We understand that purchasing a pack is a big decision, and we ultimately want you to get exactly what you need. Below you will find the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about our company and products. We encourage you to explore this page and follow-up with us if there are any other questions we can answer for you.
We sell our products direct to consumers, so we do not have retailer or dealer locations where you can try or purchase our products in person. If you happen to be in the Boise area, you are welcome to come by our shop. This direct sales model helps us produce the best product at the best prices. (For more information about that, please see the question about our pricing below.)
You can try it…
We know that purchasing a pack is a big decision, and we want to do everything we can do — both before and after a sale — to make sure you get the pack you need and the performance you are looking for. We offer a 30 Day Trial period with every pack purchase, so that you can receive the pack, get it fitted to you, load it with some gear and/or weight, and make sure it meets your expectations. If you decide for any reason to return your pack within that 30 Days, we will be glad to accept your return and issue a full refund when you ship the pack back to us in “like new” resellable condition.
If you have questions about which pack to choose, please see the following questions, and don’t hesitate to contact us.
First and foremost, it is important to know that each of our three pack sizes — the 2000, 3500, and 5500 — share the same K2 Titanium frame, and each bag can swap on/off the frame with ease. No matter which bag you choose, you’ll have the same load-hauling ability, thanks to the frame system. Bag selection does not determine fit, or meat-hauling ability, only the volume of storage you have for your gear in the selected bag.
Also keep in mind that we have named the bags based up on the volume of the main bag only, and the 2000, 3500, and 5500 numbers do not include side pockets, external pockets, lids, etc. The actual overall volume of each bag is actually closer to 2,950ci for the 2000; 4,200ci for the 3500; and 6,800ci for the 5500.
|K² 2000||K² 3500||K² 5500|
|Dimensions, Compressed||2″ x 11.5″ x 25″||3″ x 11.5″ x 26″||3.5″ x 11.5″ x 26″|
|Dimensions, Expanded||6″ x 11.5″ x 30″||8″ x 11.5″ x 36″||12″ x 11.5″ x 42″|
|Total Volume (cubic inches)||2950||4200||6800|
|Frame||K² Titanium||K² Titanium||K² Titanium|
|Dry Bag Compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The 2000 bag is designed specifically as a daypack for hunters, but it can be used or a quick over-nighter in the early season. If you mainly hunt from the truck, seldomly carry a full camping loadout, and don’t anticipate being out for more than an occasional overnighter, the 2000 is your bag.
The 3500 is the bag we use most often and is by far our best selling bag. It is ideally suited for weekend hunts, or trips lasting up to around 5 days. Some guys can pack the 3500 for week-long trip, if they have lightweight, minimalist gear, and are hunting in the earlier seasons. The 3500 also compresses down really well when you’re only carrying a day’s essentials.
We recommend the 5500 if you will be taking trips longer than 5 days. Headed out for a week or more? The 5500 is definitely what you want. Newer hunters and backpackers tend to pack more gear, before eventually figuring out exactly what they need, and the 5500 is recommended for newer hunters for that reason. If you often have to pack bulkier late-season clothing, the extra space of the 5500 is likely necessary. The extra space of the 5500 comes with just a 5oz increase in weight over the 3500. The 5500 can also compress down really well — here’s a video that demonstrates that.
Our K2 Titanium frame features an adjustable harness to accommodate a variety of body shapes and sizes. The most important sizing consideration is your torso length, which can be easily measured — this video shows how. Our frame will perform best for individuals that have a torso length up to 21”. Our frame can still be used for those of you that have a longer torso length, such as 22”, but when loads get really heavy (above 50-60lbs), you will be carrying a larger portion of that weight on the shoulders, whereas we typically like to have nearly all of the weight distributed to the hips. The other sizing consideration is selecting the proper waist belt size, which we will cover in the next question. Also see the “How do I adjust the pack and frame for best fit?” question below.
