Exo 5500 or stone glacier

Craig Holland

New Member
Apr 25, 2018
23
0
Going to buy a high end pack and between these two. Had a Metcalf and it was decent just a touch heavy and wish it had a few more pockets. Pretty sure I had my heart set on an exo 5500 but people love stone glacier. Opinions on which I might like better?
 

Craig Holland

New Member
Apr 25, 2018
23
0
I think next decent tag I draw I'll get one. They come out with new features every year , the 18 packs look pretty sweet.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
5,645
3,263
Ohio
I don't own one, but used one 2 years ago. It is very nice, especially when using as a day pack for it's flexibility/give when hiking.
I own a Kifaru Reckoning pack as it is designed exactly the way I wanted and its very comfortable as well. For hauling heavy loads, I don't think there is a better pack. Yes, I've tried them all. However, personal preference also has something to do with it as well.
You are smart to wait on purchasing as they make nice updates/lighter weight every year. And if you happen to like a prior year better, you can grab one cheaper. Just remember to put the money aside now so it doesn't sting later when paying for that 'decent tag' you've been wanting. :p
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,351
1,520
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Depends on what fits you best .....EXO, Kifaru, Stone Glacier, Kuiu.....all quality pieces of gear. Recommend you try them all if able.
After trying them all on I went with Kifaru
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
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1,839
www.eastmans.com
I don't have any experience with EXO, but I have done a lot with Stone Glacier(SG).

SG makes a good pack that I have used to haul out a few animals with. I have been happy with the load shelf as well as the longevity that the packs I have abused stood up to.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
I love my Exo 3500 for most hunts. Extremely heavy or bulky loads I also have a Kifaru Tactical frame with a Nomad 2 bag, and Grab it set-up. I bought the Kifaru for my moose hunt this fall. The Exo will get used for all hunting and packing out of animals smaller than elk. For elk I'll probably take the first load out in the Exo and go back in with the Kifaru. The Exo would work fine too, especially if I pull the bag off and just use the Crib. The Kifaru is better to me as a designated meat pack though. It's just easier, put water bottles, food, and whatever else is needed in the batwings and go.

The Exo flexes side to side while being rigid vertically. This makes it really comfortable for me with normal loads going through burns and down timber. The Kifaru has an awesome hip belt I can really cinch down for heavy weights. It all depends what you like and what fits you best.
 
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Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,351
1,520
52
Woodland Park, Colorado
" The Kifaru is better to me as a designated meat pack though. It's just easier, put water bottles, food, and whatever else is needed in the batwings and go"

"The Kifaru has an awesome hip belt I can really cinch down for heavy weights. "

Two of the numerous reasons I went the Kifaru route
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
Yeah the Kifaru is a heck of a pack. I just love the lateral flex and pocket lay-out of the Exo for all the times I don't need the Kifaru. Also the Exo is narrower and I can carry my rifle on a sling easier. I ended up adding a Frankenstud sling keeper to my Kifaru, the way the load lifters attach is further out than on my Exo and keeps wanting to push my sling off. It works fine now.

I really like the Kifaru, but I don't know that if I was to only own one I'd chose it. The Exo did well when I trained with it with up to 80lbs in it. It is probably best at 60 or less for me, but it sure handled the heavier weight fine. I don't pack that much weight ever anyway unless an animal is down. The other 90% of the miles I put on with a pack the Exo lets me forget I have a frame on my back, it moves with me like a daypack. The Kifaru is comfortable but I wouldn't forget it had a frame. I do have the stiffer tactical frame and not the thinner hunter frame though. I loved the Kifaru for the moose hunt but I'd honestly get tired of all the straps of the Nomad 2 set up I have if I used it full time. For when I need to cinch down a bulky load though they are sure nice to have.

I guess all I'm getting at is that there is no one perfect pack. I think what I have now is about the perfect pair of them for me though, I shouldn't have to spend any more money there for years. More money for tags!
 

jimss

Active Member
Jun 10, 2012
220
89
I have used and abused my Kifaru for around 10 years. Had great luck hauling hefty, bulky loads. It's also possible to cinch down smaller loads while day hunting and still have the ability to haul out 100+ lb first load if lucky. I don't hesitate to use my Kifaru as a daypack because it's so darn comfortable! When I was looking I had it narrowed down to SG or Kifaru. I went with Kifaru because it had lots of camo patterns, lots of bag and accessory options, and comfort for hauling out hefty loads. It hasn't let me down yet!
 

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
7,538
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idaho
been looking at the xo and stone glacier. just can't decide.in a perfect world I'd just get both. :D


price is pretty comparable, I figure either route, I will end up spending around $700 . think I like the SG frame better for meat hauling.

but then again, I also like the xo.
XO has more external compartments , for easy access.

I also like the idea that xo headquarters is only 40 miles away, so it is easy to drop by and try one out and talk to them in person.
 
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kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
7,538
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idaho
I love my Exo 3500 for most hunts. Extremely heavy or bulky loads I also have a Kifaru Tactical frame with a Nomad 2 bag, and Grab it set-up. I bought the Kifaru for my moose hunt this fall. The Exo will get used for all hunting and packing out of animals smaller than elk. For elk I'll probably take the first load out in the Exo and go back in with the Kifaru. The Exo would work fine too, especially if I pull the bag off and just use the Crib. The Kifaru is better to me as a designated meat pack though. It's just easier, put water bottles, food, and whatever else is needed in the batwings and go.

