Hunting season is right around the corner and it’s time to complete your gear preparation efforts. And one of the most overlooked items in preparation is how you’ll carry all that great gear into the woods or up the mountain. But we’re here to help! This blog post is going to help make your pack selection much easier. Here’s a look at some of the best backpacks for bowhunting.
Best for the West
Here’s a look at some of the top packs for hunting western states. They are packs that can roll with tons of gear for full day hunts, as well as pulling double duty to spike out away from base camp.
Sitka Bivy 30
As the name implies, this pack was designed for the ultra-light bivy-style hunter who wants to pack in light. The Bivy 30 is perfect for an overnight hunt but also transfers nicely into a day pack by simply removing the detachable lid. Some packs go overboard on pockets. Not the Bivy 3o. You’ll find minimal pockets to help reduce the weight, yet all the storage you need for your hunt. The Bivy 30 features a DWR finish for water repellancy and 3,000 cubic inches of storage. The pack weighs just 5.8 pounds.
$349 / www.sitkagear.com
Badlands Sacrifice LS
I hunted with the original Sacrifice backpack and loved it for its ultra-light weight and tons of storage. I used the pack for day hunts as well as 2-3 day overnighters. Now, Badlands has revamped the popular Sacrifice pack. The new Sacrifice LS was designed to be even lighter and stronger. The pack features the company’s Hypervent Suspension, a lighter-faster-stronger Ripstop outer and an unconditional lifetime warranty. It’s a really tough pack that was built to handle whatever the mountain can dish out.
Other features of the Sacrifice LS include: Hypervent frame, pistol holder, rifle boot, lash points, top loader, floating lid, updated wrapped frame, quick release drawstring pocket.
It has 3400 cubic inches of storage and weighs a mere 3.13 pounds.
$269.99 / www.badlandspacks.com
ALPS Traverse X
The Traverse X combines the best of both worlds when it comes to meeting your backcountry pack needs. It easily handles all your routine gear as a daypack, yet has all the ability to be a backcountry meat hauler when success comes your way. The pack’s wing pockets serve as both fleece-lined storage for a spotting scope and as part of the lashing system for hauling out meat. The stow away meat shelf is the other hidden component to the Traverse X that transforms and lets the pack live up to its reputation allowing weight to be added and carried securely and comfortably. The combination of Lycra shoulder straps, a molded foam back panel, and padded waist belt along with load lifters and anti sway straps makes this very capable pack a necessity for the 1 or 2 night stay in the backcountry.
It has plenty of room with 2900 cubic inches and weighs in at 6.2 pounds.
$239.99 / www.alpsoutdoorz.com
KUIU ULTRA 1800
The ULTRA pack system is a simple modular pack concept incorporating an advanced suspension, bag, and KUIU’s patented Carbon Fiber frame. The goal of the ULTRA line of packs was minimizing weight while optimizing performance and functionality
At the foundation of the pack system is an 11 oz, carbon fiber frame. The frame is strong and light, yet flexible. This maximizes performance and comfort no matter the load weight you carry.
This pack weighs in at a slim 3.4 pounds, has and has a great pocket design for easy access of your gear and accessories.
Other features you’ll find include: additional 2500 cubic inch load sling capacity between bag and frame, dual density foam padded shoulder straps and waist belt, built-in T-Lock Track System for easy torso length adjustment, anti-slip dots on lumbar pad, and removable compression accessory straps.
$374.97 / www.kuiu.com
Tenzing TZ 3000
Tenzing designed the TZ 3000 to fill the void of suitable packs between the day-use pack and extended-use pack. It’s touted as a big and nimble pack that is incredibly mobile, yet has the capacity to haul extreme loads. The hybrid design of this pack make it a great option for simple day trips, to overnight spike-out runs.
The pack features 3,100 cubic inches of total storage and weighs in at 6.8 pounds. It’s unique pocket design keeps you organized and it’s main compartment has enough room to carry out a full elk quarter.
The Woodsman was designed with successful day hunting in mind. Weighing only two pounds (bag), the Woodsman can easily accommodate a day’s worth of gear while being able to haul out heavy loads with the comfort of Kifaru’s Duplex frame. Tab loops allow you to expand your usage of this pack out to three days. The pack features a built-in meat shelf and water and hydration bladder between the bag and Duplex frame to maximize load hauling abilities. Tab loops on the pack also allow for the addition of pods, belt pouches and more. The Woodsman has a built-in roll-top lid with tab loops for the addition of a belt pouch or small pod. And to completely maximize the holding power of this pack, just add the Guide Lid (sold separately).
Fieldline Big Game Technical Frame Pack
Fieldline has been making backpacks for a long time. Most hunters across the country have probably had a Fieldline pack or two in their arsenal at some point over the years.
They are a very affordable option compared to other packs on the market. And the pack line has evolved over the years to a lineup that now offers a pack for nearly every hunter, regardless of what species you pursue.
The Fieldline Technical Frame Pack has plenty of room to haul your gear, and then some. It’s a multi-day frame pack design with mesh air system to keep your back cool as you climb. It has a 2-liter hydration pouch to keep you hydrated. Ultra quiet zipper pulls keep you stealthy, and the 4-way compression straps help to stabilize large loads. The pack is rounded out with a top compartment featuring a roll-top closure for easy access.
