View Full Version : ACU Goodness....Express and ZXR!!!

Lone Piper
05-13-2006, 06:35 PM
I've been getting blessed by the Kifaru gods of late! A few weeks ago I received my ACU Express and E+E pack. Whether you love it or hate ACU, Uncle Sam says I gots to wear it! The express is a GREAT assault pack! Sleek and comfortable, you can put a heck of alot more in it than I initially thought.


Next is a group shot of the Express, my E+E plus an ACU foldout. The fold out is going to be a great product for having an organized "shelf" for gear.


Next up is the ZXR. This is BY FAR the most comfortable Kifaru pack I've owned. I loaded it up with about 40 pounds today, cinched her down and went for a 5 miler. I wanted to keep walking because the pack rode SO well! The lumbar pad, the torso pads,MMR straps and the padded waist belt are pure HEAVEN to carry. This is a GREAT pack...all the best parts of the zulu, pointman and MMR rolled into one!


Another pic of the ZXR with a stash it pouch on the waist belt. I put my keys and IPOD in it for the road march and it rode perfect!


Here's a shot of the back...you can see the lumbar and torso pads plus the padded waist belt which make this pack such a smooth ride...


Here's a comparison shot between the express and the ZXR from the front...


And finally a shot of the back of the packs...


I have the new XTL top for the ZXR but haven't put it on yet. It looks like ANOTHER great Kifaru piece of gear. Thanks for making me the most comfortable ruck I've ever owned bar none!

05-13-2006, 07:26 PM
Well, that sucks! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif . I don't even have my ZXR yet! All I can say is, you're one lucky dude Piper. I've been waiting for mine anyday to show up, as the only one I had was a prototype, and I sent that one back to the shop long ago, so I've been ZXRless this whole time. I'm happy for you Piper, and glad to hear that the ZXR meets your expectations. Great pics, and I guess I'll to drool over them like everyone else, until I get my ZXR. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif


05-13-2006, 08:01 PM
Good Lord! Anyone who has ever thought that asking for status might somehow get you your pack faster, take note, not even Mel can pull strings.

Dan M
05-13-2006, 08:43 PM
Ahhhhh! Janice told me I would get my ACU ZXR this week, but no box at the door. Ours should be here Monday or so I guesss, eh Mel? January to May, what anticipation. Looks good Piper, can't wait to hit the trail with mine.

Lone Piper
05-13-2006, 09:03 PM
I guess all those flowers I keep sending to Janice and Amanda are paying off! Damn, I can't believe I even beat Mel with the ZXR!!! Its one hell of a pack Mel...trust me on this one!

Woods Walker
05-14-2006, 07:38 PM

I know there is a big tread on the ZXR but how does it compare to the comfort of an EMR with the same load. Lone Piper seems to like his ZXR. Not a big ACU fan but the packs look great. Even with a pod for my bag and side pockets the EMR will handle more bulk I think.

05-14-2006, 11:07 PM
Woods, the ZXR and EMR have the identical suspension, except for the frame sheet in the EMR. The same shoulder straps, torso pads, lumbar pad, and waistbelt. The EMR uses a frame sheet, to allow you to pull the complete frame and suspension out of the bag, and use it as a cargo hauler. Experience the comfort of a fully loaded ZXR, and then transfer that load over to an EMR, and it will be the same comfort level. Personally, I don't find the EMR any more comfortable than the ZXR, even though it uses the additional frame sheet. In fact, one thing that I did notice, was that the Delta straps seemed more responsive to adjustments on the ZXR, because you aren't trying to pull a rigid framesheet into your lumbar area. With the ZXR, when you pull on the Delta straps, you can feel the bag pull into your lumbar area.

The EMR will handle more bulk, because it has almost twice the capacity of the ZXR, and has a 26" frame versus a 22" frame on the ZXR. The main advantage the Duplex Suspension has over the WrapTech Plus Susupension, is being able to remove the frame and suspension from the bag, and use it as a cargo hauler. There is no real comfort advantage as far as I'm concerned.


05-28-2006, 04:02 PM

I'm trying to decide between an EMR and ZXR as well. I already have a Zulu but it just seems too short for my 6'2" frame. Would the EMR be a better choice than the ZXR to gain more strap lift? I get no strap lift with my short Zulu.


Dan M
05-28-2006, 08:26 PM
I swithced form a Zulu to an EMT to get the shoulder lift - and I am only 5' 10". Massive shoulder lift on the EMR. The EMR is significantly bigger than the ZXR - I now have that too. The ZXR gets shoulder lift, but at 22" (or 23") it won't get quite as much as an EMR. Your choice should realy come down to volume/weight you plan on carrying.

05-29-2006, 12:31 AM
Hey guys, I'll see if I can explain the pack fit/shoulder lift relationship. InFALable, the Zulu is not too short for your 6'2" frame. With the waistbelt on the proper spot on your hips, you are able to adjust the torso length to get the pack to fit your frame. Getting shoulder lift is a separate issue, and has nothing to do with the pack fitting your frame. The length of the frame stays is what determines shoulder lift. The frame stays must be at least even with the top of your shoulders, or higher, to get any type of shoulder lift. This is with any pack, not just a Kifaru. On an average, you really need about 21" stays to start getting real shoulder lift. The Zulu and Marauder use 19" stays, and you cannot get actual shoulder lift when you pull on the lifter straps, but it does pull the top of the pack into your back. With these packs, you can loosen the shoulder straps slightly, and tug in on the upper Delta straps a bit, to put most of the weight on the hips. You can see this demonstrated clearly on the Marauder page on Military Moron's site (www.militarymorons.com), where he has a 1000 round case of .223 ammo in his Marauder, with the shoulder straps unconnected, and the pack stays into the back, fully supported by the hips.

