After reviewing your comments and other forum post...

After reviewing your comments and other forum posts it is clear the biggest challenge for backcountry hunting packs is the wide range of weight they must be able to carry.  For backpack hunts, up to 60 pounds going in and up to to 100 pounds coming out. If you hunt any distance from the truck daypacks need to be able to carry a boned out animal or quarter. This big weight variation has been a tough problem for most manufactures to solve.  The best load carrying packs are heavy, stiff and cumbersome to hunt in all day and daypacks do not have the frame and suspension to handle a heavy load.

We need a lightweight pack that solves this problem; a pack that is comfortable to hunt in all day and is designed with a frame and suspension to carry a heavy load.

I began the development process by researching and reviewing existing pack frame materials, including aluminum, steel and plastics.  My research concluded these materials could be designed to be either stiff for carrying weight or flexible for comfort, but are limiting in designing a frame that can do both and remain lightweight.  My research also made it clear we need a frame with vertical stability and horizontal flexibility.  Vertical stability supports heavy load carrying and horizontal flexibility creates a comfortable all day ride.

Fortunately, these conclusions forced me to research alternative materials, which lead me to Carbon Fiber.

Carbon Fiber compared to a human hair

Woven Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber consists of extremely thin fibers about 0.005–0.010 mm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in microscopic crystals that are aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber. The crystal alignment makes the fiber very strong for its size. Several thousand carbon fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which may be used by it self or woven into a fabric. Carbon fiber has many different weave patterns and can be combined with a plastic resin to create a high strength-to-weight ratio material. The density of carbon fiber is considerably lower than the density of steel, making it ideal for applications requiring low weight. The properties of carbon fiber such as high tensile strength, low weight, and low thermal expansion make it very popular in aerospace, military and motorsports.

Side View of the Frame

For the past year I have worked with an industrial design group that specializes in carbon fiber to developed the world’s first Carbon Fiber backpack frame, which KUIU now has a patent pending. The KUIU Icon Carbon Fiber frame weighs just 13 ounces, is only 1/4″ thick, has stiffness vertically to carry heavy loads and is flexible horizontally for an incredibly comfortable ride.  This ultralight dynamic structure can only be accomplished by using carbon fiber. Light, strong, stiff & flexible.

Shoulder Track Adjustment System

Hip Belt Pivot Inset

The Icon frame is made in a mold, which allows us to shape it to the spine for a better fitting pack.  At 1/4 inch thick, your load rides right against your back and angles forward when you engage the loadlifters for a perfectly balanced pack.  We inset a pivot waist belt attachment and shoulder harness track system into the frame.  The pivoting waist belt allows the pack to move with your body allowing for a more comfortable ride.  The individual shoulder adjustment makes it easy to properly fit of a wide range of body types, which is critical in carrying heavy loads.

Outside Stays De-couple the Load

The most important design feature of the Icon frame are the stays that run vertically on the outside of the frame.  When under weight these stays de-couple the weight from your shoulders and hipbones and distributes it to your lower back, upper back and upper chest.  This allows for a ride that is incredibly comfortable and perfectly balanced. No more sore shoulders and hips.  When unloaded these stays have horizontal flexibility that allows the frame to move with your body creating an incredibly comfortable daypack.

The Icon Carbon Fiber frame is the foundation of two new pack designs, an estimated 2500ci and 5500ci.  These packs are the lightest in their class, have an advanced suspension system, new lightweight fabric, designed for hunting and will out perform any pack made to date.  I will cover both packs and suspension in up coming posts.  These packs will be available late Spring 2011.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback and please let me know if you have any questions.

Jason

This article has 73 comment(s)

  1. Lee

    That is awesome! I can’t wait to see these packs! Having the frame be adjustable to get a good fit is key.

  2. Josh

    Looking forward to seeing more. I am hoping for something modular….one frame and multiple bags….

    I would am also curious to hear about how shock resistant the carbon is, for example, if I drop my pack full of meat and it rolls down a mountain will it crack the carbon (I have seen this twice now=)? Could I crack one by simply dropping a loaded pack (say 100lbs) on the ground and hitting an unseen rock?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Josh,

      Yes it will be a modular system. One frame and suspension will fit both pack sizes and future packs for the Icon frame.

