KUIU ICON 1850 DAYPACK REVIEW
Editor: Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
An 1850 cubic inch daypack, designed uniquely for Mountain Hunters to use individually or with KUIU’s innovative carbon fiber frame attached. At just 21 ounces the Icon 1850 daypack allows the hunter to customize the pack’s performance based upon their individual needs.
Facts and Features:
The Icon 1850 Daypack, has two primary set-ups: with or without the carbon fiber frame, each with their own benefits, exceling in comfort and performance in either set up. Attaching the 1850 bag to the frame allows for use of the external load sling in conditions when hauling a heavy load, such as an elk hindquarter, is necessary. Removing the frame reduces weight and provides a comfortable fit perfect for day hunts or scouting.
Providing even more versatility, the bag’s structural carbon fiber stays are removable, allowing the bag to compress down even further with a reduction in more weight. The bag is available in three different colors: KUIU’s original Vias Camo, green-based digital Verde Camo, or a solid two-tone Phantom Grey/Major Brown.
The NEW 2013 Icon Pack system by KUIU continues the evolution of the Patent Pending Icon Molded Carbon Fiber Fame, suspension and Expedition Grade ultra-light bags. The 2013 Icon pack system is lighter, stronger and more comfortable. The ICON 1850 is undoubtedly the industry’s most versatile daypack. With 4 different use configurations and the ability to convert to Load Sling Mode, the 1850 is the “go to” day pack that can handle most hunt situations. For day to day use, the 1850 cubic capacity is ideal for your daily scouting trips or a quick overnight trip. Upon getting your trophy animal down and by converting to the load sling mode, you can add an amazing 2500 cubic inches of additional load carrying capacity.
I Used KUIU’s Icon 1850 Day Pack for An Overnight Hunting Excursion!
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
• 1850 cubic inches of storage volume
• Bag Only Weight: 21 ounces
• Bag with Shoulder Straps – 35 ounces
• Bag with Shoulder Strap & Hip Belt: 50 ounces
• Bag with Icon Frame & Suspension: 63 ounces
• Hydration port with inside hydration hook & sleeve
• 1 Large Horizontal Top Pocket With Smaller Storage Pocket Inside
• 2 Large Inside Stretch Mesh Storage Pockets
• 2 Side Stuff-It/Water Bottle Pockets
• 4 External Compression Straps
• 2 Removable Accessory Straps for Additional Equipment/Compression
• Load Sling Between Bag and Frame For Added Carrying Capacity
• 2500 Additional Cubic Inches In Load Sling Mode
• Front Vertical Pocket holds up to an 85mm Spotting Scope
• Suspension Is Easily Adjustable For Customized Fit
• 3 Touch Points For Maximum Air Flow
• 3 Tubular Aluminum Stays (removable)
• YKK Weather Resistant Coil Zippers – External
• YKK Concealed Coil Zippers – Internal
• Molded Zipper Pulls
• Moisture Resistant Outer Face Fabric
• Water Repellant PU Coated Cordura Ripstop Face Fabric 160% Denier
• Horseshoe Opening For Internal Access
• Modular System – All Bags and Frame & Suspension Are Interchangeable
• Aluminum Stays For Structural Bag Support When Not Used
• The entire line of ICON Packs and Frame & Suspension are interchangeable.
With a few simple adjustments, any of KUIU’S bags (1850, 3000, 6000, 5000,
7000, 5200, 7200) can be used with either the 2012 or 2013 frame and
suspension. The 1850 does require an Adapter Kit (nylon webbing) for proper
DAY PACK CONFIGURATIONS
• Bag with Frame and Full Suspension (shoulder straps & padded hip belt)
• Bag with Frame and Full Suspension in Load Sling Mode Bag with no frame
• Full Suspension (shoulder straps & padded hip belt)
• Bag with no frame and Shoulder Straps & Webbing Hip Belt
• Bag with no frame and Should Straps (no hip belt)
As Mountain Hunters we are always looking for an “ultralight” pack that will enable us to hike further and faster without the burden of extra weight. As a desert sheep guide most of my hunts are multiday excursions where I need extra carrying capacity up to 7200 cubic inches. However, there are occasions when I have the luxury and the need for a daypack for quick scouting or overnight trips. At these times I need an “extra special day pack that will provide me with a variety of options to achieve ultimate succeed.
Knowing that KUIU was working on an interchangeable daypack that could be used with their innovative carbon fiber frame I was pumped when the 1850 hit the market! Upon receiving my new daypack I found that it did take me a while to figure out how to put it together out of the box. Although I didn’t get the Icon 1850 with the carbon frame I’m told that this feature will take a little more time to add or remove the frame from the pack. I’m sure I would become proficient at this process with ample practice. I can say that it has been a joy for me to make use of this “butt kicking” little pack this fall when I have been out on the mountain for shorter periods of time.