Once you get to about 21" and longer on the frame stays, you will experience true shoulder lift when pulling in on the lifter straps. There is a bit of confusion on the less/more shoulder lift issue. Shoulder lift is when the shoulder straps are actually off the top of the shoulder, and it doesn't really matter if that is 1/4" or 3". Achieving this shoulder lift, depends on an individual's torso length, and the weight of the pack. Once you get significant weight in any pack, it will settle down a bit lower than if it were empty. If you're a tall guy and/or have a long torso, you will need longer stays to achieve shoulder lift. That's why a guy like me that is 5'6" can get shoulder lift out of a fully loaded 21" Pointman, where someone that is maybe 6'3" with a long torso, might not get shoulder lift out of a Pointman with the same load. I can't remember what the ratio is, but for every inch of stay length, you gain a few inches in height for shoulder lift capability.

InFALable, with your frame, you should have no problem getting good shoulder lift from a ZXR. With an EMR, you will be guaranteed exellent shoulder lift, no matter how tall you are. I hope I didn't confuse everyone with this rambling explanation /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif .


Woods Walker
05-29-2006, 06:37 AM
I am in the boat as inFALable. I now have the money for my Kifaru pack (took me some time to save up the cash) but stuck on color (MC/OD/CB). I am 6-1 with large frame. I would need a large belt but I do not intend to be fat forever. So are the belts changeable? Is the ZXR belt changeable? I hope this pack works out. I have been though lots of packs Alice, Molle and UM21 and they all seemed lacking.

05-29-2006, 09:11 AM
Woods, the belts are indeed changeable on ALL of our packs, so if you gain or lose weight, you can easily replace the belt to the proper size.


Woods Walker
05-29-2006, 12:40 PM

I guess that closes the deal for me. Going to order an EMR next week. I think MC. I considered OD to match my woodland pockets but I can always change them out one at a time. How do I order. Should I call the main number. Going to get the new top lid too.

05-29-2006, 05:19 PM

Do you know approximately how much the replacement belts are priced at? Also do you know roughly what the measurements are for the EMR and ZXR bags?


05-30-2006, 07:49 PM
Woods Walker, how did you decide on color? I am in the same boat as you,except I am going to go with the zxr. I packed one up and did a little hiking with it at the Co Rondy and loved it. I think it is going to be perfect, at least for the way I pack and travel. It had a lot more capacity than the 3800 ci the say it has. The load I usually carry in my Siwash, which fills it most of the way up, left lots of room in the zxr. This is going to be one popular pack.

Anyway, I just can't decide on the color, I don't want to look to military to the granola crowd, yet I don't want to look like a deer cruising through the woods. My kids think MC looks cool, just curious what a full size pack is going to look like in a forest full of trees and green underbrush.

Also, the super tarp worked great over the hammock, as soon as I can figure out how to get paper pictures put on the computer, I will post them. It had great coverage and plenty of room to sit under and watch the rain while you cook.


Woods Walker
05-30-2006, 09:00 PM
ZXR looks great but needed the larger pack for winter camping etc. Was looking at OD so my woodland pockets would match but decided on MC.

MC looks cool and will clash somewhat with my woodland canteen pockets etc but so what. I can change them out to CB or MC ones later. I could care less about anti military or people offended by Camo unless going over seas but MC looks more like a hunting pattern so now the liberals can hate me for another reason other than supporting the war. That is ok by me.

Going to order maybe on Friday. Looking for an EMR with new top lid. Still have not decided on that daypack. Like the E&E. I am not so certain about the back position of the scout. Maybe the top lid would make a good daypack but I don't know.

Glad to here that tarp worked out.

05-30-2006, 09:49 PM

You can order your pack on line, or call the shop direct at 800-222-6139 to place the order. The E&E carries like a backpack, and the Scout is a lumbar pack. The XTL is carried as a shoulder bag, and not as a pack.


You will have to call the shop and speak to Janice for a price on a replacement belt (800-222-6139). The measurements for the EMR and ZXR are are kinda hard to explain, as they are a tube design packbag, which means you can't give seam to seam dimensions when it comes to width and depth. An easier way to describe the size of the bag is by the number of PALS channels around the bag. The EMR is 24 channels around, and the ZXR is 20 channels around. A PALS channel is 1.5" across. This should give you a rough idea of the size of the bags. The frame length is 26" on the EMR, and 23" on the ZXR, with the EMR having an additional 9" snow collar extension in the top of the bag. There are plenty of pics of the packs here on the message board to get an idea of the size.


05-31-2006, 05:41 PM
Thanks Mel,
Actually I found some pics (XTL page) that helped me relate the size to something I'm familiar with. Now I need to just pick the color.