Elk hunting pack question

jerm8352

Member
Jul 24, 2013
142
1
I have used a Horn Hunter Full Curl pack for the last 3 or 4 seasons. And while it was way better than slinging elk quarters over my shoulder like I did before I just keep thinking there has got to be better. I helped a buddy haul out a bull this year with it and was sore for a week. I know that?s hard work getting a bull out but I just can?t help thinking it didn?t need to be that bad. I like the set up of the horn hunter and how I can use it for a day pack and to haul but I am starting to look at other options. The weight of the horn hunter is also an issue. Is there really that big of a difference between what I have now and a mystery ranch or kuiu pack? I have looked at those and and see that the mystery ranch seems to be heavy and more expensive than the kuiu and just wonder if the money is worth the upgrade from the horn hunter and if the mystery ranch is worth the extra money and weight over the kuiu. Thanks!
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,016
150
Reno Nv
IMO Kuiu isn’t the best choice. The materials they are made out of is unimpressive for the cost. I can’t speak for MR.

Take a look at Stone Glacier for a high end cost pack if weight is a big deal for you. Also look at Eberlestock for a moderately priced pack. The Big top and Little Big top are within reason for weight and is made out of high grade materials that will last.

Both packs can be used to haul heavy loads and fit my back well.
 

mntnguide

Very Active Member
Ive ran an Exo pack for years now and will continue to do so. If you are going to spend money and get a quality pack, do it right and get a good one. Two of my friends have Kuiu packs.. and both with be picking up exo packs this year because of quality and comfort. Exo, stone glacier, kifaru are all top quality companies worth looking at, and id really suggest going by the statement; buy once, cry once. A good pack is like good boots, worth its weight in gold when you are really using it and realizing the difference between high quality or cheaper.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
2,950
728
50
Woodland Park, Colorado
Sound advice already. I have some friends who have Kuiu packs. They all love my Kifaru.

Exo, Stone Glacier and Kifaru is what I tested out. On my back test. I ended up going with the Kifaru due to how it fit me better than the others. Any of the above are tailorable to ANY hunting season, any style of hunting or any game big or small.

Your statement above is also spot on. It shouldn't hurt when done right. You get what you pay for. For me, wish I spent the coin a few years back.
 

jerm8352

Member
Jul 24, 2013
142
1
Thanks for all the replies. I was under the influence (not sure from where but just always thought it) that Mystery Ranch was THE BEST! I was just skeptical of them because of the weight differences but if it rides and carries better the weight probably isn’t an issue. It sounds like you guys are not recommending MR or is that just because I brought up the weight issue?
 

Winchester

Veteran member
Mar 27, 2014
1,142
175
Cascade, Colorado
I have a Sitka pack and it works well for me.
Very comfortable even with a heavy load.
I think the most important thing is how it fits YOU ... not which brand you buy.
I'd recommend going to a big outlet store, Cabela's/Bass Pro, etc and trying on a bunch of them.
Try and find what fits you the best.
 

Micah S

Active Member
Jan 11, 2016
172
67
Sandy Oregon
I have a Mystery Ranch Marshal and a Kuiu Icon pro3200. The Mystery ranch is a better pack then the kuiu. It handles heavy loads better and is a lot more durable. The only downside of the Mystery Ranch is that its heavy.
 

badgerbob

Active Member
May 18, 2015
346
8
Eastern Oregon
Check out Blacks Creek. Made in Idaho..I have their Lumbar pack and love it..several buddies have their bigger ones and I have heard nothing but praises from them...
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,107
79
midwest
I'm a fan of Exo and Kifaru, the ones I've tried of the big names. I like my Exo 3500 for 90% of my hunting the best. If I'm going to carry something real heavy or bulky the Kifaru is best. Elk hunting I'd pick the Exo if I was to only own one. As I have it set up now I'd pack the first load to the truck in the Exo and then go back in with the Kifaru tactical frame and Nomad 2 bag to haul the rest. I can fill the batwing pockets of the Kifaru with water bottles and anything else I need and head back in simple and easy.

Exo is coming out with a new series of packs this summer. I'd bet when they do the forums will be full of used K2 frame packs being sold by people wanting the new version. It might be a great time to get a deal on a great pack.
 
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LaHunter

Active Member
Aug 24, 2012
322
0
N.E. LA
IMO Kuiu isn’t the best choice. The materials they are made out of is unimpressive for the cost. I can’t speak for MR.

Take a look at Stone Glacier for a high end cost pack if weight is a big deal for you. Also look at Eberlestock for a moderately priced pack. The Big top and Little Big top are within reason for weight and is made out of high grade materials that will last.

Both packs can be used to haul heavy loads and fit my back well.
Can you be specific about the materials you reference?
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
285
47
Idaho
I have a Kuiu ultra 6000 and it squeaks like an old shoe. I know about all the "fixes" like tape on the frame and graphite ect. Nothings lasts. But for the money I paid, why? I have an EXO k3500 and have bought my last pack.
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,016
150
Reno Nv
Can you be specific about the materials you reference?
Bag material not as strong quality as other high end brands, buckles, slides, are cheaply made, the pull tabs on the zippers break off and the zippers are junk.

