BUILDING KUIU

Icon Carbon Fiber Frame- New Photos

The patent pending 13 ounce Icon is the worlds first molded carbon fiber back pack frame.  This frame is designed with vertical stiffness for heavy load carrying and horizontal flexion for a frame that moves with you for comfort and mobility.  Carbon Fiber is twice as strong as steel and half the weight aluminum making it the perfect material for applications such as a pack frame where strength to weight ratios are important.

The Icon frame is designed with two functional stays running down either side of the frame. The lower portion of the stays are pulled into the hip belt moving the load onto your hips and securing it, the top stays become your load lifters.  This design pulls the load off of your shoulders and transfers it onto your upper back/ lower back and hips.  The Icon frame is incredibly comfortable to wear with and without a heavy load, which makes it the perfect pack for hunting in all day or hauling out an elk quarter.  I have yet to put this pack on anyone who has not said this is the most comfortable they have ever worn.

I worked with a team of engineers and designers to develop the Icon packs, an industrial design group who specializes in carbon fiber along with one of the most talented pack design firms in the world.  Together, we took my vision for this pack system, sketched it, proved the concept, designed it and prototyped it and test it and tested it and tested it again for over 18 months.

The Icon suspension weighs 21 ounces and is designed to be comfortable, adjustable, modular and durable.  The waist belt is attached with to the frame on a pivot that is supported by the bottom stays for allowing flexion and support when you need it.  The shoulder pads are independently adjustable for a customized fit.  The Icon frame allows for a very ergonomically correct fit, by pulling the waist belt into your lower back and curving upward and forward, close to your back for a perfectly positioned and balanced load.

SALES INFOMATION

The Icon Frame & Suspension is $299.99 at kuiu.com and would retail for $549.99.

The Icon Frame and bags will not be available until early May, however please place a back order during the pre-shop and this will automatically put you on the waiting list when they come in.  Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Jason

93 comments to Icon Carbon Fiber Frame- New Photos

  • Walt

    The item I am most excited about!

    Love it, can’t wait to get my hands on one

  • S W E E T ! Can’t wait to get one on my back! I’m like Walt… Love it!

  • Tim Rushing

    This pack has a “must have” status on my list too – being a pack junkie and all. Nothing wrong with matching some womens’ ideals of a different pair of shoes for every outfit. New packs are awesome and knowing how Jason design’s stuff, I know it’s going to be good. A good pack is as vital a piece of gear as good optics, good ammo, good flying and quiet arrows, and good clothing. Hurry up already :)

  • Matt

    Very excited that by picking up this pack I will be dropping another 2.5lbs of overall load. I keep making fun of my buddy who once brought a 5lb bag of trail mix on a overnighter. Now, he doesn’t look so silly if he were in KUIU. Plenty to go around, maybe even a cot to sleep on. HA! The weight savings in the whole line is amazing!

  • G. "Todd" Brooks

    Jason, after seeing how the Icon fits, the adjustability and the strength to weight it has, IMO this is well worth the wait.

  • Rod

    Jason,
    Another awesome, well thought out product. I was already considering a new pack for this season, and this frame and 3000 bag would save me 2.5-3# off of my current setup.
    Question about the shoulder/torso adjustment. The the shoulder pads are “independently adjustable” and a previous post specifies “They are attached to the frame by aluminum hardware into an inset track system to allow for easy adjustment and correct fit for a wide variety of body types.” How is this adjustment made? Is the aluminum hardware friction fit or is there a mechanical/physical lock/gear that holds it in place once set? Lots of past posts ask regarding the adjustment, but never saw a specific answer related to how the adjustment is made. I’m sure the issue has already been addressed, but how do you ensure it doesn’t slip out of adjustment under load?

