View Full Version : UL5200 vs UL3700??

03-20-2011, 07:21 PM
I'm sure this question has been touched on, at least tangentially, but I thought I would come right out and ask for thoughts, opinions, etc.

When (that is what type of outing) is the 3700 more appropriate and when is the 5200 the better choice? For example, 2-3 nites bivy with light weight gear in summer would probably lean toward the 3700. What if, in the process of that bivy, you had to haul a couple of 70-80 lb loads of meat out? Would that lean toward the suspension of the 5200? Of course, I see you can get the 5200 suspension on the 3700 adding further confusion. Waht if you are carrying a 6-man tipi, stove, and are out for five nights in October (in CO)?

You can also add pockets to the 3700 but that ends up making it more $$ than the 5200. Still I guess that is an option.

So when does the intrepid wanderer find himself in the realm of the 5200? Inquiring minds want to know and this one wants to put some cash down on a pack...but just one pack.

03-20-2011, 09:16 PM
Not sure if it helps, but I searched on what u were asking and on this UL forum and some other subjects that are a lot of comments about the packs. You might find something useful in those discussions. I am having the same quandary.

03-20-2011, 09:56 PM
Yep, I've searched away but nobody came right out and asked what the intended uses were. And you, like me, are still having the quandry. Patrick didn't just pull those pack sizes out of the air! They each have their intend use. I suspect those with a lot of backcountry hunting experience will have some well formed opinions on these sizes. Thought I would ask directly! And Wolverine, I'd be interested which way you are leaning.

03-20-2011, 10:00 PM
I'm going with the 3700, a small pod, 2 long pockets, and the UL E&E.

03-20-2011, 11:19 PM
The way I see it, the 5200 will do basically everything the 3700 will do, but the opposite cannot be said. Given the negligible weight diffrerence, I went 5200. Keep in mind that the external pouches can be an annoyance when used with a less than full main bag.

03-21-2011, 05:41 AM
For only 1 pack I would go with the KU5200. It has a better suspension, only weighs 4 more ounces and only costs another $40.00. All the external pockets will cost you $$$. The KU5200 will cinch down nicely when less than loaded.

John Havard
03-21-2011, 08:11 AM
Mattb and bamboobow have nailed it. If you EVER think you might need the extra cubes why would you even consider the 3700? The 5200 easily compresses down to a small package if you're not carrying much, weighs a tiny amount more, has a more robust suspension, and costs about the same.

03-21-2011, 09:41 AM
Patrick sure did his homework on the pack sizes. For me at least, using modern somewhat compact gear, 3700 (60L) is perfect for 3 season multi-day (3 to 5) trips. And 5200 (85L) is spot on for cold weather 'weekenders' or extended trips in mild weather.
The 2200 (35L) is an ideal volume for ultralight overnighters or as an all-day pack most of the year. In fact, if I were to develop my own packs for lightweight backpacking, I'd go with exactly the same volumes. The only thing I would add is another pack right between the E&E and the 2200 in capacity (about 1500ci / 25L).

So, to sum it up, here are my ideal pack volumes for lightweight hiking/backpacking
(gleaned thru experience)

Mild Weather
Day 1500
UL overnight 2200
Multi Day 3700
Expedition 5200

Cold Weather
Day 2200
UL Overnight 3700
Multi Day 5200
Expedition 6700

Wind Talker
03-21-2011, 01:33 PM
In the KU video's Patrick did I think he mentioned the 3700 as being his 3 season pack and the 5200 being the pack size for the winter where more insulating gear would be necessary. At this time I'm leaning towards the setup mentioned by Take-a-knee as it seems to offer a lot of flexibility with the E&E for my basic modules (fire, water, shelter, and first-aid kit).

03-21-2011, 02:05 PM
Wind Talker is correct. Patrick said 3700 for 3 season and 5200 for winter and LARGE loads..
I am leaning towards 5200 (compress when I do not need and therefore no external) and a 2200 for day to day and light edc type moving..Just have to budget those :)

03-22-2011, 07:19 AM
Maybe I missed something, his original post indicated he only wanted to buy 1 pack with the ability to do a 5 day hunt in CO. with a 6 man tipi and stove and possibly haul 80-90 lbs of meat. Do you guys really feel the KU3700 would fit the bill?

I might have to re-think my plans.......

