No matter what is the main purpose of your trip, the preparation makes it all. You have to bring many things with you, depending on the approximate duration of the trip, in order to stay safe and alive. What is more important, for hunters, it is essential to pack gear and other staff fully and correctly if they want to come back home packed with booty after a successful hunt. However, not every bag is suitable for hunting or other hiking trips.
Your hunting pack must be large enough to accommodate all the tremendous equipment such as a sleeping bag and staff for a bonfire and comfortable to let you carry it for long periods of time without any fatigue. Otherwise, you are risking lacking the equipment or distracting you from the best hunting experience. Therefore, you should not underestimate the usability of the hunting backpack if you indeed want to alleviate your trips and even make them more successful.
In this article, you will find our top picks of available hunting packs with detailed descriptions, several useful tips on how to properly pack bags, and a buyer’s guide on how to choose a good pack. Stay with us if you are a proficient hunter or just planning your first hunt!
The Best Hunting Backpacks
For our readers, we selected the best hunting backpacks found both online and in land-based shops considering several factors:
- value for money;
- durability and resistance to various weather conditions;
- comfort in usage;
- ability to carry heavy loads;
- good organization of pockets for better packaging;
- availability on the market, etc.
1. The Best Hunting Backpack Overall – TideWe
Indeed, one of the best available backpacks for long hiking or hunting trips without being neither too complicated nor expensive is TideWe. Being not too big, it has enough space with two pieces of the main compartment and one more undersized pocket. It also provides enough comfort and diminishes the load with padded shoulder straps. The ergonomic organization of pockets makes all the staff easily accessible. What is more, you also acquire an integrated rain cover in this hunting pack, so you should not be worried about having your gear wet or spoiled.
TideWe versatile pack fits any activity perfectly thanks to its camo coloration along with universal size and capacity. Be sure all your hunting gear will find its place inside this pack. What is more important, it will withstand any weather or damage as it is made with 600D polyester, so it has no chance of tearing or ripping. It also provides a detachable steel carbon frame which makes it more durable and way more secure in case of carrying heavy loads. The weight of the bag itself is approximately 6 pounds, yet it is one of the lightest hunting packs found in the shops.
Moreover, it feels way lighter thanks to the comfortability of carrying and the affluence of handy straps and soft pads, so it will not become an extra burden for you. This hunting backpack is completed with a 2-liter hydration pocket, so you will not be left thirsty unless you do not take water.
However, it is important to note that the materials of which the pack consists can be loud, especially the zippers; consider this detail if planning to take this pack hunting. However, it is still of worthy value since the price is only $70 for such versatility and high quality of materials!
2. Best Value Hunting Pack – Badlands 2200
Here is a distinctively perfect backpack for hunters – Badlands 2200. Its main feature is the availability of a meat hauler, which is definitely a benefit for any hunter since there is no need to worry about losing the quality of the booty. Talking about other pros of this pack, it has a detachable internal frame for better support of heavy loads and a volumetric quick-release buckle for easy access to the main compartment, which can hold up to 20 pounds of stuff. The pack is also equipped with a detachable rifle boot, so you can store your handgun or bow there without any injuries.
It is made with a durable and waterproof KXO-50 Badlands’ own fabric, which is even better than their previous models. Moreover, the stitches are made with aramid thread, which ensures the strength of this hunting bag, so it will not tear up even in the most stressful moments. Also, the frame is made with magnesium alloy, which is an extremely durable and lightweight material. Badlands hunting pack also has adaptable compression straps and a molded foam padded waist belt which will provide you with extra support and balance by comfortably distributing the weight of the load.
In general, it is the best budget pack for big-game hunters for only $300. However, the rifle holder is placed too far back, which cannot be very handy for both beginners and proficient hunters. You can really trust the producer since they constantly improve the quality of their products by making them lighter and stronger and paying attention even to the center of gravity of the pack.
What is also important, the Badlands backpack is made extremely quiet, which is definitely an advantage for any deer hunting pack.
3. Best Lightweight Packs – ALPS
Here are three ALPS hunting backpacks that you will definitely enjoy carrying, each coming for distinctive purposes:
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit pack
This is an outstanding product among many other hunting packs. First of all, it is a perfect choice for bowhunters, which is a rare option nowadays. It has an extended pocket for a bow and sturdy lashing straps, so you’re and your bow’s security is guaranteed even while keeping your hands free. The organization is also at its best, thanks to two large main pockets and external pockets for the hunting gear. What is also good about ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is its waist belt that will help you to distribute the load, keep the balance even with big loads, and even has a webbing to place clip-style holsters.