    Have any of the testers had any issues related to the frames load lifter or waistbelt attachments, those ‘wings’ look like they could be damaged if the pack is set down on a hard surface or if the wearer falls on one of them. I talked with Brendan a week or so ago and he said the carbon frame itself is hard to break, but that was across the whole of the frame, not one of the wings. In the Icon3000 review it shows a rubber or something type cove on the last 3-4 inches of the hip belt contact area. (where the bottom of the shoulder yoke tie in) is that for chip protection, or has it been removed as I dont see it in the current post.

    • Hi Rod,

      The suspension is friction set with the aluminum hardware against the frame. An allen wrench is used to loosen and reset the tension. They are rock solid once in place.

      As far as the bottom stays we have tested them, retested them and I have personally tried to break them. We are not concerned this being an issue. It is fairly well protected with the hip belt as added insurance. The hypalon sleeve you saw in the other photos if for the bag attachment to the frame, it puts upward tension on the bottom stay.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

      Jason

  • Like others have said, “I can’t wait to get that puppy on my back!!”

    Jerry

  • Dave S

    Jason,

    How tall are the stays? I have a pack with 21″ stays and because of my torso length I do not get any load lift from the load lifters. I see some improvement with 22″ stays and a lot with 24″ stays.

    Thanks,

    Dave S

  • Doug

    Does anyone know off hand, what each of the bags weigh? I’m trying to figure out the packs total weight with each bag attached. 34 oz for the frame/suspension is nice as long as the bags don’t weigh 7 lbs!

  • Team KUIU’s pack design will be hard to match! I cannot wait to use this pack! I will be shedding 4.5lbs from my old set up. That weight is huge when packing in 6 miles and gaining 4000′ elevation.

  • Mark Toso

    On another topic you said you were working on additional packs, like a day pack. Will these use the icon frame and suspension, or will those be new? What size is your idea of a daypack? Thanks.

  • JR

    Hey Jason. This pack looks awesome, makes me want to start hiking hard in the back country more. However, most of the hunting I do is with a daypack. Hydration and essentials. Does KUIU have plans to release any daypacks or fannypacks?

    • Hi JR,

      There are so many great small day/hydration packs out there, it is a hard market to not build a me too product. The Icon frame is a game changing product which excites me and is what I like to develop. Maybe we could look at a line of smaller day packs in the future if the requests are there.

      Jason

      • JR

        I see Jason. Well I hope there are more requests then… If I make this switch to VIAS camo I want it all Vias camo. It will drive me bonkers carring my max-1 camo bandlands with my vais camo clothing. Maybe im crazy? The buck dont care if I match im sure. I wont shoot any straighter either probably. But, its not just that though, ive tried tons of day packs and none of them are perfect. The badlands hyper hydro has become my favorite and I feel like it is SO CLOSE to being perfect but is missing a few features, its 20 to 50 cubic inches to small for one. Anyway, im sure KUIU would top them all and produce that day pack that is right on the money, a bow hunters dream. You can consider it a challenge if it helps motivate you? Ha.

        • JR it looks like you are not alone. I have been rolling this idea around in my head since getting your request and have a few ideas that would use carbon fiber in a day pack. What size(s) do you like, noted on the Badlands any others?

          Jason

      • JR Quarnberg

        I would love a day pack that was around 1000 ci and under 2 pounds. Im an archery hunter so I want something that doesnt get in the way. I also want quick access to things like range finder. For that reason I have tried fanny packs and I have found that most have waist pockets that are in the way (Badlands Monster). I cover a lot of ground in day hike in and out in one day so I want it to carry nice, thats why I love my Badlands Hyper Hydro, that susspension is awesome. I dont know if your familar with it but we have found that its hard to open and get the bladder in and pack full of to much gear because of the way the suspension pushes into the pack, so positive and negatives here. I have also tried the Eberlestock mini me, some cool features (the gun scabard system is top notch) but its WAY to heave for what it is. I have wanted to try the Sitka Flash packs but havent because of the pattern issues, I decided to stick with a max1 pack instead of switch to all open country Sitka camo. And then I found KUIU…

        Here are some features I have really liked in my day pack experience:
        -They hyper hydro pull out mesh pocket.
        -The hyper hydro suspension system.
        -Eberlestock gun scabbord system.
        -Mesh net pockets on the sides for quickly stuffing in gloves, shirts, or bottles.
        -Bow string hook to hang bow on while glassing.
        -The ability to add on extras (molle webbing).

