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never.truly.lost
07-26-2009, 07:20 AM
So I wanted to start a thread for you guys to talk/post/share your experiences with Marauders. I know that there are a lot of them out there, ranging from the first gen to the second, and now the G2.

Some of you guys probably have them set up for 3rd lines to suppliment your second, or as truck bags, no doubt many for foot patrols, some as go-bags, and more just as daily use packs.

What kind of pouches did you like/didn't you like?
Did you use the waistbelt or keep it tucked away, or even have one at all?
How has it held up through however many tours or just daily life?
What if any mods did you make to it?

Think of this thread as one similar to "inpraise of the humble zulu", but for your Marauder instead. Share your photos, your story with it, and any insight or tips on how to set it up/configure it.

I have a 2008 OD Marauder waiting for me when I get home, and plan on putting a malice claymore outside bottom, organizer top inside panel, 2x2quarts lower sides, couple of buckled pistol mag pouches on the side for flashlight and leatherman, and other than that I am not too sure.
However, I am looking forward to getting to finally use this pack after reading about it/seeing a couple in person. I picked the G1 simply because the back is all codura vs. the raised torso pads that are not as tough of material, and no doubt it will be worn over a vest anyways so that bit of extra comfort will not make a difference.

So lets hear about your Marauders, and please post pics if you have 'em!
Cheers

rhunter424
07-27-2009, 11:46 AM
Before I start, I think we should have a "in praise of ..." type thread/sticky for every .mil pack. It might be a good idea for people to just see the pack in motion and getting worked with. What do you guys think?

I owned a G1 Marauder for about 6 months before I sold it. The one feature I thought I'd like the most about the G1 marauder when I ordered it was the ability to compress it down a lot with all the straps (2 on each of the four sides). I learned very quickly that it was very cumbersome to get into the pack when you wanted the entire panel open. This has been fixed in the G2 line up, with only 2 buckles to un-click before you have full access to the inside of the pack.

I rarely used the belt when I did have it. It was mainly an urban bag and the distances carried weren't much.

I ran an organizer on the top of the panel, and an ATS Large GP Pouch on the bottom of the panel. I had intentions of replacing the ATS Large GP with a kifaru malice claymore since I need more space than organization, but I never got around to it.

On one side I had an ATS Small GP pouch and on the other was a TT 85 series hardcase. This gave me enough on the outside of the pack to work with, without accessing the inside of the pack too often.

Occasionally I added another ATS Small GP pouch on the inside of the panel, but aside from that I didn't add much more internal organization using the PALS. I did make myself two horizontal straps to compress/secure certain contents in the main compartment (ie. my laptop).

Overall it held up just like any of Kifaru. I decided to sell it because the panel loading wasn't reaping as much of a benefit as I had liked, and the G1 Mollex fit the role a lot better.

The only image I have of my marauder is the one of me selling it, sans pouches. FWIW:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_T6CnQq4GoiE/SeUEVlOKJkI/AAAAAAAAA9Q/ljUnYABjDyo/s400/0414091744.jpg

AndyL
07-27-2009, 02:07 PM
I tend to leave some of the compression straps wrapped up with web dominators.

BuckarooMedic
08-04-2009, 06:50 AM
I've attached a photo of my "favoritist" Kifaru pack ever made. I got this pack in 2003 and it has seen a lot of use. It's one of the original Marauders with the built-in Omni belt. I've used this pack for many different purposes. Originally it was a combo aid bag/patrol bag. Then it was a book bag. Now it's my "go-to" bag for EDC. I use it almost daily. I've been using it for mountain biking for years now and it really excels at that. I can pack one or two, three liter Camelbaks in it plus all the other stuff needed for a long bike ride. With the Omni belt I can get that bad-boy to ride on my lower back like it's surgically attached. It looks like it is going to revert back to it's original life as a combo aid/patrol bag again here soon.

This picture is about the only configuration I ever use. The E&E fits on the front of it like it was designed too. I really don't like to hang too many pockets off of my bags. I use the E&E bag as an E&E bag. I know, I know, that's kind of strange ;) Call me old fashioned.

I've only had two problems with my Marauder; the main zipper broke (thank goodness for the compression straps!). Kifaru fixed it good as new. I also had the stitching that holds one of the Power-pull loops on start to come undone. I simply sewed that back on and it's working great again.

All in all, the Marauder is probably the most versatile bag that Kifaru makes. Get one, you won't be disappointed.

