Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Unboxing: Kifaru Zulu G2 Review

 It's finally here and out of the box, a Zulu in Foliage Green [what other colour am I going to get?] 52.4 litres capacity and tough as old boots. I haven't been this exited to unbox a pack since the last one arrived.

Kifaru divides the internet into two piles: The 'you can buy a perfectly good pack from Walmart' guys - these are the same chaps who'll tell you a dullard GF is as much fun as a smart one, all Scotch tastes the same, and that a Hand Made Suit is the same as one from the discout store, and in the other pile: those of us who know you've just got to suck it up, buy the best once, safe in the knowledge that you'll be remembering quality long after you've forgotten the price you paid while numb-nuts has had to buy and re-buy with what little money he has left after buying the chiropractor a Mercedes.

Size of a LateSeason, but from the Military/Tacticool range, I do like the weight saving of the hunting range, but for this size of pack I needed super robust, and no one does super-tuff like Patrick Smith and Kifaru Tactical. If you want to be able to fill your pack with tools and hoist it into a filthy crawl space in a loft, fill it with scrap copper tubing and chuck it into the back of a rubble filled truck, hose it down and take it on the plane to go gold prospecting - you'll see why I wanted something a little tougher than your average bear. 2kg is a fair old weight for a pack in the 50l class, but I'm not sure you could make one as tough weigh much less.
 The lid that comes with the Zulu does a fine job of compressing the load, but is a rare example of Kifaru not really delivering on the design front. Seeing as the lid has two layers of material I found it a bit disappointing that its not got a zipper giving you a pocket between them. I bought my Zulu almost new and the chap I bought it off was happy to sell it with the standard lid or the XTL.

I saved some cash by not going for the Xtreme Top Lid as a couple of guys on the Kifaru forum told me they use and prefer the LongHunter lid, which I already have.

 Another difference between the hunting and tactical pack is Kifaru equip the tactical packs with quick release buckle on the shoulder straps, they are surprisingly useful.

With the Kifaru Cargo Chair, small off-spring, dead deer, firewood, and big fuel drums carried with ease. I'd call them the most 'must have' of all the add-ons you can order.

Kifaru sell most of their packs with 'optional' hip belts, this is a bit like buying a car with 'optional' wheels; as the hip belt is so integral to Patrick Smith's vision for load carrying where 100% of the load is supported on your hips and the straps are just to stop the weight toppling backwards. An extra $50, I'll order mine this week.

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