Our waist belt sizes are Small for 29-33”, Medium for 34-36” and Large for 37” and up. To make it easy, we are listing those numbers based on pant sizes, not actual waist measurements.
If you are the borderline between two sizes (if you wear 33-34” pants, for example), we recommend going with the smaller waist belt. The danger with going up to the larger waist belt is that you will run out of room to cinch the waist belt tight enough — especially when loads get heavy. Additionally, most users that are border-line on size tend to be thinner at the end of a long, physically-demanding hunt.
Do not worry about the clothing layers that you will be wearing with the pack, such as an insulated jacket, and think that you need to “size up” to accommodate for that bulk.
If you want to take an actual measurement, you can measure your waistline with a soft-sided tape around the area where the pack’s waist belt will ride; this point is often higher than where you wear your pants.
To take an actual measurement, find the iliac crest, which is the top of your hip bones. The pack’s waist belt should ride dead-center over this point, so that is where you should take your measurement.
Choose a Small waist belt if you’re actual waist measurement at the iliac crest is below 34.5”, a Medium if your actual measurement is 34.5-39”, or a Large if you are above 39”.
It is also important to note that you can order an extra waist belt and swap between waist belt sizes as needed. This is a great solution if you fluctuate in weight throughout the year.
If you have a waist less than 29”, we can produce a custom “Extra Small” belt for you. Please contact us with your exact measurements to order.
Before you begin to fit your pack, please make sure that you are not wearing a thick leather belt, or any other items that you wouldn’t wear while hiking or hunting with the pack in normal conditions.
Additionally, it is important to load the pack with 20-30lbs for the fitting process. You’ll also want a mirror handy, so that you can see how the pack is sitting on you, once it is in place.
- Begin by loosening all adjustment straps on the pack — the waist belt, shoulder straps, load lifters, and sternum strap. Put on the pack on and proceed through these steps…
- Center the hip belt over the top of your iliac crest and secure the hip belt buckle, and snug, but don’t over-tighten, the hip belt in place.
- Vertically align the sternum strap over your sternum, secure the buckle, and lightly snug it into place, setting the shoulder straps at a comfortable width.
- Begin to tighten shoulder straps until you begin feel the pack pull into your body.
- Snug-up the load lifter straps, removing slack but not pulling past taught.
- Standing tall and straight, evaluate the amount of gap between the shoulder straps and the top of your shoulders toward the rear; you should be able to slide your index and middle fingers between your shoulders and the strap, but should not be able to fit your hand in the gap.
- If necessary, remove the pack and adjust the torso length to achieve the desired gaps. If the pack was riding too high and the shoulder gap was too large, bring the harness down; and vice versa.
- When adjusting the shoulder harness to make torso length adjustments, be sure to re-loosen all straps and repeat the process from the beginning to test the fit of the new setting.
Those are the important steps in making sure that the pack is properly fitted to your body. As you continue to wear the pack and gain experience carrying different loads, you can continue to fine-tune the adjustments to achieve maximum comfort for your body’s shape.
If you have any additional fitting questions, please contact us.
The answer to this question is part science, part preference. First, because of the physics of leverage and gravity, there are specific ways you can load your pack to carry the load most efficiently, securely, and comfortably.
For example, you always want to keep the weight centered in the bag (or on the frame), and as close to your back as possible. You also don’t want the bulk of the weight to be sagging toward the bottom of the pack or frame. The concentration of the weight should be loaded in a way that allows it to sit around the height of your shoulder blades. Lighter and bulkier items, such as your sleeping bag, should be placed in the bottom pack, providing support to keep heavier items, such as food, towards the top of the pack.
If you are packing meat, a cape, or a head and antlers, the same rules apply — keep the load “high and tight” on your back.