      In regards to durability, Carbon Fiber is 1/2 the weight of Aluminum and twice as strong as steel. I have hammered this frame and have yet to break it. Could you destroy it? Sure, but it will take a lot to do so. What I have not shown you is how the frame integrates into the packs. It is fairly protected by the bag and suspension. I will show this in my future posts. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Josh

        Great response, thanks!

  3. Mike P

    Jason,

    Are the packs interchangable or are they 2 seperate packs?

    Also what at the weights going to be on the 2?

    Thanks,

    Mike

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Mike,

      Yes the packs will be interchangeable. I do not have final weights, however the 5500 will weight less than 5 pounds and the 2500 weighs approximately 3.25 pounds. Let me know what other questions you have.

      Jason

      • Mike P

        Holy bat crap…thats what I’m talking about! Exactly what i am looking for in the weight department.

        Only question is will i have to sell my first born to buy one???

        Thanks,

        Mike

        • Jason Hairston

          Hi Mike,

          As you suspected Carbon Fiber engineering and development is incredibly expensive. However, after extensive testing this frame is worth the investment. It solves a major problem that has not been solved until now. I will be releasing pricing of the entire gear line after the 1st of the year. Thanks for your interest.

          Jason

  4. Steve Ameral

    Hi Jason,
    This has great potential.
    A bag that expands from day pack to a boned out meat carrying size.
    Holsters on the belt for a range finder and another for a GPS or small radio.
    A weather proof cover that will keep your stuff dry. Not really interested in the pack bag material being weather proof but something like a little poncho for your pack.
    Maybe modular bags. What I am thinking is a common frame then make two or three different bag systems that attach to the frame. How about a collapsible freighter type shelf.
    Just a few ideas I have been thinking about.
    Thanks,
    Steve
    Just a few features I would like to see.

  5. Kit Baughman

    Hi Jason,

    Last fall’s backcountry elk archery hunt convinced me I need a new pack system – I’m done with strapping a duffel bag full of gear, including my hunting daypack, onto my pack frame… Weighty redundancy going up the mountain, yet the wasted trip of having to go back to camp to drop the daypack and get the pack frame when successful. I’ve been researching everything that is out there for months, and was coming to a decision, but now it looks like I’ll be waiting until late Spring 2011. I could ask a bunch of questions, but will wait for the future posts on the pack system – you’ve usually already had all my concerns covered, and then some!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Kit. This pack was designed to solve this exact problem! More to come on the packs in future posts. I think you will really like the bag and suspension designs.

      Jason

  6. Drake Atwood

    I am very excited about these packs! I actually have researched CF quite a bit over the last year and when I heard that the KUIU packs will have CF frames I knew I had to have one. What I found to be great about CF is that you can manipulate how strong and how flexible you want it to be, where you want it to be stiff or flexible, and in what direction you want the flex or the strength to be. It is nearly as strong as steel and about one third the weight of aluminum. Seems like the perfect fit for the KUIU pack system. I cannot wait!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Drake,

      Thanks for the comments and I am excited for these packs as well. Not to dispute your CF information, my research has shown Carbon Fiber to be half the weight of Aluminum and twice as strong as steel. You are spot on with the ability to manipulate the flexibility and stiffness with in the frame, which is a HUGE advantage to Carbon Fiber for this application. I cannot wait to get one on your back, it is pretty unreal!

      Jason

  7. Brad

    How about a bow/gun scabbard?

  8. George Hicks

    Jason,

    Of all of your products, this one interests me the most. I really think you have the right idea here, as I have not found any pack on the market that will do true double-duty. I am sure you thought about durability, but I had the same question as Josh. Also, is the frame stiff enough that you can unload your upper body by loosening the shoulder straps and letting a heavy (say 100 lbs.) load ride almost exclusively on your hips without the frame sheet bending excessively?

    On the bags, please make sure there are enough convenient pockets to keep gear stored yet accessable. The size range of the bags sounds about perfect. Are you going to have just the two sizes, or is there going to be an intermediate size? My mountaineering pack is 4,000 cu.in. which is a bit of a squeeze, but works for early season.

    In any event, put me on the list. I gotta have one of these!!

    George

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi George,

      Thanks for the comments. Carbon Fiber is incredibly durable, twice as strong as steel! As far as releasing the load lifters to put the weight on your hips, yes you can do this with out bending the frame sheet. However, what you will find is that you do not have to with the design of the stays and frame. It does not wear out your shoulders like traditional packs. I look forward to getting on your back to find out for yourself. It is really amazing.

