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Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" #8388074 12/23/13
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RickBin Offline OP
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Hi All:

I want to thank Scott Reekers and his crew for undertaking to review and document some of the most cutting-edge backpacks on the market for hardcore backpack hunters. You can find the article here:

CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW

Please use this space to ask Scott questions about the article.

Enjoy!

rb


"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated." Thomas Paine
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Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: RickBin] #8389173 12/23/13
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Great review and write up. It seems all are more then capable. Would love to see a follow up on carrying a rifle with each pack. I know Stone Glacier and Kifaru have their own weapon carry systems, and maybe Paradox working on something. Would be fun o compare and contrast how they each carry and allow for access to rifle.

Great Job!

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: OutdoorAg] #8389478 12/24/13
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Congratulations Scott! Really nice job. I know a lot of time and effort went into this and I am very glad to see it pay off.

Nathan

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: RockChucker30] #8389773 12/24/13
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Thanks to all involved in producing this comparative review.

sreekers- once camp is packed in, is there much difference between them being used as day packs?

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: RickBin] #8390272 12/24/13
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Great write up, thanks!

Question for the writers...

You spoke of how tough the Metcalf was and then both reviews gave it the lowest durability marks of all the packs. Why is that?

For hauling 100+ lbs, how did the Stone Glacier do?
I'm not looking for a comparison to the other packs. Just its own merit.


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Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: SU35] #8390338 12/24/13
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Great review!

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: SU35] #8390361 12/24/13
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WIT-
I have only used the Kifaru Gunbearer and have mixed feelings on it. For easy access it's great, but if you take a tumble with it on, well....I can leave some bruises in the armpit.

I will post pictures of how we put rifles on the packs, I still used a sling quite a bit.

SU35-
I went back and looked, We did give the Metcalf the highest quality marks. In the color coding it's the third from the top. If could do one thing, we would add numbers to the actual graph to make it clearer.

Over 100lbs, the SG did well. Once we added the lumbar pad, and lowered the belt the comfort was even better. I am looking forward to trying out the new belt.

MR builds their backpacks like tanks. I still have the Metcalf and If I were to be using it in nasty country there is not a doubt in my mind that it would be able to haul all the weight I wanted it to, roll it down a hill, and it would still work.

Last edited by sreekers; 12/24/13.
Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8390540 12/24/13
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Just curious if you noticed how sensitive the packs were in regard to how they were loaded? For example, was 1 pack really finicky in how the 100lb load was loaded in order to it not kill you on the hike?



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Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8390581 12/24/13
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Here are a few more pack pictures for discussion sake.
[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vkA2gxBwm09Oljvnjrr-Ms6gSblp0k64BZ3dXaTonKI=w1582-h738-no[/img]
The halfway point of one of our hiking routes this summer. Namack with the Metcalf at 80lbs I believe.
[Linked Image]
Kifaru with rifle lashed to side, we were about to leave after a week in the mountains chasing mule deer.
[Linked Image]
My .300 lashed to the side of the SG, works ok, but would have probably been a little bit better to have the gun harness they offer.
[Linked Image]
Good view of the Talon day pack and compression system.

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8390590 12/24/13
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alaska_lanche Offline
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Good stuff Scott!!! Well thought out and written!

IC-B

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: Calvin] #8390648 12/24/13
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Originally Posted by Calvin
Just curious if you noticed how sensitive the packs were in regard to how they were loaded? For example, was 1 pack really finicky in how the 100lb load was loaded in order to it not kill you on the hike?



We did our best to load the packs well. With the Bikini frame and Paradox don't put anything super hard against the back. There isn't a frame sheet to stop it from poking you in the back.

All of them held the load in place well, but we did our best to keep weight close to the body and never higher than the shoulders.

The MR probably was my least favorite as far as balance goes, SG kept things close and didn't stick out too far. Paradox had a bigger bag so we had to be more conscious about where we placed weight. The Kifaru is small enough that keeping weight close was pretty easy too.

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8390680 12/24/13
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Calvin Offline
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How did the packs rate as far as how easy they were to get adjusted to your body?


