As a hunter, we always wanted a backpack which never torn into pieces when we put all our gears and accessories in it. When it comes to selecting the hunting backpack, You should never compromise on quality and reliability as I don’t.
In this post I will be reviewing the 15 best bow hunting backpacks I tested thoroughly to find out the best bow hunting backpack for you.
I have used many hunting backpacks and luckily I still have them. You know why? Because I spent many days to decide whether I should buy from Kifaru, Badlands, ALPS outdoorZ or Tenzing. Because I wanted a long-lasting, good fabric backpack that can bear the weight of my gears and last me for a long time.
I am a regular hunter, I used to spend all my hunting season in Georgia and South Carolina. I know how and why hunting backpacks are necessary for every hunt.
I have purchased all these backpacks by myself, Use them and took feedback from other hunters as well. For this post, I’ve spent over $3000 on these backpacks and other accessories to find out which pack is best option for most of the people.
If you are a single day hunter, you will preferably opt for smaller day packs whereas for multiple days you will seek the humongous ones allowing more space to carry your gear. The best hunting backpack is always the one that is easy to carry and allows quick access to anything you may need in the field.
If you want a quality, long-lasting and easy to carry backpack, I would recommend you to choose from these TOP 5 best hunting backpacks I have tested and reviewed.
Best Hunting Backpack (My Picks for You)
- Kifaru Hoodlum – Best for BIG GAME Hunting
- Badlands 2200 – Best Hunting Backpack
- Timber Hawlk Killshot – Best BUDGET Pack
- ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit – Best Meat Hauler
- Eberlestock Elk Pack – Deer or Elk Hunting pack
Here I reviewed these packs after testing and checking all features claimed by manufacturer.
1. Kifaru Hoodlum
When I was looking for a framepack for 5 – 7 days worth of gear and a heavy pack out of meat.
I saw Commander X pack from ALPS at amazon. I was just thinking about buying it as overall it seemed to be a great pack for hauling large quantities of meat. But the reviews of other people about this framepack was not satisfactory.
My other hunter friend was using kifaru muskeg for a long time and he praised it a lot. I heard from a lot of people that Kifaru packs are the best from any other frame packs in the market. So I decided to go with a kifaru this time. I have tried several Kifaru bags including 44 Mag, Reckoning, Muskeg and the Hoodlum. I also tried shape charge from Kifaru, If I had to pick just one it would be the hoodlum.
Kifaru Hoodlum is super versatile, pack down small and it’s modular in the sense that you can add and remove pockets and lids to suit your specific needs. It is about 6700 cubic inches with snow collar fully extended. The side pockets are large enough to place your bigger spotting scopes or angled eyepieces. It has a dual entrance in the main bag and three compression straps on the front.
My first initial thought when it showed up was wow this thing is massive. But having it now for a few months I’m so happy I got this size. It packs down so nicely to a day size pack, all the way up to an easy 10-day hunt in winters.
I have detached the compression straps from top to bottom and reverse them with the right side buckle in the left and left side buckle fitted in the right. In that way, You’ll have a smaller distance in the cross so you don’t get as much movement in there. You can lock your bow and rifle in that space with the help of a handle in the bottom like I did. I’ve got two small belt pouches on the hip belt and one large at the bottom. The Lid is OGL (Organizer Guide Lid).
I find the bag very water-resistant. The Cordura material is fairly quiet and is much quieter than muskeg Xpac material in temperature of below 20 degrees. The main difference other than the material when you compare Hoodlum with any other kifaru bags is the zippered side pockets which I prefer on the Hoodlum.
As I have also used other brands of hunting packs, None of them compare to the kifaru quality and fit. It becomes very apparent when you compare the kifaru frame next to almost any other brand side by side that kifaru is a professional piece of load-hauling gear and everything else is the second rate.
As far as fitting quarters goes the Hoodlum would fit an elk quarter inside the bag. It would also do a deboned moose quarter. I’ve hauled two bone-in elk quarter (Front and Rear) using a load shelf that works great.
The bag easily separates from the frame and can be used as a compression panel. If I talk about the load-hauling limit, My biggest load so far was around 130 lbs and I never feared that the material was going to fail or any of the buckles.
The Hoodlum is probably my favorite do-everything pack. It compresses down small or it expands large when you need more room. The Staff at kifaru customer service is very helpful too when it comes to sizing and fit. Make sure you get the right size frame.
- 3 side compression straps
- Belt pouch matrix on snow collar and back panel
- Meat shelf
- Chamber pocket
- Water bladder hanger and hose port
2. Badlands 2200
Badlands 2200 is great both for short and long excursions as it can be compressed to be manageable for day pack hunters.
Serving the hunters for more than 20 years this product by badlands is top-notch. Its durable and ultra-light internal frame transfers the weight automatically from your shoulders to your hips by its T-6 aluminum frame.
This comfortable backpack encourages the body to support weight naturally while ensuring stability. The ultimate performance of this backpack is due to the nearly perfect center of gravity and relieves your shoulders from the strain. Weighing only 5 pounds, it features a plethora of pockets. The inbuilt 2-liter hydration pouch makes sure you carry enough water along.
The reason why this backpack is my favorite of all time is it has plenty of room that is sufficient to place all your gears. Unlike other badlands backpack, It provided the space for Elk quarter with great meat haul technology. I used to pack many elk over the years with badlands 2200. This pack has a little bit more space than any other hunting pack from badlands.
This soft and supple backpack is capable of withstanding scratches from bushes and branches of trees. It is made out of the quietest and strongest fabric KXO-32. The camouflage pattern of this fabric helps to conceal movements.
