Which K4 Pack Is Right for You? — Comparing the 3600, 5000, & 7200
There are three bag models in the K4 Pack Systems line that are capable of carrying everything needed for multi-day adventures — the K4 3600, K4 5000, and K4 7200. (We will also be adding a purpose-built day pack to the K4 line this Summer.)
Each of these packs utilize the same K4 Frame System, and you can swap bags on the frame at any time. Because the frame is what fits you, and is also what supports the loads you carry, there is no difference in fit, comfort, or load-hauling ability between these pack models.
Here is a quick look at each of the three models. Below, you will find photos showing an example of each pack's compressed and expanded size. As you will see, all of our pack models compress down to essentially the same size when they are not full. If you want to see how to compress our larger packs when they are not full, watch How (and Why) To Compress K4 Packs.
K4 3600 — Efficiently designed for those that like to move fast and light, the K4 3600 is an ideal pack system for adventures up to 3-5 days.
K4 5000 — Our most popular model as a do-it-all hunting pack. The K4 5000 offers the space you need to pack for a weeklong backcountry trip, yet can still compress down to a streamlined profile when only carrying the essentials.
K4 7200 — The space you need for expedition-style adventures without the burden of added weight or complexity, the K4 7200 weighs less than 6lbs and can carry 10+ days of gear with ease.
COMPARING WEIGHT, CAPACITY & DIMENSIONS
|K4 3600||K4 5000||K4 7200|
|Weight: Bag Only||2lb, 1oz||2lb, 6oz||2lb, 8oz|
|Weight: Bag + Frame||5lb, 0oz||5lb, 5oz||5lb, 7oz|
|Weight: Bag + Frame + Lid||5lb, 8oz||5lb, 13oz||5lb, 15oz|
|Capacity: Bag Only||3,620ci||5,010ci||7,180ci|
|Capacity: Bag + Lid||4,268ci||5,658ci||7,828ci|
|Dimensions: Expanded||8" x 37" x 10.5"||9.5" x 39" x 10.5"||13" x 43" x 10.5"|
|Dimensions: Compressed||2.5" x 25" x 10.5"||3" x 25" x 10.5"||3.5" x 25" x 10.5"|
SO WHICH BAG IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
In addition to the model descriptions, photos, and specifications above, here are some helpful things to consider when determining which bag is right for you…
- NOT ALL DAYS ARE THE SAME. When we mention “how many days” a bag is generally big enough for, we are talking about fully self-supported, backpack-style trips where you are carrying everything you need for that many days. There can be a big difference in how much pack may be needed for a 7-day backpack hunt, a 7-day horseback drop-camp hunt, and a 7-day fly-in hunt, or just 7 days of hunting where you are leaving from and returning to the truck each day.
- GET WHAT YOU NEED, BUT NOT MORE. The bag you choose should be determined by the high-end capacity you need for your hunting style, and the trips you have planned. We recommend choosing a bag that provides enough volume to fit all of your gear inside (so that you are not strapping things to the outside of your pack), but we do not recommend going bigger than you truly need.
- GO BIG OR GO HOME? As you have seen above, all of the bags compress down to nearly an identical size, which leads some hunters to think that they might as well get the biggest bag. And while our K4 7200 is only a few ounces heavier, and also not much more expensive than the others, that behemoth of a bag isn’t for everyone. Yes, it will get small — but if you never truly need the high-end capacity it offers, and you will be compressing it down to the smaller size all of the time — then why not get a pack that is actually smaller?
- MORE SPACE = MORE STUFF. One of the reasons we recommend avoiding a bigger bag than you need is because when you have more space, you’ll probably fill it. Most hunters will find themselves putting more things in their pack, simply because they can. All of a sudden, you could be carrying 5-10lbs (or more!) of things that you don’t actually need, simply because the bigger bag gave you the space to carry those items.
- CONSIDER THE CONDITIONS. If you are struggling to pick between two bag sizes, consider how much late-season, cold hunting you may be doing. A 5-day backpack hunt for archery elk in September shouldn’t be a problem for most guys using the K4 3600. However, some (not all) guys would need to use the K4 5000 for a 5-day backpack rifle hunt in Montana during the November rut. Cold weather usually means more clothing, bulkier clothing, bigger shelters, and other items that take up more space. However, remember that “not all days are the same” and if you will not be doing self-supported, backpack-style hunting, that K4 3600 could be perfect for a bitter cold late-season Mule Deer hunt if you are hunting from the truck or a basecamp each day — even when packing a bunch of cold weather gear each day.