Even though the specification of this hunting bag is bowed, you can safely use it with any rifle or handgun with the waterproof fabric it is made of.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander
This one is definitely the best backcountry pack overall. You can go on a 3-day trip with it and not worry about the supplies. Being a meat hauler, it is also a perfect choice if you are planning to haul heavy loads since it suggests extra compression straps and an extremely sturdy frame, which makes the most of the pack’s weight. The volume of the main room is 5250 cubic inches, which is already a lot, but it also has multiple additional pockets for all your equipment, a handy spotting scope pocket, and many smaller pockets for your knives, flashlights, and even ammunition, some of them located on the shoulder straps. Commander also has a sleeve for the bladder and functions as other liquids’ storage space.
In our opinion, it is one of the best hunting backpacks among many others, thanks to its functionality and price, so you indeed should consider planning a long backcountry trip.
ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest
As can be understood from the name, ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest is perfect for turkey hunting. It is designed as a vest and has two removable legs and a thick-padded seat like a chair, so you can hide and wait in ambush without straining your legs and spine for long periods of time. The organization is also perfect since there are additional removable pockets, so you can control the weight you are going to carry and remove those unused ones.
Made specifically for hunting, there are lots of pockets, including those for locator-call, three strikers, diaphragm-call pockets, two side pockets for water, and two slate-call pockets. What is more important, it is suitable for big-game hunting thanks to the presence of a blood-proof bag in the biggest compartment.
However, be ready to face not enough power of the magnet for the pop-out legs of the pack. Nevertheless, it is still the best pick for a turkey hunting pack!
4. Best Deer Hunting Backpack – Badlands
Coming back to Badlands, here is an MRK6 framed hunting backpack designed for hunting deer as well as elk hunting. Thanks to the impression development program of Badlands company, this backpack withstood numerous modifications to finally become the best version of itself that is possible to haul heavy loads without being uncomfortable at all. Except for being one of the biggest in the Mountain Range Killer Series, it is also considered to be the most versatile hunting backpack.
Surely, it has a meat storage space, or so-called meat shelf system, and has easy access to the main compartment with a handy zipper. What is more, this hunting pack is equipped with an adjustable hip belt, shoulder, and waist straps for maximum comfort; even the torso length can be adjusted here!
It is a great pack for any deer hunting trip with incompatible materials and organization, following all the features Badlands always include in their products, such as a light magnesium internal frame, a variety of pockets, and access provided by the front zipper.
Even though it is pricey, it is definitely worth it being a premium-quality pack.
5. Best Versatile Hunting Backpack – Mystery Ranch
There are many generalist packs, although the only one which really stands out is Mystery Ranch Scree 32. It is not very big, just like every common day pack bag, comes in plain gray color, so will fit any outdoor walk, including both paths to work and hunting trips. You can easily access the main compartment with two internal pockets using a Y-zipper. There are also waist belt pockets presented, along with several pockets in the lid, and water pockets, so you will find enough space to pack safely all the small stuff you are bringing.
This hunting backpack is also equipped with a removable waist belt system that allows you to easily change the pressure. However, it may lack tension in the shoulder straps, which may become an annoying detail for hunters, yet will not distract you during routine walks.
In general, Mystery Ranch is indeed a versatile backpack for any situation you may face, so consider having it!
6. Best Organized Hunting Bag – Drake Waterfowl
This Drake walk-in hunting pack is a comfy choice if you do not need a huge hunting backpack and are in need of a one-day pack with many separated sections. The Drake pack volume is 15 pounds, so it will fit a duck hunt perfectly. The compartment is spacious enough to carry all your equipment, including a handgun, a rain cover, and the booty as well. The front pocket lets you store the most needed accessories with easy access, and the spotting scope pocket will carry your optics.
What is more, there is a removable waterproof liner that will keep the gear dry even during wet weather. The front surface of this hunting backpack is designed to store ammunition and has no mesh pockets, so there is no need to worry about losing something.
The pack is covered with 600D nylon with a few extra layers and has a diamond-quilted shape for better durability. Indeed, it is one of the best hunting backpacks among small- and mid-sized ones and will be a perfect pick for hunting beginners.
7. Best Lightweight Frame Pack – EXO Mountain Gear
If you are afraid of carrying too much on your back, consider more lightweight backpacks, such as EXO K2. It is designed so that the center of gravity is well-balanced and you do not feel the strain at all for a better big game hunting. It has multiple padded external frames, including a hip belt, which will distribute the weight of up to 240 pounds over your body without limiting the movements.
