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Thread: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

  1. #1
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    Question A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    As you can clearly see, I'm new to these forums. Hi! I have now searched the forums for more hours than I like to admit, and it seems like a good place, but I have not been able to find the answers I need to decide on my first Kifaru pack.

    I guess I want the pack to do a little too much. I live as a student in Uppsala, meaning that I bike. Wherever I'm heading, whatever the mission, regardless of conditions. As long as it's just me and something that comfortably fits in my daypack it works just fine. But there is essentially two problematic exceptions:
    - Big packets. Say I buy a computer screen or something similar.
    - A longer trip. Home to my parents, a ski trip or a trip to the forest. This typically involves a lot of clothes and random stuff, and a lot of travelling with buses and trains. The pack needs to be large and compact at the same time.

    After looking through the website for way too long, three questions are left for you to answer.

    First, how well might a Zulu work for those bulky boxes? On it's own (box inside) or with a cargo panel (pack empty and pressed flat)... how big is the opening?

    Second, how bulky is the Multi Mission Ruck? Can I remove the waistbelt and tuck it in the pack, or somehow wrap it up neatly? And how much can I compress that pack? I will rarely (if ever) fill 85 liters.

    Lastly, do I even need a full-blown pack? If there was such a thing as a big, slick, featureless 70 liter (4300 c.i.) bag that would simply go on a hauler, I'd buy that pretty quick. Just somewhere to put all that stuff I insist on hauling back and forth between my two homes.

    I might end up buying the Duplex Timberline 3. I want that pack for walking in the woods (someday I'll start hunting) anyways. A bunch of pockets I won't use most of the time and a rather small opening sounds manageable. Something I'm missing here? PALS would allow me to do things I don't, but I do like the idea of modularity.

    However, there is one modularity thing I worry about. I need to strap my daypack to this big pack, preferrably inside it. That pack is no modularity wonder, but it does have a pair of compression straps halfway and connections for waist strap that I hope to use for this. But is there any interior connection options other than the loops in which the included (?) chamber pocket hangs? Oops, that's a fourth question. And a hidden fifth. Sorry! I'll stop for now...


    TL;DR:
    Pictures showing minimum size and interior features of the MMR, the Zulu and the DT3 would be greatly appreciated.
    There’s a nice effect of being pessimistic - everything turns out better than expected!

    Cogito, ergo dubito. (I think, therefore I doubt)

    A few ideas that fled from the head of O8h7w

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    I think a DT3 and a cargo panel or chair will get done what you are trying to do. If you need to haul a big box home you take the CP or CC and strap it in for the trip. The DT3 will be a good size for those trips home with extra clothing and such. There is not a lot of PALS on the Timberline bags. Just enough the add a few pockets if you do find yourself needing a little more space. If you find it doesn't quite fit your needs you wont have any problem selling the pack for pretty near if not all it cost you.

    There are companies that make a generic bag that can strap to a hauler. I think the design of most those might let the bag slide down the frame causing the load to be to low and uncomfortable.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    O8h7w, welcome to the forums.

    I can't comment on the larger packs, as I have smaller packs while my large pack is the KU 5200. I'd agree that a hybrid solution might be to go with a smaller cubic inch pack and add a cargo panel/chair. You can strap larger, bulkier objects to the outside of the pack with the cargo accessories and still have a pretty slick pack for when you're not hauling large items.

    You also mentioned some sort of slick pack/bag to strap to a hauler. I have also thought about going that route and have decided that if/when I do this, I'm probably going to go with a Kifaru MMR Hauler with a Hill People Gear S25 bag. I know you're looking for something bigger than the 2500 cubes that the S25 bag sports. Perhaps HPG has plans on making a larger bag.

    Best of luck with your decision!
    MojoSlim
    _____________
    ‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
    (All knowledge is not learned in just one school.)
    - ‘Ōlelo No‘eau (Hawaiian Proverb)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    I agree with the suggestion above of a smaller pack that would dock on a hauler. The trick is to evaluate how much you'll really use the hauler versus the main pack.

