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View Full Version : MR Crew Cab or Eberlestock Blue Widow?



Grantbvfd
01-16-2012, 12:08 PM
Like them both. I have tried on the BW with about 40 lbs on it and it was very comfortable. Unfortunately you can't try on a Crew Cab without knowing someone with one. Any opinions would help.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-16-2012, 12:28 PM
I really like my eberlestock j104 which is really similar to the blue widow, but I can say the suspension on the Kuiu Icon 6000 is much superior. You might want to add it to your options. I have never heard of anyone that didn't like their crew cab, other than the weight.

Grantbvfd
01-16-2012, 02:38 PM
I really like my eberlestock j104 which is really similar to the blue widow, but I can say the suspension on the Kuiu Icon 6000 is much superior. You might want to add it to your options. I have never heard of anyone that didn't like their crew cab, other than the weight.

How long of a trip have you done in your 104? I'm looking for something versatile enough to take on 2 day trips as well as 5-7 day trips. I really like how you can separate your meat from your camp things using a spike duffel.
I was considering a KUIU but I'd rather sacrifice a little weight for durability.
I've also been reading up on the MR 6500. But not to sure if I would like everything in one big compartment.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-16-2012, 03:47 PM
I had my Kuiu for a 3-day trip. Room is NOT a problem, With the hood fully utilized, you can stuff a lot of junk in there. I have also used it for day hunts, and the thing packs down small, there is a ton of adjustability with the many straps it has, and they all use the same QR clips. There is a meat cell that separates the meat from the rest of the cargo, and puts it right against the carbon fiber frame. Meat in the Eberlestock just ends up as a big ball at the bottom. I use stuff sacks like spike camp duffels. there are bunches of pockets, maybe too many for my taste. It is certainly lightweight, it would save you around 3 pounds over the other packs you listed. It seems durable to me, but I will still have to put some more tough miles on it first.

The Icon's best feature is the suspension. It is super-adjustable, and super comfortable for me.

Montana
01-17-2012, 08:28 AM
I had my Kuiu for a 3-day trip. Room is NOT a problem, With the hood fully utilized, you can stuff a lot of junk in there. I have also used it for day hunts, and the thing packs down small, there is a ton of adjustability with the many straps it has, and they all use the same QR clips. There is a meat cell that separates the meat from the rest of the cargo, and puts it right against the carbon fiber frame. Meat in the Eberlestock just ends up as a big ball at the bottom. I use stuff sacks like spike camp duffels. there are bunches of pockets, maybe too many for my taste. It is certainly lightweight, it would save you around 3 pounds over the other packs you listed. It seems durable to me, but I will still have to put some more tough miles on it first.

The Icon's best feature is the suspension. It is super-adjustable, and super comfortable for me.

Do you still have this pack? Is this the one with the super light weight frame?

T43
01-17-2012, 09:06 AM
I love my j107 and it's versatility but if money is no obstacle the high dollar packs get a lot of great reviews. I may try one someday but I think a blacks creek g11 may be the next pack I try.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-17-2012, 01:04 PM
Do you still have this pack? Is this the one with the super light weight frame?

Yeah I still have it. It will be my primary backpack-hunting backpack this year. The whole things scales out at 5 pounds. Pretty light, and the carbon fiber looks sexy.

I still use my J104 for day hunting. I love that gun scabbard.

Kevin Root
01-17-2012, 02:06 PM
Yeah I still have it. It will be my primary backpack-hunting backpack this year. The whole things scales out at 5 pounds. Pretty light, and the carbon fiber looks sexy.

I still use my J104 for day hunting. I love that gun scabbard.

Wow 5 pounds is awesome :eek:. The KUIU does look like a sweet system with that carbon fiber frame and suspension. Warranty looks good too on them. I have one of the older J packs Eberlestock and the gun scabbard is nice but that KUIU looks awesome.

Montana
01-17-2012, 09:16 PM
Yeah I still have it. It will be my primary backpack-hunting backpack this year. The whole things scales out at 5 pounds. Pretty light, and the carbon fiber looks sexy.