      Jason

  9. george

    Jason –

    looks good , many times i have found that it’s the simple pieces of a pack that when they break make continuing the hunt or pack use hard.

    ie., the main grip handle to lift the pack up – connections for the shoulder straps, so attention to these areas with super duty stitching, stitching methods, and REPAIR kit (cause all stuff breaks) is what makes the difference on the trail

    also, keeping stuff separate and organized is crucial too , so pouches internally, and some HI-VIZ material internally to not visually lose items , since most our ‘stuff’ is camo’d ,or drab colors

    love your work sir keep it up

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi George,

      Your comments are all very well noted. The haul handle, shoulder straps and waist belt are attached directly to the frame very securely. Lots of bartacks and hypalon for reenforcement. I am a huge fan of lots of storage, easy access and very clean designs. I will be releasing more information on the bags shortly. In the meantime please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Jason

  10. Bob Looney

    My concern is that the load lifters will be too low once the yoke is adjusted for a longer torso. If the lifters aren’t above my shoulders I’m not buying. Price isn’t a concern if the pack functions properly.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Bob,

      I completely understand your concerns, I have a lot of packs with non-functional load lifters. The load lifters are the key to this frame functioning properly and de-coupling the load from you shoulders and hips and redistributing the weight. We have focused on proper fit to make sure this functionality is not lost no matter where you adjust the shoulder straps. I really appreciate your attention to detail and these types of questions and concerns, please let me know if you have others.

      Jason

  11. Steve

    Looks like you hit a home run with this system. It has everything I and everyone else would like to see in a pack.
    Any sneek peaks on the bags?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Steve,

      I will follow up shortly with a post and photos of the prototype packs. Thanks for the kind words.

      Jason

  12. Bob Looney

    Thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it. I think you have a winner. Good luck in the future, the pack business is a tough one.

  13. Adam

    That frame looks great and by the sounds of it, we will finally have a light-weight “hunting” pack. I can’t wait to see it. I may have missed it, but do you have a target weight for the 5500ci pack that you could share with us, or are you going to wait on that one? Great job!!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Adam,

      Thank you for the kind words. The prototypes for the 5500 are under 5 lbs. and the 2500 are approximately 3.25 lbs.

      Jason

  14. Larry Schwartz

    Jason,

    Like everyone else I like what I am seeing on your blog. This online focus group/marketing research approach you are taking is an excellent idea. It really points to why you have been successful, finding innovative/inexpensive ways to see what your customer wants and then building it. But now to my observation.

    It looks like the shoulder straps are held to the frame by two connectors. Is it possible for the top connector to be mounted in a slot so that the wearer can adjust the separation between the straps to accomodate different torso and neck widths?

    Larry

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Larry,

      I want to thank you for taking the time to comment and for the nice words. In regards to the shoulder strap width adjustment, great question. The width does adjust slightly wider the higher you adjust the shoulder straps. It is really important the geometry of the load lifters and shoulder strap are correct. Too much adjustment inward would/could affect this. I am confident this design will fit a very big range of body types and it offers more adjustment than any other pack on the market. I hope this answers your question, let me know if you have any others.

      Jason

      • Larry Schwartz

        Jason,

        I just sent you an email with some hunting backpack system ideas. They might be of interest in your pack design efforts.

        Larry

        • Jason Hairston

          Thank Larry,

          I received it and will follow up with you shortly, I am traveling today. Lots of great ideas, thank you for sharing.

          Jason

  15. RUSSELL ELDRIDGE

    Sounds like an awesome pack design. Hunting packs seem to be like the unicorn! you can never find the exact one that fits, and functions the way you want. I am very interested to see how the final pack looks. I am impressed with the frame. I like how you have designed it and the weight factor. I also like the fact of being able to interchange bags on the same frame. The closest I have found to the perfect hunting pack is from another company that allows you to buy the frame and interchange bags for the situation I love that, but it is a bit heavy. You seem to have hit on the best of both worlds. Can’t wait to see the final product!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Russell,

      I appreciate the comments and kudos. My next pack post will cover the bags and their design, I am really excited about these products.

      Jason

  16. Dewey Riesterer

    Your posts concerning the new gear/clothing designs and products are always fascinating and enjoyable. I am particularly impressed with your seeking input from potential customer/users as few designers seem to listen to us.

