Best Hunting Backpack: Reviews Of Affordable Ones (2018)
To all serious hunters,
Today, I’ll show you one TOP secret used by experienced hunters to increase their chances of success in the hunting fields.
And this secret is…arming yourself with the best hunting backpack!
Yes, you heard it right. Having a nice, durable hunting backpack allows you to conveniently carry ALL your hunting accessories to your hunting location.
This leaves your hands totally free to carry out other tasks.
A nice pack also allows you to easily and quickly access all your hunting stuff whenever and wherever you need them.
And the best part?
The pack stands ready to ferry all your loads of meat after you’ve made a kill!
Most hunters don’t have an idea what a hunting backpack looks like. And this results in buying the wrong model that ends up hurting their expectations.
That said, I have decided to write this post to educate you on some essential things you need to know about a hunting pack.
Don’t forget that I also collaborated with some pro hunters to compile for you the 10 highly affordable, best of the best hunting packs on the market today!
Let’s get into more details…
What's a Hunting Backpack?
Before we get any deeper, allow me to start by giving you an idea of how an ideal hunting backpack looks like…
A hunting backpack simply refers to a specialized bag for conveniently carrying all the hunting gear and equipment you need for the day’s hunt.
Being a specialized bag, it comes with some unique features not found in an average backpack. One such feature involves a super-rugged design which enables the bag to withstand the rough and tough outdoor conditions you’ll be using it in. Besides, this enables the bag to hold up to the heavy weight of your gear.
You’ll expect an ideal hunting bag to come with multiple pockets for carrying just any hunting accessory you can think of. Some even feature specialized pockets/compartments for carrying specific items- like rifles and bows.
I also learned from the experienced hunters that all hunting packs usually have a larger capacity than a standard pack to facilitate easy transportation of all your items.
Amazingly, the bag also comes designed for the ultimate comfort- ensuring it doesn’t get you easily fatigued when out there.
The best thing I loved about these bags is that nearly all of them come with a camouflage pattern that matches your hunting environment. And this ensures you don’t get easily detected by your target deer.
Now that you have a clue what a hunting pack is, let me take you straight to the 10 most popular and highly reliable models used by pro hunters all over the world.
10 Best Hunting Backpacks For The Money:
1. ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack Review:
All the ALPS OutdoorZ hunting backpacks are designed to exceed your expectations. The ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack is one of their signature packs that enjoy extensive usage among hunters from all walks of for life for its exceptional durability and reliability. It comes with a large storage capacity of up to 2285 cubic inches, meaning it’ll accommodate all your hunting accessories and gear for the day.
Another area where this backpack scores highly is the organization of your gear. It comes with multiple pockets and compartments to allow you to organize your items as well as easily access them when necessary. These pockets include one large front accessory pocket, main storage compartment for hauling loads of meat, lower storage pocket, hydration port and pocket, and mesh side pockets for additional storage.
The super-lightweight hunting pack doesn’t compromise your comfort. It comes with side compression straps that excellently pull in the weight of the loaded pack, making the load feel easier and comfortable for you. Besides, it comes with padded waist belt as well as shoulder straps (with adjustable sternum straps) which takes your comfort to a whole new level.
2. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag Review:
The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander features on our list as one of the best pack frames for hunting. Also a product of the ALPS OutdoorZ, this backpack also comes ready to meet your hunting gear carrying needs. Designed using durable Nylon Ripstop fabric, you can expect this pack to walk with you for many, many hunting seasons- even when used in the harshest weather conditions.
Like our first model above, I also noted that this bag comes with multiple pockets and compartments to make it easy for you to organize your hunting equipment. These include two side accessory hinged pockets, spotting scope pocket, and the main, front pocket. In addition to this, it offers you clip style holster, hydration pocket and port drop down rifle pocket to allow for easy carrying of your hunting rifle.
Note that this uniquely designed bag comes attached to a frame and provides you with an extra-large storage volume of up to 5,250 cubic inches. And because it also features a unique lashing system, you’ll be able to securely carry your meat after a successful hunt. You can also opt to remove the pack bag and use the frame as a standalone, flexible freighter frame.
For the wearer comfort, the bag comes equipped with shoulder straps and padded waist belts.
3. Eberlestock Gunrunner Pack Review:
Eberlestock is another respected name in the hunting packs industry. They’ve continued to woo hunters all over the world with their top-of-the-line hunting packs, built with all your gear storage needs in mind. As one of their most popular products, the super-lightweight Eberlestock H2 Gunrunner Pack comes with an integrated scabbard that facilitates safe carrying and quick access to your rifle whenever you need it.
When it comes to storage space, this bag doesn’t disappoint. It gives you just the right carrying capacity for all your hunting gear. It comes with a top compartment where you can safely carry your hunting calls, rangefinders, etc. the main compartment comes handy when you want to bring your day’s food supplies as well as extra clothing. Like the ALPS OutdoorZ packs, this model is also hydration compatible, so you’ll have an easy way to carry enough water for rehydration along the way.