    I've got an MMR frame and a Mystery Ranch cargo panel, (I like the Kifaru cargo panel better, but I bought both on the forums here) I love this setup for backpacking. I use a 65 liter dry bag (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...+sack&_sacat=0) and it works fabulously. BUT, that's a big chunk to spend on something that isn't going to be your everyday pack, just on the odd chance that you might buy a computer. A cheap pack frame may work just fine for those infrequent instances. In that case, buy a frame, but focus your resources on getting the Zulu that will fit your everyday needs better.

    However, hunting in Sweden likely means moose, the MMR hauler is great for that. Comfortable with a BIG load. It seems too large to carry an everyday 30 liter pack, but, it's amazingly comfortable if you do need to scale it down.

    Welcome to the forum, you'll like it here and hopefully learn a lot, there are a lot of sharp guys in addition to the folks who actually build the packs.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    Well, thanks for all the responses - this certainly seems like a nice place

    I'm looking into the DT3, new thread in the hunting forum. I'm in no hurry, I fully expect to research and contemplate this purchase another month or so.

    My everyday pack is a completely different story, yet a similarly double-sided problem. It's a very small pack (18 liters = 1100 cubic inches) that has to carry a computer, a couple of books, a calculator, pens, some tools, some "emergency" food and medicines, some extra clothing... ending up between 3 and 7 kg. That's 6 to 15 pounds. Oh, and most of those big, heavy books are paperbacks with way too thin pages. If Kifaru ever solves this, I owe them my back and a few of those fragile books.

    Enough with the thread derailment in what was meant to be the thread's last post. Many thanks!
    There’s a nice effect of being pessimistic - everything turns out better than expected!

    Cogito, ergo dubito. (I think, therefore I doubt)

    A few ideas that fled from the head of O8h7w

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by O8h7w View Post
    Well, thanks for all the responses - this certainly seems like a nice place

    I'm looking into the DT3, new thread in the hunting forum. I'm in no hurry, I fully expect to research and contemplate this purchase another month or so.

    My everyday pack is a completely different story, yet a similarly double-sided problem. It's a very small pack (18 liters = 1100 cubic inches) that has to carry a computer, a couple of books, a calculator, pens, some tools, some "emergency" food and medicines, some extra clothing... ending up between 3 and 7 kg. That's 6 to 15 pounds. Oh, and most of those big, heavy books are paperbacks with way too thin pages. If Kifaru ever solves this, I owe them my back and a few of those fragile books.

    Enough with the thread derailment in what was meant to be the thread's last post. Many thanks!
    I think the Kifaru solution to our everyday pack problem is the X-Ray. Check it out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    Hey O8h7w,

    I thought it was time for me to jump in here with my observations and a recommendation. I read your original post here and on the hunting forum many times to really try to understand what you're looking for, and what might be the best compromise for a pack suited to your needs and requirements. I tried to break it down to the things you will mostly be doing with the pack and the things you might be doing with the pack. I will try to outline the pros and cons of your initial pack choices.


    -First off, the Zulu and DT3 are top loaders only with no bottom or front access. Also, you talked about mounting options inside the bottom of the DT3. There are no mounting options, as there is no bottom access. The photo you mentioned was not a DT3 pack. You are a student, which means you are carrying laptops, books, and other assorted items needed for school, along with other gear I would assume such as clothing options depending on the weather conditions. I think you would be better suited with something that had multiple access points versus a top load only, where everything would have to be pulled out through the top.


    -As far as size and capacity goes, you are looking at the Zulu with 3200ci, the DT3 with 4000ci, and the MMR with 5200ci. I would have to strongly recommend the Navigator with 4000ci for your needs. Here are the reasons for this suggestion:


    -Navigator has mulitple access points with a full front panel, separate sleeping be compartment with divider, and a zip access at the top. This allows you to get to your gear quickly and efficiently. Also the front panel opening is much bigger than on the top loaders, which can make a difference when trying to load in flat bulky items like computer screens and such.


    -You cannot remove the waistbelt on the Duplex frame packs and still use the shoulder straps, because they connect at the bottom to the waistbelt. The Navigator belt can be removed and you can still carry the pack with the shoulder straps. This could be important when running between buses and trains in your travels.


    -The Navigator being a panel loader has excellent compression, even more so than the tubular type bags of the Zulu, DT3, and MMR. This really helps when using a Cargo Panel with the Navigator for carrying bulky loads. I have attached a photo of a Cargo Panel on a Pointman which shows an 8 man tipi and large stove in the Cargo Panel. You can see the versatility of the Cargo Panel even on a pack instead of a frame.


