As with all of KUIU products, we are focused on us...

As with all of KUIU products, we are focused on using design and technology to reduce weight without sacrificing performance.  The Icon packs bring to market very functional well thought out design for a fully featured lightweight hunting package.

The pack fabric, is a new 100% Nylon 160D 165g/m2 rip-stop Cordura.  It is durable, abrasion resistant and the quietest lightweight fabric I have found and tested for packs.

You will find two focuses in bag design, access and gear storage. Pocket designs have been carefully thought out for requirements in size and location.  My goal is to have easy access to gear you need throughout your day such as spotting scopes, hydration and food. And good out of the way locations for items you may need only once on your hunt or season.

There are 18 pockets of various sizes and configurations on the 5500 that allow for storage of all your gear, from spotting scopes to headlamps.   These pockets are very universal without specific one-use design.  All of the internal pockets are made of stretch mesh or stretch woven material that will hold your gear tightly to reduce noise, increase versatility and keep a streamline design.

The main compartment is designed to top load with a very generous shroud and with a large horseshoe zipper that runs from the bottom of the pack to the shroud.  This allows you to easily access your all your gear and load a quarter or boned out animal.

Both packs come with a meat cell.  This cell is a 30 Denier Nylon Sill fabric designed to tightly hold a boned out ram spread out against the length of the frame, keeping it balanced and not a ball of meat at the bottom of the pack. A cupped bottom and removable design helps to contain blood, away from your gear.

I have carefully designed this pack to handle a boned out ram and your gear on an extended hunt.  As far as exact volume, I am waiting on the development room to measure both packs, which are being finalized this week.  This prototype weighs less than 5 pounds and I am expecting the final version to weigh even less.

Please note, these photos are of a prototype and are not in the color correct camouflage print, webbing, buckles, zippers etc., The final volumes and weights should be coming from the factory next week as they finish up the final development prototypes.

Photos of the 2500 will be posted later this week. I look forward to answering your questions and listening to your comments.




Icon Prototype Pack

Main Compartment Access, Pocket System & Meat Cell

Main Compartment Access & Meat Cell

This article has 49 comment(s)

  1. Steve Ameral

    That is incredible.
    What a great looking pack.
    I am really interested in the smaller version. I do mostly day trips but take enough stuff that if I need to I can stay out overnight.
    This is a great looking design. I really like the meat cell feature. I currently have a Blackhawk pack that has a collapsible meat compartment. The problem is it is pretty heavy empty and the compartments are not large enough to hold extra clothing so you need to tie it to the outside. My brother has the same pack and lost a nice vest in the bottom of a canyon last year going through some brush. With your design it can fit inside.
    I like it.
    Good job.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Steve! I will preview the small pack later this week for you.


  2. Ray Knechtel

    Looks great! It looks like it would be easy to pack and you have quick access to all your gear. At around/under 5 lbs it would be a good balance between weight and ease of use.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Ray, a lot of thought and testing has gone into the design.


  3. Brant McGee

    The pack seems to be designed to be carried with the top of it at least one foot below the shoulders. Why?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Brant,

      The load lifters sit above your shoulders for reference. It does not sit a foot below your shoulders. It may be hard to tell without photos of it on. I will supply photos of this in the next round of prototypes coming to give you a better idea of how this pack rides.


  4. Chris Jasmine

    That pack looks great! Will the smaller 2500 utilize the same frame?

  5. Mike P

    Few questions.

    How noisy is the material?

    Not sure how the meat cell works from the pics, can you show a pic of the meat cell loaded?

    Why the full length horseshoe zipper? If the zipper fails you are pooched! I can understand how its nice to get at stuff and load the pack but if the zipper breaks everything is falling out of your pack???



    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the great questions. The material is the quietest I have tested and found for a light weight fabric suitable for a backpack. I have look at hundreds of different fabric swatches. I have done several hunts in it and the noise did not bother me. However, it is not silent like a fleece or a warpknit fabric traditionally used in hunting packs.

      I will be providing more information and photos in the future of the features of the packs. The meat cell is essentially a divider of the main compartment with webbing and tension locks that allow you spread a boned out animal along the entire length of the frame (the importance of the open access of both packs) and tightly cinch pressure on the meat. This even pressure holds a the meat in place and keeps it from balling up at the bottom of your pack. It is removable and washable.

      There are compression straps that will hold the pack closed if the zipper should ever fail. Good concern and question!

      Let me know if you have any others.


      • Mike P

        Thanks for the info Jason. I did not think about how loading the meat from the front would be advantageous until you mentioned the part about the meat balling up…makes sense, will provide a more even load (good idea)

        Dont get me wrong about the zipper on the front…I like the idea because it is easier to load and you dont have to rifle through all youre gear to get something at the bottom of the pack. I just always worry about zippers failing, as it has happened on other packs I’ve owned.

        Cant wait for the rest of the pics and other pack info.


