Kifaru Tactical was launched in June of 2002. We’ve known them this whole time and they’ve been a great supporter of SSD.
Here is a excerpt of a thread on their message board by Mel of Kifaru Tactical –
“Here’s a little trip down memory lane for you guys that might not know the story of how Kifaru Tactical came to be. I contacted Patrick in Nov 2001 in my search for an American made military pack with mountaineering grade suspension, and asked if they had ever thought about entering that market. I had done my research and was familiar with Patrick’s reputation from Mountainsmith and really liked what he was doing with Kifaru. Also, I believed in his suspension philosophy of thinner and drapier shoulder straps and waistbelts. In our e-mail exchanges Patrick showed interest in possibly starting a military division at Kifaru. We decided to meet at a hunting show in Reno in Jan 2002. I was pretty familiar with the Kifaru line and offered to help in their booth while out there. We hit it right off when we met, sharing a lot of the same interests and outlook on life in general, as we grew up in the same era. Patrick made the decision to start a military division at this time, and gave it a 110% effort right out of the gate. After working the booth during the day, we headed up to the hotel room in the evening and started work on designs for the new military packs, which initially were the EMR and Scout. Actually, that is where the Dock n Lock system was born, along with the Piggyback Wrap Kit. We worked on this all three nights and a few weeks later, my wife and I drove out to the shop in Colorado and spent a week there working day and night on the new designs with Patrick and crew. From Jan 2002 to June 2002, Patrick, the Kifaru crew, and myself worked tirelessly on the soon to be Kifaru Military Gear division (in later years changed to Kifaru Tactical). The launch was in Jun 2002 on the website and message board, and the rest is history.”
I remember when Mel called me and told me he had contacted Patrick. I too had been a Mountainsmith fan and when Mel told me about Kifaru I was pretty stocked. I’m glad he is such a great salesman in convincing Patrick Smith to launch a tactical line. We’re all the better for it.