01-22-2012, 07:00 PM
I was hoping to get some feedback on the Sitka Bivy 30 pack. How's the fit? How does it handle a heavy load? Good pocket arrangement/layout?
Currently I have a Badlands Sacrifice and think it's a great pack, except for the waist belt cannot go tight enough. I am 6'2" and 180lbs, which seems odd. Regardless, the amount of backpacking I do means that a pack that doesn't fit properly has no room on my shoulders. Thanks for your help!
02-07-2012, 08:16 PM
By a different pack! I hated my Bivy 45. Granted I hauled two elk out with it, but I was miserable. The straps hurt, the metal buckles bent, and the stretchy material on the hip pockets was ripping from almost no use. I went in with 7 days of gear (roughly 60 lbs) and the pack was killing my back. The next day I brought out the rack (w/o my gear) and it was even worse. The second elk was a similar experience and I was only packing quarters (prolly 70 to 80lbs). The pack was a NIGHTMARE. I sold it first chance I got and waiting on my next pack. Good luck. I'm going Mystery Ranch and my brother in law loves his Badlands 4500. He was there with both elk and had no issues. You can do a lot better than a Sitka pack.
02-07-2012, 08:53 PM
I also have experience with the Sitka Bivy 45. Must be a newer version than Dreaminof... is talking about, as mine has no metal buckles or stretchy material on the hips. Here is the short version of my review on it.
...My initial concerns about it were 1. Is it big enough? and 2. Are the straps padded enough? The pack really isn't that big but it has all kinds of straps and draw cords that allow you to really expand the volume. Still, I was apprehensive about hauling out meat and gear with it. As it turned out, there ended up being enough room for spotting scope, tripod, a few clothes, stove, camera, wyoming saw, sleeping bag and pad, cookware, etc. PLUS my bucks head and horns, one hind quarter, one shoulder, one side of ribs, the neck meat, and a back strap. Oh ya, I also had my rifle strapped on there too. No way would I be able to fit (let alone carry) all of my buck's meat in one trip. But since my dad was there, he packed the rest of the meat. We made a separate trip back up the mountain for his buck's meat. I didn't weigh my pack but it was well over 100 lbs I'm sure. The straps were pretty comfortable and the pack was really stable... although I did get minor bruising on the back side of my right shoulder. It was inevitable though, regardless of the pack. The stitching held up well under stress, which I also worried about when I first stood up with my heaviest load. There are reinforcement straps that come down from the internal frame to the shoulder strap. They were so tight you could almost make a banjo sound by plucking them. I though for sure they would rip, but the didn't. The hip straps were extremely comfortable and easy to adjust under heavy load to transfer more weight to the shoulders to the hips, then back again when I needed to. On the hip straps there are zippered pockets that are absolutely perfect for carrying small items that you might need right away. That's where I carry my rangefinder, small digital camera, extra shells, and knife. The outside pockets are good for your tripod on one side, and spotting scope on the other. My scope is a full-sized angled scope, and the whole thing doesn't fit completely in the pocket. It didn't really bother me since I keep it in a soft case... but it's still worth noting. Inside the pack there is a nylon adjustable meat shelf which is convenient. You can loosen it to lay on the bottom of the pack, or tighten it to sit about 8" off the bottom. That way you can keep your clothes, gear, etc. in the bottom of the pack without smashing it with meat. There is a large zipper opening at the bottom of the pack to access gear in that bottom section without digging in from the top. Another zippered opening sits on the side of the pack, tight against the internal frame, to access things in the middle. Good planning also went into the top of the pack. The material has a draw string at the top, and another about 12" down (at the top of the frame). That way if you are empty, you can fold the extra top material in and pull the lower cord tight to make the pack lower profile. Also on the top end is a detachable bag that doubles as a "cap" that can be pulled real tight to compress the load. This bag part has 3 zippered compartments and holds a number of items that can be accessed quickly. Even with all these features, the entire pack remains extremely light weight! After putting it to the test, I never once have considered replacing it with anything different. I love it.
02-07-2012, 11:00 PM
Awesome reviews! Thanks alot guys, I really appreciate your insite!
02-08-2012, 07:02 PM
I looked at them on Camofire but didn't pull the trigger. They have been having them for $200 or somewhere in that range the last couple days off and on. I have a Ascent 14 that I really like as a daypack when not carrying spotter/tripod/bulky shooting sticks. Anytime I want more room than that I use my eberlestock J34.
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