  6. Ryan

    That is one wicked looking pack. Love the idea of a meat cell! Is the meat cell surrounded by a breathable material? I can’t wait to see the 2500! Hope to purchase one before our axis deer season.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Ryan. I will be previewing the 2500 later this week.


  7. T Downing

    Jason, excellent pics! Really impressed by the KUIU camo and the Meat Cell. Very interesting design…Are you considering the option of the pack’s waist belt to have pockets? A nice option, for items like elk calls, headlamp, digital camera, etc, etc. How does the pack’s waist and shoulder padding feel with considerable weight? Thanks Jason for the update. God Bless, T Downing

    • Jason Hairston

      T Downing,

      The waist belt has two stretch mesh pockets to hold calls, wind indicator or other smaller items. There is webbing that runs from the bottom of the stays to the waist belt you can put a camera or range finder pouch on. As far as the padding, it feels really good under weight, very very comfortable.


  8. Drake Atwood

    Looks pretty dang awesome. That meat cell is pretty neat. I can’t wait to try it out. I’m excited to see it in person to get a better idea of how everything works. Are you going to use the same fabric on both packs?

  9. Alec

    The pack looks awesome! The meat compartment is a great idea. How is the suspension?

  10. Dave Beronio

    Jason, that is a great looking pack. Have you done any shooting of your bow with the pack on and weighed down. I always wear a loaded badland pack at archery shoots so I am ready and prepped if I need to make a shot at an animal with it on. No problem. I’m confident shooting with pack on How is the forgiveness or restriction when shooting with this design
    Dave Beronio

    Sent from my Blackberry:

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Dave,

      The flex in the frame allows you to easily shoot with this pack on. This is one of the biggest advantages to Carbon Fiber besides the weight to strength ratio.


  11. Steve Ameral

    Forgot to ask about the 2500.
    Is there a meat cell in that one as well?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Steve,

      Yes the 2500 has a meat cell and fits a rear quarter of a mature bull elk. More to come on this pack.


      • Steve Ameral

        I want one.
        I just checked my current pack and it weighs 6.6 pounds without the bladder.
        This will be a huge improvement.

        • Jason Hairston

          What pack did you weigh?

  12. Steve Ameral

    It is a Blackhawk and I think the model is a black summit but I’m not sure. It’s an expandable day pack. Well built but pretty heavy. Has a 100 oz hydration bladder.
    The tube and the bladder are insulated and I always thought that was a great idea but I am not so sure now.
    In Colorado elk hunting this year the tube froze and I wondered how cold it would need to be to get bladder to freeze.
    Is the tube on your bladder insulated?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the info on the Blackhawlk. We are not going to be selling a bladder with the packs. However, both packs come with bladder ports on each side. I have not found the insulation around a tube to do much for me either when the weather is below freezing. Blowing the water back into your bladder after you drink is the best solution. I have had a bladder freeze solid and it was well below zero and everything was frozen, including me.



    The pack looks great! I like the design and the camo. I would like to see some pictures of the pack on someone with it fully compressed. Will it compress down to use it as a day pack on a bivy hunt? The pictures of how it rides with a load would be great. I like the fully open access.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Russell,

      Thank you for the nice comments. The final round of samples are being finished up this week and once I receive them I will shoot and post these images for you. I used this pack on a couple of bivy hunts this year and it compresses down really well. All of the pocket storage makes it function really well as a daypack, which was a focus in designing this pack. Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.


  14. Mike P

    Will the packs come in a non-camo option?


    • Jason Hairston

      Yes it will Mike.

  15. Matt

    Nice looking pack.
    Are the waist belts removable and available in different sizes?
    What options do you have for securing a rifle or bow?
    Is there a solid loop (that would support a fully loaded pack) somewhere near the top for lowering / raising the pack up / down the hill on a rope?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Matt,

      We currently only offer one size waist belt. However, down the road this could be a possibility if we get enough requests. There are compression straps on the back and side of the pack to secure a rifle or bow. Another option is to pull one of the stays out of the top of the pack and you can loop a sling over this. This works really well for a rifle or bow when you are traveling but still want quick access to your weapon. I have designed a Haul Handle that is anchored directly to the frame for lifting your pack fully loaded. Thanks for the questions, please let me know if you have any others.


      • Larry Schwartz


        First things first, I like the prototype a lot. Good design and innovative ideas/solutions.

        However, with fit being one of the major issues, and most significant product differentiators, I expect that you will definitely get requests for different size waist belts. It might be prudent to design the packs now to allow for swapping belt sizes or at least to use different sizes during their construction. This would save you the retooling costs later.

        For the issue of “I dropped my pack and now I can’t find it”, adding a reversible flap to the top of the pack hood could help. The flap would be attached half way down the hood, when in the normal down position camo is visible, when in the up position blaze orange is shown. A similar solution would be a blaze knit “cap” that could be carried in one of the small pockets and stretched over the pack top to increase visibility when needed.