AndyL
08-04-2009, 09:12 AM
Do you leave the back stays in when using it on a mountain bike?

I've cycled to work with mine a couple of times and found it painful after a while. I figured it was due to the different position my back is in compared to walking. I plan to try with them removed

circle
08-04-2009, 10:38 AM
You'll definitely find biking with the stays removed much more comfortable, as well as having the belt loose.

Si

rhunter424
08-04-2009, 10:56 AM
Do you leave the back stays in when using it on a mountain bike?

I've cycled to work with mine a couple of times and found it painful after a while. I figured it was due to the different position my back is in compared to walking. I plan to try with them removed

Not to go too far off topic, but I think it really depends on what you're carrying in your pack. If it's a lot of soft items, then sans stays may be the way to go. I used my scout sans stays in the beginning, but ended up putting them back in. I haven't gone back. The stays provide me with some rigidness and I don't feel the contents of my pack as much.

You also have to be careful how you're cinching down your delta straps. There was a post a while ago (I believe BuckarooMedic posted it) on how to properly adjust them for biking. It helped me tweak my pack just a little bit more into the comfort zone :)

gdw042
08-05-2009, 12:52 AM
Sorry for the late response, but I have been actually out using my Marauder. :-)

Way back when I first heard about Kifaru packs and started looking at them, the Marauder was the one that intrigued me the most. I liked the organization capabilities it offered (Iím kinda a freak about that) and its overall size. I knew nothing about pack suspensions or anything like that, and had to learn as I went. Finally ended up with a Marauder. (and an E&E and an EMR, but I digress) I used it for several day hikes and short trips, and liked it a lot in those roles.

However, once I came over here to Iraq is where it started to really shine. I am currently making a 3-4 day trip to a small Patrol Base every week, and can take everything I need in my Marauder. It is small enough that itís easy to carry and fit into an MRAP, yet large enough with easy access so I can live out of it much easier than the guys living out of their duffels.

I currently do not use the belt and just have it folded up and still on the pack. I might switch to an unpadded belt at some point , depends on what I decide to do with it after I get back. (might get changed over to an LE sniper packÖ) However, before I started making these weekly trips, I had the Maruader loaded up with about 30 lbs of H2O bottles and took it on my morning walk around the FOB. I used the belt for that and got some envious looks from the local .mil guys.

I have used various combinations of pockets on it, and for current use, have 2 Long Pockets on it, one on each side. I feel that this gives me the necessary versatility and stability for what I am doing. My Woobie goes in one, along with a couple of books usually, and various gear goes in the other one. With them Maliceíd to the pack, D&Líd in, and the Marauder compression straps over them, they are not going anywhere no matter how rough it gets.

The ONLY real gripe I have with it is having to click out all of the straps to get into the pack. However, I have gotten pretty good at only doing that when I need to. I have Web Dominators on the side compression straps that are usually used to hold them out of the way when I have them undone. Works great.

Inside, I have 4 #1 Lock and Loads and 2 #8ís, all on the panel. That gives me a lot of room in the pack itself to put clothing and other stuff, while keeping all of my small gear organized and easy to get to.

I have my E&E all loaded up as an E&E bag (see my previous post here: http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=16234 ) and while it is a bit cumbersome when attached, it is by no means unmanageable.

I put my sleeping bag under the bottom straps. I occasionally put things under the top straps as well. Again, I like having the ability to do so if needed, yet nothing is in the way if I am not using them.

I also have a couple of Pods that I can attach if necessary. I like having the extra space when needed, and they do not take up much room otherwise.

I also like the fact that I can toss it out of the back of an MRAP onto the gravel and not worry about it popping open, no matter how loaded I have it.

I recently carried 2 fully loaded fire extinguishers to a local police station in it. My legs noticed the weight, my back and shoulders did not.

If I had to sum it all up, I would say that I like my Maruaderís versatility. It can do many things well, has PALS all over to adapt it to whatever mission I need it to perform at the time, it tough enough to take whatever I dish out (and I can dish out a lotÖ) and is comfortable to carry. In short, itís the ideal pack for my current mission.

GDW

BuckarooMedic
08-05-2009, 06:11 AM
Andy & circle,

Heck no I don't take the stays out when biking! That's why I bought this pack in the first place. As I recall, this was the only 3-day sized pack on the market that had an internal frame back in '03. I'm not carrying too much weight in it while mtn biking. I've never weighed my load-out (ignorance is bliss). I would prolly guess around the 10-15 lbs range.