All the hunters who have used this bag agree that it’s cross horizontal and vertical compression straps maximize their comfort by simply grappling things to the bag. Also, keep in mind that it comes with a stowable waist belt that stabilizes your load when moving fast, further enhancing your comfort.
4. ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack Review:
If you’re looking for the best hunting pack for the money, consider investing in the ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack. Despite its lower price, this bag outranks some of the high-end models with its excellent performance. It’s ideal for mid to late season hunting when additional gear and clothing are needed.
One of the top things you’ll love in this pack is the PE polymer frame sheet that keeps your gear secure while helping balance your heavy loads (for comfort reasons). You’ll also appreciate the fact that it features an expandable, large main pocket where you can carry most of your hunting gear. On top of this, it comes with a gun/bow pocket, zippered front pocket, side mesh pockets, and attachment points- all of which offer you additional space for carrying your gear.
Like our previous products, this ALPS also features a hydration port and pocket- allowing you to carry your preferred water bladder to keep you hydrated in the wild. The brushed polyester fabric used to make this pack is not only durable but also noiseless to ensure you don’t spook the deer.
Best part of the deal- it comes with a blaze orange rain cover that not only keeps your stuff dry and free from moisture but also facilitates your own safety in the woods.
5. Tenzing TC SP14 Shooter's Pack Hunting Backpack Review:
For the bowhunters looking for the best bowhunting backpack, consider this Tenzing TC SP14 Shooter's Pack as your number one option. This bag is versatile in the sense that it can transform from a pack that securely carries your scoped rifle to a self-contained shooting rest that allows you to shoot the game without actually removing the gun from the scabbard.
It’s also important to note that Tenzing TC SP14 Shooter's Pack is the only pack that comes designed to securely carry a crossbow. It features a deep central channel plus specialized compression straps for securely holding your crossbow, allowing you to safely and easily carry it all the way up the ladder to your hunting stand. With a total of 9 pockets and compartments, organizing your hunting stuff in this bag for easy access becomes quite possible.
Since it comes with a total storage space of 1600 cu in, this bag will perfectly fit most of your gear. Features like padded hip panels ensure that you’ll feel comfortable when wearing this backpack. And unlike most of the packs out there, it comes with a foldout rain cover that keeps your items free from water and moisture when hunting in rainy conditions.
6. Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler Review:
The Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack is the pack that put the Badland brand on the map. In other words, it is their signature hunting pack designed for any serious hunters- whether bow or rifle hunter. The bag comes ready to fulfill all its duties as a daypack for conveniently carrying your hunting gear and at the same time acting as a meat hauler.
Unlike its competition, this bag is build using acute knowledge of biomechanics, physics, and proper ergonomics. Need to explain, this approach leads to a bag that delivers the ultimate performance. Most notably, it features a near perfect COG (center of gravity) design, which teams up with your body’s natural ability to support weight. Moreover, it features a T-6 aircraft aluminum frame that bypasses your spine to evenly distribute the weight of any load down to the hips- enhancing comfort and control.
For well-organization of your gear, the Badlands 2200 offers you a multitude of pockets. These enable you to carry different hunting gear- including bipods, bows, rifles, hydration, etc. - and access them easily. Don’t forget that this pack can carry up to 2L water bladder to keep you hydrated for a long hunting day.
7. Allen Company 19099 Pagosa Daypack Review:
For those hunters working on an extremely low budget, this is your part. The Allen Company 19099 Pagosa Daypack comes with a pocket-friendly price, allowing you to enjoy the great features and reliability that comes with a great hunting pack without breaking the bank.
This model might not have come with a monster storage volume like most of the bags we’ve previously discussed. Nevertheless, it offers you up to 1800 cubic inches which will be able to carry all the hunting items you need at hand. Like the other top-quality hunting packs, it also features both internal and external pockets and organizers to ensure your stuff stay organized while inside there. Accessing all your contents in low-light conditions has been made easy in this pack, with its bright lining and zipper pulls.
Being a hydration-ready bag, it comes with dual water bottle holders which will carry more than enough water for you on a day’s hunting expedition. Thanks to comfort-enhancing features like adjustable sternum strap, side compression strap, padded shoulder strap, and a waist belt (adjusts to 52”), you’ll feel incredibly comfortable when wearing this pack!
8. Timber Hawk Killshot Backpack Review:
We’re nearing the end of our top-best hutting packs reviews. The Timber Hawk Killshot Backpack won our eight spot due to its commitment to meeting your hunting bag needs/requirements. It comes with a small profile for quietly navigating through the woods, while still being able to carry sufficient gear for extended hunting trip.
