One of the many advantages to the Icon frame i...

One of the many advantages to the Icon frame is it will fit different bags. After reviewing your comments and other forum posts on packs, it was clear we need a well designed daypack with the suspension and frame to haul a boned out ram or elk quarter.

The 2500 uses the same fabric as the 5500c, 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.

At just over 3 pounds, the 2500 is a fully featured ultralight daypack with quick access to your spotting scope and tripod, easy access to all of your daily gear and tucked away stretch pocket storage for items you have to carry but do not use very often.  It comes with a meat cell designed to hold a boned out ram or buck tightly against the frame, for better balance and keeps the meat from balling up at the bottom of your pack.  The 2500 was designed to be large enough to carry a rear elk quarter from a mature bull elk and ultralight bivy hunts.

By using a roll top design, you have easy access to the main compartment and meat cell, quiet entry to the main compartment and an elk quarter can extend out of the top of the pack. This is a really versatile mountain hunting set up.


Please note, the packs shown in the photos are prototypes and not in the correct colors, colors of webbing and buckles etc.  There have been some design improvements made as well.

I look forward to answering any questions and listening to your comments and recommendations.


Rear Elk Quarter in the 2500 Prototype

Elk Quarter In 2500 Prototype

The Bull Who Supplied The Rear Quarter for Testing

This article has 46 comment(s)

  1. Ryan Sanpei

    NICE….Is it Spring 2011 yet????

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Ryan!

  2. Martin Kohout

    Hi Jason,

    Backpack I really like it. I’m curious about the final version and the camo. I look forward to Kuiu products will be available. Sorry for bad English.


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Martin,

      Thank you for the comments. I will be posting pictures of the final version of the pattern in the near future. I am really excited how it turned out. I think you will like it as well.


  3. Scott Parson

    That is a sweet looking pack!! I know where my next pack purchase will come from.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Scott,

      I will keep you posted on the pack production schedule. The factory and I are working on the timelines now.


  4. Tom Ryle

    Looking good, Jason! I like the narrow width of this 2500 rig because it will hang up less on brush. Seeing than elk hind nearly consumed by this pack is impressive. I like the the center of mass to be low and close to my back for best handling and efficicency, which this pack clearly delivers on. Nothing is worse than wasting precious energy fighting a poorly distributed load in the mountains.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tom,

      I always value your opinion.


  5. Bob Looney

    I just posted a comment on another forum about the lack of pockets in a new Ultra Light pack. I have “essentials” that I carry no matter how far or long I go and I want that stuff organized, not sitting in a big bag.
    I thought, I’ll go see what KUIU is up to and low and behold, a pack with pockets for essentials.

    The project seems to be coming along well.
    Congrats to you and the team.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you for the nice words and commenting. I am a big fan of clean & smart organizational design, glad you are in the same mind set.


  6. Mark Toso

    Is this really only 2500 ci? Looks to be bigger than that, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. If it will do a ULW bivy hunt consider your first one sold.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Mark,

      Great question, honestly I do not know. The final protos are being completed by the development room and they will be volume measured when completed, hoping by next week. It very easily could be larger than 2500 as well as the 5500 could be larger. I will post this up on the blog and these numbers will change on the naming of the packs as well. Thanks for asking.


  7. Cade Powell

    I’m assuming that elk quarter was seperated at the ball and socket and not a true “quarter”. Either way it looks like the pack can handle enough meat to make me wonder why I don’t give up my obsessions and take up golf or shopping at the mall. I’m pretty excited about sticking the tripod with Outdoorsmans pistol grip head and 15x’s into the meat cell and cynching them down for day trips and short bivy hunts.
    Narrow width to avoid brush and branches. Well placed pockets for easy gear retrieval. Ability to pack a mature elk quarter. Weight distributed where needed for less fatigue and interchangeable with the 5500?
    Sign me up!


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Cade,

      Nice take on golf and the shopping mall, at least the Icon frame will make it a bit more comfortable. I am looking forward to getting a set up on your back. Thanks for the comments.


  8. Curt Cabrera

    Another winner Jason!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Curt!

  9. Cory Benge

    Hey Jason,
    Your pack testing, designing and production seems to be coming along great! I like the fact that your 5500 comes in at around 3 pounds. The packs I currently use are wonderful and can carry quite a heavy load but they are a bit on the heavy side. Your pack reminds me of the ArcTeryx pack. I think you used an ArcTeryx at one point in time? Anyway, I know building Kuiu is a crazy and donting task….but from what I have read about your products I can say it will be worth it! Keep up the good work, I look forward to your finished products!

