I got the 6000 in the mail yesterday. I'll be loading it up and hitting the trails in a few days.
I did get my bow holder in the mail for my Kuiu ultra 6000 pack. I wasn't over all impressed with how the holder mounted to the pack. It mounts fine..the issue i have ...the pack doesn't have separate loops just for the holder itself you have to use loops of the compression straps. Which then takes away the purpose of the compression straps. So, i returned it..Do to there are so many extra compression straps I will just use them to carry my bow when need be.
There is a review on Rokslide.com where they compare the Kuiu Ultra, Stone Glacier, and Kifaru packs (I don't remember the Stone Glacier model - I think the Kifaru was a Highline on the Bikini Frame). I'm not here to persuade anyone one way or the other, but at least in this review, the Ultra did not get high marks when loaded down heavy. I really wish these higher end packs were available to try out beforehand because you really have no way knowing how it will fit YOU, until it's on your back! I guess all that can be done is your own personal research and then hope for the best with the final decision.
I would be very interested in a pack review article. And definitely would like to see the KUIU ultra line included.
I also would love a pack-review article from Eastmans, and please include ease of carrying bow/gun... that is always one of my biggest hang-ups (hint: I hate side-scabbards because it throws your balance too far off-center).
As for the rokslide review... I've watched how their relationship with Kifaru has affected their judgment lately and put absolutely no validity in any of their pack reviews.
However, for how I hunt... I don't think the Ultra is for me, but I'm sure it is perfect for others. Maybe the new ICON PRO that is coming out soon will be a better fit for what I want in a pack.
There has been tons of kuiu bashing on rokslide. mostly by people that don't have any of the kuiu gear, let alone the new ultra pack. Also the ultra pack is half the price as the kifaru or stone glacier, so keep that in mind when you compare these packs.
I have the Ultra 6000 and have only had it on a couple hikes. One 4-mile hike with around 40lbs, the other was a shorter hike with 70lbs. So far I really like the pack and how well it compresses down for day-pack mode or expands out to haul my camp and some meat, (in my case a bag of charcoal and some extra weight all wrapped inside a bivy sack). It has a very simple/minimalist approach and so far is very comfortable to me. It was definitely an upgrade for me.
I have never tried on a kifaru or stone glacier and they both look like great options, but for me I was willing to try the Kuiu with the price difference. The extra $350 covers half my Colorado NR elk permit or can go towards upgrading other gear. My demands for the pack are going to mainly consist of some elk scouting trips (1-3 days) and an annual archery elk hunt for 7-10 days. I wish my pack would be going on numerous backcountry trips, but.......
Any thoughts on having the Ultra 6000 setup and then the 1800 bag to switch out for day hunts? Is that necessary or does the compressed 6000 work just fine? Also, someone please expand on the bow holder & compression strap configuration....they can't be used together or the top straps just secure the half of the bow boot doesn't hold?