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Dreamsofstags
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Exo Mountain 3500
Aug 27th, 2018 at 8:13am
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Righto fellas, I'm looking seriously at spending up large on one of these packs and would appreciate any comments from others that have one.
What I like is that they seem to be a lightish and durable pack, suitable for both day hunts and overnighters, and can extend out when required to lug out a decent amount of meat.
Also, if my name is ever drawn in the wapiti ballot, then I can simply buy one of the larger packs to hook onto the frame.
Sooo, who has one and how do you rate it? Are they suitable for NZ's conditions?
I hunt South Is, bush, tops, and alpine.
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #1 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 8:20am
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IMHO thats a pretty heavy pack for a 42L pack
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #2 - Aug 27th, 2018 at 10:38am
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You're right Creed, at 2.3k it's not that light for a 57lt pack but what I like is how it extends out to incorporate a load shelf when a hunt is successful.
I have been going down the gear lighting route and I've been using a Gossamer Gear Gorrilla Pack 40lt. This was great for overnight hunts but lugging out too much meat has wrecked it. I now feel that I can sacrifice a little weight in a pack for more durability.
Does anyone use the Kuiu packs? These look great..
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #3 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 6:27am
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #4 - Aug 28th, 2018 at 9:29pm
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Not a good look for some of those packs
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #5 - Aug 29th, 2018 at 10:05am
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What about a cactus? Kiwi made. Pretty strong.
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #6 - Aug 29th, 2018 at 11:37pm
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Dreamsofstags wrote on Aug 27th, 2018 at 10:38am:
You're right Creed, at 2.3k it's not that light for a 57lt pack but what I like is how it extends out to incorporate a load shelf when a hunt is successful.
I have been going down the gear lighting route and I've been using a Gossamer Gear Gorrilla Pack 40lt. This was great for overnight hunts but lugging out too much meat has wrecked it. I now feel that I can sacrifice a little weight in a pack for more durability.
Does anyone use the Kuiu packs? These look great..


Hear ya. Have found my HMG Dyneema pack is still holding up with full loads. My 50L pack holds a boned out red and gear because of the extendable design . . . a "load shelf" and all manner of other pockets/straps are just another bit of complication to a single sack design. IMO If you want durability then go with the other recommendation mentioned above - Cactus! 
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #7 - Sep 2nd, 2018 at 12:19am
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I have one, a 2016 model so the same frame and harness but slightly different bag design. Like you I have been down the gear lightening/update road and went with one of these as it seemed to be a good balance of strong but reasonably light.

The frame is excellent, tubular titanium is very stiff and stong and won't sag under heavy loads, I've had mine loaded up to about 65kg just to test it out and it handled the jandal just fine.

The harness system is also excellent, simple but very effective. The hip belt in particular works very well, good lumbar support minimal sag and it distributes the weight around the entire hip girdle well. Some packs I have tried tend to sag when loaded up heavy and you end up with the lumbar pad half way down your crack and lots of pressure on the front of the hips - the exo is really good in this regard for me, but pack fit is a pretty personal thing.

The bag design is good, regarding volume the 3500ci is for the main compartment and lid only so if you include the side and back pockets the total is about 70 litres. I had a 50 litre pack previously and the exo is significantly bigger, my trips are normally 3 days max and there is no problem fitting everything in.

I think the new bags have a roll top closure which is a good thing as the cord system on my pack could be better. I have never used the zip at the back of the bag as I use a plastic pack liner. The pocket system works well, it's easy to strap your rifle to the side if you need to.

As for the load shelf, the jury is still out. It does a good job of keeping the blood and crap off the rest of your gear andworks really well for things like bone in back legs where you can jam the bones down the bottom and keep the weight high, but squishy bags of boned out meat are tricky to strap in and tend to slide down. This kinda defeats the purpose of having the ability to keep the weight high and close to your back.