    I have had a whack of different packs and even the most costly and “big rep” ones have been a disappointment and many just expensive junk. I am an “old” man and with some serious orthopaedic issues, so, the function-comfort of my pack is crucial to me still being capable of mountain activities, which I love and intend to continue until I “retire” at age 100…..go big or go home, ya know!

    I would make two points, the first is that not all mountain hunters are tall, lean, “jock” types and some of us are shorter, have short legs, thicker torsos, are very lean or whatever. Most gear is offered to fit an ideal body type and while this looks impressive in “Backpacker”, it does not meet reality. So, please offer a wide range of waist sizes, leg lengths and sleeve lengths, I would gladly pay an extra charge to get garments fitted as I like them and a packbelt that fits to my specs.

    I would also like to see a 7500 cu. in. packbag option as one needs this volumn for walkin sheep hunting from the Alaska Highway and for other such hunts here in BC. I am happy with the five MR and four Bozeman made-Dana Design packs I am now using, but, something around 7500 cu.in. weighing half as much would certainly make me seriously consider buying yet another pack. I also like modular outside pockets and a rifle holder that allows instant access to your gun, as I am in some of the most densely populated Grizzly country left in North America.

    Keep up the good work, best of luck with it!

  17. Joe Lasch

    Incredible looking frames Jason! I’ll be watching to see what the bags look like. Sure seems like this could finally be the ultimate backcountry hunting pack.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Joe, Thanks for the comment. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Jason

  18. Tom Ryle

    As an industrial designer my self, I’m baised. Driving design solutions by way of usage requirements (needs) is a key aspect of success in the field. Requirements lead to an evaluation of materials, processes, and technologies that can deliver on the product goals. You’ve obviously done the research and work leading to a break-through solution, mating the inherent properties of CF composites with process technologies that enable versatility and an optimal strength to weight ratio. I can’t wait for a dynamic load test! Looks awesome – nice work!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tom! I appreciate the kudos coming from you and I look forward to your evaluation and feed back. I am really excited about this product.

      Jason

  19. Pedro Ampuero

    Congratulations to al Kuiu`s team, this is going to brake rules. Keep working in that line, you are all doing a great job. Thanks!!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Pedro! I look forward to getting one of these on your back.

      Jason

  20. Cade Powell

    Just checking in to make sure the hydration system will be easily accessible with the pack loaded up. Always nice to be able to filter straight into the bladder without having to take all the gear out of the pack.
    Looking good.
    Cade

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Cade,

      I am preparing a post of the bags and will show you where I have located the hydration for the larger pack. It is easy to access.

      Jason

  21. Tam Nguyen

    Been following this blog and everything looks absolutely fantastic. The packs are very interesting as I’m still looking for the perfect, do-all pack. Can the frame alone, at an amazing 13oz, serve as a stand-alone hauler? With some attachment straps and a load platform, could this pack carry large, oddly shaped objects comfortably? Dry bag for float trips?

    Thank you

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Tam,

      Yes the frame will stand alone and you certainly could strap a bag to the outside. It is a modular system, so you will be able to interchange bags on the frame as well. I have thought of setting up a load hauling system for this frame, maybe for 2012 that would make it easier for you to strap a dry bag to the outside.

      Jason

  22. Carl

    This looks awesome Jason, as a BC backpack sheep hunter, I would also like to see a larger version than the 5500 CI as other posters have mentioned.

    I currently have a Mystery Ranch NICE 6500 and also a Barney “Hunter” and when packed up full for a 8-10 day backpack sheep hunt there isn’t much room left for a boned out ram, along with his cape and horns in the MR 6500, the Barney @ 6800 ci seems about the perfect size.

    My old Lowe Alpine Expedition pack is a 90 liter (5492 CI) and it just wasn’t big enough for the serious extended trips, or packing out a ram/buck/billy it just lacked the room.

    A heavy hauling pack that had 6800-7500 CI of space, a proper pocket for spotter/tripod, several smaller compartments to keep gear organized, load hauling capabilities, pocketed waistbelts and weighed in at less than the current 9lb+ packs I am using would really grab my attention.

    Carl

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Carl,

      Your size requirements are well noted. I designed this pack to haul a boned out animal, gear, cape and horns. It is totally do able with this pack. My development room is working on the final protos right now and I will have them officially measure the pack size. It could be closer to 6000 or even 6500. I do not want to overstate the size until I know for sure. I will let you know the official measurement once I receive it. Please let me know if you have any other questions or ideas.