Tim in Washington
03-22-2011, 07:40 AM
what would the advantage be of a 3700 over a 5200 ?It seems like you are giving up an awfull lot of space for very little bulk

03-22-2011, 07:50 AM
I ordered a KU3700, a long pocket side zip, lash kit, a bottle pouch and a medium pod. I plan to use the 3700 as first an everyday day pack for western style hunting. I do want to be able to use it for the less often times when I get to go elk hunting and will be bivy style hunting for up to five days or so. These hunts will be Spartan affairs.
I wanted the 3700 for the 2” shorter stays. I thought this may be slightly more maneuverable through the pines. I sold a spike camp and a siwash to order this pack. I always found the spike just a little small and not as comfortable. The siwash was very nice, but when compressed down the straps where always flapping in the wind. They would blow around and try to catch my bowstring and other things. I had thought about a late season as a good size, but when the KU3700 appeared, I knew I had to give this system a go.
I may be wrong, but I do think the 3700 will be better for someone who will use it more as a day pack, and only once and awhile as an extended trip pack. If I’m wrong, I guess the worst that could happen is that I would have to save my penny’s for a 5200.

03-22-2011, 08:19 AM
That is a good idea, and then I get to buy your 3700, ;)

Good luck buddy.

03-22-2011, 09:26 AM
LOL! I'm hoping you won't "have" to buy this one and bail me out Ken. Thanks for the chuckle.

All the best.

03-22-2011, 09:40 AM
I think a lot of this depends on how compact your gear is. If you have bulkier gear (sleeping bag, shelter, clothing, etc.) then a larger capacity pack is the way to go. If you have very compact gear, then the 3700 would be great. I personally have a 3700 and see no reason to go larger. I do have the external pockets, which extend the cubes to near 5K, and that can help.

03-22-2011, 06:34 PM
If it changes anything, I already have a Spikecamp. It is a great bowhunting pack where I may need to carry out some meat. My new pack will be replacing an older Gregory Cascade which is an ok backpacking pack but turns to mush under a proper meat load. I carried most of a good sized whitetail buck out a year or so ago and that pack was simply useless!! I am only about 5'7" and 155 so I want a pack that will hold strong against that type of load. Of course, it also means I am not going to reasonably carry much more than 80lbs (if that!).

If I am going out on a two to three day bivy hunt, I think the Spikecamp may be a tad too small. And if I am just backpacking into mtns with the girlfriend I want to be able to carry more than the bare minimum (including more than a small tent)

flamingo 7
03-23-2011, 11:30 AM
I’ve been pondering the same question. I’ve got an older Spike Camp, a G1 Long Hunter Guide, and had an MMR for several years. The MMR was sold to finance a new pack and I was looking at the G2 Late Season as I’ve found the Spike camp a bit on the small side for big game hunting in Colorado. However last year I used the Long Hunter as my day pack on a wonderful elk hunt and it worked quite well. Cinched down it was quite small and didn’t interfere with anything and yet I was able to haul a bunch of meat out (not mine I’m afraid). Then the UL’s came out and I began to ponder; the 5200 is only a few ounces more and the cost difference is rather small. The short answer is that I’ll likely go with the 5200 when I place the order. While having external pockets on a day pack is wonderful to get at the things you need during the day, (or on patrol), I like things inside the main bag, with a minimum of external paraphernalia. For me the downside is that I tend to fill up the space I have available (4 to 1 martinis should NEVER be mixed in a 7-11 Big Gulp). However if you cut the labels off your clothes, reuse dental floss and think toilet paper is unnecessarily heavy baggage, than the difference between the 3200 & 5200 is still four ounces. From the descriptions of your widely divergent plans (that most of us have in the backwoods) I think the 5200 is the better call. The right call is to order both, but that’s another story. Enjoy

04-16-2011, 01:45 PM
Update. Went to Kifaru with a bunch of gear that would simulate a healthy summer backpacking load (in volume, not weight). It filled the 3700 perfectly...that is with no room to spare. I put the same gear in the 5200 and, of course, there was room. But, when I cinched the 5200 down around the gear it looked just like the 3700. So, as others have said, why would I get the 3700, pay for the upgraded suspension, buy pockets, etc when I can just get the 5200. So I popped for the 5200.

Having said all that, if I was looking for JUST a lightweight 2-3 nite summer pack I would have gone for the 3700 but I was looking to replace a backpacking pack where I could carry more than my fair share. I'm still looking to go very lightweight this summer with just my spike camp!

05-26-2011, 06:56 AM
mattb and bamboobow have nailed it. If you ever think you might need the extra cubes why would you even consider the 3700? The 5200 easily compresses down to a small package if you're not carrying much, weighs a tiny amount more, has a more robust suspension, and costs about the same.
"makes perfect sense to me",big trips /family /hunting walk ins/solo compressed.the 5200 is all you need