        I dont think anyone has truly combined all this into a light functional perfect pack. I hope you do produce something. Thanks for listening. Even something basic that was light and functional that rides nice would be awesome.

      • JR Quarnberg

        If you come up with a cool concept for day pack I got a good name for you… “day dream.” Day dream suspension frame has a nice ring to it doesnt it?

    • Jerron

      I would love a day pack. I know I have already expressed my interest in this but I’m huge in matching. I currently have a eberlestock mini-me which looks sweet but is overweight. Which product line would you recommend? ( I would prefer however to spend my dollars with you.)

      • What type of day pack are you looking for?

        Jason

      • Jerron

        One that is light, that has decent room, a good suspension system, bladder storage, ability to carry gun/bow, looks sweet, has pockets that easily accessed when pack is on your back, snag free also(we hunt in I a lot of oak/buck brush and I’m constantly getting hung up).
        P.S. This blog is sweet. Makes us all feel like we are all contributing.

        • Hey Jerron,

          You all are a very big part of KUIU. Concepts like the day pack are how together we are going to grow KUIU the best brand on the planet. I love this type of input and feedback. It will look sweet! I promise. Let me work on this concept.

          Jason

      • Jerron

        I’m losing sleep over the idea of a KUIU day pack. Any chance I could have one on my back sept 1st?

        PS. I saw your add in the Huntin Fool magazine. Got me even more excited.

        • Hi Jerron,

          I do not expect a stand alone day pack available by the 1st of Sept. I wish we could work that fast! We are working on some new concepts that will be here by this time next year. Sorry, I wish I had better news for you.

          Jason

  • Slim9300

    The frame a suspension looks amazing. I can’t wait to actually have mine. I hope they are not all sold out before it’s my turn to order. =)

    My only question: How much pressure does it take to break one of the lower stays (I’m guessing they would be the weakest due to their length)? Has this been tested?

  • Don Carpenter

    Probably one of the greatest advances in pack technology since aluminum. This idea is groundbreaking. I wish the people who made military packs would consider something like this. I was carrying upwards of 120 pounds for a couple day mission. Good thing I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Cheers.

  • Extensively, they are very hard to break.

    Jason

  • Andy Ivy

    You really went above and beyond with this one Jason the packs really look amazing! Lots of people are very excited about these, myself included.

  • Shaye Jackson

    I also submit my request for day packs. No day pack options is very discouraging to me, I understand this company is tailored to mountain and back country hunters but personally I myself and those I hunt with carry a day pack 90 percent of the time when in the field.

    • Hi Shaye,

      What exactly are you looking for in a day pack?

      Jason

      • Shaye Jackson

        The pack that has suited my needs best is actually a fanny pack. The blacks creek all american lumbar pack. I like its bow carry system. I prefer a back back but because I mostly black powder hunt I cant find a back pack that gives me quick access to my necessities like this fanny pack does. I agree with the things described above but I think about 1500 is the right size for a day pack. I would really like to see this size of pack in kuiu camo with the same attention to detail thats been put into the other products I have seen from kuiu.

  • Scott Lee

    The pack looks awesome. But I agree with JR, I hope to see day pack options as well.

  • Ryan Sanpei

    I can’t wait to use this frame in combination with the 3000 for all my day hunts!

    • You will love it! I cannot wait to see some photos Ryan!

      J

    • Ryan Sanpei

      Oops, I didn’t finish my post. (just getting familiar with this iphone stuff:) )
      Looks like I found the answer to my current day pack issues. I’ve always used packs between 2000-2500 for my day packs but when it’s time to debone meat, I’ve always ran out of room. The cool part about this pack is that it’s compact and light when you need it to be, but when it’s time to pack extra clothes, or deboned meat, you’ve always got the extra room.

