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towheadedmule
07-22-2009, 04:56 PM
Hey all, I have an Xray and a E&E, with a G2 E&E on order.

My question regards that back in December I injured my back and recently had a spinal fusion of L4-L5. Is there a better pack for my back (when the doc releases me to carry one again) and /or placement of the stays? I am looking at adding a Zulu with the possibility of a XTL in the future.

Thanks

THM

one911emergency
07-22-2009, 09:05 PM
I don't know how tall or short you are but I wouldn't go with the Zulu if you have back problems. I would go with something with a longer frame such as a ZXR, MMR or EMR. If you don't think you can fill those things then I would buys one of the hauler frames for the MMR or EMR and get some pods/pockets to attach to the frame. You need something with a really excellent hip belt since you will be letting most of the weight be carried by your hips mitigating how much pressure you put on your back. The Zulu has shorter stays and frame and the straps still carry a lot of the weight.

towheadedmule
07-22-2009, 09:18 PM
I am 5-8.

was hoping that the longer stays of the new G2 would alleviate the back pressure. I am pretty lucky so far, I am 27 days post op and walking 3 miles a day with the brace (and took myself off the pain meds already too, wooHOO!!). The surgeon wanted me to be there at the end of August.

I wanted something that could move from daypack to short trip in backwoods. But I see your point about the ZXR. Wonder if use the express as a daypack without affecting my back. I want to be able to transport my tripod for my camera's on daytrips.

thanks one911.

docw
07-23-2009, 02:34 AM
I am 5'8" and the stays on my express are plenty long so the new zulu's should be as well.

I would say you would be gtg with and express or pointman if you are staying under 40lbs. If you are going over then I would go for a duplex bag just for extra protection. I routinely take my express to 50lbs pretty comfortably but with your issues I would play it safer.

one911emergency
07-23-2009, 06:09 AM
I'm about 5'11 and the G1 Zulu's frame and stays were just a little short for me. But I was also carrying a lot of weight. At 5'8 and if you're carrying less than 40lbs should be pretty good I think (especially with the longer stays of the G2 model). The Zulu is one of my favorite packs that Kifaru makes and you will really satisfied with it. It's probably Kifaru's most versatile pack. I just recently sold my G1 Zulu so I can get a G2 (for the longer stay length). I probably order it sometime next week. My friend has a Pointman. I like it and there are benefits to having the WrapTech suspension but I like the Zulu better. The Pointman doesn't really have the ability to shrink and expand like the Zulu. It also has zippers (2). It's a very comfortable pack, and my friend loves it. He and I both like the bottom access.

You're making a good choice with the Zulu.

mountaintrek
07-23-2009, 06:32 AM
I am 5-8.

was hoping that the longer stays of the new G2 would alleviate the back pressure. I am pretty lucky so far, I am 27 days post op and walking 3 miles a day with the brace (and took myself off the pain meds already too, wooHOO!!). The surgeon wanted me to be there at the end of August.

I wanted something that could move from daypack to short trip in backwoods. But I see your point about the ZXR. Wonder if use the express as a daypack without affecting my back. I want to be able to transport my tripod for my camera's on daytrips.

thanks one911.

Towheadmule,
CONGRATS ON GOING OFF THE MEDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Glad you are making progress and in the right frame of mind !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have pretty much the same back problems ( just went a different route- trying to avoid fusion ). I am 6' , 180 Lbs, 32-33 inseam with a long torso.

The Kifaru packs are perfect braces, the way they transfer loads from the back to hips is amazing. (Thank you Mr Smith!!) I own the Daystalker, X-Ray, Express, Pointman and Siwash, LH frame. Had a TG1.
Here is the break down from the BBP (BadBackPerspective):
TG1-too small no back support.

Daystalker- Perfect brace! (Got this to replace the Xray.) Handles a 35mm camera setup with some extra stuff. Perfect for stabilization and rotation. Works well with and without shoulder straps. Small enough to throw into your pack as an extra daypack that will hold your back. Down side- no place for laptop, tripod must be carried in horizontal position, not an ideal urban pack.

X-Ray-Perfect brace ! Perfect urban pack. Fits a 35mm set up with a laptop and tripod carry is in vertical position. The combination of panel loading-ruck and internal organization minimizes the bend over and look factor. Down side- too short for longer torso rides almost like a lumbar pack. (Hence reluctantly the Daystalker)

Express-The Best BB pack!!!!!!!!!!!! Holds your back and molds to it. Makes torso rotation possible. There is a leanness to the way it carries weight even with long pockets. Tripod carry is in vertical position. Perfect for urban carry and flying. Adequate capacity. Dream to hike with !! Down side- more of a bend over and look factor due to access.

Pointman- technically better suspension and holds back extremely well! It is a larger Express and a dream as a pack. But does not mold as well to the back and lacks the leanness of the Express. Needs to be packed with more care-Load distribution. Carries better with heavier loads over rough terrain. Not an Urban pack. Late season might be a better choice.

Siwash-technically better suspension and holds back extremely well!!!! It is leaner in the way it carries then the Pointman. The panel loading is a dream and allows load control and distribution. Compresses extremely well and helps rotation.

LH hauler- A DREAM !!!! (I should have this fused to my back!) Unfortunately it forces you to overload . I use this only with hard cases and have to watch how much weight I put on it. It allows me to carry more weight than my spine allows in comfort.......