This is all my opinion. I have had 2 Kuiu packs and sold one off and gave the other away.

With that being said the Kuiu 5200 was one of the most comfortable packs I’ve owned.

I have used a ton of different brand packs and now I run the Stone Glacier Sky Talus 6900 and love it. Fits me perfect, feels great under heavy loads and has just enough pockets for storage. It’s fabric is much more durable then others and the zippers work great even when dusty.
 
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kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
3,915
695
idaho
I recently bought an exo 3500. we shall see.

I haven't been out in the woods with it yet or hauled any meat but I have hiked a couple miles with it loaded up with about 40 lbs or so.


so far very comfortable . I believe it will serve me well.
 

LaHunter

Active Member
Aug 24, 2012
322
0
N.E. LA
Bag material not as strong quality as other high end brands, buckles, slides, are cheaply made, the pull tabs on the zippers break off and the zippers are junk.

This is all my opinion. I have had 2 Kuiu packs and sold one off and gave the other away.

With that being said the Kuiu 5200 was one of the most comfortable packs I’ve owned.

I have used a ton of different brand packs and now I run the Stone Glacier Sky Talus 6900 and love it. Fits me perfect, feels great under heavy loads and has just enough pockets for storage. It’s fabric is much more durable then others and the zippers work great even when dusty.
I have an Kuiu Icon Pro, and have had it since they came out. I've used it extensively training with wts from 40-75 lbs. I've hauled 3 mule deer and part of 1 elk with my Icon Pro. It has performed very well and continues to perform well. Heaviest I have had it was with a entire mule deer bone in along with all my hunting day pack gear.
Icon Pro Materials: Carbon fiber frame, 500 D Cordura nylon bag material (same as many other 'top end' packs), Duraflex buckles (very high quality), YKK zippers (high quality). The webbing straps are not as wide as some other packs, but I have never had a buckle slip or fail. The pack will handle more wt than most are capable of carrying. The key is to have the pack adjusted properly for you body. If the pack didn't work for you, or you found a pack that you feel is better, that's fine, but the materials used to make the Icon Pro pack are high quality. The OP just needs to get accurate information so that he can make an informed decision.
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,016
150
Reno Nv
I have an Kuiu Icon Pro, and have had it since they came out. I've used it extensively training with wts from 40-75 lbs. I've hauled 3 mule deer and part of 1 elk with my Icon Pro. It has performed very well and continues to perform well. Heaviest I have had it was with a entire mule deer bone in along with all my hunting day pack gear.
Icon Pro Materials: Carbon fiber frame, 500 D Cordura nylon bag material (same as many other 'top end' packs), Duraflex buckles (very high quality), YKK zippers (high quality). The webbing straps are not as wide as some other packs, but I have never had a buckle slip or fail. The pack will handle more wt than most are capable of carrying. The key is to have the pack adjusted properly for you body. If the pack didn't work for you, or you found a pack that you feel is better, that's fine, but the materials used to make the Icon Pro pack are high quality. The OP just needs to get accurate information so that he can make an informed decision.
I completely agree.

Best advise get what fits you the best and what will serve your purpose.
 

jerm8352

Member
Jul 24, 2013
142
1
Thanks for all the insight. Because of my work and sleep apnea I am not really able to pack in and have to hunt mostly day trips or from a camp that is close to a road. So my pack needs to get my stuff I need for day of hunting in and then the elk out. I do not need to haul camp in or out just my hunting gear and hopefully the meat.
 

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
3,915
695
idaho
Thanks for all the insight. Because of my work and sleep apnea I am not really able to pack in and have to hunt mostly day trips or from a camp that is close to a road. So my pack needs to get my stuff I need for day of hunting in and then the elk out. I do not need to haul camp in or out just my hunting gear and hopefully the meat.
exo daypack 2000 might fit your needs. $524
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
285
47
Idaho
I have an Kuiu Icon Pro, and have had it since they came out. I've used it extensively training with wts from 40-75 lbs. I've hauled 3 mule deer and part of 1 elk with my Icon Pro. It has performed very well and continues to perform well. Heaviest I have had it was with a entire mule deer bone in along with all my hunting day pack gear.
Icon Pro Materials: Carbon fiber frame, 500 D Cordura nylon bag material (same as many other 'top end' packs), Duraflex buckles (very high quality), YKK zippers (high quality). The webbing straps are not as wide as some other packs, but I have never had a buckle slip or fail. The pack will handle more wt than most are capable of carrying. The key is to have the pack adjusted properly for you body. If the pack didn't work for you, or you found a pack that you feel is better, that's fine, but the materials used to make the Icon Pro pack are high quality. The OP just needs to get accurate information so that he can make an informed decision.
The main belt buckle on my Kuiu ultra broke. I emailed Kuiu to see if I could buy or get a replacement. They never answered me. Have never had the folks at EXO/S&S not return an email promptly. Just for what it's worth.