Can you get a descent load on it? I use the Cabelas Alaskan Extreme and with my "modification" I have it under 5 lbs. This year in the bob I had it at 55 lbs and it is a dream, it carries weight so well. My only complaint or 2 is it is a bit noisy with no load. and the external frame hits branches in thick cover. Again, it's loud. But I would hold it up against anything when it comes to carrying weight. Just curious as to what else is out there for daily use and carrying a load if something goes down?

Montana
01-17-2012, 10:06 PM
I love my j107 and it's versatility but if money is no obstacle the high dollar packs get a lot of great reviews. I may try one someday but I think a blacks creek g11 may be the next pack I try.

Thanks for the tip... i do like the Canadian.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-17-2012, 10:19 PM
Can you get a descent load on it? I use the Cabelas Alaskan Extreme and with my "modification" I have it under 5 lbs. This year in the bob I had it at 55 lbs and it is a dream, it carries weight so well. My only complaint or 2 is it is a bit noisy with no load. and the external frame hits branches in thick cover. Again, it's loud. But I would hold it up against anything when it comes to carrying weight. Just curious as to what else is out there for daily use and carrying a load if something goes down?

I haven't used it in a pack out yet, but it was designed as a pack for hauling out an entire sheep. I am confident 120 pounds won't be too much, but we will hopefully see soon.

Eberlestock Just One packs are also designed with "daily use and carrying a load" in mind.

Montana
01-18-2012, 07:40 AM
hmm.... Good to know. I'm still thinking about this avenue. I may have to buy you some lunch and check it out....

Montana
01-18-2012, 07:55 AM
BB... WOW... I just read the review of the KUIU 3000 in the pack section... Very VERY impressive. Lead me to these questions. How is the breatheability of your back? And.... Do you have a place to store your rifle when hiking?

Bitterroot Bulls
01-18-2012, 09:32 AM
Montana,

The breathabiliity is awesome! Due to the carbon fiber external frame, the only points of contact on your back are the straps and hipbelt. The rest is just free flowing air! Much superior to the BC Canadian and Eberle J104. The rifle is easy to lash on the side of the pack in a variety of ways. Kuiu has how-to videos on Youtube showing how to put a rifle and bow on the pack.

You mentioned liking the BC Canadian. I have a Canadian (Part of the SWAG from Eastmans a few years ago for an article), and I really like that pack too, but not as much as my J104 or Icon 6000. the Icon is like a lighter, higher-tech version of the Canadian. The meat goes right on your back, it expands, there are lots of organizational pockets, etc.

Kevin Root
01-18-2012, 09:54 AM
Reading about Jason Hairston-Kuiu on their web site it sounds like they have a good grasp on what hunters need/want in products and he has a good background in the outdoor business side. The biggest combination factor will be if Kuiu conquered the lowering pack weight and sacrificing pack durability barrier.

I like the design of the pack. Like Bitterroot Bulls wrote earlier I like the idea of using stuff sacks in a similar fashion of the Spike duffle of Eberlestock. For me using my Eberlestock I've found there is only so far out I can go lashing stuff away from my back before I'm walking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame due to balance issues. If Kuiu Icon 6000 will do the 120 pound load and carry well, I'd be more than happy with that load. That's about the max limit I'd want to carry up and down the mountains at least.

Montana
01-19-2012, 06:32 AM
Thanks Gents.... I could never dream of a 120 pd load :) 70 is around my top end for any kind of pack out. And would consider 70 lbs as a pack IN failure from the start :) Kuiu may be moving in as a front runner. Thanks again!!

ontarget7
01-19-2012, 08:02 AM
Have not tried the KUIU 3000 but the Mystery Ranch Crew Cab is by far my best pack to date and I have owned a bunch of packs to say the least. The MR is the only pack I have owned that I feel very comfortable wearing all day long without getting fatigued or sore from hot spots etc. Wouldn't hesitate to punch the trigger on their packs

Big Sky
01-19-2012, 01:02 PM
I just about pulled the trigger on the crew cab but was told that they are coming out with a pack similar the the 3-day assult but with a rifle scabord next to the back. So for now its just wait and see.