    -The Navigator has the capacity to hold those extra clothes and equipment you mentioned, along with a sleeping bag in it's own easily accessed compartment. The sleeping bag compartment will hold up to a 0 degree synthetic bag no problem. If you choose not to carry a sleeping bag, you have that much extra room in the pack.


    -If you want internal mounting options in the pack, then you have them in spades with the Navigator and all the internal PALS webbing. You can attach any assortment of pockets inside for excellent organization, and you should be able to attach your day pack inside with compression straps from our Horizontal Lash Kit. With all the external PALS webbing on the pack, the modularity is there if you need it. You could also attach your day pack to the flat front panel of the Navigator.

    -The Navigator will work very well for you for hiking in the woods and even hunting, especially with the Cargo Panel. Here is a link to the Navigator page with lots of photos.

    https://kifaru.net/navigator.html#

    Here is the photo of a Cargo Panel on a Pointman:

    Name:  Cargo Panel 7 001.jpg
Views: 2518
Size:  41.3 KB


    This is only my personal recommendation for what I think will serve you best, but I think I outlined my reasons pretty well. In the end though, you are the one that will have to decide which pack to buy. I just wanted to give you as much info as possible to help you with that decision.


    Mel

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    Wow. That was a really well thought-through and complete reply. Thankyou for your time, Mel!

    Interestingly, the conclusion - Navigator - happens to be exactly where I started my thoughts. More than a year ago now. :P It seems to me as a truly do-it-all pack. However, that is not what I'm looking for now. I think. Maybe I wasn't clear enough, I may not be entirely clear on this myself.

    A pack with good access and lots of organizing is what my everyday pack - the book hauler - needs to be. That pack also needs to be waterproof, have a rigid but compressible compartment for those idiotic mega-sized paperbacks, a padded compartment for the laptop, convenient ways of attaching rainclothes and bike helmet/lock (depending on whether I'm on or off the bike) to the outside of the pack. It needs to be small but comfortable with heavy loads. There is probably even more paradoxic requirements that I just can't figure out right now. I'll take a closer look at the Xray, my back says it's about time I retire my current pack.

    What I'm looking for now is a pack in which to put a bunch of clothes, some random stuff (somehow there is often kitchen knives and hifi audio gear in there) and my complete everyday pack. Repacking all that's in there is not an option, and a pack that would be big enough for travels is not small enough for school. Unless your packs magically transform into each other. Looking for "just a big bag" I naturally ended up looking at the tubular packs, but that might be wrong. I also skipped the Wraptech suspension packs as I felt drawn towards the possibilities of the Duplex frames and the clearly optional waistbelt of the Omni. That the waistbelt of the Wraptech packs does remove and the ones on the Duplex frames don't clearly means that I need to take a closer look at the Wraptech packs as well.

    All in all, I need to do even more reading and thinking. Many thanks for the help so far, I'll be back when I need more help.
    There’s a nice effect of being pessimistic - everything turns out better than expected!

    Cogito, ergo dubito. (I think, therefore I doubt)

    A few ideas that fled from the head of O8h7w

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    08h7w: Were you aware that you can "Piggy Back" Kifaru tactical packs? (see below)

    http://www.kifaru.net/piggyback.html

    You might be able to get away with something like an X-ray for your school pack and something bigger for all your other gear. Then, when you need it all, you piggy back your x-ray to the larger pack. Total size could be similar to one of the larger Kifaru packs. Instead of putting your smaller pack inside your large pack, just put 2 packs together to make a large pack.
    MojoSlim
    _____________
    ‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
    (All knowledge is not learned in just one school.)
    - ‘Ōlelo No‘eau (Hawaiian Proverb)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Zulu or an MMR? Maybe a DT3? Odd question, yes... help appreciated!

    Yes, I know that. But I wasn't planning to buy two packs right now, I was planning to use my not-that-old Haglöfs pack for school at least until next summer. But, well, my back says I should rethink that. New releases in the tactical line when 2013 comes along might be interesting too... ah, decisions, decisions. And dreams.
    There’s a nice effect of being pessimistic - everything turns out better than expected!

    Cogito, ergo dubito. (I think, therefore I doubt)

    A few ideas that fled from the head of O8h7w

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