Nov 30, 2007 at 6:38 pm #1226058
Anyone had any first hand experience with Kifaru tents / tarps and stoves, that they'd care to comment on. I'm considering getting one (Para tarp / para stove) Do these things really work, or would the money (and additional weight) be better put towards an additional sleeping quilt?
Comments, experiences appreciatedNov 30, 2007 at 11:14 pm #1410900
Forrest G McCarthyBPL Member
@forrestmccarthyLocale: Planet Earth
I have not used a Kifaru Para tarp and Para stove first hand. I would like too and have been seriously considering purchasing a Para Tipi and stove myself.
I know several people that have Para Tipi/Stoves sets and use them in Alaska and Wyoming. They love them. I have been told to consider getting a larger stove model so you can burn larger wood, easier to collect and burns longer. It is worth the weight.
It would be a heavier set up then what I presently use. With a sled or a larger group to share the weight it would make some sense.
Seems like a really great winter base camp set up. I normally winter camp while doing long ski trips and wonder about how practical it would be to set it up and take it down every day. Though, I am always happier in the winter when I have a roof and a wood stove.Dec 5, 2007 at 6:56 pm #1411410
I have used a Parahootch as well as their packs in a military setting for several years. The quality is unbelievable. If you can get beyond the sticker shock, it is great gear.Dec 9, 2007 at 7:46 am #1411865
Forrest G McCarthyBPL Member
@forrestmccarthyLocale: Planet Earth
Titanium Goat advertises a lightweight mid/stove system for less than 3 pounds.
Anyone experienced with their products?Dec 19, 2007 at 4:32 pm #1413130
Kenneth KnightBPL Member
@kenknightLocale: SE Michigan
I used to own the Paratipi an small stove. I liked them both but have since sold them to a friend who uses them a lot more than I was able to. Set up of the paratipi wasn't that bad. A bit more involved than say a Black Diamond Megalite or Golite Hex but only because you havemore stake out points to deal with.
Putting the stove together with cold hands was for me slow going, but doable. Just be careful with the edges of the metal. They can cut you quickly. If you're using a pulk to pull gear leave the stove assembled and save yourself a lot of hassle.
I never had great luck using the stove as a cook stove but then when I was sing it I was a novice at wood cooking so that could speak more to my skill level than anything else. I am sure with amle small wood and the proper TLC you can cook on it fine, but a more "traditional" stove will almost certainly be faster (and to be honest I suspect a Bushbuddy is also quicker though clearly you haven't anywhere near the cooking surface).
I see someone already mentioned Titanium Goat. I know at least one BPL staffer has used their shelter and stove. Were I to invest again in such a combination I would certainly give them another look but I'd check out Kifaru too to see what's new (I know they have added more sizes to their line).
** Ken **Dec 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm #1413745
@pereqaLocale: Sunny Southern Greenland
I just noticed this Kifaru thread, a little late, but still somewhat active I see.
I actually own several pieces of Kifaru equipment, among these a Paratipi with
small stove and I consider them some of my best pieces of equipment.
Like all Kifaru gear they are meant for off track living, not just short trips and
they really do work. They are designed with an incredible attention to detail
and even though the stoves are somewhat heavy, most of the gear easily fits
the lightweight category.
Don't expect though you will be able to run the stove all night, you will need
as much quilt as you would without a stove. The stove is meant for heating the tent while you are awake, for drying your stuff and for cooking. This it does very well, you won't believe how hot you can make your tent, it has to be experienced!
The secret to using the Kifaru stoves is using small fire "wood". Juniper twigs
and heather are pure dynamite and the way to go when cooking. This small
stuff burns much hotter than the bigger pieces and is what you need when
cooking. When your meal is ready and you sit down to relax and eat, then
you feed the stove some real wood, it slows down the fire, but last much
longer and provide a nice warmth for you and your stuff to dry before you
start nodding and go to bed – aahh this is life!
When you feed the stove the bigger pieces they will last about half an hour,
depending on the wood. Don't expect to do much better with these stoves,
but they never the less mean a world of difference especially when you are
away for more than a few days and when the weather is lousy.