The materials used in this great pack are absolutely waterproof and soft, including a padded carbon fiber frame and game-hauling fiber inside the pack. Another pleasant detail about this gear is that you can acquire an external frame pack for $370 or the whole system for about $500, so you can employ more hunting gear if needed.
All in all, the market is full of amazing hunting packs, so you will inevitably find the one that perfectly fits your needs. However, it is important to choose the right backpack, so below, you will find the buyer’s guide for youtube able to pick the best hunting backpack!
Best Hunting Backpack Buyers Guide
There exist several aspects that define the path which you should use to find your best hunting backpack. All of them are important if you really want to choose the pack that will meet all your desires and makes your hunting the most comfortable.
Below, you will find all the most crucial factors that you should consider while picking the best hunting pack.
The most paramount characteristic of a hunting pack is for how long it will serve you and under which conditions. It is highly demanded that your pack is able to withstand heavy rain and extreme storms. Moreover, it must not tear up while you are climbing or wading through the forest. Therefore, the stitches must be made with solid materials and be as tight as possible, as well as the main fabric should be water-resistant and sturdy.
Pay special attention to the frames and straps of the backpack, as they also should be solid and non-tearable. Surely, it is a rare occasion, but sometimes wild animals try to attack the hunter, so one may use their pack as a shield.
There is no doubt you want your hunting pack to be as spacious as possible since the main purpose of hunting is to take as much booty as you can find. Therefore, the capacity of your pack is one of the foremost features you should estimate. Obviously, a bigger pack is needed in case of multi-day hunts, not only to store the meat but also to carry all the sleeping and first-aid supplies.
The average volume of a hunting pack is about 3000 cubic inches, so you may fall under this number for a one-day pack and increase the volume in case of longer trips.
Bag Comfort and Fit
The next considerable point here is the comfortability of the pack. Note that it is the cargo with which you will have to spend lots of time in extreme conditions, yet indeed inevitable, so it must provide you with the highest level of comfort. Pay attention that there are padded belts, straps, and packs back so that these parts will not press your body too much.
Consider the models that have a waist belt, especially if you are aiming at hunting big game. Moreover, you can usually choose from a variety of sizes of packs, so there should be no limitations in finding a perfectly fitting backpack.
To choose the best backpack for your circumferences, measure your waist and compare it with one of the waist belts of the pack. Note that for better fitting, the surface of the pack should be touching your back tightly, yet should not put pressure on your spine and loins.
Except for considering the volume of the pack, it is significant to determine the amount of weight you are going to carry. Your pack should be durable and comfortable to let you carry heavier loads. For instance, if your purpose is deer or elk hunting, consider a pack of up to 100 pounds capacity.
Also, look for the meat hauling models as they are usually more durable and blood-proof. What is more, if your hunting style includes a bow or a big rifle, determine an additional 30 liters of the needed capacity.
- Hunting Backpack Internal Space
Surely, the backpack must be functional, especially the hunting one. You want to be able to access all your equipment in a couple of seconds by storing each piece of ammunition in a separate pocket. Hence, it is extremely useful to have a pack that has a couple of main compartments along with a dozen of smaller pockets. The best hunting backpack will provide you with special pockets for all types of gear, including scope and knife pockets, flashlight hanger, secure pocket for wallet and mobile phone, walkie-talkie pocket, meat shelf, and so on.
It is also common for the hunting packs to have an internal rain cover that is used to protect the gear when it is rather inside or outside of the pack.
- Hydration Pocket
Water is an inevitable part of any trip, especially hiking or hunting. Remember, you must not leave the house without having enough water with you unless you want to experience dehydration.
Some hunting backpacks have built-in bladders that sometimes can store up to 50 liters of liquid. However, you may have some additional amounts with you.
- Bag’s Silence
Do not forget that you are planning to take the pack on your hunting trip. Since your targets are animals, remember that you have to be extremely quiet while waiting, so take care of choosing the pack made with soft and calm materials that will not make unwanted sounds. Note that those are zippers that usually tend to make the loudest noise!
Hopefully, this guide will help you to determine the best option for you without losing any valuable qualities of the hunting pack. It is impossible to highlight the most crucial features listed above since all of them may play a highly important role in your hunting experience. Therefore, rely on your comfort, purposes, and needs.
Hunting Bag Frames Choice
There exist internal frame packs and external frame packs; however, what is the difference and what is better, you may ask. It depends on your hunting style and the target. For a one-day pack for small animals, internal frames are perfect since they do not take up a lot of space and are not as weighty, which allows you to move freely.