Please note all of the above are G1 packs. The Express is the best from BBP and if I had to have just one Kifaru pack given the limitations I have it would be the Express. I am not sure what your back load bearing capacity is but this works for me. I have been weened through PT off the brace but whenever I have a bad back day I strap on the Express and go for walk it helps to hold the back in same as the brace.

Hope this helps a bit. Drop me a PM if you have any questions I'll try to answer as soon as I can. GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!

towheadedmule
07-23-2009, 08:56 AM
Hey MT and DocW

I am a paramedic, thus the want to not get addicted to the narcotics. Thank you for the ideas.

Its ironic that my brace has a device that is similar to the powerpull on the Kifaru belts.

which is going to better, padded or unpadded belts? current I have a unpadded PALS Omni belt.

Thank you

mountaintrek
07-23-2009, 09:18 AM
Hey MT and DocW

I am a paramedic, thus the want to not get addicted to the narcotics. Thank you for the ideas.

Its ironic that my brace has a device that is similar to the powerpull on the Kifaru belts.

which is going to better, padded or unpadded belts? current I have a unpadded PALS Omni belt.

Thank you

I hear you loud and clear the meds they give you are scary !
Go for the padded one. Makes a difference in comfort (brace mode) over long distance. Also I sweat a lot and in cold weather/wind it helps with insulation to the region.

fireballxl5
07-27-2009, 08:31 AM
Hi There,

I can't directly answer your question, but I can tell you about my experience with my similar injury and my Kifaru GI Navigator.

I have a ruptured/bulged discs at L5/S1, L4/L5 and L3/L4.
I was scheduled for a Hartshill fusion at L5/S1 but then the surgeon went in he decided not to do the fusion and just do a discectomy at L5/S1 and L4/L5.
The surgery was about 20 years ago so it's had a fair bit of time to settle. I'm not sure I'd be carrying big loads a year or so after that kinda surgery (though I was a cavalry trooper when I got my injury and was carrying the same sort of loads with far crappier packs for a while with the same injury, now THAT hurt!). I probably waited at least 5 years before I ignored my restrictions and started to carry loads, but even then I think it was probably not in excess of 15kg for 10 years or so. That was probably fear more than anything.

Anyway now I have a Navigator G1 and have fairly happily carried 30-35kg loads with it.
From memory the stay length is 22". I'm about 185cm (i.e. ~ 5'11").
The weight pretty much sits where you expect and where it should.
On the hips. The telling thing is that my legs tend to suffer far more than my back.
At the end of the day I might be a little sore, but usually no more sore than I would be carrying my laptop and EDC junk around for a day and probably no more sore than I used to be before the injury carrying similar loads (in crappier packs).
Certainly tolerable and as long as I am careful how I sleep I can get up and do it again next day. For me that means hammock and/or hammock and make sure I don't get my back too cold, which really seems to stiffen it up.

Based on my own experience I think you'd want the Wraptech suspension as a minimum for this type of injury, as I think the Omni won't move the load to your hips as well, based on wearing a mate's Marauder G1 with Omni belt. He also makes the same complaint about the Omni not moving the load to his hips as well as he would like. (he also has an EMR for comparison so he knows how well some Kif suspension can do this)
I think that stay length might be part of that greater load to hip transfer efficiency, but I also suspect a bigger part of the difference is that with the Wraptech the bottom of the stays interface directly with the belt, which I don't think is the case with the Omni (at least with the G1s) - though I am happy to be corrected. As a consequence of this and possibly other design features I think the Wraptech is the "bottom" of the serious load packs that really transfers the load to the hips, really efficiently. I'm happy to be corrected on the why, but I'd stand by my conclusion that at least with the G1 Marauder, the Omni is not as good as the Wraptech for load transfer to the hips.


The only problem I some times have with that load is that the should strap quick releases slip on the webbing, so sometimes I need to readjust them more often than I'd, like.
This may be a body geometry problem, because I've seen some other people report the problem on these or the old forums but most don't. For the record I'm overweight now, so the straps probably don't route round me like they would a person in good condition.

towheadedmule
07-27-2009, 09:16 AM
Thank you for your insights Fireball.

Last night was the first time I walked my 3 miles with any weight on, my E&E, a textbook, and 2 bottles of gatorade. Did pretty well with it. My Surgeon put my weight limit at 20 lbs as long as it is an axial load.

I am hoping that the move of the G2 Omnis to a 22 in stay will help with transfer to my hips.

Currently I am thinking a G2 Express for a day pack and Pointman for something more. Too many years humping a large ALICE to be completely comfortable with a panel loader for anything past my medical gear. I rarely use the panel on my Xray, and will be moving the LnL 10 from it to the G2 E&E when it arrives.

Have a great day sir!

LMT66
07-07-2010, 05:15 PM
I'm wondering how things worked out and what pack you chose. Can you update us when you have time?

towheadedmule
07-10-2010, 05:25 PM
Hi, sorry about the late reply.

I recovered nicely and returned to full duty in December about 4 days prior to my one year date of injury. Completely off the medications now, just aleve as needed for soreness. I was able to get a G1 Zulu during the sale, and am saving for a G2 Mollex. I have yet to use the Zulu, pending marriage.

I have not done any other than a few dayhikes, so I either use my Xray or my ClikElite camera bag. While the Clik is not Kifaru, it is very good kit for the price and does an excellent job protecting my cameras.

Luckily the little lady likes to hike too, so I am looking for a bag for her now since she lost her's in a fire a few years back.

Thank you all for your suggestions and support!!

best forum I am on by far!

Doc Martin