The KUIU PRO Bag is one of the most robust and versatile packs for hunters on the market. With features such as the load sling to pack fresh meat, side-accessible rear cargo pockets for easy access to firearms or bows, and water system sleeves, this is a big game hunter’s bag.
Kuiu pulls no punches with this pack, trimming any frills in favor of functionality.
I usually take the “breaking” portion of breaking-in literally, taking my equipment, camouflage, weapon system, and clothing through the wringer to ensure it can perform in adverse conditions every time. This rings especially true when it comes to packs, which need to carry a full spectrum of items with me on a hunt, each critical to the day’s success.
I’ve shouldered the Kuiu Pro bag on multiple occasions. In this article, we take a hard look at how good of a hunting backpack it is.
KUIU PRO Pack Hands-on Review
The KUIU PRO bag is made of heavy-duty ripstop fabric that connects to every size of the Kuiu carbon fiber pack frame.
Designed for hunters looking to pack out fresh meat, the bag can be extended off the frame with space for 41 L of game or gear between the bag and frame. On a minimalistic design like the Pro bag, this is a game-changer when it comes to shooting big game in the backcountry.
The Pro bag comes in four colors: Valo, Verde, Vias or Ash Phantom, which is as grey as it sounds. You can purchase it in 4 sizes: 38L, 59L, 98L, and 128L.
The Pro bag’s lightest model weighs in at a little over 1.5 lbs unloaded, while the largest sits just over 3 lbs. This is incredibly light for bags that can hold 38 L and 128 L respectively. Again, this is a testament to Kuiu creating a performance-oriented bag for those of us roughing it.
Rear cargo pockets are divided in the center but are side accessible, making for easy retrieval of your gun or bow.
Hypalon yoke attachments allow the side compression straps to cinch the bag against the frame for an ergonomic and secure setup.
A nod to comfort, its compression straps can minimize the movement of shifting loads and maintain a streamlined shape. An often overlooked feature of the Pro bag is the load sling.
Additional features include an integrated hydration system port and sleeve, webbing attachments for firearms or bows, mesh pockets internally, and the whole bag is made of KDWR-coated fabric, a step up from most bags’ water resistance.
A Modular System
The modular design of the Kuiu Pro bag means that whatever items I stow in the bag itself aren’t going to roll around. Instead, the numerous sleeves and compartments make it easy to organize my items inside.
The Pro bag is part of a modular system and only goes on your back in tandem with the Kuiu Carbon Fiber Frame and Pro Suspension System.
To turn the Kuiu Pro bag into a fully functioning hunting backpack, there are two additional purchases you need to make:
1. The Kuiu Carbon Fiber Frame attaches to the bag, giving it a rigid frame to distribute weight evenly.
2. The Pro Suspension System attaches to the frame and creates that backpack-like harness so hunters can comfortably hike with the complete frame and bag system across rugged terrain.
You can purchase a bundle called the Pro Hunting Pack Kit that has everything you need to get started.
Kuiu also has a lighter-weight version of this pack called the Kuiu Pro LT. It uses the same frame and suspension system but has lighter materials and a slightly different configuration.
Having first-hand experience with this bag in the southeastern US, my experiences were overwhelmingly positive. However, there were two issues I experienced.
Moisture: While the bag’s fabric is water resistant, it also retains moisture if left open in heavy fog or rain. It was difficult to remove the dampness from the bag itself. I ended up with mold from the dampness I missed when pat drying it after heavy Louisiana rain.
Side compression straps: These straps are as-advertised and do a great job of slimming the bag’s profile down by compressing the pack against the frame. While the bag is quite durable, I found out the hard way that the strap buckles are not as tough. Dropping a fully loaded pack down on the bed of a truck, I busted the receiving end of the buckle. This forced me to replace it or risk having an odd part of my pack bulge out.
Are KUIU Packs Worth the Money?
The price range for the Kuiu Pro Bag without the frame or suspension system starts at $169 for the 38 L bag, with the 128L being only $100 more. The suspension and frame combined run around $350, more than the bag itself.
That’s a total of around $519-$619 for the whole setup. While it’s not a cheap hunting backpack, the price is competitive with alternatives of similar quality. Plus it comes from a reputable brand and includes a lifetime warranty.
The Pro bag is an excellent choice for serious big game hunters looking to enter the backcountry where ounces equal pounds and frivolous add-ons only hurt performance.
Providing easy access to your weapon system, hydration at the ready, and plenty of space for all necessary gear and your fresh kill, it’s tough to beat what the Kuiu Pro bag offers.
Several competitors like Eberlestock and Mystery Ranch make products similar to the Kuiu Pro bag. In general, they are more expensive and have features geared more towards the volume of gear than rapid accessibility.
The price of a complete Kuiu Pro 6000 hunting pack setup is within less than $100 of several other similarly sized packs. Included among these are the non-modular Sitka Mountain Hauler 6200, a similarly configured Eberlestock Vapor pack, and a more minimalistic and crazy lightweight Stone Glacier Sky 5900.
The concept of volume makes sense for some hunters, like those on multi-day backcountry trips. But I like how the configuration of the Kuiu Pro bag accommodates quick access to things you need during the day.
The modularity also means you could potentially use one frame and suspension, but get two different-sized bags for the same price as some of the more expensive competitors. For a couple hundred bucks more, you could have both the Kuiu Pro Bag 2300 bag for day or weekend trips and the 6000 for multiday backcountry hunts.
Should You Buy a Kuiu Pro Bag?
If you are a big game hunter looking to hit the backcountry this fall and need a high-performance bag, the Kuiu Pro bag is a great choice. A bag that looks past unnecessary features and aesthetics, Kuiu blends versatility, accessibility, lightweight, and reasonable prices into one bag.
This bag is designed for backcountry hunts, where outdoorsmen will be traversing rugged terrain and must bring much of their equipment.
That said, whether you should buy it is up to you. Good luck this hunting season, and stay safe out there!
KUIU PRO Pack FAQs
What size KUIU PRO bag do you need?
The size of the Kuiu Pro bag you need for your backcountry hunt depends on how much gear you need and how long you will be out.
The smallest bag is great as a robust day bag. But the Pro bag excels at containing enough equipment while minimizing weight, making it a perfect bag for several-day, backcountry hunts.
When spending several days in the backcountry, I find that the 98 L or 128 L serve me best. They have ample room for overnight equipment, changes of clothes, and rations.
On a long single-day hunt, the 38 L pro bag has more than enough space to carry everything I need while still having room to pack out the day’s kill.
Can you use the Kuiu Pro pack without a frame?
Hypothetically, you could carry the bag like Santa with his sack of presents. However, the oblong pack, which is unwieldy and lumpy, would not attach to the Kuiu carbon frame. The frame is essential as it helps distribute weight across hunter’s backs.
The combination of the Kuiu carbon frame and Pro suspension system means you can load the pro bag to its maximum capacity without the worry of straps breaking or back pain.
Image Source: KUIU.com