Montana
01-19-2012, 08:10 PM
Have not tried the KUIU 3000 but the Mystery Ranch Crew Cab is by far my best pack to date and I have owned a bunch of packs to say the least. The MR is the only pack I have owned that I feel very comfortable wearing all day long without getting fatigued or sore from hot spots etc. Wouldn't hesitate to punch the trigger on their packs

Yeah... That is a pretty consistent answer across the board for the MR....... I wish it wasn't so crazy expensive.

Thanks Big Sky... Good tip

8750
01-19-2012, 08:40 PM
I had the J107 but sold it for the Blue Widow. Both packs are excellent and an upgrade from my trusty Gregory 7000 cu. The only complaint I have so far is the water bladder pockets are kind of a pain. The locations don't make sense to me, but I am using a platypus bladder instead of the eberelstock bladders.

miller1
01-20-2012, 06:24 AM
8750, i was wondering how it would work to put the bladder in the rifle scabbard pocket, is there any reason it wouldnt work?

8750
01-20-2012, 10:02 PM
miller1... I do that, but it always falls to the bottom and then the tube is too short or gets pinched. I need to sew in a stuff sack or somthing to hold it in place. my other packs (non hunting) have bladder sleeves in the middle of the pack right next to the back. I so wish eberlestock would use this idea of putting the water bladder as close to the back as possible, since water is usually the heaviest item in a pack other than meat. instead on the blue widow the bladder sleeves are on the sides of the pack. When 3 liters of water are on one side of the pack it makes the load off balance and very annoying. Oh well I will fix this situation with a speedy sticher before summer roles around. So many parts of the pack are very well thought out, yet this oversight in design with respect to hydration makes me wonder just how much product testing was done before the packs went on the market. I still love it and the price difference between the blue widow and the mystery ranch is just not justifiable. I dont care if the pack shoots off fireworks when your arrow connects with a trophy, no backpack is worth $600++. especially when you cant even try it on first. MR Crew Cab will never be worth it to me, unless of course they want to give me a sponsorship and free gear. In my opinion hunting pack manufacturers are way behind the times in technology when it comes to the fundamentals like suspension and load distribution. maybe MR has it together, but at twice the price of any other pack on the market, hunting and non-hunting, I just dont get it. Or should I say wont get it.

Montana
01-20-2012, 11:57 PM
miller1... I do that, but it always falls to the bottom and then the tube is too short or gets pinched. I need to sew in a stuff sack or somthing to hold it in place. my other packs (non hunting) have bladder sleeves in the middle of the pack right next to the back. I so wish eberlestock would use this idea of putting the water bladder as close to the back as possible, since water is usually the heaviest item in a pack other than meat. instead on the blue widow the bladder sleeves are on the sides of the pack. When 3 liters of water are on one side of the pack it makes the load off balance and very annoying. Oh well I will fix this situation with a speedy sticher before summer roles around. So many parts of the pack are very well thought out, yet this oversight in design with respect to hydration makes me wonder just how much product testing was done before the packs went on the market. I still love it and the price difference between the blue widow and the mystery ranch is just not justifiable. I dont care if the pack shoots off fireworks when your arrow connects with a trophy, no backpack is worth $600++. especially when you cant even try it on first. MR Crew Cab will never be worth it to me, unless of course they want to give me a sponsorship and free gear. In my opinion hunting pack manufacturers are way behind the times in technology when it comes to the fundamentals like suspension and load distribution. maybe MR has it together, but at twice the price of any other pack on the market, hunting and non-hunting, I just dont get it. Or should I say wont get it.

I think I am there with you 8750... It's getting a bit out of control. In the climbing industry, you can get some high quality packs for half the price.

8750
01-21-2012, 09:57 AM
Montana.... Better packs for half the price!

8750
01-21-2012, 12:44 PM
Another 2 cents on the super spike duffle system. Looks good on paper and I bought into it even though my gut said no. Now I know it is just plain stupid. It only took less than a minute with my pack loaded that way to realize what a terrible idea it is. I ditched it and repacked right away. What were they thinking? I dont think anyone tried it in the field before it went into production. Dont waste the money for that. Dumb, Dumb, and double dumb idea.