Having taken multiple opportunities to put KUIU’s daypack through the paces, I found the Icon 1850 to be very well constructed, just like KUIU’s larger backpacks. I’m a big fan of KUIU’s lumbar support and memory foam shoulder strap system as I did not have an issue with fitting the pack to my torso and shape. I found the aluminum stays provided plenty of support and strength to the overall structure of the pack. At 1850 cubic inches I was limited as a hunting guide in fitting all the gear I sometimes need for an overnight excursions into the space available but I did make it work out. It should be noted that overnight trips are not what the pack was developed for. With the addition of the carbon fiber frame you have the ability to add 2500 additional cubic inches of room that can to the KUIU 1850. With the frame and load sling I can tell you that the Icon 1850 would provide incredible versatility as to how you could utilize the pack to meet your individual needs. I do look forward to trying these features out sometime in the future as I believe these features are essential to the needs of most Mountain Hunters.
Even without the carbon fiber frame I felt that the Icon 1850 was well balanced when I had the bag filled to capacity. It stayed high on the crest of my hips as I was able to keep the load close to my back. Being accustomed to wearing much bigger backpacks I found it refreshing to be able to sit down and glass without having to take this pack off of my back.
KUIU definitely spent some time in conceptualizing their entire line of backpacks as the 2012 & 2013 Icon Modular packs can be converted to carry a load between the frame and bag. As stated earlier, I haven’t had the opportunity to test this concept out with the Icon 1850 yet but with simple adjustments, the frame is easily separated from the bag to create a space for additional load carrying capacity. A fabric shelf has been sewn onto the back of the packs and then attached to the frame with straps. The load sling is designed to increase your load when in need of extra space. The carrying capacity of the load sling differs between the Icon 1850 and the larger bags (5000,5200,7000,7200). The 1850 has been engineered to carry up to an additional 2500 ci and can handle larger loads such as an Elk hindquarter.
Well Thought Out Details
In my opinion the difference between a superior backpack and one that is mediocre always comes down to well conceived details. KUIU has designed their Icon 1850 daypack system to meet the demands of Mountain Hunters who are looking for ultralight, very tough gear. Here are a few of the specific, little details that definitely sold me on the benefits of the 1850.
• Large bottom pockets
• Reverse coil zippers.
• Waist belt pockets that allow instant access to items such as your headlamp without having to take you the pack off of your back.
• Webkeepers on the straps keep loose ends from dangling.
• Hydration port with inside hydration hook & sleeve
• 4 Compression Straps
• Large center external pocket
• The memory foam shoulder harness straps can easily be adjusted
• Bag with Frame and Full Suspension in Load Sling Mode that add
2500 cubic inches of space
To be successful in anything we are involved in I’ve always believed that change is an essential ingredient to staying ahead of the game. The hunting world is no different. With the 1850 Icon daypack KUIU has given Mountain Hunters another option that will definitely address the individual needs of those who are looking for a smaller version of the much larger backpacks. I do appreciate the KUIU team’s attention to their customers!
When ordering you should note that the FULL KIT for this pack will cost you $399.98. This includes the fully assembled ICON pack bag and Carbon Fiber Frame with Suspension. The Hip Belt Pouches are accessories and sold separately. If purchasing the BAG ONLY the 1850 is $99.99 and that the Carbon Fiber Frame and/or Suspension is required for proper use. I honestly don’t know why anyone would only want to buy the bag. Add the suspension as I did with my Icon 1850 and it will run you $189.99. As I mentioned earlier, this package worked well for me but I really do want to add the carbon fiber frame so that I can utilize the load sling for packing out heavier loads of deboned meat or hindquarters. I went with the Verde Camo but this pack is also available in Vias Camo or a Phantom Grey with Olive or Steel highlights! I really think the Phantom Grey is a really neat color.
ABOUT KUIU: Based in Dixon, California, KUIU was founded in 2011 to provide customers with the world’s most advanced hunting layering system and equipment on the market. KUIU provides remarkable apparel and equipment that is light, packable, and dependable. By eliminating retailers and selling their products exclusively online, KUIU drives the ultimate shopping experience. They provide superior customer service, lower pricing, and the highest product quality. For additional information visit www.KUIU.com or call 1-855-367-5848 Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM PST.
Stay safe everyone on your hiking or hunting adventures out on the mountain. I hope that this review will help you in making your important decisions in regarding the purchase of a daypack.
What They Could Do Better:
I like the KUIU Icon 1850 for ultralight one days scouting or hiking trips. If you plan on taking your spotting scope, tripod and additional gear it is essential that you order a Carbon Fiber Frame.
I personally think it would be a cool concept if KUIU were able to incorporate a gun scabbard or a drop down gun sling into this pack. It would increase the weight just a little but would help greatly in packing your rifle or bow.
Kuiu Icon 1850 Daypack Review
Just letting you know, Kuiu has a bow carrier and gun sling available for this bag. Both work great and allows you to remove your weapon while keeping your pack on your back.