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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Linn, OR
    Posts
    135

    Hunting meat hauler Pack

    Archery season is open here in ID and I’m in need to of a pack that can haul meat out of the backcountry. Anyone have experience with internal frames vs external for this? I’ve used the Eberlestock mainframe and am familiar with Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, Kuiu, etc but there are a few companies like Sitka that use an internal frame and a meat shelf inside the pack. Anyone have any real world experience with the two?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Front Range
    Posts
    238
    No experience with the Sitka, but I used burly backpacking packs for hauling elk for years. Snapped the internal frame on an EMS and Northface, finally got a Gregory Baltoro, and collapsed the suspension on that with a Front+rear quarter as well. At least the pack didnt break.

    Pulled the trigger on a Mystery Ranch Sawtooth with their new frame last year - holy crap what a difference. Carried load way better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    286
    Check out Norrona Syncroflex 125L

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    minneapolis
    Posts
    124
    have a pintler and a metcalf (MR). love them both

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    8,505
    Love my EXO K2 for hunting/hauling duties. It comfortably carries more weight than I care to haul. Love how the meat shelf carries the meat close to the body.
    Top three imho in no particular order:
    EXO
    Kifaru
    Mystery Ranch
    Seek outside
    Stone Glacier
    Kuiu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    59715
    Posts
    4,070
    I'd pick for fit first. I had an Badlands internal frame that was a nice size but put my arm to sleep, threw that away for an Eberlestock internal frame that is a little smaller but is much more comfortable. FWIW, I don't carry bones.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    8,505

    Hunting meat hauler Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    I'd pick for fit first. I had an Badlands internal frame that was a nice size but put my arm to sleep, threw that away for an Eberlestock internal frame that is a little smaller but is much more comfortable. FWIW, I don't carry bones.
    Most all of the high end quality packs are completely adjustable accommodating for various body types. It was a tough call for me on the top three of my list, came across a killer deal on the EXO so I grabbed it.
    Last edited by 2FUNKY; 09-07-2021 at 10:55 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Linn, OR
    Posts
    135

    Hunting meat hauler Pack

    EXO packs look great but are probably more $$$ then I want to spend. Just don’t hunt enough (or have enough success) to warrant the investment. Eberlestock might be the sweet spot for price and still good quality unless I can find a sweet deal on a used one. Been looking, but deals are scarce right now. Exo, Mystery Ranch, and Stone Glacier all seem like fantastic packs though.

    I’ve got an Osprey backpacking pack I guess I could use in the meantime and if I break the frame their warranty would replace it! I bet it’d suck with a heavy load though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2,098
    Might be worth sending an email to McHale and Co. and asking about his demos. He sometimes sells them, and they are reasonable for a McHale. Last year he had some starting at $450 which is a solid deal as a custom pack is way more than that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    8530' MST/200' EST
    Posts
    3,454
    Another MR fan here, Sawtooth 45 has been awesome. A few brands make frame only haulers, kelty used to. Keep an eye on KSL/Craigslist for used, too. I've heard good things from Eberlestock, but for me, Exo, MR, Kifaru, are the top three.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    415
    A big old MR on ebay.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    9,913
    Had an Eberlestock and switched to Exo. Night and day. If you only hunt with it a week or two a year, Exo is expensive. I'm lucking to get a week or two now anymore. But, I had one of the nicest Deuter big packs they make and the Exo carriers more better and weighs less so I sold my backpacking pack so the Exo gets use for hunting, backpacking in the summer, and sometimes a heavy hauler in the winter to yurts so justifiable. It comes down to fit though too and Exo is local to me so I got to try a few options before buying.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    6

    Wild

    Not gonna lie - that's pretty wilddd

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Linn, OR
    Posts
    135

    Hunting meat hauler Pack

    Ended up scoring an Ebay deal on a Kuiu pack. Looking forward to trying it out.

    For anyone else interested in this, I found these videos from Rokslide. They compared the Sitka (with the internal frame) head to head with Kuiu, Stone Glacier, Exo, etc. interestingly the Sitka faired pretty well.

    https://youtu.be/5w9gmKx1gFs

    https://youtu.be/PscAJTLFrz4

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    8530' MST/200' EST
    Posts
    3,454
    also, join us over in the hunting thread:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...-Afield-Thread
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    173
    For years I was Eberlestock and switched to a Kuiu. Really like the flexibility of the framed packs. Plus they are considerably lighter. The design of the pack when hauling meat puts it right against the frame and really works.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    7

    MR Terraframe

    I have the MR Terraframe 3-zip. It's in their camping/outdoor expedition line but is basically the same thing as the Pintler. I've hauled some deer out with it now, no problems. It's also cheaper than the Pintler because it's technically not a hunting pack.
    Last edited by mghatts; 11-12-2021 at 06:18 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    NW WA
    Posts
    254
    Don't hunt myself but have a handful of friends who are serious hunters, and the consensus seems to be that the Kifaru packs are the best, and Kuiu, MR, Stone Glacier, and EXO are good budget alternatives.

    I have used a Kifaru shelter before though and I have to say that I've never used any other 4-season tent that is nicer than a Sawtooth with a cylinder stove. Under 9 lbs total weight, and we had it up over 70° inside the tent within 30 minutes of waking up without having to leave our sleeping bags (outside temps were around 20°).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    7,170
    ^^^When Exo is a budget option….you have a good budget.


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    8,505
    To say those others are “budget” to Kifaru is fucking dumb. They’re all top tier packs and EXO and Kifaru are damn close in price, same with MR and offer very similar features and accessories. Seems as if someone has a “insert brand name” it’s the best and most expensive’ist. All of those packs are exceptional as I’ve used a few and you really cannot go wrong with any of them. Funny how Seek Outside was left out, another top tier option.

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