Skullwerx
01-21-2012, 01:25 PM
I have a Blue Widow. Not real comfy on longer hauls. I am 6'2" about 200lbs. It was to short for the load lifter straps to work as lifter straps and transfer weight to waist. I picked up a MR Longbow thinking it was going to be the ticket. It wasn't:( The bag was nicely laid out and it is a quality pack. Once again the lifter straps worked more as stabilizing straps. Sold it and got a Kifaru EMR frame and cargo panel. It fits like a dream and the lifter straps work:D I am not saying anything bad about the other 2 packs I mentioned but they didn't' fit me..

8750
01-21-2012, 02:13 PM
Skullwerx,
I had the same problem as I am 6'1 180lbs. I had to use the upper slots that are not intended for the shoulder straps to get a good fit. maxed out like this the pack just barely fits me. Ive hiked up to 6-7 miles in one shot fully loaded and I cant really complain too much about the comfort. My big Gregory is more comfortable with heavy loads and long distances, but I guess a little sacrifice is in order for a pack that doubles as a day pack and a long hauler.

8750
01-21-2012, 02:16 PM
Bitteroot,
I just checked out the Kuiu. That seems like the ticket. still too much money IMO at $250for the bag and $299 for the frame. Maybe an option for me when I strike it rich someday:D

ceby7
01-21-2012, 02:22 PM
Another 2 cents on the super spike duffle system. Looks good on paper and I bought into it even though my gut said no. Now I know it is just plain stupid. It only took less than a minute with my pack loaded that way to realize what a terrible idea it is. I ditched it and repacked right away. What were they thinking? I dont think anyone tried it in the field before it went into production. Dont waste the money for that. Dumb, Dumb, and double dumb idea.
What in particular don't you like about the spike duffle system? Does is put the load too far from your back, it looks like it could? Just curious, I don't own an Eberlestock, but I have been looking at them.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-21-2012, 02:26 PM
Bitteroot,
I just checked out the Kuiu. That seems like the ticket. still too much money IMO at $250for the bag and $299 for the frame. Maybe an option for me when I strike it rich someday:D

They are expensive, for sure.

Keep an eye on the Kuiu outlet. They will occasionally have combo deals on frame and pack for under 300 total.

The expense might be worth it about 6 miles into a high country pack-out.

8750
01-21-2012, 02:56 PM
Bitterroot, thanks for the outlet tip!

Ceby7, The load too far away from the back is the problem.

Montana
01-23-2012, 10:05 PM
I think someone mentioned Black Creeks Canadian pack... It's 40% off right now at a local sporting goods store.... Wayyyyy too small for me, I have a 22 inch torso and it wasn't even close. I wasn't very impressed with the weight either.

DreaminofMT6X6s
01-24-2012, 07:37 AM
Skullwerx - what was it about the MR Longbow that turned you off?

I've tried the Eberlestock and Sitka (worst pack EVER!!) and the Eberlestock Dragonfly was a comfortable pack but was so unstable. I felt like it flopped around all the time with everything tightened down...just not that refined. It could carry a load though. I'm hoping the MR will take care of that refinement and still handle weight well. I agree on the prices though. There are so many options for $400 and under, MR hits a new high in the pack industry. Dana Gleason, I think, says it's due to his hardworking staff, but I honestly have no idea why they are so crazy pricey.

mconway951
01-29-2012, 08:59 PM
I got the blue widow and that thing is amazing and you can customize to your hearts content with the super spike, the bow butt bucket, tactical rifle scabord, small and large pouches it really is great used it on my antelope and mule deer trip to idaho hauled out both my bucks on my back in one load and three quaters of a nother for my friend and was super comfortable the entire time i am buying a second just for friends to have when they come hunting with me.

mconway951
01-29-2012, 09:06 PM
Another 2 cents on the super spike duffle system. Looks good on paper and I bought into it even though my gut said no. Now I know it is just plain stupid. It only took less than a minute with my pack loaded that way to realize what a terrible idea it is. I ditched it and repacked right away. What were they thinking? I dont think anyone tried it in the field before it went into production. Dont waste the money for that. Dumb, Dumb, and double dumb idea.
Just wondering what you dont like about this i own one and love it i keep all my lightweight stuff in it like extra clothes and my mountain house meals and keep the heavier sruff up tight to my back and cinch the hole works down with the straps and it rides great for me. Personally i love it and so do the guys i hunr with.

