind Kuiu is in a grey area in the middle. (My brother-n-law snapped 2 kuiu frames in one season... after the second he didn't even call them to replace the second one he just ordered a Kifaru, Kuiu is a hard pass for me with packs)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomerusaf View Post
    SG was in that video and it passed all the "tests"!
    I meant those are the other packs the original poster should consider.

    That video was nothing but an advertisement for the packs that GoHunt sells. There's a reason they "forgot" the other top-end pack makers and it wasn't because it was an accident. Honestly, those guys lost a lot of credibility in my mind by putting out a video like that.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    The boot of Minnesota
    Posts
    289

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWiser View Post
    I meant those are the other packs the original poster should consider.

    That video was nothing but an advertisement for the packs that GoHunt sells. There's a reason they "forgot" the other top-end pack makers and it wasn't because it was an accident. Honestly, those guys lost a lot of credibility in my mind by putting out a video like that.
    I get that too. But like wllm said it was more of a deterrence from tenzing and badlands for me. I do not need a $700 pack. Nor do I need to waste money on a cheaply built imposter bag. I am happy I watched the video because it led me to a better pack. I was hoping the same for the OP.

  15. #15

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    That video was very eye opening. As with everything in life money is always a factor. When i first started looking at different packs, i was under the illusion that i could get a good bag for a couple hundred dollars. But the more i read and researched, the higher my budget creeped up. Im trying stay around $500. As for the big three, SG, exo, kifaru, i think they are out of my budget. Seek outside revolution fortress 4800 was on my short but i really couldnt find a ton of info on the bag. After that video ive ruled out the kuiu, and the metcalf is pretty much bomb proof.
    If a man is as good as his word, and his word means nothing. Then how good is the man???

  16. #16

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    You wont be disappointed with a metcalf. That pack was on my short list when I was buying a pack and in the end it came down to fit for me and the SG just fit my hips and torso better.

    Honestly, if you aren't getting a pack with a dedicated meatshelf then it isn't a hunting pack it's just a camo backpack, and if you are buying a backpack go with one of mountaineering companies. Osprey, mountain smith, black diamond, arcteryx, etc. their packs will be in the same price range as badlands and tenzing and will be 3x better.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    . (My brother-n-law snapped 2 kuiu frames in one season... after the second he didn't even call them to replace the second one he just ordered a Kifaru, Kuiu is a hard pass for me with packs)
    I'd like to know how people manage such feats. I have a REI backpackers pack. Weight less than 5 lbs. Capacity 75 liters. I've gone probably 150 miles with it in the last few years. Loaded an entire black bear 4 quarters, rib/neck meat, hide, skull. Haven't had anything serious fail on it. I'm probably going to replace it only because it's too tall for me.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaffe48 View Post
    I'd like to know how people manage such feats. I have a REI backpackers pack. Weight less than 5 lbs. Capacity 75 liters. I've gone probably 150 miles with it in the last few years. Loaded an entire black bear 4 quarters, rib/neck meat, hide, skull. Haven't had anything serious fail on it. I'm probably going to replace it only because it's too tall for me.
    First time he tried to power lift it off the ground with a ton of meat in it... second time he took a weird fall.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnotOnCall View Post
    That video was very eye opening. As with everything in life money is always a factor. When i first started looking at different packs, i was under the illusion that i could get a good bag for a couple hundred dollars. But the more i read and researched, the higher my budget creeped up. Im trying stay around $500. As for the big three, SG, exo, kifaru, i think they are out of my budget. Seek outside revolution fortress 4800 was on my short but i really couldnt find a ton of info on the bag. After that video ive ruled out the kuiu, and the metcalf is pretty much bomb proof.
    Seek outside has some really good videos on YouTube on their packs. I upgraded to a goshawk and talon this year, it is amazing to say the least. I have a few things from them now and their stuff is top notch.

  20. Default

    I have a KUIU icon pro 3200 and love it! It's packed a half mule deer / elk qtr no issues. I think you're right on the 5200 also.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    317

    Default

    I've been contemplating a new pack for the past couple of years. Just had a hard time prioritizing one. Had my list down to the Metcalf and SG Sky. Went and tried both of them on, and loved the Stone Glacier Frame. Then I found a good deal on a MR Metcalf this summer and decided to give it a try. With only two day hunts under my belt its been pretty damn good so far. I have it loaded and in the truck right now for a 3 day hunt, and I'm betting it will get the job done in comfort. I was surprised how much I was able to cram in there.

    I'd Echo the statements above and steering you towards one of the more prominent brands, but if money is priority (as it was for me) the Metcalf is a pretty damn good bag at the price. I don't regret it one bit.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    In the Sagebrush of Montana
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    I don't think you can really go wrong with the majority of packs on the market. I got to try on the newer Mystery Ranch Selway and really like it for a smaller pack though it may be a touch small for anything more than a 2-3 day trip. I saw the new MR Pop-up while glassing with Randy11 the other day and that holds a big promise on the day pack side.

    I personally use the 2015 version of the ExoMountain Gear 3500 and it's been on many 3-5 day trips though it gets a bit tight so I'd consider the 5500 version just to cram more stuff in though it is definitely lacking on pockets.

    Speaking of pockets, the guys that carry packs with lots of pockets tend to fill those pockets with piles of "what-if" gear.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    317

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    Yeah, I've had my hands on the popup and it looks like the perfect day-pack. Haven't seen it loaded with meet yet, but if it can haul a load half-way decent I may end up picking one of those up just for a lighter smaller option.

  24. #24

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    I have a 2013 Kuiu Icon (pre Icon pro) and am pretty happy. I have hauled a number of elk and deer during that time without any problems, including one trip where I hauled out two elk hindquarters over three miles and the pack did great. I have purchased both the 1850 and 7200 bags to go along with. Since buying mine I have had probably 5 friends and my borther buy Kuiu packs and not one of us have had a problem. You do have to understand that carbonfiber is not metal. The direction of the weave dictates the direction of strength. If you load it up and try to pick it up from the middle, as opposed to upright you could break it. I love the ability to organize my gear (to each their own) and how accessible it is.

    I have a fair amount of experience with badlands packs (my brother was a dealer for a couple of years) and it depends on the packs. I love the Ox's ability to carry weight and how it is set up, but it is the way to heavy (almost 10 lbs empty). I would love to pick up an ox frame as an extra meat carrier, but dropping $250 on a frame is a little steep.

    All this being said, I have been very interested by Kifaru, Seek Outside and Exo over the last year. My son is almost to the age that I will need to break down and buy another pack and I might pick up one of those brands just to see the difference.

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