This bag is built to last and is ready for everything coming its way and is surely the best hunting backpack. I am using this pack for the last 3 years, After many washings, Its fabric still gives a fresh look however it takes a long time to dry.
- Blaze Orange Meat Shelf
- Rifle and Bow Boot
- Pistol Holsters in Hip Belt
- Spotting Scope Pocket
- Rear Entry Access Panel
- 2L Reservoir Compatible (sold separately)
- T-6 Aircraft Aluminum Frame
- KXO-32 Fabric
- 8 Pockets
- Aramid Bartacking
- Hypalon Reinforcements
3. Timber Hawlk Killshot
The design of Timber Hawk made me very attractive when I saw this backpack on Amazon.
After checking it’s successful rating, I decided to order it and take it to my next day hunt.
After using it for a few trips, I found this backpack has a great assortment of internal and external pockets to keep all your gears. It has a large main compartment including plenty of inside and outside pockets with top and bottom lashing points for external storage. I strapped down my bow and quiver in a multiple-way without using weapon carry pouch.
The one awesome thing about this backpack is it has pouches on both sides of the waist belt including one pocket on the left shoulder strap that accommodates my GPS, Cell phone and ammo very well. If you’re a right-handed hunter and want to keep small stuff close to you then this left pocket on the shoulder strap will help you to easily access your gears.
Timber hawk killshot looks like a normal size backpack but it provides plenty of space inside and outside. I met only a few persons who had some negative reviews about this backpack but many hunters in my community have expressed interest after using it. In my experience, I also didn’t find many flaws in it.
Quality and storage of this backpack is not less than $300 backpack but Timber Hawk selling it in $129 which is also a plus point. But I’m sure as people are frequently buying and liking it, Timber Hawk will raise its rate very soon.
I have used this as a day pack and in 3 days of hunting and I put almost 60 lbs of stuff in it, walked over 25 to 30 miles in 3 days when wearing it and I’ve had no issue.
The only negative thing I’ve noticed in this backpack is its weight. Even the empty bag has some weight on its own. But overall, this backpack has amazed me with several qualities and it is well worth the money.
- Includes 2 Liter Reversible Hydrapak bladder with insulated hose
- Carries a rifle, bow or tripod
- Adjustable shoulder strap system fits multiple torso sizes
- Lined with ultra-quiet, durable twill fabric
- Deluxe padded waist belt with ergonomic tightening adjustment
- Padded front organizer compartment with 3 internal pockets and key clip
- BPA Free
- Stowaway blaze orange rain cover
- Heavy-duty top haul handle
- Large loop zipper pulls for easy use with gloves
4. ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit
Durability is the quality that defines the ALPS Outdoorz pursuit hunting backpack. This pack from ALPS attracts many hunters by its bow/rifle carrier and front lashing straps.
By providing enough space for a single day trip, this day pack is one of my favorite from last year. It is compact and lightweight being absolutely the best bow hunting backpack for the money.
ALPS has introduced a medium-size day pack with all features of an expensive backpack. For the price, I believe the ALPS OutdoorZ provides an unbeatable product. By providing a huge amount of storage, I like the way they built many mesh compartments in each pocket to organize my gear.
The padded waist belt has pockets on each side is completely detachable and can be used as a fanny pack. You can remove it if you want to use only a day pack. For serving you throughout your life, ALPS Outdoor pursuit comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty.
I’ve been using this as a day pack from the last one and a half years. The material of this pack is strong and zippers are also made of good quality. I have washed this pack for around 4 -5 times after when I brought a meat quarter in it, It still looks like new.
The drop-down pocket for the bow to sit in comfort along with the hydration pockets and port make it a demeanor. Sitting right up there among the best, it easily blends in the environment with its camouflage.
I was taking the reviews of other people about this pack when many people complained that its fabric material is quite loud and makes noise in the woods.
In my testing, I found they were right to some extent, as this pack is made of nylon fabric which makes loud specially in cold weather. So, You will have to be careful in the bow season. This day hunting backpack doesn’t fail to impress from durability and quality to carrying capacity.
- Real Tree Edge
- Brushed Mossy Oak Break-up Country
- Organizational front Pocket
- Quiver Holder
- Bow or Gun Pocket
- Padded waist belt
- Center Aluminium Stay
- Built-In Rain Cover
5. Eberlestock Elk Pack
The M5 Elk pack is purely designed for hunting and outdoor adventures.
Made in with the collaboration of RMEF (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) this pack works as a meat carrier or even a weapon carrier backpack. It has a built-in fold-away rifle scabbard and also has a bow carrier in the front.
Many hunters use this pack as a day pack in shorter trips but I have tried it for a few more days and found it decent as 3 – 4 day pack. It has a large lid on the top to place all your smaller items and below the lid, there is a waterproof compartment to store your sensitive gears.
This Elk pack is a nice, comfortable pack that is adjustable to fit your torso. It feels good when you carry it and is fairly light for a framepack. The most weight I’ve packed including my bow and an elk quarter is about 70 lbs and it seems to be holding up well. When I took it on the hunt, I got a front quarter of full-size cow elk on this pack and it carried it well. I also packed out two mule deer with it while I had it, and it handled them well. I would recommend this pack for a day hunt pack but not much more.
You can put the elk quarter in the main compartment and rest in the bottom frame that extends out or you can also just use the external compression straps to strap a quarter onto the outside of the pack. If you loosen the straps on the bottom pocket you can slide the quarter underneath that as well to help extend the load shelf.
