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These two pics off website say alot to me. Anyhow hopefully I can review sooner rather than later.

Nice tight fit with meat on external shelf. Then the big open access to main compartment.

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I can comment on this HD as I have experience with Tatonka and most of the major US made and US brand packs-

Tatonka is a sleeper of a brand- they manfacture all their gear at their own factory in Vietnam (no outsourcing which is where most QC issues come from). This factory is open to the public, which is massive also as it's an open invitation for anyone to see their manufacturing practices. I've tried on the bison and their external frames, they are made really really well made for the tramping/trekking community, but there are better options out there, which is where the big 3 come in.

Exo- I know 3 people with Exo packs, from K2 to the current K3. These packs are really well made, really well thought out and lightweight. They have had frame stay issues, but exo put their money where there mouth was and upgraded everyones packs to carbon stays (the alloy was cracking) in the K3 (was an imported part). A top buy from Exo would be a second hand K2 with a pack if you can get one. Really great to deal with on purchasing- just go direct to the USA, my mate got his K3 4800 for under a tonne delivered from memory.

Stone glacier- Seb has one of these and I really really like his. definately would suit someone who wants a daypack/multi day pack. Seb has the good oil on his gear and if he recommends his SG I'd take it as gospel. I really like the horshoe zipper on Sebs pack for access to the contents.

Kifaru- I have a Duplex Lite in 26" with a woodsman bag and the organiser lid. I absolutely freaking love it. It's not branded as a lightweight back, more of a bomb proof pack and is really well made throughout but still in the same weight bracket as the other 2 main competitors. It's 50-65L and with the lid it comes to 70L, which is plenty. The thing I like most about Kifaru and what made me choose them is similar to Tatonka- every single component they can make, they make in house. Every other component like buckles and straps- Aron Snyer knows the company owner on a first name basis and it's an american made product.  Only drawback on the woodsman- no hydration sleeve, thats my only nitpick, but i just hang it between the fram and the pack. I can't comment on the Kifaru Australia factor as I bought mine before that started up, but I paid under 1K for my full pack and it got delivered to my door within 2 weeks.

As for Kuiu, Eberlestock (I've had 3 EB packs), Mystery ranch, KUIU horn hunter etc. all probably well made, and probably all made in the same factory in chyna, but don't hold a candle to the big 3. Until you gt to see INSIDE the factory and see HOW these guys are making the products that you are spending your hard earned on, you are gambling. A high end chinese pack like a KUIU or EB is not much cheaper than an Exo pack, but there are a lot of unknowns from one maker, wheras the other wants you to know all about their company and that's the difference.

Exo- Lightest, probably highest tech, but has had a frame issue although this was fixed

SG- Well thought out, really light, a bit different from the other 2

Kifaru- Bombproof, 'merica, good support in AU now.

Would love to try outdoorsman- they look great, but i can't comment on them

I dug up my excel file form when I lashed out and upgraded form my Eberlestock F1, I just waited untill the conversion rate got me below 1000, but as you can see they were all the same price give or take (I had MR in there for a wild card).

make

Exo 3500 K2

price

599.99

postage

122.35

forex

1.45

total

1047.393

Mystery ranch Pintler 399.88 72 1.45 684.226
Stone Glacier R3 3300 (with lid) 616 78.05 1.45 1006.373
Kifaru woodsman (with lid) 678 81.3 1.45 1100.985

F*ckin rambling, sorry for all the sh*t

Edited by Lightweight
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Reading with interest. I too am looking into getting a quality pack. I currently use a blackwolf and yes it gets me in the bush with all my gear and didn’t brake the bank but I find it garbage. 
My best mate has a exo 3500 and loves it. I’ve tried it on and it’s like heaven. 
I’ve been up in the air with what to get. But been really looking into mystery ranch beartooth 80 and I recon it looks alright. A exo would be ideal but boulder creek want $1300 for the 4800 which is up there. 

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I would buy direct from te USA wherever possible. No offence to aussie small business, but until they work out a way to be comparable to the USA in this market there is no point in using them. remember that these brands are direct to public in the USA, so you are using the "correct" method to purchase as there is no intermediary in the USA like here. You get a quicker delivery for going through Kifaru AU or Boulder creek (but even then not always), but you also get a couple of extra green tickets lifted out of your wallet- with no extra support after as these guys all honour their warranties the same.