  • Mike

    2000 ci
    water bladder at lest 2 liters
    MINI CARBON FRAME PLEASE
    couple pockets on belt with ability to add on whatever
    Early fall hunting does not require much if you go light and prepared but I still want a small frame so that you can carry something out; bivy, antlers, little meat. That frame is going to change the hiking and hunting communties FOREVER.
    Beautiful things Jason thanxs Mike

  • Jerry V

    Seems to me the 3000 would work just fine as a daypack since it cinches down to almost nothing. Really anything much smaller wouldn’t be very cost effective with the frame being $299. It’s better to have a little too much room, than not enough – been there, done that.

  • JR Quarnberg

    I hear ya Mike and Jerry V, I see the 3000 condenses down real nice and the system seams like a dream. A mini fram might be real nice too, but I see that resulting in like a $300 day pack and that just doesnt make sense. This is were im coming from… for situations such as an early season hunt were im just hiking into my stand or hiking in to glass an area and make a spot and stock I wouldnt want or need a frame or a 3000 ci pack. Thats just the type of hunting I do the majority of the time, I dont know how many more there are that are in that boat, but personally I really hope to see a pack option that satisfies those needs.

    I know there is a back country following for this product line and for that purpose the icon is going to be the best product in the industry. Also I am crazy about the clothing line, awesome stuff.

  • Kit Baughman

    Hi Jason,

    The new pictures look great, they really showcase all the innovative features of the frame. I can’t wait to strap one on and hit the trail!

    Thanks,

    Kit

  • Mark Toso

    While I obviously haven’t seen the Icon yet, it looks like the suspension could be overkill for a smaller pack. One idea is to develop a lighter suspension system for the smaller packs still using the CF frame. That would make them even lighter. I’d be interested in that for the 3000 pack too, hoepfully you can get that under 4# total.

    • HI Mark,

      The Icon 3000 is going to be around 4.5 pounds. The bag is designed and set up for storage and hauling a heavy load. It is not designed as a minimalist set up or designed to hit a certain target weight. We are kicking around the idea of seeing how light we can go, which would include a lightweight suspension set up and minimalist pack design. I think we could get under 3 pounds.

      Jason

      • Jerry V

        I could see a shorter version of the frame with a 2000ci pack and lighter weight padding being being a good option. Maybe center around a good hydro system and a large main compartment with smaller pockets inside, kinda like the MR Dragonslayer I have. Except the ICON would be a couple pounds lighter and better ventilation. I would guess it would be around $300 for frame & pack, could be worth it.

        JV

    • JR

      I agree guys. A small frame has been suggested along the way here. However, I wonder if mini version of this type of frame wouldn’t be somewhat useless, doesn’t it require the long stays to lift and distribute weight? I don’t know that that is quite as important with a 1000 to 2000 ci pack? And with a small pack on I want mobility and wouldn’t want stays hanging me up on brush and trees. I think ventilation, hydrations, and comfort are the biggies on a smaller day pack. Maybe a carbon fiber internal suspension would be money. Seems like there isn’t a perfect size to please everyone so if you could use the suspension system on multiple packs like the icon that would be a solution. Maybe a 1000 and 2000? Just please keep both pieces around $100 or LESS so this can be like a $200 set up. Sorry I am just thinking aloud. Jason your the man make us something wonderful.

  • Cant wait to get my paws on the frame and pack . . . i’ll be sure to cycle it in with my shooting starting this summer! I do have a question though, how far along are you guys in your thinking/planning for the generation II line of this pack and your outwear? Or, do you think you’ve got enough now to put out a finished product that will not be replaced in one or two years? In my experience with product manufactures, and I have a lot of it, they are already on to their second or third gen products before the first sells out. They are using the public to pay for them to create a new product and selling the “inferior” product to fund further development and better products.

