View Full Version : KUIU Icon 3000 pack review
06-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Im going to start with pictures, and a short description of each one. From there I will give my intial thoughts and answer any questions or take any other pictures anyone here may want to see. I just recieved this pack, this past Friday (6/10). So its new to me, but my intial thoughts are for my style of DIY backcountry hunting this will be perfect for my hunts. I dont have all of my gear and supplies at this point in the year, but I did load my pack down with everything I would take, and what I didnt have on hand, (mountain food), I simulated with my drybags that I keep my food in stuffed with a small blanket, the red dry bag represents about what I would take for 7 days worth of dinners and the black bag was actually full of my cheese crackers and clif bars, the actual amount I'd have on a 7 day hunt as well.
06-11-2011, 07:17 PM
My bow and sleeping bag strapped to the pack externally, you can see I put a naglene bottle in one of the pouches to demonstrate the size, I think that will be where I will put my tripod, and lash it to the sides. The bow is on there solid, the strap is tightend below the stabilizer, and the other is just below the riser shelf.
06-11-2011, 07:18 PM
There is plenty of strap to store about anything, you'd typically carry. Its nice that its not directly underneath the pack, its off to the back a little bit, I didnt like this, when I seen the intial pictures from KUIU, but now that I have the pack and can try it for myself, this is a better setup than directly underneath the pack, will certainly do a better job at protecting whatever you keep back there.
06-11-2011, 07:18 PM
This is the spotting scope pouch, it is roughly 17-18" x 8". Should fit most any spotting scope, you can see there is also a bungee adjuster in there to secure anything should you choose. This should be perfect for my spotting scope to fit in there in the middle, and stuff my rain gear in there as well to help secure everything, and allow easy access.
06-11-2011, 07:19 PM
This is the top pouch, as you can see from the pictures, there are loops on the top of the pack for lashing horns, foam sleeping pad, etc... to the top. Inside the top pouch there is ample room, for demonstration purposes only I put my naglene bottle in there, a Sitka Jetstream hat and 2 pairs of gloves. There is also a mesh pocket inside the pouch that runs the full length of the pouch, and a laynard attachment for keys or whatever.
06-11-2011, 07:19 PM
Couple shot of the suspension and hip belt pocket. I have a Samsung Galaxy S phone, and its about as big as anything you could fit into those hip sleeves. I would have liked to have seen somthing bigger on at least one side. For a flashlight or GPS. The chest straps have ample adjustment up and down as well. Ones up, ones down.
06-11-2011, 07:20 PM
Here is the top of the pack, I thought intially, it'd be like a dry bag, but was pleased to see this design, its rather simple, and ingenious. There are then straps to pull that goe down to the bottom of the pack to secure it shut.
06-11-2011, 07:21 PM
Here is the pack, with the top open and side zippers, unzipped completely you can see from the 2nd photo, this allows you access to all but the last 4 inches or so of the pack. I really like this design, I'm sure having zippers run that length costs a little in weight, but the functionality of having a pack open up like that as opposed to having a top mouth to stuff everything in is invaluable. The only thing I would have liked to have seen changed would be 2 zippers so I could open up the bottom zipper and access anything on the bottom without having to open the full length of the zipper to get to the bottom. The pack does not have a hydration sleeve, but it does have a hook for a hydration bag, for the weight saving the sleeve wasnt all that important to me.
This is the meat shelf, it is secured with straps and is completely removable from the pack by removing the straps and pulling the shelf out of there, it is held at the bottom with velcro. There is even a little catch at the bottom of it to collect any blood or other liquid.
06-11-2011, 07:21 PM
This is the back inside of the pack opened up, there are 4 pouches, they all have some strech to them to accomadate whatever you can fit in them.
Also at the bottom you can see there are 2 pouches one on each side, zippered.