The one issue I have noticed in this pack, It has no pocket except the front lid to put your smaller items but when these little items collide together, It makes unnecessary noise in the woods. Since I am a bowhunter so I have to put my bow in the pack, This Team Elk pack has a bow carrier in down to support your bow but If you’re not a bowhunter, you can also use that compartment to place your small gears.
The M5 Elk pack is water-resistant, not waterproof and the rain cover is also not included in this kit so I would recommend you to buy a rain cover separately for any extended usage in a heavy downpour. It comes in 3 colors, Mirage, western slope, and mountain.
- Fold-away rifle scabbard
- Built-in bow carrier
- Intex tubular aluminum frame provides comfort and stability
- Grapple-compression straps
- A zip-and-flip cover to the scabbard and bow carrier
- Dual full-depth spotting scope and hydration pockets run top-to-bottom
- Body-following contours and a bottom-shelf design
Other Backpacks that will Meet Your Needs
These are the other Backpacks I tested to see if they are up to the manufacturer’s claims. You can read my detailed review down below to find out if a specific Backpack meet your needs.
6. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Backpack
Used this pack to carry more than 60 lbs that include elk, moose and deer quarter.
This Framepack is made of nylon ripstop fabric and has tom of storage capacity including rifle holder and side scope pocket. It’s all pockets were very useful and zippers also seemed to be of good quality.
The pack itself has a lot of straps to tie stuff to it, which is a plus for larger items that won’t fit in the pack itself. The main compartment is huge and looks to be able to accommodate a lot of clothing, food, misc. large items you may need when hiking/camping or hunting in rough backcountry.
ALPS packs are best at their money value. They are not as fit as compared to a high price backpack but for the money, they are good to buy. I have packed Sheep, Mosse, Mule Deer and bear just to check whether it can lift their weight or not. I placed a load of meat was around 75 lbs and had no issue by the time I get home. It has a shelf and lots of buckles to strap a load on.
I have tested and used this framepack very roughly in archery season but it shows no wear and tear. Because of Nylon ripstop fabric, it seems to be a long-lasting one. When I unpacked this framepack, I was worried about the upper bar on the frame. My height is 5’10” so it was fitted to the back head. But I was thinking if I fall or jump so this upper frame bar can hurt me badly.
But as I looked over the bag, I realized that the upper bar itself can be telescoped up or down to varying degrees, so I was able to change this simply by pulling cotter pins out and adjusting the height of the shoulder straps and the bar itself. Still, I think the top bar on the frame needs to be curved to keep away from the back of your head.
After testing/using this frame pack and taking feedback from my other hunting community, I am sure in this price ALPS introduced a good pack that can be used for a short trip. But I am a kind of hunter who thinks the backpack should be comfortable enough for long trips.
The Fabric of this pack is not waterproof and rain cover also not included in this kit, So don’t take it out in the rain or snow without covering it with rain cover.
- Nylon Ripstop fabric
- Rifle holder
- Top loading
- Pockets: two side accessory hinged pockets, main, front, spotting scope pocket
- Spindrift collar with draw cord
- Hydration pocket and port
- Frame and lashing straps included with pack bag
- Hold-open frame
- Lower door access – #10 zippers
- Internal horizontal divider
- Webbing loops for lashing
7. Tenzing 6000
Being the cream of the crop, this ultimate backpack accommodates your stuff for single or multi-day hunt.
The amazing air-cooled backpack is channeled well allowing you back stay sweat-free. This pack can be used from a single day to a 3-5 day hunt easily.
The fully adjustable torso suspension helps to keep the load lighter. The padded hip support and the shoulder straps make it even more comfortable. It features duo access main compartment, which means you are having access to gears that regularly go in and out from two spots.
When I used this pack I loaded my gears for a full week trip and it carried them well. I brought back an elk quarter fitted inside and I had no issue. The bow and rifle carrier is very handy and made it very simple to attach a bow with the quiver attached.
It comes with a built-in rain cover to keep your gears always dry. For perfectly balancing the load, switch the gear between two side pouches. By detaching the TOP cover of Tenzing 6000 it becomes your day pack. You can even completely zip out the expandable and breathable meat shelf.
This pack is absolutely enormous. Weighing only 4 lbs and 6 oz is 3-liter water-compatible and features a total of 20 compartments and pockets. You can enter the main compartment through 3 different entries that’s why it’s among the best hunting backpacks.
The Bow/gun carrier boot can be folded out. To secure the load and add extra gear, there are 5 lateral and 2 lower compression straps. Thus the comfort, ease of use and its huge size makes it the best bang for the buck.Overall this pack is very well built and provides you enough space to carry 3 – 5 days stuff.
- Fully Adjustable Torso Suspension
- 2 Rigid Internal Aluminum Frame Stays
- Padded Hip Support
- Channeled, Air-Cooled Back Pad
- Separated Sleeping Bag Compartment
- Detachable Fanny Pack/Lid
- Foldout Bow And Gun Carrying Boot
- Foldout Rain Cover
- H2O Compatible (3-Liter)
- 20 Total Compartments And Pockets
- 2 Expanding Side Compartments For Scope Or Tripod
- Triple Entry Into Main Compartment (Top, Face & Bottom)
- Expandable, Breathable Meat Compartment
8. Badlands Superday Backpack
As this day pack is built by Badlands, so I couldn’t sit without trying it.
I know Badlands reputation in the market and none of the Badlands products have ever disappointed me so whenever I see anything from Badlands, I order it with confidence.