    Where is KUIU on it’s overall plan to develop, or upgrade its gear to reach the pinnacle its working toward? Maybe asked another way, is this release well enough crafted and tested that it’s the “chit” right out of the starting gate or will we see the real “pinnacle” in one, two, or three years?

    I hope you understand what i’m asking . . . I’m sorry If it does not make much sense. Let me know if you need more help figuring out what I’m asking.

    Thanks, Tony Bynum
    FinlShot Photography
    Big Game Animal and Commercial Outdoor Photographer

    • Great questions Tony, I am glad you asked. KUIU is all of my work at Sitka plus almost 2 years of development, in choosing fabrics, designs, fit, factories, suppliers, data, input, testing & testing again. This line will stay with KUIU for a while, we may make minor tweaks and changes along the way but I do not plan on discontinuing it next season and putting it on Camofire (sorry Kendall). I will continue to broaden the line and add styles to help round out the needs of our core user group, like gaiters, various pack sizes, etc as requests come in from everyone. I really believe once you see this line you will agree, it is very dialed in. PLEASE send me photos if you do not mind. I am a big fan of your work.

      Jason

  • Bob Magnan

    I’m missig something…where do I go to put in a pre-order for one???

    Thanks.

  • John McKnight

    Jason,

    This looks amazing, I have been backpacking since I was 8 years old and I am really happy that somebody has built a better product. As anybody that is honest and has really put on the miles, backpacking can be painful and ultra-lite packing is one of the ways I have found to make it a lot more enjoyable. Take it from an Eagle Scout who saws his tooth brush in half to cut down on weight, this pack is really something.

    Good Job!

  • How does the pack attach to the frame ?

    • Larry Schwartz

      Kevin,

      that is a good question, and others have asked it too.

      The two horizontal straps that you see on the fourth picture of the frame, the first one showing the suspension, are used to attach the pack bag to the frame. They are also used to compress the pack down when in daypack mode.

      Larry

    • Hi Kevin,

      We put tension on the top and bottom of the pack to hold it in place, the tension is controlled with tension locks and webbing. We also use 4 side compression straps to cinch down the load to the frame.

      Jason

  • Allan

    Jason,

    One factor about the packs that has not gotten any time on the blog is the size of the pack in comparison to the typical maximum airline carry-on limit of 22 inches for the longest dimension. My reading is that both your packs will exceed the 22 inch limitation — correct? I always like to use a pack as my main carry-on, so what experience have you had with taking an Icon pack as a carry-on? If the packs will not be allowed inside the cabin of an airliner, perhaps you should consider making a smaller “day pack” that could see use as a carry-on too. I do not mind the idea of cinching down a bigger pack (like either the 3000 or the 6000) to carry less gear inside, but if I don’t need a larger pack for a trip, I would like to be able to get my pack to the hunting destination without having to include it as part of my checked luggage. I would expect that you and/or other testers have flown commercial with the Icon packs. How did you transport them?

    Thanks,
    Allan

    • Hi Allan,

      Great question. I have carried this pack on several flights as a “carry-on” with absolutely no problems what so ever. Never even questioned. I do not like to check my pack or optics for obvious reasons.

      Jason

  • Jeremy

    Will the Icon 6000 bag be offered in camo also?

  • marc

    How small does the waist belt go? I had problems with badlands packs being too big to take weight off my shoulders.

  • Cory J

    Jason,
    I have a really long torso. Is there a measurement for this to ensure that I fit within the parameters of the pack design. Also with regards to the previous comment from Marc – What is the size range on the waist belt
    Some companies offer varying waist belt sizes- does this apply to the Icon packs.
    48 more hrs till Purchasing date is coming up and man am I excited!

  • Aron Snyder

    Jason

    I got a chance to put several miles in today and everything was unbelievable! Even better then I expected and the Vias pattern will remind people of a window for sure.

    I will have several pictures posted up on the Live Hunt page from this weekends events on Monday. I took several photos in different backgrounds and It’s going to amaze people how well this stuff blends in to almost any environment and the “fit” and “finish” is second to none!