It's well made but the main material is 500d cordura, it doesn't feel as durable as an old skool Macpac/Cactus and won't last as long, this seems to be the deal with most of the lighter weight stuff.

So yeah the exo does extremely well with heavy loads but it isn't an ultralight pack and probably not as durable as some other options. They are also pretty spendy. Overall I'm happy but if I were to do it again I'd get the 5500ci bag instead which would work better for longer trips.

I see you are in Dunners, I'm just down the road in Mosgiel. Chuck me a PM if you want to have a look. You can see if all your stuff fits in and I reckon a couple of k's walk with 30-40 kg on board will tell you what you need to know..

Cheers
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #8 - Sep 3rd, 2018 at 6:37am
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Have a look at the Tatonka Pyrox (45 + 10 ltr) or the Tatonka Norix (48 ltr)

They both weight about 1.7 kg

I'm looking at the Norix to buy
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #9 - Sep 3rd, 2018 at 7:09pm
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Im going to look at one of these when next in UK.

https://www.crux.uk.com/product/3g-ak57-rt

57 litres and 1250 grams, but can be decreased by removing the top flap as the roll top closure is fully waterproof. Not as light as the HMG pack Creed has, but likely more durable than Dyneema.

Not Kiwi made, but the owner is a Kiwi.
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #10 - Sep 5th, 2018 at 9:40am
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Men - Cheers for all the terrific help and advice.
That clip testing the various packs durability caused me to rethink things a little...
I'm now thinking that I simply can't achieve everything from a single pack, and need to fork out for at least two. One around 40-50lt's (for 1 to 3 day missions) and a larger pack, around 60-70lt for longer expeditions.
So assuming I'll again be unsuccessful in the Wapiti Ballot I'll just concentrate on the smaller pack for now.
Shady - cheers for your generous offer, but I think I'll try out a Tatonka.
Will let you know which model and how well it lugs out deer.. hopefully soon!
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #11 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 1:22am
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I bought a Tatonka Bison 75 ltr some years ago and never looked back. My old Macpac Torre needed replacing and the Tatonka has an extremely awesome harness system which was the main selling point after trying one on.

The pack has had some heavy loads humping through Fiordland and other locations and performed flawlessly.

Like you I'm also of the mind of two packs... one for longer trips and one for shorter trips which is why I'm eyeing up the Tatonka Norix as the harness can be adjusted to small so it's fits my boys as they get older and can start taking heavier loads yet also adjusted for my height (6'2 tall). It's also the same harness system which I've come to rely on and of the limited Tatonka gear I have I trust their products as I find it well made and durable.

Another pack I've come across is the One Planet "Overshadow" which is also a 50 ltr pack weighing in at 1400 grams

https://www.oneplanet.com.au/product/packs/bushwalking/overshadow/

I've tried that pack on and the first thing I noticed was how light weight it felt... a bit more expensive than the Tatonka but 300 grams lighter!
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #12 - Jan 20th, 2019 at 11:26am
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One if these were high on my list. But in the then the cost and the fact that they sit very high on the back put me off.

Ended up getting a KarrimorSF Sabre 60-100.
https://karrimorsf.com/shop/sabre-60-100/

Really nice harness system. Super comfy.  Super tough. Expandable from about 40l when all zipped down. Out to 60l with one set if zips opened  and all opened out to 100l if I really need space.

Plus it's military spec PLCE compatible so if I was stupid enough I can zip on 2x 15l PLCE side bags, water bladder or othe puches etc.

Reckon it will last me years!!
  
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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #13 - Jan 21st, 2019 at 5:30am
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Certainly looks strong and well made.
  

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Re: Exo Mountain 3500
Reply #14 - Jan 31st, 2019 at 11:55pm
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Creed have been following you and your lightweight set up now for a while. Would be great if you could do a video or post some pictures of your pack with the bone out method? I have been eyeing up the mountain exo 2000 with lid for weekend missions.
  
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