This upgraded version of Badlands Superday has great new features like bow and rifle boot, Hip belt pistol holster and Hip belt pouches to easy access of your gears. The bow and rifle boot is attached in a secure zipped pocket at the bottom. The 3 front straps of superday will help to hold your bow and rifle. On the top, It has a pretty deep pocket to place your stuff. It has great quality big grabbable zipper tabs which can also be used with gloved hands.
My primary use of any backpack is to check whether it can carry my meat quarter or not. When I used this day pack in colorado for elk hunting, I brought it back with an elk front quarter (around 65 – 70 lbs) with all my gears (around 40 lbs) including my Infinite edge pro (3.2 lbs). So I would say this day pack can easily hold the weight of around 100 lbs of all your stuff.
This pack is a medium-size day pack and can’t accommodate enough material for a multi-day trip. Superday is not big enough for an overnight but provides enough space for a day hunt. If you’re planning to go out for a multiple-day trip I would suggest Badlands 2200 over this day pack. It’s got 7 pockets and the main compartment is large enough so you can place your jacket or coat in there.
One negative thing I’ve noticed in this pack is its waist pockets. The waist pockets are too far back to access without removing the pack so they are useless. They also have zippers so you can’t access any pocket with one hand while wearing it.
Another thing that worried me before buying it when I was reading the reviews of other people on Amazon, Most of the people complained that this pack is neither waterproof nor water-resistant.
But I knew that badlands use KXO-32 fabric which is quite water-resistant. So, When I check this pack in the heavy rain for about 10 minutes, It soaked everything inside the pack.
- Carries Rifle or Bow
- Hip-Belt Pistol Holster
- Easy-Access Hip-Belt Pouches
- Reinforced Carrying Strap
- Aramid Bartacking on Stress Points
- Hydration Compatible (Up to 2L)
- Bino Connect Compatible
- Molded Foam Suspension
- Bedroll Straps
- Badlands’ New KXO-50™ Fabric
9. ALPS OutdoorZ Traverse
This versatile hunting companion is a day pack and just has the perfect size to carry all your gear.
Though its carrying capacity is 3300 cubic inches, still it’s much flexible and can carry more with its expandable pack section which adds storage of 1200 cubic inches more. It has got ample pockets and compartments whereas the organizational pocket is in the main pocket.
You can easily fit your weapon in the 2 front wing zippered pockets. Wait, there is much more. It also has a side pocket, internal pocket, and a drop-down pocket. Thanks to the extension lashing straps, which give you the liberty to add extra gear.
The waistband pockets helped keep calls and other small things close at hand with easy access. the scope, rainfly, and main compartment all met common standards. I have used this pack to bring an elk quarter weighing around 60 lbs after 6 miles of walk and it carried my meat very well. It comes with adjustable shoulder straps which makes this quite comfortable even in hours of use and hiking.
This backpack weighs only 6 lbs and 14 oz. A blaze orange rain cover arrives with the backpack to keep your gear protected. Furthermore, a hydration port and pocket helps you to fulfill your hydration needs. You only need to insert a reservoir and then attach a hydration bladder whenever you need it.
In my complete testing of this pack, I’ve noticed the zippers always seem to make noise in woods while overall fabric material was not too noisy. Another negative thing that I’ve found you carry 7 lbs of weight with the empty bag.
- Expandable pack section
- Adjustable torso
- Padded shoulder harness
- Organizational pocket
- Wing pockets
- Gun or Bow pocket
- Built-In rain cover
- H2O compatible
- Spotting Scope sleeves
- Extension lashing straps
10. Badlands Sacrifies LS
The updated version of Sacrifice LS is lightweight, Comfortable and perfect to put all your gears for 3 – 4 days trip.
Sacrifice LS made with Hypervent Suspension that allows cool air to pass freely between you and your pack and a load-transferring internal frame, the Sacrifice LS keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable no matter how long the hunt.
Whenever I carry a badlands pack on a trip, I used it in a very rough way because badlands offer a lifetime warranty so I don’t use it carefully.
I have used this pack last year in Arizona for elk hunting, Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring it with me because there was no room for it. The elk will not fit into sacrifice LS but you can carry a deer quarter in it. I was able to pack out an entire deboned mule deer in one trip.
It’s slightly smaller than the badlands 2200. They both are made of high-quality fabric and intended purposes but I would recommend you to buy 2200 over Sacrifice LS because 2200 has more room.
This pack comes with integrated Rifle Boot, Pistol holder and compatible with bow boot but bow boot is not included in this kit. You have to purchase it separately. I am using Bow boot clip from badlands and it works perfectly. This pack is attached to the frame and cannot be removed. The bag itself is large and several straps on the outside that would help haul meat.
The only issue I found in sacrifice LS is it’s comfort level started to drop out at 50 lbs. I am sure It is not a load hauler by any means and I wouldn’t suggest you carry more than 50 lbs in it for very long. But it would work okay for carrying out the first load of meat.
- Carries Rifle or Bow
- Hip-Belt Pistol Holster
- Easy-Access Hip-Belt Pouches
- Hypervent™ Suspension
- Reinforced Carrying Strap
- Aramid Bartacking on Stress Points
- Hydration Compatible (Up to 3L)
- Wrapped Frame
- Ultralight Ripstop Fabric
- Load-Distributing Flex Rods
- Multiple Lash Points
- Floating Lid
- Built-in Rifle Boot for Easy Carry
11. ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear Hunting Pack
Big bear is a great production by ALPS outdoorZ especially the price they are offering.
