Stalker Bows
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  1. #1

    Kuiu or Exo or other backpack (Australia/Victorian conditions)

    I'm in the market for a decent backpack, primarily for bow-hunting, but also for 1-3 day hikes.

    I've read a bunch of reviews on forums like rokslide but the reviews are geared towards North American conditions where they hunt elk, have different terrain, different conditions, etc.

    I'm mainly going to be day-hunting deer in the Victorian state forests, with the intention to start doing some overnight hikes as well. I've never done overnight hunts/hikes before but the appeal is growing on me the more I read about it, so I'd rather a pack that will allow me to camp out for 1-3 nights.

    There are two packs I like, the Kuiu Icon Pro 3200 and the Exo Mountain Gear 3500

    Does anybody use these packs in Australia? How have you found them for our conditions?

    Any other suggestions for packs that would suit me, based on what I want to use them for?

    Cheers,
    David
  2. #2
    Moroka 30 Alpine stalker packs are worth checking out. they come in 45L or 75L and can have a ton of attachments fitted specifically for bowhunting/ overnight hunts etc.
  3. Hailes's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Wingham NSW 2429
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    718
    #3
    Hey David

    Mate Ive owned the KUIU packs and now I own the Exo 2000 and 5500 and several mates who have the 3500. Honestly you cant go wrong with them, I absolutely love my EXO. I packed out my Elk in my 2000 last year and used my 5500 this year in New Mexico and was mainly day hunting from the truck. Here at home I actually just solely use the 5500 as it cinches down as small as my 2000 does. To me the EXO's are perfect for us here in Australia, and the 3500 would be the perfect all rounder.

    The KUIU packs are ok, they are quite comfortable with no load, but once you load them up the EXO is a pure stand out no question about it. Also the meterial on the KUIU's is no where near as durable as the EXO.

    Pat Tydings at Boulder Creek Archery in Willow Tree carries the EXO's if you want to check them out.

    I have only commented on these 2 brands as per your question, but Stone Glacier and Kifaru are also top notch. The Kifaru is bullet proof but overkill for what we do here IMO. The SG is very similar to the EXO's in quality and design. But I cant speak highly enough of the EXO's and the customer service from Steve and the boys from EXO is exceptional.

    Feel free to hit me up with any questions etc

    Craig
    Last edited by Hailes; 9th October 2017 at 02:34 PM.
  4. #4
    I'm running the Icon Pro 3200 also have the 5500 for longer hunts etc. i haven't really put it through the ringer yet but its been quiet a good pack for me over the last few years. I carry a **** load of gear and most day hunts my pack weight is around 12kg. One bad thing i can say is that the pack can generate some noise where the carbon frame slots in the top pack pockets...The noise is right near your ears so its easily noticed but its not a major issue for me as i stalk with my pack off anyways.

    Just like Craig said if you have any questions feel free to ask

    Adam McCulloch
  5. #5
    Dave

    Check your messages, fella.
  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hailes View Post
    Hey David

    Mate Ive owned the KUIU packs and now I own the Exo 2000 and 5500 and several mates who have the 3500. Honestly you cant go wrong with them, I absolutely love my EXO. I packed out my Elk in my 2000 last year and used my 5500 this year in New Mexico and was mainly day hunting from the truck. Here at home I actually just solely use the 5500 as it cinches down as small as my 2000 does. To me the EXO's are perfect for us here in Australia, and the 3500 would be the perfect all rounder.

    The KUIU packs are ok, they are quite comfortable with no load, but once you load them up the EXO is a pure stand out no question about it. Also the meterial on the KUIU's is no where near as durable as the EXO.

    Pat Tydings at Boulder Creek Archery in Willow Tree carries the EXO's if you want to check them out.

    I have only commented on these 2 brands as per your question, but Stone Glacier and Kifaru are also top notch. The Kifaru is bullet proof but overkill for what we do here IMO. The SG is very similar to the EXO's in quality and design. But I cant speak highly enough of the EXO's and the customer service from Steve and the boys from EXO is exceptional.