In contrast, external frame packs are less lightweight but offer more capacity and are more breathable, which increases the chances of having the meat fresh for longer amounts of time.
Hence, it is a perfect choice for big game hunting.
Hunting Bag Content Picks
Another demanded question is how to pack a bag and what to take with you on a hunting trip. Since there are no specific instructions, everyone comes up with their own lists of essential equipment and ammunition.
Now, we would like to present you the list of things we consider the most significant in a long backcountry trip for any hunting style and any lasting.
- First of all, you always must have several first aid kits with you. It is indeed an essential part of any trip, let it be a car trip, hiking, or hunting. There is a little chance you will be able to escape the forest with an injured limb without further complications. Therefore, you should have painkillers, bandages, and disinfectant solutions in your first aid kit. If you are hunting with friends, it is better for each of you to have an individual kit in the order you get lost.
- Always equip yourself and your pack with a rain cover. Even though some backpacks are manufactured as water resistant, an extra cover will not take up a lot of space and weight, along with offering extra protection for your gear. It is also a good idea to consider some bright colors, like an orange rain cover, so that your comrades could find you in the night setting.
- Do not forget to bring a powerful flashlight and some extra batteries to find your way in the dark. A power bank for your phone is also a good thing to take with you since there is no electricity in the trees, so you may place yourself in a situation where you are left without a network connection in the middle of nowhere.
- Obviously, you should take enough food and water with you. Even though you are likely to catch some big game, it is undoubtedly you will eat it right at the place only unless you would like to experience true survival. Therefore, bring some long-lasting temperature-resistant foods and enough water to supply yourself during the exhaustive trip.
- You can also consider taking reserve clothes in order your main suit gets wet, or it feels too cold in it. Your health and comfort are the main priority here, so no matter whether you already got some fresh meat or not, it is better to stay safe instead of trying your fortune and experiencing health limits.
- Knives, manual chainsaw, scope lighter, or matches – all of these things are also essential for any trip. However, it depends on the length and purposes of the ongoing trip in which amount you need them, if at all. However, these cannot be in excess, so you would better have some instead of having none at all. Surely, the desired weapon and ammunition are very likely to be present on your hunting trip.
As you can see, there are many things to be placed in your hunting pack, so it definitely should be sturdy and big enough to comfortably carry all the stuff. Do not hesitate to take all of the abovementioned things since some of them may save your life on some occasions!
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What Backpack Does Steven Rinella Use?
Steven’s hunting style makes him use not the cheapest equipment. Many people appreciate his hunting habits and know what he carries with him, so it is not surprising that his choice is a big and tough Mystery Ranch G5000. Although it is indeed pricey, it provides you with the best quality and durability.
Are KUIU Packs Worth It?
KUIU backpacks are quite widespread on the American hunting market, but we did not include any of their pack in our top list. Yes, their packs are ultra-lightweight and soft; however, in comparison with some other models, these are losing. However, it is better for you to try them on to see whether it is a likable choice for you.
What Are The Best Hunting Backpacks?
It is really difficult to highlight only one company that is considered to produce the best hunting backpacks since each one has its own pros and cons. However, we can distinguish some qualities of worthy packs: durability, resistance, extreme capacity, and good organization of space.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Hunting Pack?
First of all, the covering materials. They should be solid and quiet. Second of all, the comfort of usage, so that you do not feel tired or pressured while carrying. Lastly, the storage capacity of the pack since you are going to bring many things with you. Always remember those three characteristics to pay precise attention to.
How We Selected These Hunting Backpacks?
To create the list of our top picks, we relied on the trustworthiness of the producer by checking the customers’ feedback. We also took care of checking whether the packs matched the above-mentioned features of good backpacks.
What Is the Best Deer Hunting Backpack?
Badlands MRK6 is considered to be one of the most fitting packs for deer hunting. It has enough capacity to carry the booty, a quiet body, and a built-in blood-proof cover.
What Should I Keep in My Hunting Backpack?
Always remember to bring a first aid kit and some survival stuff with you. These should include a flashlight, matches, and extra batteries. Do not forget to take enough food and water and even reserve clothes.
How Big of a Pack Do I Need for Elk Hunting?
A big game hunting backpack should be no less than 5000 cubic inches. It will allow you not only to carry the booty but also to comfortably place your gear inside. If choosing the pack for elk hunting, it is likely to prefer a strong external frame.
How Do I Clean My Hunting Backpack?
It is not harder than cleaning your daily pack; just wipe the outside with a wet cloth. However, do not forget about the inside since it needs more attention – if you carry meat, you will have to remove the odors and clean the fabric so that there is no chance for the mold to appear.