One thing that gives an edge to this day pack over others is to use it as a fanny pack or backpack at the same time. When you go out for a fanny pack, You will find many options even from a top brand like Badlands Monster Fanny pack but I decided to purchase Big bear from ALPS
The first reason I bought this because it expands like a full backpack and another reason to buy it is that I get it at almost half price than badlands.
The big bear is a great pack for a short trip or an entire day trip because it provides an additional space of 1900 cubic inches in its expandable daypack pocket. With several pockets as a fanny pack, I found it a perfect size for a day hunt. It held all my calls, Gps, Mobile, Snickers, Flashlight, Water bottle, and field dress kit still there was some space left in it. Big bear has also waist belt pouches on both sides to access small gears easily.
Along with the fanny pack pocket and expandable daypack pocket, You also get two side pockets, Left pocket for GPS or Rangefinder and right side pocket to keep a water bottle with yourself. The Zippers were quite silent and I was able to use them with gloved hands.
Most people don’t know how to attach a bow with the big bear so here I came to answer them. It is quite easy, You can string the bow with a shoulder strap at the top end straps so the bow will lay across the top of the pack but if you want a separate bow holder for your bow then I would suggest you buy Big Bear X over this. Big bear X has a removable bow holder to hang your bow.
Another amazing thing I’ve experienced, Big bear has removable shoulder harness and a completely detachable waist belt. You can use waist belt separately if you’re just carrying your gear and if you’re hauling meat out of the field you can attach the shoulder harness again. I’ve never carried weight for more than 40 lbs in it and I am sure more weight may rip where the straps are attached to it.
The one negative thing about this pack is not providing a rain cover with it. The rain cover was included with all the backpacks I’ve used for this company but they left this one without giving the rain cover. I have never had it in the rain but I would suggest you spray it with waterproofing spray before going out in the rain or snow.
- Two packs in one
- Fanny packs expand into a day pack
- Adjustable & Removable shoulder harness
- Compatible with accessory pockets
- Pockets: Two sides, front & main
- Fanny Pack Capacity: 800 cubic inches
- Pack Capacity: 1,900 cubic inches
- Total Capacity: 2,700 cubic inches
12. Tenzing 2220
Made exclusively for the hunt, It is a backpack with the hunting pedigree.
This low drag day pack has a perfect size for a day hunt and is designed uniquely in a contour shape to comfortably embrace your back with its top and bottom tapering.
With a carriage capacity of 2400 cubic inches and weighing only 5 pounds, you can even secure the load with the five horizontal compression straps. To improve the breathability, you can pack your hunting gear with extreme comfort as it features the premium air mesh suspension system. It provides good ventilation for your back although it has a firm and supportive padding all around.
It’s a great day pack, can carry all the tools you need for a successful day hunt or even overnight trip. The rain cover and bow carrier are nicely fitted on the bottom pockets. Additional zipper pockets on both sides of the pack allow additional space for spotting scope or expansion in the main compartment. It’s a strong, sturdy and versatile backpack under your belt.
Although, It is certainly more expensive than ALPS day packs but I’ve found the fabric of this Tenzing pack is quite stronger and silent. It comes with the functional load lifters as well as adjustable straps that help to keep heavy load nicely fitted on your back. When I was checking this pack at Amazon, I’ve contacted several persons to take the feedback of TZ 2220.
They told me that this day pack is not designed for carrying weight more than 40 lbs, But when I took this for mule deer hunting in New Mexico, I’ve packed out a bone in muley hind quarter with water and some other stuff in it. It was around 65 lbs total and I started feeling like something was dragging me from behind.
- Fold-out Rain Fly Cover
- Fold-out Gun/Bow carrying boot
- Mossy Oak Break Up Country Camo
- 11 compartments and 8 organization pockets
- Comfort with Premium air mesh suspension system for improved breath-ability
- 5 horizontal compression straps to secure load
- Internally fluted aluminum frame stay
- Maximum Durability as a result of Robin rip-stop fabric adds durability in high-stress areas
- H2O compatible port at top of pack for a water bladder
13. CVLife Tactical Backpack
This backpack from CVLife is a great deal for the money.
I have used this backpack several times for my short trip(1 or 2 days) with 30 to 40 lbs of weight and it never disappointed me. The one of many good things about this backpack is that it can be used for multi-purposes, like hiking, emergency kit, hunting backpack or any other outdoor activity.
I am sure for $40 you get the right pack with good quality fabric. It has 3 small detachable packs, one on the front which can be used as a tactical fanny pack separately, the other two sides pocket detachable tactical accessories pouches.
The Plastic made zipper was large and a bit noisy but you can rub it with wax to make it quiet. In this way, you can also make it fast-moving and protective of water. There were no other compartments in the main compartment except water bladder so the things can disorganized but Inside the main compartment, you get a big room for your gears.
CVLIFE has great customer service so if you ever have any problems with the item received, You can mail or call them and they will respond immediately with positive feedback. One of my friends was very curious about this rucksack and wanted to use in hiking when he ordered it, It came with a broken zipper of the front detachable pouch. He reported to CVLIFE for this defect and they replaced the whole pack without any hurdle.
I had no issue of using it, but after a month of using it, the back straps started coming off because the thread came apart. This was the main issue I have noticed in this backpack but I knew this was not a $200 backpack containing all qualities.
- The Backpack is constructed with water-resistant 600D oxford fabric material.
- Come with a zipper outside pocket and a big mesh compartment in it
- With 3 detachable molle pouches attached on front and two sides.
- Large cargo with a big compartment in it.
- Come with a hand carry strap and adjustable shoulder strap.
- Wide & thick waist belt, comfortable for heavy carry.
- With an adjustable chest belt.