    Cory Benge

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Corey,

      Thank you for the nice words. Arcteryx is certainly a strong influence/motivation/peer for KUIU. For clarification, the 5500 is less than 5 pounds and the 2500 will weigh just above 3 pounds. Good to hear from you.


  10. Janis Putelis

    The pack looks sick! It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, solid adventure gear specific to hunting. I have a comment regarding positioning of the cinch straps. Is there a way to have the straps go through or under/behind the side pockets which I assume are for the tripod and spotting scope. Seems to me that these pockets don’t need to be cinched and having the straps over them only adds more time to getting to my gear quickly and quietly. If the straps went under these pockets, the main load could still be lashed tightly to the frame. Also, could you include volumes in liters as well as inches? Just some thoughts. Keep crushing it!


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Janis, that mean a lot coming from you. It is funny you mention this idea, we originally put this design feature into the pack. The webbing could pass through the inside of the pocket, underneath your spotting scope and tripod as you mention. The challenge we had was the huge variation in Scope Sizes. I wanted to make sure we fit the big scopes such as Leica’s. This caused any other scope not be secured enough. I have spent a lot of time testing moving scopes in and out of this pocket with the webbing running across it. It takes seconds and still allowed for a secure, quiet ride.

      Yes, I will include liters for each pack, no problem. I will get you the information on our guides and outfitters program we are putting together. This should be completed by the end of January. Please let me know if you have any other ideas or suggestions.


  11. ty

    Hi Jason,
    This has been been a fun ride watching you build this all up. Will you have attachments or pods that could be added on that I could pack in with a pack that is closer to 4500 then drop the pods and hunt with only the 2500 on?
    Thank you

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Ty,

      The 2500 could accept Pods on the side compression straps very easily. This is something I had not considered, but certainly could be a great accessory and would add a lot of versatility for this pack. I will put this on my development list. Thank you for this idea, I really like it.


  12. Adam

    Jason, the packs are looking great and I’m liking what I’m seeing. Maybe you mentioned it, but are the top lids detachable and usable as a fanny pack.?


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Adam,

      The lid on the 5500 is removable, however does not convert into a fanny pack. Is there a brand and model you use that does this well? I have struggled using the lid as a fanny pack because it preforms so poorly as a fanny pack. They are too small, terrible for organizing day hunting gear and ride terrible with any weight. I would love to find a version that works well. Let me know if you can lend some direction here. Thank you for the comment.


      • Larry Schwartz


        Instead of trying to turn a pack lid into a workable fanny pack, it might be better to figure out how to attach a good fanny pack design to the pack as a pack lid. Maybe use a simple flap of cloth for the pack lid/top flap and include clips to attach/detach a workable fanny pack that is used as a day pack or just for extra storage while packing in.

        In my experience the key elements that improve the “ridability” of a fanny pack are to have the waist belt sit half way down the fanny pack or lower, and to include a set of shoulder straps to keep it from sagging down onto your backside.


        • Jason Hairston

          Thanks Larry, good input here on creating a modular system as you and I have discussed. Great point, the fanny pack must have shoulder straps or they are not comfortable with any weight in them. I will think about this concept for future work.


  13. Cameron McConnell

    The pack looks like the best thing I’ve seen yet. My question is how well it compresses when not at capacity? Looking at something like a badlands 2200 or 2800 their weekness, especially the 2800 is the slop when they are not full, but the pods have say a scope in them. How about a general price range? Sorry to pry, but its kind of difficult to spend something like six bills on say the mystery ranch. Looks bomber and Can’t wait to see the actual pack as all of my sitka gear has stood the test of time so far. Nice to have the quality and input.
    thanks cameron

  14. Ron Green

    Very nice! Look forward to seeing the final product and seeing the (final) detailed specs on it.

    I can’t tell from the pictures, but when the pack is loaded with meat (like the elk quarter in the picture) does the meat take up the internal capacity of the pack bag, displacing items that are packed in the pack if the pack bag is full, or will it still hold everything in the pack bag with the addition of the meat?


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Ron,

      Great question! The 2500ci pack is fairly full with the quarter in it. There is still some room for storage inside the main compartment and the two outside pockets and stuff-its. I have added a bottom flap with webbing below the vertical zip pocket to hold excess gear if needed when packing out an animal. This feature exists on both packs.


  15. Tyler Preszler

    Can’t go wrong with a 2 pack setup. Assuming this pack is actually 2500 ci (hopefully a little bigger) this would be a perfect bivy setup. I’ll be getting both packs this spring I’m in the market for both a day pack and backcountry pack. Looking forward to seeing some more pics of the packs.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Tyler,

      The factory is shipping the final proto’s on Tuesday and promised me max volumes for both packs. The 2500 is large enough for a lightweight bivy kit, minimalist set up. I have tested and designed for this. I will shoot a post a bunch of photos for you of these. Happy holidays.


