View Full Version : Pack Advice

06-10-2006, 01:30 AM
Hey ya'll been lurking around here since '03 but havent posted much cause i haven't had a kifaru. Now that i'm on my way back from the sand box in a few months looking to get one. The main reason why is i need another pack for backpacking, i traded my brother for his Civ backpack so that my wife would have one, he had a womans pack when he was younger cause it fit him better. Anyway, plan on using this also if i can get it thru the big Army's BS about uniformity. I just re-upped for Ft. Drum so i plan on doing alot of humping, as of right now i have a TT Malice. So right now not sure been looking between a Navigator, MMR or EMR, possibly a ZXR also. I've since ruled out the Navigator as from what i've seen on here is that for Heavier loads it may not be as well suited as the EMR and MMR. The ZXR also kind of falls into that percentage also, even though i hear it's a great pack. Not having been to a light unit yet I'm unsure as to how much they usually make us hump in the winter, if anyones an 11B at Drum now this advice would be great. But coming from a Unit in AK i know that they make us pack an assload of winter gear, but we had strykers so we could there. So i know from what i've heard from others is that we will be carrying the full sleeping back at Drum cause of the cold, how well does the MMR handle the full GI sleep system and how much room is left over?? Enough for the rest of the junk w/ external pockets??? Also can these packs be used to thier full extent w/ web gear and IBA also or will they just end up becoming a really expensive MOLLE ruck that can only use the shoulder straps. Which if this is the case then i might as well just stick w/ buying an MMR or ZXR for Civilian backpacking, which i should only be doing for a week or so at the longest. I need advice on this cause it's driving me nuts thinking about it. LOL. If ya'll have any more questions that would help ya'll give me more advice feel free to let me know. PLease.


06-10-2006, 04:50 AM
John, I own a Navigator and I would not worry about how much weight it will carry. My concern would be the volume of gear you need for playing Winter Warrior games. That and the uniformity issue would be my concern. Toploaders like the MMR and EMR are liable to be more acceptable to the bosses. With these things in mind,the MMR is only 300 cubic inches larger than a Navigator. So, wait for it, I would get the EMR with winter gear and large volume loads in mind. Even if you are mounted I'd still opt for the EMR. Cause the fun is just beginning when the ride quits! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif


06-10-2006, 05:43 AM
I've owned both the Navigator and MMR and there is'nt any comparison in how much you expand the MMR with additional pockets over the Navigator. It's also easier to stuff the top loader. For a cols weather pack the EMR will be the most reccommended on these boards. I've not owned one so can't really add anything about it. Because of the PALS grid and depth you can realistically add a back pocket and 2 longs on the Navigator. On the MMR you could easily add 4 longs, 2 claymores, 2 2 quarts, and something on the bottom. YMMV.

Dan M
06-10-2006, 09:50 AM
I responded to you other question on the Micro Rondy thread. If you want a "double duty" mil/civilain pack wait until you actually get to your unit before you drop serious coin. If you you need to "blend in" with all the other OCIE, get whichever pack in UCP. I am going to buck the trend here on the boards for the EMR. I have one, it is huge. A typical 11B will not even need external pockets ont he EMR. My recommendation is the ZXR with XTL and a medium pod plus a few pockets of whatever type floats your boat (an E&E, 2 long pockets, or 2 claymores, or 2 backpouches, whatever).

Rationale for this: the ZXR in UCP will attract less attention from afar. In the winter, the medium pod docked on the bottom - or the back - will expand your volume considerabley to account for winter gear. In the non-winter, you'll have a smaller and lighter pack.

But, wait until you actually get to Drum and get the lay of the land and scope out the chain of command and all the OCIE you will have to have and what your unit SOPs are. Hopefully you find yourself in an "enlightened" environment.

Kifaru packs work fine with IBA. The waist belt comes underneath the armor. Kifaru packs DO NOT work well with "belt kit" second line gear (well the Zulu, Express, and Marauder will, especially if you ditch the pack's waist belt). They work real well with chest rigs and vests with no pistol belt. You want your hips free to get the Kifaru pack waist belt to put the load on your hips.

Hope this helps.

06-19-2006, 01:15 PM
Dan has good advice; there's been more than one guy over on the Garage Sale board selling a piece of kit that the Chain of Command 'boshed out of uniformity concerns. FWIW, I just got back from Iraq, where I worked with the 2/22 and the main uniformity standard was the Interceptor body armor and ACH. Anything else was fair game for individual preference.

That in mind...

Just got my ACU ZXR and it has everything a 3.5 season soldier needs in terms of capacity and access. Of course, you're Drum-bound, so there's the extreme winter scenarios that you'll be training for between deployments that will alternate between Afghanistan (where the black bag is left often behind even on overnight dismounted patrols) and Iraq for the forseeable future.

The MMR will be a bit tight with the *whole* sleep system. Also, lightfighter-level capacity isn't possible without external Side or Back pouches, which will attract possibly unwanted attention. I used an MMR w/2x Side and and 1x E&E Back pouch in Iraq and it worked beautifully but my mission load isn't typical lightfighter, and I only did 3x dismounted overnight patrols the whole rotation (waay up north). Dan M's point about the capacity without large external pockets is well taken; Kifaru gear is bombproof, and modularity aids efficiency, but it kinda sucks watching some Muldoon grab your fully loaded pack by a Side pouch and throw it (and the other ruck it's tangled up with) out of a helo. Some situations unique to the military environment lend themselves to a slicker profile (with the options offered by the vast expanse of MOLLE webbbing that the EMR offers).

If I wind up in Afghanistan I will likely use that as an excuse to spring for an EMR.

Short story long, Kifaru offers lots of choices, but I'd consider choosing btw the ZXR and the EMR with XTL.

Good luck and stay safe. Hope this helps.

06-20-2006, 09:06 AM
WookieJS -

I too concur with the other posters here regarding the choice of rucks. I have owned a Navigator for years now and find it a bit on the small side for the modern warrior. Before the Navigator I had a TT modified Lg ALICE ruck with the sleeping bag compartment on the bottom. I could place the same amount of gear in both of the rucks. I piggy-back a Marauder to the Navigator that I use as a combo aid bag/3-day pack. I love the Maurader, best 3-day/assault pack/aid bag that I have ever owned (I've owned quite a few). If I had to do it again I would get an EMR with a wide selection of Pull-outs to organize my gear inside the ruck and not on the outside. Both for safety and security. I would probably get one or two external pockets for things that you need quickly. I personally believe that the E&E pouch would be an excellant choice for one of the pockets. I would definitely get it in UCP/ACU. I did get a few odd looks carrying my OD Navigator/Marauder around garrison. No one ever called me on it though. If you have the cash you might want to consider a smaller Kifaru ruck to piggy-back onto the larger ruck.

Hope this helps, good luck to you at Ft. Drum from a former lightfighter.

Take care -