Now let’s briefly address the second part of the answer to this question — personal preference. One example of preference would be how you answer the question: Should you loosely-pack items (sleeping bag, tent, clothing, etc), or use stuff sacks? We advocate for loosely-packed items, allowing the natural voids in the pack to be filled by expanding sleeping bags, clothing layers, etc. When all of your gear is organized into numerous separate stuff-sacks, you have a lot of “big rocks”, and naturally don’t use the space of the pack as efficiently due to all of the gaps between those items. We can’t say it is “wrong” to use stuff sacks though.
The short answer that we like to give to this question is, “More than you can.”
In the video above you see Exo Mtn Gear co-founder, Steve Speck, testing an Exo Titanium Frame with 250lbs of sand. And, as the video shows, the frame remains structurally stable and functional, even when loaded with a weight that none of us will ever practically need to carry.
Our frame was specifically designed, engineered, and built to haul heavy loads of meat out of the backcountry. Everything — from the Titanium structure, to the fabric, webbing, and buckles on the frame — is built to stand up to heavy loads.
It is also important to know that each of our packs (the 2000, 3500, and 5500) can handle the same amount of weight, because each of our packs utilizes this same K2 Titanium Frame. No matter if you’re carrying the day’s essentials in a 2000, or a week’s worth of gear in the 5500, you can quickly and easily begin loading meat on the load shelf between the bag and frame and have the ability to haul heavy loads at a moment’s notice.
There are several ways to carry a rifle or bow on our pack without any additional accessories or hardware. The primary method will be using the horizontal compression straps to secure the weapon. There is a set of horizontal compression straps on the rear of the pack, which we use all of the time when carrying a bow on our packs. For rifles, there are also additional sets of compression straps on each side of the pack. When using these side compression straps with a rifle, the buttstock of the rifle can be dropped into the side stretch pockets on the pack. Additionally, the 3500 and 5500 bags feature full-length side pockets that can be used to carry a rifle.
We also offer our Weapon Carrier accessory that is purpose-built to carry bows or rifles. Here is a video showing the use of the Weapon Carrier, and some of the additional carrying options for rifles…
In general, the products you see on store shelves and at retailers have a large amount of markup built-in to the price you pay. Because we operate on a direct-to-consumer sales model, we do not have to increase our prices to pay for distribution, additional sales/marketing, profit margin for retailers or dealers, and more margin in the “chain”. Each step between the producer and the consumer costs money, because each person involved has to make money. Eliminating the middleman allows us to sell directly to you and keep our costs in line.
So why aren’t our packs cheaper?
The cost of our packs is driven by the quality of the materials we use and the top-tier US factories that manufacture our products. How many packs on the market are using Titanium (which is both difficult and expensive to source and work with) in their frames? How many packs use the highest quality Cordura, specialized stretch fabrics, premium-grade zippers and other hardware? How many pack companies do all of the above and are 100% made in the USA?
In the end, our goal is to product the best product possible, Make it right here in the USA to support American workers. And sell directly to you, so that we can both control costs and provide the best customer service possible.
We usually run just one sale a year, around Black Friday. The only discounts we regularly offer are for US Military (active and veteran), Law Enforcement, and other professional responders — please email proof of service (a photo of your badge, ID card, DD214, etc) to support@ExoMountainGear.com if you qualify. We also have a program for licensed hunting guides — apply here if you qualify.
We stand behind the products we make and offer a Lifetime Warranty against material defects and workmanship to the original owner. If for some reason something does happen outside of that scope, we will gladly repair the item for you at a reasonable cost.
To request warrant or repair service, please complete this form.
We are proud to say that all of our packs are made exclusively and entirely in the USA.
We ship our packs via USPS Priority to Canada for a flat rate of $55. Regarding duties, fees, and taxes, it should be somewhere around 4-6% of the total purchase price. Many of our Canadian customers have reported a total cost of less than $30 for importing one of our packs.
We recommend cleaning your pack after each time you pack out an animal, or at the very least after each hunting season. It is also wise to clean your pack before hunting starts — especially if you have been using your pack for physical training or scouting trips leading up to opening day. Thankfully, the cleaning process is quick and easy, and you already have everything you need to get the job done.