  16. Joe

    The packs look amazing. My question is do they have functional load lifters? Any pics would be great.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Joe,

      Great question! Yes, the loadlifters are functional and a critical aspect in the design of this frame, which decouples the weight off of your shoulders and hips and puts pressure on you upper chest, back and lower back. It is an amazing ride. I am working on another post on the packs with a lot of new photos. I should have this finished and up next week. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  17. Darcy

    hey Jason,
    been watchimg your progression here and am looking forward to your products!
    Just had a couple questions on your 5500 pack. I may have missed it but is it going to have a rifle harness system? Are they going to be available in the straight brown color like in the posted pics? And when do you figure your packs will be available for purchase? Im looking at new packs and love how yours look. Ill be putting my purchase on hole till you get yours out.
    Look forward to packing a few rams and goats out in one of your packs!
    Darcy Peacock

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Darcy,

      Thank you for the comments and question. I think you will be happy you waited for this pack. I have another post coming out next week covering the new samples that just arrived. You have two options for carrying a rifle, you can put the butt of the gun in the stretch mesh pockets on the side of the pack or throw the sling over one of the stays if you remove it from the pack. Both work really well. Yes the packs will be available in a darker brown color than what you see in the photos. I just approved the packs from the factory and submitted PO’s. They are expected to arrive in late April and i should have them available for sale by the 1st of May. I hope this works for you. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  18. Tyler

    Jason, love the looks of this pack! I’m looking for a pack that is just big enough to hold my ultralight bivy set up and enough food for 4 days or more when I graduate college and I think this pack should fit the bill perfectly. I was actually looking at making my own pack and it was looking to be about 2.5 pounds or so but I eventually decided it would probably be better if I just bought one.

    I really like how the zippers go all the way down the side. I have a Dakine snowboarding pack with a similar zipper design and I thought the organization and easy access of the main compartment would be tremendous for hunting, so I’m excited to try that feature. The roll top is a pretty cool idea! It’s definitely different than the other packs on the market, but I think I will like the idea better than a lid. I love how the set up of the pockets is barebones, but at the same time still allows for the organization of the little things. This pack is going to be sweet and I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

    I really like what you’re doing with Kuiu. Obviously you see that there’s room for improvement in the products currently available in the hunting industry. The way I see it, you saw the same thing when you co-founded Sitka Gear, but it looks like you’re taking it a step further. Instead of making gear out of the inferior materials already available today, you have gone out and innovated new, much better materials that set the bar even higher for the hunting industry. I’ve seen this with your new pack material, your carbon fiber frames, and your new waterproof-breathable membrane. You’re doing a great job Jason! Keep it up!


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Tyler for the comment and nice words. I know you will really like this pack, it sets up perfect for an ultralight bivy pack.


  19. Doc


    I thought I would bring this question over to this post, but it kind of goes hand-in-hand with your Pricing Structure post. I noticed that in the Product description for the packs you changed the sizes of the 2 packs from 2500/5500 to 3000/6000. I’m actually really glad that you did this. Most of my elk hunting is done over the weekend, so I’m only out in the Mountains for 2-4 days at a time. I’m a prime example of if I have more space I have in my pack the more I will bring, which isn’t always a good thing. This last season I switched to a 3,000ci pack. This fit my needs perfect. I’m able to pack all my gear and also use this pack for a day hiker as well. Plus, I can pack out an Elk with it. I guess my question is “Why did you decide to increase the space for each pack?”

    I do think that this change was for the better and these 2 packs should accommodate for every hunting scenario from day pack, 2-4, to week long hunts.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Doc,

      Another great question. The development room took volume measurements on the final samples and this is where both packs came in at. I was guessing on the conservative side at 2500 & 5500. Yep these sizes cover short bivy hunts and extended backcountry excursions. Thanks for the comment.


  20. Aaron

    Will load lifters still function on a 21″ torso?

  21. Brett Ter Smitte

    Jason in regards to the fanny pack, I have an Ostrom Ouimet Ultra pack with a couple extras and it has a very handy fanny, large enough for quite some gear and attaches to the top cover pretty well I think, if you want to see it first hand we can work something out.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Brett,

      I will look it up on line and order one if needed. Thank you for the help and follow up. This information is really helpful.


  22. Jason

    Awesome looking pack man , I cant wait to try one out, any idea on prices yet, I am sold on it and your camo keep up the good work man!!

  23. Todd

    This pack will be my new best friend !

  24. Colin Schmidt

    Looks like you can add me for a 6000 bag and frame

    • Jason Hairston

      You are going to love this pack!