Andy - what kind of load are you carrying in your Marauder when you bike? I'm wondering why it would hurt you when you ride. I mean, this pack was designed to be comfortable even with ridiculous amounts of weight in it. Let's see if we can diagnose your problem. Are you using an Omni belt? Which version? How do you adjust the Delta and shoulder straps. Where is the pack "riding" on you body?

Let's figure this out.

circle
08-05-2009, 06:50 AM
hey, i'm no longer a Marauder owner so I'll drop out of the conversation here. (But my Express loaded with a day lride MTB load works really well without stays. End of interruption)

:)

Si

AndyL
08-05-2009, 09:56 AM
Andy - what kind of load are you carrying in your Marauder when you bike?

15lbs I guess, 20lbs max



I'm wondering why it would hurt you when you ride. I mean, this pack was designed to be comfortable even with ridiculous amounts of weight in it.

I've carried that plus a lot of extra gear (30-35lbs) no problem walking It's great then.
I get the pain in the lower back. It feels like the stays are digging in as the back it curved when leaning forward on the bike



Let's see if we can diagnose your problem. Are you using an Omni belt? Which version?

I've got an unpadded (pals) belt and a 2008 bag



How do you adjust the Delta and shoulder straps. Where is the pack "riding" on you body?

I've tried leaving the belt fairly loose and adjusting the straps while leaning forward to try and replicate the position I'm in when cycling. The pack is riding fairly low on my back. the center seem of the waist belt is on the crests of my hips

On a side note I've just done some shopping with my 80l lowe alpine pack. I'd got 16/17kg in it and I think I'd have been better off with the smaller kifaru pack. If I didn't have back and joint trouble I'd get a ZXR for back packing

BuckarooMedic
08-07-2009, 06:47 AM
Andy,

Great response! We're probably carrying around the same weight when we bike. Are you on a road or mountain bike? That might have something to do with the problem too. I mtn bike only, with an upright position. I too have an unpadded belt. I think for the smaller packs this is the best belt to have.

I would look at MilitaryMorons excellent web page on how to adjust a Kifaru pack. Find the link here: http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=1473

It almost sounds as if your pack is riding too low. I would also adjust the pack while standing upright in a natural position. The Marauder, when properly adjusted, will feel and ride like it's part of your body. The Omni belt is supposed to be very snug on your iliac crest, this is where all the weight of the pack is riding. The shoulder straps are there for pack stability only. They should not be "carrying" and transferring the weight to your shoulders.

This is how I adjust my Kifaru pack every time I put it on: First, loosen all the straps: shoulder, Omni/waist belt and Delta straps. Two, put on the pack and snug-up the shoulder straps almost all the way. Three, buckle the waist belt and really snug it down tightly. Four, adjust the Delta straps. I find that these don't have to be too snug to work with the kind of weight we're both carrying in our Marauders. Experiment with these straps and see what works best for you. Five, loosen the shoulder straps a bit and adjust the shoulder lift straps. When the shoulder lift straps are adjusted properly they should pull the shoulder straps almost off your shoulders. Lastly, adjust the sternum strap. I recently had my Zulu fitted by Tom at the Kifaru shop. He told me that I was wearing the sternum strap too high. I had running over my sternum. He adjusted it to actually ride below my nipple line. It actually worked better for me in this position. That's it really. If I had to say one thing about how the pack should feel when worn, it would be "very snug". OK that's two words. Read MM's excellent fit guide and them monkey around with your pack until you get it tweeked just right. Actually, the best way to get your Kifaru fitted is to take it to their shop in Colorado and let them adjust it for you.

Hope this helps!

Take care,

AndyL
08-07-2009, 08:36 AM
Thanks

I'm cycling on the road but on a mountain bike. It's not a very upright position but nothing like a road bike.
I wouldn't carry any more weight then this while cycling. Any more and I'd get the panniers out.

Here's my bike (though that saddle has been replaced after a crash and I have semi slicks on)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v347/highstorrsprom/Bike/Currentsetup.jpg

I shall try having the bag a bit higher. Getting Kifaru to fit would be a bit extreme since I'm in the UK.

BuckarooMedic
08-08-2009, 07:06 AM
Nice lookin' bike. I used to ride my old mtn bike to work almost every day for years. I put the "street" tires on it to. Amazing difference between those and the off-road knobbies.

Definitely play around with the fit of your Marauder. Make sure you have your normal amount of gear in the pack too.

Good luck!