Fully Guided Salmon and Halibut Charters
www.alaskawideopen.com
Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: Calvin] #8390869 12/24/13
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Originally Posted by Calvin
How did the packs rate as far as how easy they were to get adjusted to your body?


Stone Glacier was very easy to get dialed in, Mystery Ranch is a close second, just have to make sure you order the right size belt and harness.

Paradox isn't tough, but there is a learning curve so adjust it well at home with weight.

Kifaru was the toughest to get dialed in, but if you have used the duplex it's much easier.

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: alaska_lanche] #8390957 12/24/13
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Scott,

I enjoyed the article on the packs. I was wondering why it was limited to just four lightweight high end packs? As I read your comments on the Paradox being fresh off the sewing machine, with improvements still on their way, I was curious why the review wasn't more comprehensive to include packs such as Kuiu, Hill People Gear, McHale, and possibly other load haulers guys might be interested in.

Don't take my comments wrong, I just would of liked to know more about some of these others. I appreciate the time you spent and your review of the four packs.


Hunting is about everything you do before you pull the trigger.
Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8390979 12/24/13
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Calvin Offline
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Originally Posted by sreekers
Originally Posted by Calvin
How did the packs rate as far as how easy they were to get adjusted to your body?


Stone Glacier was very easy to get dialed in, Mystery Ranch is a close second, just have to make sure you order the right size belt and harness.

Paradox isn't tough, but there is a learning curve so adjust it well at home with weight.

Kifaru was the toughest to get dialed in, but if you have used the duplex it's much easier.


Thanks. Very helpful. That stone glacier is sounding better and better.


Fully Guided Salmon and Halibut Charters
www.alaskawideopen.com
Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: DZG] #8391045 12/24/13
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Originally Posted by DZG
Scott,

...I was curious why the review wasn't more comprehensive to include packs such as Kuiu, Hill People Gear, McHale, and possibly other load haulers guys might be interested in.


I'd guess that money could be a limiting factor...they did buy 3/4 packs. The other guess is Kuiu couldn't handle 100# without pain; Hill People don't make their own frame (yet); and McHale is a full custom (not really a fair comparison to mostly off the shelf versions) that also costs quite a bit more. Just my guess though.

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: DZG] #8391066 12/24/13
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Originally Posted by DZG
Scott,

I enjoyed the article on the packs. I was wondering why it was limited to just four lightweight high end packs? As I read your comments on the Paradox being fresh off the sewing machine, with improvements still on their way, I was curious why the review wasn't more comprehensive to include packs such as Kuiu, Hill People Gear, McHale, and possibly other load haulers guys might be interested in.

Don't take my comments wrong, I just would of liked to know more about some of these others. I appreciate the time you spent and your review of the four packs.


No offense taken. This project started to get legs last spring, and at that point these were the packs that seemed to be getting the most attention across several forums, including this one.

On a practical level, we are two guys with regular jobs, and a limited budget. We financed this ourselves, with the exception of the Paradox. The Paradox was number 3 I believe off the cutting room floor and was a loaner that we sent off to Dan Adair after we were done.

We also felt like it wouldn't be fair to do more than 4 in a head to head because it would take over a year to give each pack a fair shot. 25 miles per pack means 100 miles total and hiking just about every day to knock of miles at variable distances and weights. Mule Deer scouting season knocked out a LOT of the light weight miles for me, but it takes time regardless.

Ultimately it came down to time and making sure we gave each pack a fair shot.

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8391095 12/24/13
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Here's a review of eleven more packs by the Outdoor Gear Lab.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Backpacks-Backpacking-Reviews

KC



Wind in my hair, Sun on my face, I gazed at the wide open spaces, And I was at home.





Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: sreekers] #8391097 12/24/13
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Scott and Nevada,

Thank you for doing this review. One question I had was:

If you had to choose a pack as a "jack of all trades" for hunting and backpacking, what would be your choice?

Re: Ask Scott Reekers About "The CAMPFIRE HARDCORE HUNTING BACKPACK REVIEW" [Re: RiesigJay] #8391114 12/24/13
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If you get your hands on the updated paradox, let us know if the issues you saw have been eliminated. Thanks for the review.


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