    Great Job Jason… Very impressive to say the least!

  • Alex

    That pack really looks great.

    I know I’m not the only guy who has attached a nimrod scabard to a badlands 2200. Works great for day trips if knock a critter down, but overnight gear plus a critter seems to be pushing the limits or sometimes too much. Your new frame plus the 3000 bag sounds perfect. Any thoughts of a lightweight nimrod-style scabbard?

  • BMac

    Looks like a great setup – and by the numbers the icon 6000 comes in 660grams lighter than my current Osprey Argon with 13L more space (apologies – I speak Canuck). That’s a lot less work over the course of a day!

    My one hesitatation is the waist belt – I’m 6’2″ and a fit 200lbs, but I use a medium waistbelt on my Osprey – I’m a little concerned the one size fits all waistbelt might not fit properly. I’m sure you’ve tested/thought this out, but I’d feel way better if I had a chance to try it out before committing to a $500 pack system.

    As for all the daypack talk – I’d hate to drop a big deer a few kms from the road and not have enough room in my pack to lug it out of the bush. I think the 3000 sounds to me like it is a daypack with honest hauling capability. And I love that you’re keeping the exterior of the packs clean and not over cluttered with pockets. Cuts weight and keeps noisy snags to a minimum.

    You’ve got me giddy to hit the mtns!

  • Sam

    Jason,

    I believe it’s been kicked around here before, but a few questions and a thought:

    1. Is the removeable Meat Cell blood proof?
    2. How water resistant is the material on the exterior of the packs? (And what type of material is it, btw?)

    And just a thought…I ordered the Chugach pieces and the Guide jacket and Attack pants in Vias because they will strictly be utilized for gentlemanly pursuits, but I’d like to make my next pack multi-sport capable so that I don’t have to deal with the brotherly love radiating from the tree hugging crowd when they see a camo pack. However, though I absolutely love the brown, I don’t want to get mistaken for a game animal. Have you thought about a different shade(s) of fabric, say the dark gray in the Attack pants? (Not saying dark gray would be any less attractive to the shoot first, ask questions later folks…)

    Thanks!

    • Jeff M. Valunas

      Sam-
      Rather than take valuable time/ $’s, from more design/colors… Perhaps, you could strap the ( 3 0z. WM Flourescent vest ) to it!!! Brown, Grey- Is there a ‘big enough difference/appeal to the masses’??? This is friendly fire, so… relax!!! :) Remember… ‘KUIU, is a boutique’ for the mountain hunter, your words, I believe! Perhaps, asking for a multi-sport pack, is asking a little to much? As, asking for a Flourescent Vest, was!!! As you acknowledged to me… LOL, just my 2 cents… And- Although, I doubt the meat cell is ‘blood-proof’, I am sure that if properly cleaned after the hunt, it will last a few pack-outs/ or more! Seem’s like you live in an area, where the general public, backpacker’s exist!? If you ever get the chance, perhaps venturing off the trail, would be more your game. I personally, have NEVER had any of the ‘tree-huggers’ have an issue with my camo… In fact, most ask about the material, or how I have done! Oh, and one last note… Since you have such passion in your post’s/response’s… Perhaps, a full name, would be nice… Be Proud of your comments here, and allow everyone to know your name. (again, just my 2 cents) . Thanks AGAIN, for your service SOLDIER!!!
      JMV

  • Shane

    how much flex does the frame have with heavy loads (60 to 100lbs)?
    Do the load lifters actually lift or are they flexible and only pull the top of the load towards your shoulder?

    thanks
    Shane

    • Hi Shane,

      There is some flex with the 90 to 100 pound loads but not much. We designed this to flex a little for comfort, not sure if this is clear. Yes the load lifters work under heavy weight, pulling the load off your shoulders. I will shoot some photos for my next pack post with the pack loaded with 100lbs so you can see for yourself.

      Jason

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