    Feel free to hit me up with any questions etc

    Craig
    Thanks everybody for your input and feedback.

    @Craig: I've pretty much decided on the 3500 now based off reviews and what I'll be using it for. Did you get the dry bag/liner for your packs? Is it something that's required or is the material waterproof enough as it is?

    Any other accessories you reckon are good to get? Might as well buy them now to save on the shipping. I'm thinking bow carrier and 1 or 2 hip pockets, maybe the stash pocket.

    Just finished watching a few youtube videos: Do you find the velcro noisy in the field at all? i noticed there was velcro to attach the hip pockets and velcro on the top of the pack where it connects to the frame...

    Any fraying/wear on the velcro that causes it to be less sticky over time in high use areas?
    Last edited by davidxbowhunting; 10th October 2017 at 08:02 PM.
  7. Hailes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wingham NSW 2429
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    718
    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by davidxbowhunting View Post
    Thanks everybody for your input and feedback.

    @Craig: I've pretty much decided on the 3500 now based off reviews and what I'll be using it for. Did you get the dry bag/liner for your packs? Is it something that's required or is the material waterproof enough as it is?

    Any other accessories you reckon are good to get? Might as well buy them now to save on the shipping. I'm thinking bow carrier and 1 or 2 hip pockets, maybe the stash pocket.

    Just finished watching a few youtube videos: Do you find the velcro noisy in the field at all? i noticed there was velcro to attach the hip pockets and velcro on the top of the pack where it connects to the frame...

    Any fraying/wear on the velcro that causes it to be less sticky over time in high use areas?
    Hey Dave,

    Mate I think the 3500 will be perfect for you. And you nailed the accessories, I have the 2 hip pockets and bow holder. I didnt worry about the liner, if you plan on hunting NZ or Alaska, although I do know some sambar hunts can be very wet, you might want the liner, but the inside of bag is quite dry after a couple of good showers.

    I have had no issues at all with the velcro, the way the hip pockets attach, it covers up the velcro and are well secured. You wont find it an issue at all. The velcro at the top of the pack is held in place with the load lifters, its solid and works really well when converting to a meat carrier. (tip. dont try doing up the velrco once you have loaded the meat, use the straps provided).

    Hope that helps bud

    Craig
  8. #8
    I wouldn't say Kifaru is overkill. Brilliant packs. I carried out a 70 kg pack from a Sambar hunt. 5 hour walk out and even though I had breaks every 30 minutes (pack stayed on) and on the hour pack off. It was comfortable and stable. I have a bikini frame and nomad pack with capbag. I am 190 cm tall and I would rather have the heavier frame due to the fact I enjoy carry heavy packs and I think they would be better.

    Question is will you be likely to carry heavy load? If not, then most quality packs will do. Once you get 30 kg plus it's a different story.
  9. mudgudgeon's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    Sh1tney (as little as possible), also Central Coast
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    775
    #9
    I have an early version of the Exo 3500 pack.
    I've used it for traveling and some multi-night hiking. I've done 20+ km/day with around 15+ kg.
    It's very adjustable and handles the weight easily and comfortably once fitted right.
    I'd get the 5500 pack if buying again. The smaller size is a little restrictive in what you can stow in it, and I don't think the bigger pack has any real disadvantage.
    I like having the pack bag separate to the frame. You can carry a lot of bulk or a lot of weight with it, though some of the straps are a pain to adjust, and carrying a bladder is also a not really catered for too well.
    Our piss weak dollar makes the EXO a big ticket purchase, but it's really well made.
    Steve from EXO was super helpful in answering questions
  10. mudgudgeon's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sh1tney (as little as possible), also Central Coast
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    775
    #10
    One reason I bought the exo was because I couldn't find many alternatives that suits my build. I'm 190cm (6'6")
    Not many packs have a frame that's tall enough for load lifters to work effectively to take the weight of shoulders
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