  16. John

    Will the 5500 carry a bow or gun?


    Good point about the waistbelts. That is the most difficult thing for me to find in a pack is a waistbelt the cinches small enough. It seems that most of the name brand packs are made for bigger people. I have a 30″ waist and most belts are too big even cinched all the way down. It’s something to think about in the design.

  18. Thomas

    I like the looks of the Icon I pack. The mesh waterbottle pockets look substantial enough to hold a rifle. I like that.
    I do think that you put four small lashing loops on the carbon frame at points 1/4 up and 3/4 up so you lash a drybag full of a critter besides your kit. You could have two nylon webbing straps and then can lash it to the outside.

    This would allow you to one trip 150lbs with pretty good balance.


  19. Tyler Preszler

    The pack looks amazing. Has everything I have been looking for in a pack. A few questions, is the lid removable to use a day pack/fanny pack? I like the use the lids to make water runs with. I’ll throw it over my shoulder satchel style. Also, how big of a hydration bladder can the pack handle. I like the carry at least 1 sometimes 2 100 oz bladders.
    Keep up the great work. Looking forward to trying out KUIU.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Tyler,

      On the big pack there are two hydrations pockets that will hold 100oz bladders. The pockets are made of stretch mesh so they are very versatile. As far as the lid, it is removable but I did not design in a waist belt to make it a fanny pack, but with additional webbing and clip you could throw it over your shoulder. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for the comments.


      • Tyler Preszler

        I’m curious where the hydration pockets are located. I see several pockets that could hold 100 oz bladders but not exactly sure. Only reason I ask is because when I carry 2 full 100 oz bladders that adds an additional 13 lbs to my pack, which I like to keep as close to the center of my back as possible.
        Thank and have Happy and Safe Holiday Season

        • Jason Hairston

          There is a hydration pocket and port on the side panels between the main zipper and the frame, inside the main compartment. I designed it this way for easier access without having to unload your pack to access the pocket. Also, the meat cell presses meat tightly against the frame and this could not be done with hydration pockets in the middle of the back panel. I tested this design out to see if it would throw the pack off balance or not ride well. It preformed flawlessly and I really like the location. I hope this answers you question.


  20. Shane

    The pack looks great. I haven’t read through all the comments so this may have been addressed already but I’ll leave my response anyways.

    I would recommend that you consider selling the pack in a non-camo color (I really like the blue color on your prototype 2500 pictures.) Unfortunately, we are living in an environment where hunting is really looked down on by the hiking crowd. In a lot of places I hunt in Washington or places I hear of down in Utah and Colorado that has frequent hiking activity, the low profile approach of a solid color (blue or black) backpack can be very helpful. Obviously there is nothing wrong with hiking in with a camo backpack, but at the same time, why not try to avoid conflict when you can.

    Also, a lot of us backpack throughout the year and don’t want/need a camo backpack in non-hunting months.

    …just a thought.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Shane,

      I have requested “lab dips” (dying of the fabric) for a mid-tone gray and a dirt brown color. Several others have made the same recommendation as you have. I will probably not to both colors this season, but will have one of the two available this spring. I am excited about the solid colors as well, especially as a modular system, you can easily switch out bags and have a non-camo trail friendly pack. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Please let me know if you have any other ideas or questions.


  21. Cory Benge

    I’ll keep this short…. You will see this pack on thousands of hunters in the next year! And one more thing….please slow down on the awesome coolness factors of the Kuiu product development….I don’t think my checkbook can handle all the new stuff I am about to buy! Have a great Holiday !
    Cory Benge

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Cory! Happy Holidays to you and your family as well.


  22. Travis Reves

    First off thanks for introducing such high quality gear. I agree with everything others have said regarding Mystery Ranch packs. I am in love with the longbow and not yet had the chance to try out my 6500 bag. That’s beside the point. My question to you is, are you going to develop a way to carry a side arm on the waist belt? Will there be Moles webbing to use my tactical glock 20 holester? Also, how would you think the frame would hold up to airline abuse over time?Thanks

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Travis,

      Thank you for the comments and the nice words regarding KUIU. There is webbing to attach a holster, however is it 15mm (which is narrow) and not specifically designed to carry a firearm. It is not Moles webbing, or specifically set up for a sidearm. As far as durability, Carbon Fiber is twice as strong as steel, yes it it will stand up to airline abuse if you want to check the pack.


  23. Doug

    I would definitely begin looking into different sized waist belts if I were you. The best pack design in the world is useless if it doesn’t fit correctly. Other than that, I like what I see. Keep up the good work.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Doug, your comment is well noted and something I will plan for in the future.


  24. Gavin

    Is there anyway you could post some pictures and information on the frame minus the bags?

  25. Aaron

    What are the weigh hauling capabilities of this pack system? Any certain amount it maxes out at in testing?

  26. Aaron

    Also, how will this pack fit me with a 21″ torso? I am a fan of properly functioning load lifters…Thanks!