View Full Version : more pack advise needed...

10-13-2009, 09:54 PM
hi guys

i've been bitten by the Kifaru bug and hv found yet another excuse to order a pack but i need some advice on which one would suit me best..

i'm not military anymore so all my purchases are purely for my recreational/travel needs.

My current purchases are as follows:

ZXR - expedition and multi day trekking and hiking both locally and overseas.

E&E - general use for around town etc..


Navigator - to be used mostly for overseas travel when i'm NOT trekking etc - i prefer the panel loading features for general travel and living in hotels ie when i'm not trekking etc.

Now my next pack purchase was for a very specific purposes - many of the treks that i do overseas are "supported treks" ie porters carry the main luggage, tents, food etc (in this case the gear is almost all in duffel bags etc which porters tie onto their carrying frames etc), HOWEVER, we hv to carry a day pack with the days essentials in them - ie rain/snow wear in case of inclement weather, personal camera gear, water and snacks for the day and anything else that you want to be able to access for the day before reaching the next camp....

So for this situation, i'm really stuck as to what would be a good day pack. When i travel for this type of trekking, the day pack also serves as my "carry on" so it needs to be small enough to be a carry on but have a suitable enough harness for me to trek all day with it comfortably. I'm 6ft and weigh around 220lbs, so back length (and therefore pack length ) is also of concern.

I am considering the following:

Marauder - but fear it might be too short and uncomfortable for this type activities

Molle Express - worried about the access into the pack as it narrows through the middle of the pack body - pack length would be more suited than Marauder however, however in both cases, worried about the limits of the Omni suspension.

Pointman - suspension is better than above two so more flexibility here but is this pack SMALL enough to use as Carry On Luggage? Can it be used without the waist belt? Also, does the 2008 model hv the same length stays as the express ie 21inches? or are they shorter stays?

Obviously all the above pack hv the added flexibility of Molle and additional pouches etc, however i'd prefer to consider each pack based on its own capacities and size without pouches etc.

Just a couple of things to bear in mind - all the packs i'm referring to are 2008 stock - AND i HAD ordered the Marauder but fortunately Angie emailed me yesterday to let me know that the colour that i ordered is no longer available so i hv a chance to reconsider my order....

any feedback here would be a great help..

thanks and cheers

10-14-2009, 08:04 AM
I had this dilemma too once, fumbling with regards which pack to order, this that this that etc..

to solve it i first settled on the hunting line since it was non-pals for a civilian appearance, then i ordered the entire range.

No more sleepless nights, im more productive now.

10-14-2009, 09:06 AM
that's one way of doing it - i think i'd be getting presented with divorce papers if i took that option though - lol... i was hoping for a more umm....pragmatic approach :-)


10-14-2009, 09:45 AM
For a daypack/travel pack I'd go with the express. It's a good size in itself for 2 days out and with some pockets easily goes to 4 days. Fits easily into overhead bins.

10-14-2009, 10:25 AM
Be flexible on the color and stick to the MARAUDER. It sounds like the pack that suits all your needs. Of course you coluld get the color in a G2. I know that mine fits all the roles you mention and more. Go MARAUDER!

10-14-2009, 10:30 AM
I second that on the Express. The length will allow it to carry better that the marauder, especially at your height. I have not had a problem with the trim profile of the express, and its suspension can easily hold 35lbs of gear comfortably withe the belt, even with pods and external pouches. Only problem is that its organization is not quite as good as the Marauder, but I don't think it will carry well for you for extended trekking at 6'.
Never had the Navigator, but my guess is that it could be used as a large day pack, but you's lose the ability to use it as a carry on for the plane rides.. decisions... decisions..good luck!

10-14-2009, 08:17 PM
Be flexible on the color and stick to the MARAUDER.

i could do that but then it wouldnt match all my other Kifaru gear!!! :D

on a serious note, i've been reading a comparison between the Pointman and the Express on a UK based forum and from what i can tell, the 2008 models are both the same stay length of 21inches. The only difference is the circumference of the bags (the pointman is "deeper" for lack of a better word) so i'm leaning towards the Pointman - atleast you can compress it right down to use as Carry On luggage....