      Thanks,

      Jason

      • Thomas

        Dear Crew.

        I am also a backpack sheep hunter. I go for 12-14 days for long distances and like to try to pack everything in one trip in and one trip out. Presently I use a K2 Dana Designs External Frame Longbed that is about 6200cu but then I add some external pockets for about 400-500 cu.
        I am wondering if you could take something like the 9000 cu Brooks Range Duffle, your icon frame and suspension and then add load lifters.
        This would be a very large pack but would provide durable equipment that could take glacial morraines and yet be waterproof for various glacial dunkings.

        Sincerely,
        Thomas

  23. Stig Yngve

    Carl who posted on here right before my post has some important facts of bag anatomy to consider. A scope pocket that is out of site out mind or atleast out of the way and quick to access is very important. I am not a sheep hunter, not yet anyway, still working on that. But I do chase Sitka Blacktails here in Kodiak for 30+days a year on a good year. That means having quick access to a big scope(swaro20-60×80) for catching a fleeting glimpse of some big old buck hot on the trail of a doe. I have less than 45 seconds a lot of the time to drop my pack, scramble to get out my scope, put it on my tripod and beam in and catch a glimpse of such a buck as mentioned to see if they are up to my standard or not. So you see the point I am making. Something along the lines of the twin long back vertical pockets on the MR 6500 or maybe something cunningly tucked into the side like on a Badlands 2200. ALso, I, like a lot of other hunters am always searching for more room in a pack. I think your carbon fiber approach is right on, and there would be a good market for a pack that was up to 6 pounds or a little more and with 6800-7500 cu i capacity. When I am hunting in bear country(every day around here) I simply don’t have the time or the luxury to get an animal in my pack boned out either. Most of the time I have 30 minutes to one hour before a bear comes calling, often times far too close and hairy. So a bag that you could mindlessly throw quarters into and ribs etc with a miniature shelf on the inside to separate clothing on the bottom from meat in the upper 3/4 of the pack would be awesome. All the other companies have a hundred different buckles and straps and excess seams etc that make a pack like a MR weigh 10 pounds. My advice would be to make the bag with as few seams as possible like a good hiking boot. Make one zipper about a quarter of the way up that goes horizontal for accessing clothing. Then no more zippers on the main bag itself. Drawstring top. No pockets billowing out on the sides either, then it just becomes clumsy and takes up a ton space like a frame pack. For the top bag if there is one, make it one giant main compartment that is atleast 1300 cu i. This is crucial for quick access to food binocs, hat, gloves, etc. Put 2 compression straps from the top bag to the main bag and one on each side of the main bag(horizontal)1/4 of way up and 3/4 of way up the main bag, for spotting scope etc. A simple gun butt pouch like what Kifaru or Barneys uses is hardly any weight and holds the gun in place when not in use. The Kifaru style strap for the barrel is a lot better too. When a gun is tucked into the pack it takes for ever to draw it out again and there is just a waste of materials for the simple task of holding a gun on a pack. Color is important too, as you well know as a creator of Sitka Gear. The packs should be in good neutral and stealthy colors like what MR has with their bags now. I am not a MR owner, have been exploring it though and am not convinced they deserve my dollar. I have a Kifaru Longhunter that I have beaten to hell in 3 short years. The only redeeming quality of it was that it was capable of hauling(I hauled 120 pounds in it on a campout alpine deer hunt for 9 miles in 2009.) and did not hang up in the bushes like a clumsy external. The Barneys I have is the Monster one 7800 cui and is well at home for mindless beast hauls- like a bear hide or packing moose or hauling in camp. And it has its place in my arsenal for that kind of work. But for more stealth and agility and the ability to be a beast pac on demand, I am waiting to see what you can deliver. I would love to be a tester of a larger pack in the works or any pack for that matter up here on The Rock. 24 and young and immortal and reckless and full of piss and vinegar, I could put one of you packs through its paces Well I got a ton of ideas and I hope you don’t feel like I am long winded or speaking at you instead of too you. I like the the idea behind your new packs and I hope they turn out good.

    Sincerely,
    Stig Yngve in Kodiak

    • Stig Yngve

      Elastic water bottle pockets on the sides too. You cant exactly stop and unpack everything easily to refill a camel pack water bladder type thing that is way up inside the pack.