I used the Buck2100 as a day pack for an elk hunt in New Mexico last year, and it’s honestly a pack that can serve both the western hunter, or eastern whitetail hunter equally well. It’s got plenty of room for all the essentials you’ll need throughout the day. It weighs just 3 pounds and features a capacity of 2100 cubic inches. It’s reinforced stitching and BaumShell fabric make it a durable pack that can handle the abuse. Other features include: low-profile lashpoints, treestand strap, hydration ready, front compression beaver-tail, and a slick pocket system for complete organization.
Its big brother, the Buck2500RT is deisigned for even more gear storage. It also is made from the durable, water resistant BaumShell fabric with reinforced stitching for added strength. It’s hydration ready and features a tri-vent padding system for a breathable back pannel. At 2500 cubic inches this bag works fine for a day pack or even an overnight run away from base camp. It’s a great pack with plenty of storage and it weighs in at just 3.4 pounds.
$139.99 / www.browning.com
Mystery Ranch Scapegoat 25
Mystery Ranch knows what they are doing when it comes to building bullet proof packs. They make packs for the military, forest fire fighters, and more. They are some of the toughest packs on the planet. And the new Scapegoat 25 is no exception. The Scapegoat 25 is designed with a minimalistic, highly compressible bag. The narrow body-panel framing allows for the ultimate in movement and flexibility. A full, “U” shaped zippered main compartment provides gaping, “fillet” style access to your gear. With generous stretch woven pocketing on the front and sides, hunters have ample storage and quick access to necessities.
It’s a 1526 cubic inch pack that weighs in at just 3.7 pounds.
$219 / www.mysteryranch.com
Do you have the pack to get your gear and game in and out of the woods?
Best Packs for Eastern Whitetail Hunting
Whether you’re climbing into the treestand, hunting ground blinds, or slipping through the woods on a spot-n-stalk mission, these packs will keep all your gear at the ready for your next deer hunt.
Tenzing TC 1500
Tenzing product designers worked directly with Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo to create the ultimate stand pack. The TC 1500 can haul in everything you need for a successful day up in the tree. This lightweight pack provides 12 total compartments and pockets for your gear and features a new Comfort Stretch waistband that uses concealed elastic straps to adjust for the perfect fit while staying protected from the elements that cause it to deteriorate.
Like all of the packs in The Choice series, the TC 1500 features soft, silent TRICOT fabric over the Dyneema strength panels to deaden any noise caused by taking gear in and out. The side-mount quiver attachment conveniently allows you to keep your arrows within arm’s reach while taking additional weight off your bow.
ALPS Crossfire X
One bag, multiple uses is what you’ll find with the Crossfire X from ALPS. It’s got plenty of space for tons of storage for all your gear. The 2325 cu in workhorse has a vented back panel, Lycra shoulder straps and punched molded foam waist belt for maximum airflow and comfort. The Crossfire was built for comfort, yet is rugged to handle the abuse you dish out. The 1680D ballistic nylon and Hypalon at stress points ensure the comfortable carry is accompanied with strong components to get the job done. The defining feature of the Crossfire X is the removable accessory pocket, which can be used in 3 different positions. It can be buckled to the rear of the pack, attached on the front shoulder straps, or used without the pack by its own strap.
The pack boasts 2325 cubic inches of storage and weighs 4.5 pounds.
$179.99 / www.alpsoutdoorz.com
Badlands Diablo Dos
Other features of the Buck1700 include: thermo-molded foam back, water resistant, quick buckle top strap design, waxed Baumshell fabric, removable waist belt.
The pack has 1700 cubic inches of storage and weighs a mere 1.7 pounds.
$79.99 / www.browning.com
Sitka Tool Bucket
The Sitka Tool Bucket is a really unique backpack design intended to help treestand hunters haul all their gear – even a treestand. More than just a day pack, the Tool Bucket has the ability to haul a treestand and climbing sticks in addition to all your essentials in the main compartment. You can use the frame with or without the bag, so it’s perfect for hauling and hanging stands in the preseason as well as during the season on your hunts.
The pack features zippered mesh pockets, treestand hanging ring, adjust toggle closure, and the treestand carrying system. The pack itself has a bucket design for easy access of all your gear as it hangs on a screw-in hook in the tree. No more fumbling and digging through your pack as you scramble for gear. This pack keeps your gear organized and makes it super easy to access.
The Tool Bucket has 1900 cubic inches of storage and weighs in at 5.15 pounds.
$299 / www.sitkagear.com
Fieldline Treeline Day Pack
Simple, practical, inexpensive, and you can probably buy it at Walmart. What more can you ask for, right? The Treeline Day Pack is right at home in the treestand for deer hunters, but probably is used as much, maybe more, by school students. My kids have used and abused this little pack for a long time. It seems to be nearly bullet proof, despite it’s inexpensive price tag. It has ultra quiet zipper pulls, multiple Gear-Lock attachment points, adjustable sternum slider, padded back, 2-liter hydration reservoir attachment, water bottle storage, and waist belt for added support.
$33.99 / www.fieldline.com
Choose your pack wisely this season. There are ample options on the market to meet your every need. A good pack simplifies things and makes life easier while you’re on the hunt. The packs mentioned above should keep you covered, no matter where your adventure takes you.