These Backpacks are Not so Good for the Money
In my testing, I did not found these packs durable enough and there was a lack of necessary features, So I will not recommend these packs to any professional hunter.
14. ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer
When I heard about this backpack I was very curious to give it a try.
Even though I wasn’t very excited to see the overall picture of this pack. But since it was made of ALPS so I decided to test and take the real feel of it.
Trail blazer has not more exterior pockets to carry your gears and access them quickly when you need them. It has only one zipper on the front and two lower sides mesh pockets for water bottles and other accessories. The side mesh pockets were nice and do have straps to secure items but that isn’t the preferred method if you are working some heavy brush area.
You can’t take this day pack for multi-day trips because it’s a small size daypack. Although, ALPS has a good reputation for making great quality hunting packs I am sure this day pack is not designed for hard outdoor activities but yes you can use it only for a day trip.
With hydration pocket, Built-in rain cover and lashing system on the front, I am sure you get a good pack for this price. If you’re going to take this pack for single-day activity and you have not a huge amount of material to put in, You’ll not feel your money wasted that’s my promise.
In the main compartment of trail blazer, There was no organization pockets for my hunting items but only one elastic pocket to put all small gears in it. I don’t like this. I feel like having stuff bouncing around in there will make too much noise.
The main compartment had sufficient room to carry binoculars, lunch, water with hydration pack rope, extra clothing, knives spare ammo and two-way radio but you can’t carry a body out just a bit too small.
One more important thing to keep in mind when buying this day pack is that Trail blazer was not coming with a new style expandable pocket to carry bow or rifle before 2013. But after 2013, It comes with the pocket to carry a bow or rifle.
After testing the Trail Blazer I decided not to BUY IT.
- Expandable pocket to carry your gun or bow securely
- PE frame sheet offers extra support
- Large main pocket
- Zippered front pocket and lower side mesh pockets
- Blaze orange rain cover included
- Hydration pocket and port
- Bartacked webbing gives multiple attachment points
- Front lashing system
15. Tenzing TC 1500
TC 1500 from Tenzing is a small size day pack. It can carry enough stuff for a day hunt.
When I used it I found its room not big not too small for your one-day material. Although, this pack comes with solid stitching and good quality straps but I’m sure it’s not gonna take my elk quarters.
You can use this daypack for multi-purposes like hiking, hunting or any other outdoor activity but it hasn’t sufficient space for all your stuff. I put only one jacket and it was almost full, I hope I am explaining the right picture of it. There is plenty of attachment points for big stuff on the outside of the pack, I still can’t believe it’ll pick up a big piece of meat.
This daypack has similar features like Tenzing 2220, but shorter in size. Tenzing could have built pouches on waist belt but they have kept the price in the same calculation. The only reason I bought it is it’s bow and gun carrier at the bottom. Also, this pack comes with a built-in rain cover so I decided to buy and test it for hunting gears. But I guess these two qualities are not sufficient to make this daypack as hunting backpack.
When you compare TC 1500 with Badlands Superday day pack, In badlands you get plenty of pockets to place your small items but when tenzing designed this pack they didn’t even notice the other companies out there who are making smaller, lightweight bow hunting backpacks.
- Breathable mesh back pad
- Padded hip panels
- Internal fluted aluminum frame stay
- Fold-out bow and gun carrying boot
- Fold-out rain cover
- Two specialized compression straps
- Two horizontal compression straps
- Two lower vertical compression straps
- Robic™ rip-stop strength panels covered in loden tricot fabric
- Comfort-stretch waist belt system adjusts 24-42”
- H2O compatible (2-liter only)
These are the most common questions that comes in everyone’s mind when they buy a hunting backpack. I thought it would be a good idea to include these here so anyone can benefit from these.
13 Things to Check before Buying the Right Backpack?
Choosing the right backpack can be a challenging task because you always look for the one that should meet your requirements. Except for the hunting gear, there are several necessities like food, water, first aid kit, knives, raincoat, hunting apparels, sleeping bag, tent, fire-making necessities and many more.
So you can not compromise on comfort because if you miss something due to space, your hunt can be compromised. Especially if you are fully loaded and have to walk miles to reach your destination. Let me tell you some important things that you should never forget while buying the right backpack for yourself. I have a lot of experience in the hunting fields and i know what are the necessary things a hunter should always keep in his backpack.
1. Torso Length
The reason your Torso length is so important when getting fitted for a pack is because of the load lifters. The load lifters are the straps that connect to the top of your shoulder straps and continue to the upper portion of your pack (usually that top of the frame) and attach there. The angle from the top of the shoulder straps to the connecting point on the pack should be between 15 and 45 degrees. This angle will depend on the size of the pack as well as the pack’s intended use, but a good rule of thumb is the heavier the pack, the steeper the angle.
To experience a self-sufficient hunting trip, the second thing to consider in a right backpack is its storage capacity. The hunting backpack you buy must have storage space so it can accommodate everything you may need out there. It should have a considerable amount of pockets and multiple compartments to settle your gear along with an extra meat compartment to fit in the meat you are planning to bring home.
A sizable backpack having ample space is usually around 2000 cubic inches. In case you need extra space, a backpack with more capacity is recommended.
3. Organization Pockets
A good backpack must have enough pockets outside and inside to keep your gears organize. Some backpacks do have outside pockets but in the main compartment, there is a lack of pockets. If you don’t have pockets to organize your stuff, then your items will collide together when walking or hiking that makes noise in the field.
Your backpack must be strong and durable to carry enough gear. A backpack should be strong enough to endure the harsh outdoor environment also it should be strong enough to carry enough weight.