      • Jason Hairston

        Stig,

        Well noted and included on both packs.

        Jason

      • Carl

        I have always found those elastic water bottle pockets to be good for anything BUT a water bottle. When your pack is fully loaded, (I am speaking from my MR experience here) it’s easy to get your water bottle out and hell to get it back in again if the elastic is too tight.

        I much prefer hooking a caribeener through the nalgene lid and then onto my pack strap. Gravity pulls the bottle down the strap towards your back, and the bottle hangs unoticable at your side. Very easy to grab and very easy to put back with the quick clip. I’ve carried my Nalgene this way for years.

        A Long pocket on the SIDE would be better for quick access to the spotting scope. and also help balance out the load if you’re carrying a rifle straped to the other side of your pack.

        The tubular pockets on the back of the MR are nice and big, but in a hurry they require you to actually unbuckle the top half of your pack as well, to get a spotter out. I know what it’s like to have to get glass on something in a hurry sometimes.

        The Barney side pocket for the spotter is great, and truly quick access. Throw the pack down, unzip the zipper and you’re good to go.

        If the weather is nice, and I am in open country I prefer to keep my Scope/Tripod attached and then just strap to the pack somewhere (usually the side) for even quicker access.

        Carl

        • Jason Hairston

          Hi Carl,

          Your comments are well noted, thank you. I have designed an easy access pocket for your scope and tripod. You will see this on my up coming post highlighting the bag designs.

          Jason

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Stig,

      Lance Kronberger and I are talking about designing a larger pack together to solve these same problems for his needs. I will keep you posted on the progress. Thank you for all the detail and sharing your needs. The nice thing is once you have the frame and suspension, the bags are interchangeable.

      Jason

  24. Jared Bloomgren

    Sweet! Can’t wait to see one in person! Nice work!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jared!

  25. Antonio Lara

    If there is one thing I love about my current daypack, Camelbak Commander, it is that has nice ample pockets on the waste belt. In these pockets I carry my rangefinder, and it is in the best spot possible for easy to get at, and return, rangefinding. I also carry my release aid when it is not on, so it is easy to get at also, a windchecker and also small game calls.

    On my Sitka 45, it has these pockets, but they are set too far back and are too tight to be used for anything of significance, such as a rangefinder. I have seen and used other packs that make these pockets annoyingly small, so that you can barely fit anything in and whenever you do manage to get anything in, they are impossible to get back out, particularly in the heat of the moment.

    Other than that, I think the frame and waste belt look absolutely awesome and I can see a pack replacement coming on for sure. To get the weight you are talking about, along with the strength and capacity, I can only imagine that this is going to be one popular pack amongst mountain hunting folk

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Antonio,

      I am really looking forward to getting one down to you to test on your hunts. Thank you for the design input and let me know if you have any other suggestions.

      Jason

  26. John Burnett

    Light frame combined with light/quiet fabric would be awesome. I’ve been using a 2300 cu inch pack where it’s 4 lbs before I add anything to it! When hunting elk I want something that won’t snag or make noise when I’m in the timber. Also, one thing I do is load the pack and then shoot some arrows while wearing it. Being from the Northwest, I don’t feel comfortable dropping the pack when ‘going in’.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi John,

      The 2500ci pack should be a really good choice for you. Plus you can put a whole rear quarter in this pack and comfortably haul it out. I too do not drop my pack when going in, so I pay attention to design with this thought. Thank you for your comment.

      Jason

  27. Steve Ameral

    Hi Jason,
    I am another person that never drops their pack. I was in the Monitor Mountains two many years ago want to count and dropped my pack to stalk a HUGE mulie. He gave me the slip along with my pack. I looked for hours for my pack before I found it.
    How about blaze orange camo straps or maybe an inset so when you take the pack off you can see the orange?
    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Steve,

      I totally understand this issue and I have gotten to the point I go in with my pack on. On the off chance I do drop it I mark it with my GPS. Let me think about this one. Thanks for this idea.

      Jason

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Ray, I had not seen this! Interesting discussion going on over there and exciting to see other companies beginning to explore and understand the advantages of Carbon Fiber.

      Jason

  28. Tyler Palmerton

    Hey Jason-

    Great Idea, I have often been wondering why pack companies don’t explore the use of carbon on a daily basis. One design feature that is old school and was designed for snowboards and bulky equipment is the Dana Design Beavertail Shove It……I have a classic Dana pack equipped with that and it’s heavy duty hypalon bartacked to the webbing. Great for stuffing sleeping bags….meat sacks…etc..etc.. Also the swiveling hip belt by “Vaude” is one of the coolest inventions that many outdoor companies have snapped up.