06-11-2011, 07:22 PM
The suspension, it came to me, adjusted just how I would want it, so far that I can tell anways. So I have not had to make any adjustments, but it is adjustable should I need it. I have loaded the pack down, let me just say that I wont own another pack without load lifters, the difference was immediate night and day from any other pack I have tried on. There was no weight at all on the top of my shoulders, no pinching, nothing. All of the weight from the straps was focused on my chest and forward of my collarbone, I cannot say enough good about it. One word of advice though, when loading and unloading the pack from your back all the weight should be taking off of the load lifters, by releasing tension on the straps. Other wise you when pickup on the shoulder straps all the weight will be focused on the loadlifters on the actually bag, and they weren't meant for that particular load. When done correctly the load lifters should have slack on them and when you pick the pack up to put it on all the weight from the pack is focused on the shoulder straps that are securely mounted to the frame.
There is an area in the mid back for ventallation, and plenty of strap for lots of size adjustment, and this pack is silent. I dont think there will enough room between the straps and the buckles for me to attach my blackhawk Serpa holster to the pack, but I hadnt been able to do that effectively on my Sitka bivy 45 either. As I stated earlier there are 2 sleeves on each hip harness and the pack shipped with a removable pouch, that would be big enough for a GPS or a small rangefinder. Its not much to write home about, but it is there, it just doesnt seem to go with the flow and design of the rest of the pack. I would in the future like to see Jason offer more accesories, maybe a pouch for the shoulder harness. The other thing I would really like Jason to offer would be long pouches or cells that could be attached to the pack for extra capacity, if need me. This to me would be more beneficial than him offering a slightly larger pack in the future.
With regard to weight, the frame is very light, I dont have a scale, so I couldnt give you a number right now. I choose this pack over the MR longbow, so it was a weight savings more me, for what I have, if this is what it must weigh, I wouldnt be willing to loose any of the pockets or features this pack has to save anymore weight. Its incredibly light, regardless of actual weight vs advertised. There are some areas to shave weight as well, the meat shelf is removable, and something you could do without, if you wanted to save the weight. There are some straps that could be cut down without sacfriceing any expansion or modularity, in my opinion as well, mainly the side compression straps.
I havent been able to get out and get a good hike on with it, but intial impressions are that it rides very nicely puts the weight were I want it and where its most comfortable. Load lifters are awesome. The wrap around hip belt doesnt seem to pose any issues, I cant feel the bolts that attach the suspension to the frame, and its a pretty solid pack, I dont feel that the Carbon Fiber design comprimises it in anyway.
06-11-2011, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the detailed review.Love my KUIU gear, going to wait till next year to see if Jason is going to come out with a 4500ci pack.
06-12-2011, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the well-written review. I especially appreciate the excellent photos. I thought my Eberle J104 would be all the pack I would ever need, but this has me rethinking things after your description of the suspension.
12-22-2011, 03:12 PM
2261I was wondering if any other Eastmans Forum users have had issues with the Icon 3000; specifically the load lifter attachment seam tearing. I was on the KUIU forum and fount that there were some users there suffering from poor design attributes with their 3000 packs. I had mine tear on day two of an eight day fly-in hunt; not really the place you want to have an equipment failure. This was not an extremely heavy load mind you: (1 Muley ham, dressed skull, 2L hydration bladder, and roughly 14 lbs. of gear(camp/sleep/clothes/eating/spotter).This is an outstanding pack aside from the clearly faulty design in the load lift attchment. Please call or email KUIU if you are considering purchasing one of these packs, and ask if the problem has been rectified; if not, don't buy this pack!!
12-22-2011, 08:34 PM
Kuiu has their own forum, where their staff addressed this problem. They have fixed the problem, and are only shipping (outlet or not) the updated packs. It does not sound like the 6000 packs have had this issue.
Call Kuiu. They will take care of you.
I got a 6000 mid-season this year, and really like that pack for bivy hunting. The Kuiu suspension is the best I have tried on any pack. My Eberlestock still gets the nod for day/horseback hunting however. It is hard to beat the expansion/gun scabbard versatility.
01-04-2012, 09:58 PM
I have spent many days with my Icon 3000 and love it. Not a single problem so far. I hade a waist belt squeak that I fixed with some wax but nothing since.
Pack is really nice and doesn't hurt my back.
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