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jgatliff
01-22-2012, 07:59 AM
Hello everyone, my name is Jason and this is my first post here. Although I have been well aware of Kifaru for several years now, I have never made the plunge and purchased any. But with the new ku line, I am very tempted. I just have a few questions.

1) Is the material shiny? It seems to have a sheen in done of the photos. Although I am not military, or high speed, I still like to blend in, in the woods as much as possible.

2) How abrasion resistant is the fabric?

3) In the videos, Patrick mentioned that the bottom of the pack is sized for a large sleeping bag. Does it have a separate or divided pocket? Is it accessible from the outside or...?

If there are typos our this doesn't make sense, I apologize, I topped this on my phone.
JG

Spence
01-22-2012, 03:35 PM
Jason,
Welcome aboard. I have the UL 3700, and to answer your questions; 1: no, 2: very, I'm surprised I haven't ripped it yet on the prickers down here. 3: No and Nope, that's the price you pay for lightweight, no extra zippers, etc. IMO, you have to know and accept the limitations of a single compartment bag. The Siwash is still my favorite.

Sawtooth
01-22-2012, 03:47 PM
1. Not really. It is slick, but I don't think it reflects an excessive amount of light. As for blending in, the color of the pack is great for a wide variety of conditions.

2. It's surprisingly abrasion resistant. The slick surface of the fabric means that a lot of twigs and small branches will simply "slide" off it, instead of catching on the fabric and ripping it. I have a prototype, that I've really run through the mill, that doesn't even have the Cordura covering on the bottom. It's been slammed down, loaded, on all sorts of tough surfaces like sand, gravel, pine duff, ice, corn snow, you name it. It has yet to have any rips. The pack body is NOT 500D Cordura and requires a little extra common sense. With the enormous savings in weight comes at least a little compromise on how you treat the UL packs. I can tell you that the R&D involved in the KU line didn't include using kid gloves with these packs. I was witness to it. They were wrung out.

3. It does not have a separate or divided sleeping bag compartment, and I would not want a pack that does. It is not accessible from anything but the top. You can pack it tighter because it doesn't, as you can slip all sorts of little items down into the pack and aren't limited by a separate compartment. You can fill all those little nooks and crannies from the bottom all the way up to the top. My sleeping bag is the LAST thing I ever need to dig out of the pack anyway, so it's OK that it sits at the bottom and has all that other gear packed on top of it.

jgatliff
01-23-2012, 05:15 PM
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It is much appreciated. I see a lot of Kifaru Ultralight gear in my near future. I will probably start with a sleeping bag and move up from there.
Jason

Spence
01-23-2012, 08:20 PM
Jason,
Good thinking, its best to start reducing weight of the big stuff like bags and shelter before worrying about the pack.
Spence

Cabman
01-23-2012, 08:42 PM
Pretty much ditto to the information the other guys posted. My GoLite 0 degree sbag fits with no problem. I have no use for a seperate sb compartment either. I would concern myself with lighteneing up my sb then my pad. I have ended up with an Exped UL7, best of all worlds for me at least.

jgatliff
01-23-2012, 08:52 PM
I was just about to ask what would be a good pad that is somewhat comfortable / lightweight and fairly compact. I will check out the Exped UL 7, any other recommendations?

Spence
01-23-2012, 09:00 PM
Jason,
You'll find lots of different opinions on sleeping pads, as its the one place some folks will gladly carry some extra weight for a good nights sleep. If you use the search function, you'll find lots of good reading.

BuckarooMedic
01-23-2012, 10:54 PM
Get off the ground and get a hammock! :)

I did years ago and have not looked back. Plus, you'll save a lot of weight over a tent.

If you need me, I'll be "hanging" around . . . .

Sorry.

jgatliff
01-24-2012, 07:39 PM
Hey Brother, good to see you over here as well as USN :)

I have considered Hammocks and will probably end up with a Blackbird Warbonnet. I used to use a Hammock many many years ago when backpacking but a few cold nights made me reconsider. That being said, I was using one of those cheapo net hammocks with 0 insulation below me sleeping in a moving blanket. This was circa 1996-97 and I was 16-17...

That being said, from what I have been looking at, I think I will either go for the Thermarest Neoair Xlite (large) or the REI pad that is similar. The REI is a better color, half the price but weighs 8 ounces more...

As far a sleeping bag, I will probably buy the Kifaru. A 20 degree sleeping bag that weighs 2 pounds. Sounds pretty good.
J

Take-a-knee
01-28-2012, 05:23 PM
Get off the ground and get a hammock! :)

I did years ago and have not looked back. Plus, you'll save a lot of weight over a tent.

If you need me, I'll be "hanging" around . . . .

Sorry.

Hammocks don't really save weight when compared to a comparable UL shelter like a Tarptent. Trees aren't always available in all locales, if they are however, the comfort is worth the effort and expense, IMO. I see the hammock as the ideal shelter when it isn't cold enough for a heated tipi/stove to worth its weight. IE lows of 20F and above, cold weather hammocking is a bit of a stunt but many pull it off, there is a guy named Shug who routinely hammocks in sub-zero conditions in Minnesota, Whoooo-buddy! Check out his youtube vids if you are interested in such matters.

I used a Hennessy Hammock and a Jack's R' Better Nest underquilt with a No Sniveler topquilt.

Mike7
01-28-2012, 06:48 PM
I would think twice about the hammocks in cold weather as stated above, but also with rainy weather (I like getting dressed out of the rain) or if you aren't a good back sleeper .

I have a friend with the exped and it seems plush but I see some potential drawbacks if used alone. One of my worst nights sleeping ever in the past was when my old inflatable thermarest popped a leak at night on hard frozen ground. So I currently use a combination (especially as the weather gets colder) of a Big Agnes Insulated Ultracore pad with tapered foot (light and very comfortable) along with a thermarest ridgerest foam pad which is needed for insulation when its really cold or if on snow, is a good safety backup if the air mattress gets a leak at night, and can be easily removed from a Grab-it while hiking to sit on for glassing or resting on icy or wet ground.

Take-a-knee
01-29-2012, 08:39 AM
I would think twice about the hammocks in cold weather as stated above, but also with rainy weather (I like getting dressed out of the rain) or if you aren't a good back sleeper .



Rainy weather is where a hammock (with a well designed diamond-shaped hammock tarp) truly shines. I walk up to a pair of trees and check the distance with my extended hiking poles. I drop my pack and the tarp, nested inside "snakeskins" gets quickly tied to the trees. I'm out of the rain in about a minute, with no tent floor to deal with. Soaking wet gear gets hung from the hammock line to drip dry. Packing up is the reverse, the wet tarp is stored on the outside of the pack (under a grabit).