The Exo flexes side to side while being rigid vertically. This makes it really comfortable for me with normal loads going through burns and down timber. The Kifaru has an awesome hip belt I can really cinch down for heavy weights. It all depends what you like and what fits you best.
mcseal
I am trying to decide wether to go xo 3500 or 5500. am thinking primarily it will only be used for 3-4 day trips. am leaning to the 3500.what is your opinion??

also, how do you like the XO for meat hauling, without the bag? I see they have a crib load accessory for that purpose.it is one of the things I prefer about the stone glacier setup.
 

mntnguide

Very Active Member
mcseal
I am trying to decide wether to go xo 3500 or 5500. am thinking primarily it will only be used for 3-4 day trips. am leaning to the 3500.what is your opinion??

also, how do you like the XO for meat hauling, without the bag? I see they have a crib load accessory for that purpose.it is one of the things I prefer about the stone glacier setup.
Go with the 5500 no question in my opinion. You honestly can't tell the difference between the 5500 and 3500 when sucked down for day hunts, but you have the extra space for multi-day hunts when you want it. Ive been running the Exo 5500 for 4 years, and currently have the k2 frame version. They will be announcing something new soon for this year might be worth waiting on to see, but personally no way would i go with the 3500 if you plan on multi-day hunts. I see plenty of 3500 bag only for sale because people realize they want the 5500, but i never see the 5500 people looking for a 3500 haha. The exo hauls meat great, i do have the crib accessory if i'm just hauling a meat load, but you can also just use the actual 5500 bag for the same aspect.

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kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
7,538
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Go with the 5500 no question in my opinion. You honestly can't tell the difference between the 5500 and 3500 when sucked down for day hunts, but you have the extra space for multi-day hunts when you want it. Ive been running the Exo 5500 for 4 years, and currently have the k2 frame version. They will be announcing something new soon for this year might be worth waiting on to see, but personally no way would i go with the 3500 if you plan on multi-day hunts. I see plenty of 3500 bag only for sale because people realize they want the 5500, but i never see the 5500 people looking for a 3500 haha. The exo hauls meat great, i do have the crib accessory if i'm just hauling a meat load, but you can also just use the actual 5500 bag for the same aspect.

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thanks mtnguide.. that's the dilemma I have been debating. better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it I guess. yeah been waiting to see what comes out new this year ,I still have some time to shop around.
 
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Team Kabob

Very Active Member
May 9, 2014
793
148
I?m so happy we have all these options and each company is pushing to make the best bags and frames. I ?m in the search for a pack too! So many options and great packs. I have both a Kifaru E&E (Won here) and a Eberlestock Just one pack. The E&E does 99% of my hunting needs for Kansas and Missouri. I held onto the just one for duck hunts as I can toss decoys in and the shotgun and go! But when I used the just one for New Mexico it ended up in the truck.

Kifaru and exo are on my short list for what I need! Day pack and meat hauling. Possibly a few night stay in the field!


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ElkTrout

Veteran member
Feb 2, 2012
2,443
49
Parker, CO
I purchased a Stone Glacier this past season and have been very please with it! Packed a pretty good amount of animals and loved the way it fit.
Just like people have stated, I don?t think you can go wrong with any of these high end packs! I think it boils down to fit and personal preference!


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mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
I would agree with Mtn Guide. I don't have the 5500 but I could see the extra room being nice for multi-day trips. If I need more room for a really bulky load I have the Kifaru Nomad 2 I can go with. They rate their bags on the big side so the 3500 had done what I need it to.

I have used the Crib to pack up to 80lbs training without a bag. It works well, I've been happy with it. The bag itself can hold the load but you can hold it a little higher with the crib. With the crib you can drop the bag at the truck for additional loads but you have to figure out how to pack water. I figure on using the Kifaru for loads after the first one just because the batwing pockets on the Nomad 2 can be used for my emergency gear, water, and snacks pretty convenient while packing meat between the wings.
 

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
7,538
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I would agree with Mtn Guide. I don't have the 5500 but I could see the extra room being nice for multi-day trips. If I need more room for a really bulky load I have the Kifaru Nomad 2 I can go with. They rate their bags on the big side so the 3500 had done what I need it to.

I have used the Crib to pack up to 80lbs training without a bag. It works well, I've been happy with it. The bag itself can hold the load but you can hold it a little higher with the crib. With the crib you can drop the bag at the truck for additional loads but you have to figure out how to pack water. I figure on using the Kifaru for loads after the first one just because the batwing pockets on the Nomad 2 can be used for my emergency gear, water, and snacks pretty convenient while packing meat between the wings.
had considered the water packing and snack issue on second load. I see xo has slurpy stalker accessory for $40 that would solve that issue. can also be mounted inside the k2 bags
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
412
465
Idaho
I have the Exo 3500. I love it. Here's my thoughts on the 5500. (I looked at both at Exo Showroom) 5500 is not that much bigger. I have backpacked a lot in the past. I have found that if I have a bigger pack that I end up taking too much (heavy) stuff. Just like "what goes up, must come down", What you carry in has to be carried out plus any meat. With the roll up top, you can carry a lot of stuff. Probably more than I need for a few days. I carry a lot of stuff when I hunt anyway. I'm sure I could take my sleeping bag and pad as well as my two man tent along with food for 4-5 days easy. I already have about 20 lbs. of gear besides the overnight stuff anyway.