    Cheers,

    Tyler

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tyler for the comments, they are well noted!

      Jason

  29. John McKnight

    Jason,
    We discussed this a while back and now I can’t wait to wear one. Wait a minute…who says they can’t wait to put on that 70lb pack-LOL. Putting the frail attempt at humor aside, carrying heavy loads is challenging and equipment that makes life easier and safer is important. Keep on innovating.

    Best,
    John McKnight

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you John, nice to hear from you.

      J

  30. casey

    When you have a finished product you need to have one sent to The Elk Reaper, you can locate him on bowsite.com and have him test the pack out. He almost every brand on the market , I believe he does some quality testing and writes an honest review of the packs. Great looking packs, keep up the good work!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Casey,

      The Elk Reaper scares me! He is certainly the pack testing guru, and I look forward to putting one of the Icon’s on his back. I will send him one this spring to test for us.

      Jason

  31. Greg

    Just wanted to reiterate a couple questions that have already been brought up but have yet to be answered. Any plans on optional belt pouchs for things like gps, range finder, etc? Also, how about a frame that can double as a freight hauler like Kifaru and MR have? Is there a water proof pack cover in the making? And lastly, some nice camo pattern options? So far it looks like your off to a great start though.
    Greg

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you for the questions, comments and interest in KUIU. You will be able to attach a GPS or Range Finder pouch to the webbing that pulls the bottom stays into the hip belt. We will be continuing to develop accessories including pack covers & pouches, bags and suspension overtime to this frame.

      Help me better understand what are you looking to improve upon the freight haulers that Kifaru & MR offer? What camo pattern options? Thanks for the input, this is how we continue to make better product.

      Jason

  32. aktroutbum

    Regarding the freight hauler: I was wondering if you had any plans on designing some sort of platform (possibly out of carbon fiber) like Kifaru has. Would this be part of the suspension to the frame that you will develop over time? As far as camo options, I was wondering if you had any in mind and if so, what options would be available? I am very much looking foreward to checking this pack out.
    Thank you,
    Greg

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Greg,

      Both packs will be available in KUIU’s Vias camouflage and in a neutral brown color we called Major Brown. I have not considered building a shelf for this frame, we are working on a load sling that will function as a load hauler and give you a bit more flexibility than a shelf. I hope to have this design available in 2012 and it will attach right to the current frame. Please let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

      Jason

  33. Michael Monohan

    Jason,
    I am very much looking forward to the reviews by ElkReaper, etc. on this pack. I will be purchasing a quality pack this year for back country hunting and had it narrowed down to a MR NICE Crewcab in Optifade or the Kifaru MMR frame with ultralight carbon stays and attached modular Pods as needed. (Currently I hunt out of camp with an Eberlestock Slingshot and pack camp in with a good ole’ Kelty external frame pack. With this setup I can’t pack much meat back to camp on the first trip however or bivy out too comfortably if need be.)
    The versatility of the crewcab with additions and the camo color are excellent, but the NICE frame is too short for me and the pack is quite heavy with everything added to it in order to take out meat and gear. It looks like your pack would compete well with the Kifaru in providing what I am looking for (which is saying a lot) so I will wait to see your finished pack/reviews.
    I think the load sling addition would be great which the Kifaru doesn’t have (Kifaru it seems just has the heavier seat platform addition). Also, I would like a color or camo pattern which is NOT too light/bright for elk hunting in the timber, etc. (I like optifade and digital patterns without black personally, or for a plain color, a medium brown or the greenish/gray foliage color).
    Looking at the pictures, I hope that your pack’s carbon frame, the way it follows the thoracic kyphosis and continues that curve even up into the cervical region, doesn’t not interfer with the back of one’s head while climbing and extending the head/neck to look uphill.
    Thank you, Mike

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Mike,

      You have very good taste in packs! I own a MR NICE Crewcab and several Kifaru products and both Dana and Pat are icons of the pack industry. You certainly could not go wrong with either of their packs and may be the best choice for you. Aron will certainly put the Icon to the test and hopefully answer all of your questions and concerns. I would love to have you as a KUIU customer as it is obvious quality is important to you.

      Jason