Your backpack should be made of high-quality material. Usually, backpacks are made from polyester, nylon, and polyurethane. It must have an adequate lining inside and a tough feel outside. The load you carry in a backpack can easily damage a light fabric so you must opt for a durable enough fabric to last for years.
An ideal backpack should be lightweight and strong as well. It should not be heavy itself, leaving it to come from the load it may carry. If a backpack has weight itself and then you add more into it, it will be heavy on your shoulders causing you to feel uncomfortable and backache, making your hunting journey difficult as ever.
Most hunting backpacks arrive fitted with frames. A frameless backpack will work only if you are not carrying heavy loads but if you expect to carry heavy loads, you must consider one with a frame. These framed backpacks help to ease the load off on your shoulders and transfer it more to your hips, providing a more upright gate.
It also enhances the air to flow between your back and backpack which is, of course, a really important point when it comes to hot environments. Small and medium backpacks use internal frames as they carry loads that aren’t too heavy whereas the large backpacks use the external frames to carry heavy loads along.
Usually, those modular systems perform better which allows small or large packs on a single frame.
A good backpack fabric must be at least water-resistant because the value of your gears is much more than the cost of your backpack. There are many brands offering water-resistant fabric backpacks and some are giving external rain cover with it so you can use both to have an extra layer of security.
8. Adjustable Straps
Many people getting into hunting easily overlook this important feature. You must select a backpack with adjustable straps. Find your torso length and test the belts and straps for adjustability according to your torso length. Make sure it fits you properly. Never choose a backpack with fixed strap sizes because if it doesn’t fit you, it going to hurt your shoulders and back.
A quiet hunting backpack is a must as it won’t startle your prey. When snagged on the bushes, the material of your backpack shouldn’t make noise. Even the buckles and zippers must operate quietly so it shouldn’t distract your prey. You must test your backpack for noise as it’s an important factor for which you can’t compromise.
Considering the print of your backpack is equally important. To remain inconspicuous to the prey, these backpacks arrive in generic colors. Still having some room for personal choice, you can settle on a camo pattern or an earthy color from the varied patterns and color combinations, keeping in mind what and where you plan to hunt.
It should not about personal taste and preference, it must blend with the environment.
11. Weapon Carrying System
While hunting you can’t grab your weapon in hand especially while climbing. Your backpack must have accommodation for the weapon you are carrying for hunting. Either that weapon is a rifle or a bow, your backpack must carry the weapon of your choice securely.
It should also possess the quality to enable the hunter to remove the weapon, easily and swiftly without any resistance as it may damage or bend its parts. A good hunting backpack always has a designated strap for your weapon and be within your reach at a moment’s notice.
12. Hip Belt Pouches
Believe me, this thing is very important that you should not forget if you want to have a multipurpose backpack. I’ve a couple of backpacks that have not hip belt pouches and I have to remove them from my back to access even my smaller gears. If your backpack has hip belt pouches, you can place your smaller gears in it and access them easily without removing the pack.
You should select a backpack that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. This is a great aspect to determine the manufacturer’s level of confidence in the products they are offering. Sooner or later, if you backpack gets any defects, you can at least exchange your backpack within the warranty period.
You should seek for a minimum 2-year warranty to assure durability and strongly built of your backpack. With a warranty period shorter than this you should assume that the manufacturer doesn’t believe it will last for long.
Are Backpacks Necessary in Bowhunting?
Hauling into the bushes with a staggering amount of gear is impossible without a backpack. Either that’s a beginner or an experienced hunter; you need to take a lot of gears along before heading out. For a smooth hunt out in the field, a hunter always has to stay ready and accompany the best hunting backpack for carrying all the essential gears along with the essentials like food, water and outwear, etc.
This will no doubt make your pursuit run smoothly and here you can easily acquire the difference between a hunting backpack and a normal backpack. Hunting backpacks are built to shield your goods and survive rugged terrain while you are busy focusing your target.
What are the Types of Hunting Backpack?
There are two types of hunting backpack. One is a daypack and the other is a backpack. Choosing one from these is depends on whether you’re going for single day hunting or a long period.
- Daypack: A low weight backpack is called a daypack that usually used to carry lightweight gears and accessories. If you are planning to go hunting for a day or 2 maximum, this is what you will need. Their size is normally 3500 cubic inches. This size is comfortable and easy to carry as the main concern in a single day backpack is the weight and size.
- A Backpack is the multi-day backpack or trail packs which is more spacious and adds much room to add some more gear, sleeping bag, hammock, food, and more water. Their sizes usually start from 3000 cubic inches space and may end up to 8000 cubic inches depending on whichever you choose according to your needs. Though they have a heftier price tag still they can hold sufficient gear for up to 5 long days in the woods. But remember to be cautious of adding extra stuff to your backpack and making it heavier.
Are Hunting Backpacks Waterproof?
Well, Most of the hunting brands claim that their backpacks are waterproof but that’s not true. I have never seen any backpack that keep dry its gears in heavy rain for a long period.
However, The fabric of Kifaru and Badlands is much better than any other brand. I am sharing my experience after using these packs but if any bag is not waterproof and great in all other aspects of quality then I think you should not leave it and buy an external rain cover with it.
- Kifaru packs are not waterproof, they are water-resistant. I was out on a long week trip with my Kifaru Hoodlum. I had a good bit of rain and the pack soaked through in about an hour or two in a constant drizzle with off and on heavy downpours. The bag fabric is quite water-resistant but water gets in from stitching and zippers.