The biggest concern about the Marauder is simply the short stay length. I hv a fairly long torso and i'd struggle to make appropriate use of a hipbelt with this pack...otherwise the panel loading feature and internal PALS really appeals to me..

ULtimately, i'd love to order it and send it back if it doesnt suit etc, but being in Oz, the postage gets a bit expensive to send items back and forth so i want to get it right the first time...

i also spoke to Janice about the possibility of replacing the Shoulder straps and waist belt on the Pointman with the same style used on the ZXR (i think the ZXR uses the EMR shoulder straps and waist belt) and she confirmed that this was possible so now i'm really leaning towards the Pointman....

Does any one know if the Pointman can be used without the waist belt? or is this not recommended?


10-14-2009, 11:01 PM
I'm about 5'10" and own the G1 Pointman and G1 Marauder. I do quite a bit of the supported treking you described and usually end up travelling with the Marauder more and prefer it but use the Pointman when there is a possibility of encountering snow and ice conditions.

One of the reasons I prefer the Marauder is because I really need to let the porters do their job and the Pointman tricks you into carrying more than necessary. The size and profile of the Marauder also makes it great from carry-on to entry city purse to camera bag to exploration pack that allows light and nimble off-trail diversions. The panel opening and the pals in and out are perfect for my gearhead OCD.

Not that the Pointman is a slouch in the above usage -- while it can carry more you can underpack it and just compress, it can carry heavier loads more comfortably (and yes, I use it without the belt quite a bit), and the longer stays (especially on the G2) would make it even more comfortable. But it is lacking the convenience and organization of the panel opening/internal pals and low take-it-anywhere-profile of the Marauder. However as I mentioned earlier, if there's any chance of a winter conditions bivouac or the mission requires a down/belay-type parka, I use the Pointman (or bigger pack).

Whichever way you go, get grommets for those monsoon moments. Oh and these are just my opinions, your needs may differ.

10-15-2009, 09:33 AM
i also spoke to Janice about the possibility of replacing the Shoulder straps and waist belt on the Pointman with the same style used on the ZXR (i think the ZXR uses the EMR shoulder straps and waist belt)

I wouldn't waste money on upgraded shoulder straps, but the duplex belt as found on the ZXR, EMR, etc can go on just about any (all?) packs that Kifaru makes. In my opinion, this is the number one ingredient for a pack that you might want to carry a lot of weight in. Very worthwhile upgrade.

As regards your question, I'd go express or the hunting version of the express with one of the aforementioned upgraded hip belts.

10-15-2009, 12:40 PM
I am almost the same size as you (ht same, wt 210) and the Spike Camp fits me well. I believe it will carry on and it will hold what you need (I use it for daily hunting gear in wet conditions). It will also carry a surprising amount of weight. If you are going to go the hunting line look at the Spike.

10-16-2009, 04:09 AM
thanks everyone for your advice - i've decided to get both the Pointman and the Express - both seem more suited for the type of activities that i do..

i've ordered the Pointman with both the ZXR style shoulder straps and waist belt and the standard straps and belt - so i can change as i want to..

i've also ordered the Mollex with the belt

now i've just got to twiddle my thumbs while i wait..

thanks again for everyones feedback


10-16-2009, 09:31 AM
Hey Jeelan, I personally don't think there is a need for ZXR shoulder straps or waistbelt on a Pointman, and I probably have more time under a Pointman than anyone here on the message board. With that said, I want to let you know that you will have to secure the bottom end of the shoulder straps on either the ZXR waistbelt, or the Pointman bag. The reason for this, is that the Duplex belts have the lower shoulder straps coming off the belt, and the Pointman has them coming off the lower part of the bag. You can see this in the photos on the website. Hope this helps.