I, by the way are planning to get a Para tarp and stove too for the warmer
season and adding the annex. This makes a tent out of a tarp when I need
it, but only half the weight.
I hope the information is useful.Apr 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm #1493553
christopher wrightBPL Member
I own a Kifaru parahootch with the annex and small stove as well as a ZXR rucksack. Not to mention about 30 anitional products they sell. I'v used there E&E pack(i have two) in combat and there pack construction is bomb proof. I cannot say enough good things about them. A shelter system that's flexible, light, descrete and dependable. Just dont have a heart attack when you see the sticker price. I had to deploy to afford the big ticket idems i really needed. I also use there woobie every night and it's saved my bacon. On more that one occasion. The sewn in stuff sack kept it try when several red bulls busted open in my assault pack, rinsed off the outside, everything inside was try. Most people would not think, but it get's pretty cold around here, i have used it many times on an overwatch to keep myself and others warm. During such time's it's not well taken care of, getting stepped on and drug around, just dust it off and you'd never know it just kept a fireteam warm for the night. It's WARM. There products are custom made so expect a waiting period, sometimes months for there larger products. There also not ultralight, but they work well. There is a military and hunter/civilian side of the product line. Well worth taking a look but there products are not for everyone. The customer service was good when i had a payment discrepincy and answered all my questions.Apr 29, 2009 at 4:19 am #1497748
I have had a Kifaru Paratipi, six-man tipi, eight-man tipi, Longhunter Rendevous pack, various accessories and items of clothing plus a Siwash pack. I encountered some minor QC issues and the LHR simply would not carry as I needed it to, anything over 70 lbs. was very unpleasant. I have been carrying packs since 1956, btw, and have owned/used about everything out there.
I found the Paratipi a pita to erect in windy conditions with frozen ground here in BC, the six-man too low to comfotably walk around and the eight-man plus mossy netting, liner and large stove really suits me and is a part of my basic wilderness fly-in hunting camp. We will be taking this to northern BC in about a month as my buddy has a Grizzly draw.
This is expensive gear, they are quite good about exchanges and customer satisfaction, however, they can be totally off in their promised time for delivery of your order and you PAY "up front" in full on your credit card, which you DO NOT do with Mystery Ranch or Integral Designs when you order as they charge when they ship.
All in all, I like the Kifaru big tipis, there are better options for their smaller shelters, which are over-priced and the best gear they make seems to be their military models. I much prefer Mystery Ranch packs and also Hilleberg tents, but, Kifaru fills a niche that nothing else does.
BTW, their T shirts, hoodies and so on are excellent and I intend to buy more of these as mine are 4 years old, worn constantly and still in good shape.Apr 29, 2009 at 5:01 am #1497754
Fred ericBPL Member
@fre49Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
I own a kifaru paratipi and a para tarp.
I havnt encountered problem pitching the para tipi, but we are 2 and i use a few centimeters long elastic rope with each stake to keep it taunt and to have more options while staking.
I see this as an upgrade to my MSR twin sisters ( my back likes a lot the added headroom ) and i can use a 2 people MYOG 350g bug bivy as the distance between the poles is sufficient.
its true the stitching doesnt look as neat as other tarp and tent i have bought and i had even a few holes to seamseal ( about 2mm wide )
but overall i am very satisfied with both products, even if they are costly.
i have no experience with their backpacks, i wouldnt carry more than 15-16kg ( my 5-6kg of winter gear 8kg of food and 2kg of water )Nov 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm #1545299
Paul DavisBPL Member
@pdavisLocale: Yukon, 60N 135W
All: I quite like the Kifaru para or smallest stove, and use it inside an older MEC Snowfield 4 season tent, largely for winter base-camp use. While the bears are in hibernation you can even melt water from compressed snow, prepare a hot meal, toast, etc. We only melt snow or boil water to avoid smell signature problems during the bear season… I sewed velcro to my tent fly so that I can take the heat-resistant stove patch to put into another tent or fly. So far I haven't… I kind of wish I had put the stove patch on my Bibler I-tent!
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