- Badlands uses the latest technology fabric with taped seams that keep water away from your gears. I was caught by the slightest rain one day, It lasted about 20 minutes but my badland 2200 kept my stuff dry and safe. But the fabric of Badlands also not waterproof but water-resistant. I’ve never had any badlands pack in the heavy rain but I don’t think they can’t get wet in heavy rain so I would suggest whatever backpack you use, always spray them with waterproofing spray before going out in snow or rain or use an external rain cover.
- Tenzing backpacks are water-resistant, not waterproof. It means they are designed in such a way, It is difficult for water to get in but some hunters do not agree with the Tenzing statement. However, Tenzing gives rain cover with backpacks, which meant to be used for harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow.
- ALPS OutdoorZ backpacks are not waterproof but they come with a blaze orange external rain cover to keep your valuable gears dry. ALPS offers some of their backpacks like ALPS OutdoorZ Delta Waterfowl water-shield backpack which constructed of TPU material and welded seams, paired with highly water repellent aqua-guard zippers.
- Eberlestock backpacks are also water-resistant, not waterproof. Eberlestock itself recommends external rain cover with it. That means they are not sure their packs are waterproof.
- CVLife comes with water-resistant fabric. The fabric of CVLife tactical backpack gets wet more quickly in the rain. So always use the external rain cover to protect it from water.
17 Things to Carry in a Hunting Backpack – ESSENTIALS CHECKLIST!
There are a few essentials you need to pack while going bow hunting every time. Beside these set of the basic things you will need, don’t ever forget to take your hunting license along with you while going bow hunting.
The basic thing necessary for a human to stay alive is water. So this is the foremost thing you need to pack in your bag pack. If you are planning to hunt near a river or any other place where you have access to water, you can fill a minimum of 3 liters in your backpack bladder.
The second important thing you need to take along with you is food. You can’t stay hungry all stay long so you must keep some food to stay energetic all day long. Instead of proper meals, remember to pack some sugary snacks along with some fiber food or nuts which are easy to carry and keep you energetic too.
3. First aid kit
You can never predict what might happen in your bow hunting trip. You may come across an unpredictable or unseen accident anywhere in the woods so you must always carry a first aid kit along with some extra medicines you might need there. You must keep it somewhere in your backpack to make it easily accessible.
4. Rain Gear
Rain gears including rain pants and rain zipper cannot be forgotten. Weather is sometimes unpredictable. You should also bring a rain cover for your backpack to cover all your gears from water. Most of the backpacks in the market come with an orange blaze rain cover to protect your backpack and gears. So, Before buying the backpack check it’s all accessories.
You should never depend on your phone light only while going bow hunting because it can always die. So you must bring another source of light either that be a flashlight or a headlamp because your hunt may take much longer than you might have estimated and you may have to return home in the dark.
6. Batteries for Flashlight
Along with the flashlight, don’t forget to take some extra batteries in your backpack. Don’t think that you will use it only in night but sometimes the weather is so dark that your sight will be limited. This is something that every hunter must go through.
A box of matches won’t add any weight to your backpack but it surely counts when you need to burn something to take the heat in cold woods.
You naturally don’t want to forget this essential tool as you will need it for many basic purposes in the jungle-like cutting the skin and meat of your pray after your hunt.
9. Trash bags
You will need these trash bags when packing out the game. However, if you want to pack a larger game, you need to invest in game bags as they are reusable and safe from wear and tear.
10. Range Finder
It’s a small and fairly lightweight device. It’s really important to carry it along while going bow hunting as it helps you to make an ethical shot while hunting.
A compass is a very important tool to keep you in the right direction in the jungle. It will not take much space but it is a very important element for navigation.
12. Toilet Papers
Sometimes hunting takes longer than we thought, So it is very important to bring with you some toilet paper in a backpack. Because You won’t get any more water there or there will be no bathroom.
13. Spare Arrows
Always bring more arrows in the backpack, ٰAt starting, My shots were not perfect at that time. So I used to miss the shots, In result, arrows used to be lost. I used to ask myself many times why i didn’t bring extra arrows.
14. Game Call
A game call is not necessary but I recommend you to take with you especially when you’re going to hunt a turkey. Howstuffworks has explained the game call and how it works.
This gadget will help you to keep your eye in your surroundings from far away or from a tree stand. From a binocular, You can watch your prey coming and prepare your self to take a shot. Some hunters don’t carry it because of less space in the backpack. For those, I would recommend buying a Binocular case for your ease. I always hang a bino case in my chest before going to hunt, Because i use it more. Binocular case from Badlands has worked perfectly for me.
16. Night Vision Scope
Bring a night vision scope with your self if you’re going to hunt in the night. I and my community hunters always suggest this gadget to all the hunters. We have experienced this thing, In early bow season deer mostly move in starting and last hours of daylight. But if you don’t get a chance of seeing a deer in daylight, you’ll definitely try to take your shot in the night. You will need this gear then.
17. Hunting License
Always bring your hunting license or any other regulatory documents with your self.
After testing these all hunting Bow/Rifle Hunting backpacks, ٰI have come to this conclusion that Kifaru and Badlands bags are little bit expensive but well worth the money.
If you want to buy a LONG LASTING, ROUGH AND TOUGH with plenty of storage pack, I would always suggest you to go for Kiafru Hoodlum or Badlands 2200. However, Eberlestock Elk pack also has huge main room and compartments.
So, Which Bow/Rifle Hunting Backpack are you going to BUY?
Let me know your thoughts and we can discuss anything (in the comments below) that I might have missed in this article.