New Carbon frame pack vs Old reliable pack review

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Spike Bull
Joined:Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:21 pm
New Carbon frame pack vs Old reliable pack review

Post by WISKY » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:57 pm

Ok - First post for me in a loooong time. Signed up long ago, couldn't remember my old log in name. Getting old and forgetful. But thought I owe my buddy Bryan B. some posts on his site vs others. So here goes. . .how about a Stone Glacier pack review? :)

Today I got to look at one of those new Stone Glacier packs. An elk hunting buddy purchased their Solo model. I have been wanting to have a first hand look at one of those carbon framed packs. I have never bought into the aluminum stay, wrap around style of packs for carrying a heavy load. I have an older Badlands 2200, which I have used out west as a day hunting pack. I also have a Frost River Isle Royal Junior, an industructable canvas day pack. I also have two versions of the plastic framed Dwight Schuh hunting packs. None of those have fit the bill for me. You see, I have this thing about NOT bringing out a load of meat immediately after the kill. I hate to go back to camp to pick up a frame pack for meat hauling for that 1st load. So my go to pack for the last 25 years has been a Dana Designs Flatbed. I modified the upper part of one of the Dwight Schuh packs to add a bag to the D/D Flatbed, making it an effective hunter-hauler. Kind of a Macgyver setup. (Do understand that when these D/D Flatbed models show up on ebay every once in awhile, people really fight over them. They make you into a literal mule.) But I started to wonder if some of these new carbon wonders have finally given us the ONE pack for all uses.

Well . . . First of all, I like the new designs that includes meat shelves to carry the load close to your back. That is a step in the right direction. I don't like the 'meat in the bag' method. The Mystery Ranch Crew Cab has the shelf, as does the new Stone Glaciers, as well as some others. The funny thing about this, is this shelf design is basically how my old modified Dana Design Flatbed carrys the load. Remember this pack is 25 years old. This pack has a heavy duty shelf which presses the load tight to the back; it has load relief straps/ buckles for the shoulder strap weight transfer; it has a hip belt that can be adjusted over the tail bone area like many of the three piece belts of today; AND, if you have ever seen one of these D/D packs, it has two rods which run from the frame at the shoulder strap attachment point down to pockets which ride on each side of the hip belt. It is this last design element which allows this particular frame pack to carry extreme loads. I have packed out entire bone in elk hinds on the shelf, with 30# gear loads in the attached bag. Those loads were at or over 100 lbs., something I could never do with normal frame packs, nor aluminum stay type packs. I am 55 y/o, so I don't want to make anything tougher on myself with something that doesn't work.

So today, I loaded "old reliable" D/D with a 50lb bag of softner salt, and took an identical 50# bag over to my buddies to load into his new Stone Glacier Solo carbon frame pack for a rough comparison. So how'd it go? The new carbon frames are getting better, but NOT quite up to carrying weight like my old D/D. It was closer with this design, and it may have been better with more fidgeting with the straps, hip belt placement, etc. A more custom fit to the back will always make a difference. My buddy did do some of that already and he probably needed to do more little work on the hip belt. But heres the deal. With the rods of the D/D frame pack, the weight is balanced between the tailbone area of the back, AND over each side of the hip bones. The Stone Glacier wanted to put more weight over the lumbar pad over the tailbone area only. It has no way of pushing a larger amount of weight over those hip bones like the other pack. My buddy agreed, my pack carried the test weight of 50# more comfortably. But, I do like this pack over other non-metal frame packs. It is narrower, so would be easier to shoot a bow while wearing it. I just don't want to try to carry big weight in it.

No I haven't seen a MR crew cab first hand. I am wondering if the Nice frame includes these rods. Dana Gleason started/owned Dana Designs before he sold the company. Five years later after the sale, he started up Mystery Ranch. So unless he lost the patent with the sale of Dana Designs, he should be using that rod design. It works.

Here a couple pictures.
Dana Design Flatbed
Dana Design Flatbed
image.jpeg (126.52KiB)Viewed 1696 times
Dana Design Body Side
Dana Design Body Side
image.jpeg (96.49KiB)Viewed 1693 times
Stone Glacier Solo
Stone Glacier Solo
image.jpeg (141.57KiB)Viewed 1696 times
Stone Glacier Meat Shelf
Stone Glacier Meat Shelf
image.jpeg (115.58KiB)Viewed 1693 times
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Re: New Carbon frame pack vs Old reliable pack review

Post by TradRag » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:10 am

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