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I recently went with moroka30 45L pack. Ouch at the time for pricing but then I weigh up the kg's in meat. Then go to supermarket and look at the pricing. 2 or 3 deer taken home and its paid off in the price I would have spent at the super market and I still got a back pac.

A good back pac is a wise investment that hurts at the start with the dollaroos but a sound investment for years to come

Love to hear the outcome and feedback as i can see what a good pack can do now and only imagine what a even better pack will do

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Nope but I bought their Horizon 8000 tent (2 man, 3-4 season) two weeks ago for half price. Seems to be a nice bit of gear.

Deal is still on. Ended up at $405 for me with the ground mat too.

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Ive got a exo k2 5500, i bought it 3-4 years ago when they were not massive and cost me $800 by memory shipped over. 

i looked at the k3 the other day and to replace mine was like $1400 i think.

from what i've done with mine and still keep doing on a weekly basis,

 

I would pay that for it.

 

I read a comment the other day that kifaru have some good packs coming through, without the meat shelf(very rarely do we take a whole sambar out of the woods in a backpack)

has anyone mentioned the mystery ranch metcalf? or the stoney creek bulla 60?

 

 

Edited by SWIZ/TOMMY
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@Dingo.375 I just ordered the exo 4800 with frame & added the 1800 bag only too (that one for state forest day trips). Shipped priority all up for AUD$1383.

So not sure where you got to with ya decisions. But if ya hold tight I should be able to soon shed more light.

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On 27/07/2020 at 1:52 PM, samburstalker said:

I recently went with moroka30 45L pack. Ouch at the time for pricing but then I weigh up the kg's in meat. Then go to supermarket and look at the pricing. 2 or 3 deer taken home and its paid off in the price I would have spent at the super market and I still got a back pac.

A good back pac is a wise investment that hurts at the start with the dollaroos but a sound investment for years to come

Love to hear the outcome and feedback as i can see what a good pack can do now and only imagine what a even better pack will do

I thought about them, had a mate have two buckles break in the first six months. And they don't have an external meat shelf. Some don't  that but I hate washing stinking blood out of my packs.

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On 30/07/2020 at 10:29 PM, Camoman said:

@Dingo.375 I just ordered the exo 4800 with frame & added the 1800 bag only too (that one for state forest day trips). Shipped priority all up for AUD$1383.

So not sure where you got to with ya decisions. But if ya hold tight I should be able to soon shed more light.

yeah mate all good.
i revisited "how to set up a backpack"  and with Sebs help,   I walked or had the pack on for 5 hrs  an then 4 hours on the way out,  feeling good today.....  might adjust a few more bits an pieces subtley and see how i go!!!
 

i've got time though :)    

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On 30/07/2020 at 10:29 PM, Camoman said:

@Dingo.375 I just ordered the exo 4800 with frame & added the 1800 bag only too (that one for state forest day trips). Shipped priority all up for AUD$1383.

Hey mate if you don’t mind me asking where did you order your exo from? I’ve been keen on a exo 4800 for a while just price been putting me off a little 

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23 hours ago, Hosery said:

Hey mate if you don’t mind me asking where did you order your exo from? I’ve been keen on a exo 4800 for a while just price been putting me off a little 

Direct online thier own website. It's noted to be in transit now so hopefully I can post up soon how long it takes, etc.

Yes expensive. But for almost the same price as boulder creeks 4800 alone here I got the extra 1800 sized bag too.

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Well finally got to test out the exo pack in using it to haul.

Hunting buddy dropped a sambar in nsw state forest yesterday. A short haul, 'only' 500m and I say that cos we decided to pack half each and do it in one trip... suffice to say despite the pack being incredible, my legs were not ?

In so far as a review..  The shelf was easy to load. It held the weight very tight to my back and it loaded my hips directly. There was no weight whatsoever on my shoulders despite what I reckon was pushing 50kg total load. It was stable as could be over my jello legs. Very very happy camper, stoked with its performance. 

You can see the frame sitting nice and high still and the straps sitting off my shoulders.

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Edited by Camoman
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Hello I am still using my macpac cascade 75lt that I bought in NZ in 89 on my first deer hunt, absolutely bomb proof. and has a great harness system its tough bush hiking pack 

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