T43
01-30-2012, 09:55 AM
I like the set up as well. I put the heavy stuff in the cargo pouch and the light stuff zips on behind in the duffel. It's a great place for a down sleeping bag, pack pillow, sleeping pad etc. All relatively light but take up precious room.

As for the hydration bladder in the rifle scabbard that was mentioned earlier. My bladder has a hook on the top, I use about a 3" piece of cord tied from the top handle to a tiny s clip and just clip the bladder up so it stays where I want it.

Dixie07
02-04-2012, 09:00 PM
I'm kind of suprised to see no one has mentioned the Kifaru Timberline. It looks like a solid pack, and I think I am going to be trading in my MR CC for one here soon.

ontarget7
02-04-2012, 10:09 PM
I'm kind of suprised to see no one has mentioned the Kifaru Timberline. It looks like a solid pack, and I think I am going to be trading in my MR CC for one here soon.

Probably a good pack but I don't see it replacing my MR CC. Just love this pack the way I can drop camp and fold everything up and still hunt out of it. Just don't see me ever replacing it. I do go through other packs as well but that is a mainstay for me.
Keep us posted if you make the switch.

Grantbvfd
02-05-2012, 12:20 AM
I ended up buying a MR NICE 6500. It is the most rugged pack I could find that is versatile from 3 days to 10 days. Very comfortable. I know there are people deadset on ultralight but I'm deadset on durability. Hands down the best pack for hunters that "USE AND ABUSE" their stuff.

brandenbowhunter
02-06-2012, 09:57 PM
I had any Eberlestock...got a Mystery Ranch CC and gave my Eberlestock away...I love my CC...if it were stolen today I would have to buy a new one tomorrow.

brandenbowhunter
02-06-2012, 10:07 PM
miller1... I do that, but it always falls to the bottom and then the tube is too short or gets pinched. I need to sew in a stuff sack or somthing to hold it in place. my other packs (non hunting) have bladder sleeves in the middle of the pack right next to the back. I so wish eberlestock would use this idea of putting the water bladder as close to the back as possible, since water is usually the heaviest item in a pack other than meat. instead on the blue widow the bladder sleeves are on the sides of the pack. When 3 liters of water are on one side of the pack it makes the load off balance and very annoying. Oh well I will fix this situation with a speedy sticher before summer roles around. So many parts of the pack are very well thought out, yet this oversight in design with respect to hydration makes me wonder just how much product testing was done before the packs went on the market. I still love it and the price difference between the blue widow and the mystery ranch is just not justifiable. I dont care if the pack shoots off fireworks when your arrow connects with a trophy, no backpack is worth $600++. especially when you cant even try it on first. MR Crew Cab will never be worth it to me, unless of course they want to give me a sponsorship and free gear. In my opinion hunting pack manufacturers are way behind the times in technology when it comes to the fundamentals like suspension and load distribution. maybe MR has it together, but at twice the price of any other pack on the market, hunting and non-hunting, I just dont get it. Or should I say wont get it.

Mystery Ranch CC...has bladder right against your back...fits like a glove...caddy of backpacks...and worth every penny...I went through 3 $150-$200 packs in 3 years...and was fixing stuff on them all the time...guess what... I could have bought a MR and saved money in the first place...I packed out a bear, 3 elk, an antelope, a whole mule deer...and that was just this year...and this pack has no signs of wear...I only need one pack with this one...day pack, load haul pack...
lived out of it for a week and a half this fall...worked for backpacking too...
Two full seasons with it...great pack..

miller1
02-07-2012, 02:43 PM
it doesnt look like the CC is high enough for the load lifters to work if your 6' or taller.

brandenbowhunter
02-08-2012, 08:40 PM
It is fine if you load it right and use the day pack on top..you can attatch it that way...you may also like the Longbow better...