Crafted using the polyester brushed tricot (with PVC backing), Timber Hawk Killshot Backpack is an ultra-quiet cloth pack that will not spook your target game while in the thick timbers. It offers you a large capacity main compartment that will accommodate all your big hunting items or your meat after making a kill. You’ll also find the drop-down scabbard quite handy for securely carrying your hunting rifle/bow. Not to forget it also provides you with a padded front organizer as well as fleece lined accessory pocket for additional storage space.
Gladly, it also comes with a two-liter hydration bladder for your hydration needs. With the included Raptor compression straps, attaining load stability becomes easy. Using the included Silent Stalk quick-ejection clips, you can effortlessly drop the pack while in a hurry. And yes, the bag also offers you a blaze orange pull-out rain fly to protect your hunting gear from rain and moisture.
9. Tenzing TZ 6000 Hunting Backpack Review:
Here’s another best hunting pack from Tenzing you can find on the market today…Lighter, Stronger, and Bigger than any comparable model on the market, you can count on this pack as your ultimate long-range hunting gear hauler. It removes all the blocks in your hunting career path, allowing you to go further, hunt for days while being able to carry all the rewards of your successful hunting expedition.
At first sight, you might think that this pack might not meet your storage needs due to its lightweight feel (i.e., it weighs under 8lbs). Wait until you start stashing your hunting gear and accessories inside; it’ll offer you a storage space of up to 4,400 cubic inches. And you can expand it to 6013 cubic inches- this makes it one of monster hunting packs you can get at a reasonable price. Bear in mind that it comes with up to 20 pockets and compartments, including an extra-large meat compartment, to allow you to organize your gear for easy access when the time comes.
Even when fully loaded, this bag will not feel like a heavy rock on your back. It comes with many comfort-enhancing features which ensure you don’t get easily fatigued when carrying your gear. These features include a fully adjustable torso suspension, padded hip support, channeled, fully ventilated back pad, and 5 lateral compression straps for stabilizing your load.
10. Eberlestock J34 Just One Pack Review:
Closing our section of the hunting backpack reviews is the Eberlestock J34 Just One Pack, another Eberlestock product. This pack comes with a jaw-dropping carrying capacity, which makes other bags looks like a big joke. It offers you initial 2300 Cu. Inch. space which you can expand to4, 600 Cu. Inch. With the built-in Cam Expansion system. Add the Super Spike Duffel's 3500 Cu. Inch., and you have a crazy 8100 Cu. Inch. load hauler!
With such a big load capacity, the manufacturer understands that this bag might be a pain on your back, so they’ve also optimized it for the ultimate comfort. It comes with a new streamlined shape, deep "3D" ventilated padding, adjustable torso length- all of which team up to make the bag easy on your back. Even better, its suspension is designed in such a way that it moves with your body- making it incredibly comfortable (even when fully loaded).
Once you’ve your game, you’ll be awed by how the Just One turns into a terrific meat hauler for you. Just open it and start packing your meat. Note that the sturdy, soft-finish camo pack comes with an exclusive ventilated, mesh-fronted meat compartment which allows your meat to cool as you pack it. Above all this, this bag features a highly visible interior which eliminates the need for a flashlight when accessing its interior contents.
Best Hunting Pack Buying Guide: What To Look For?
Having read through our previous section of the 10 best hunting packs, you’ll agree with me that they come with some of the best features you can expect in a hunting pack.
In this section, I want to share with you the things to look for when doing your shopping so that you can use it to get yourself a great model that will never disappoint you.
Here are the things to look for:
Just pause for a moment, and picture all the abuse your new hunting pack will go through in the wood. It’ll often get whipped by tree branches, come into contact with thorny bushes, get exposed to various weather conditions.
At sometimes, you’ll even drop it on the rough terrains.
As if all this isn’t enough, you’ll use it to carry your heavy hunting equipment- some of which have sharp end that it might end up tearing it apart.
With that picture in mind, you’d want to go for a pack that comes with a rugged and durable design to withstand all this abuse.
The material used to construct your bag should help you determine its durability. Some of the most common materials for design strong, tear- and wear-resistant hunting packs include nylon, Cordura nylon, rip-stop nylon, canvas, and polyester.
While still on it, look for a bag with reinforced stitching as it adds to its strength and durability.
You should also carefully examine the bag you want to buy to ensure it’ll carry ALL your essential hunting items.
To ensure you get a bag with the right capacity, there are some key things to keep in mind. For instance, have an idea of all your hunting gear and accessories, including weapons, you plan to bring along to your hunting zone. You should also have a clear picture of the amount of meat you’ll need to carry with the bag (based on the type of game you’ll be hunting).
A great hunting pack should offer you sufficient, safe and comfortable storage space for all your hunting equipment as well as the tools you’ll use to dress your day’s catch.
Going for a pack with weapon (bow or gun) carrying weapon is also highly recommended to ensure your ferry weapons safely and easily.
Whatever you do, make sure the hunting pack can accommodate all (and I mean ALL) your hunting gear.
Pockets and Compartments
While this one is closely related to our previous factor above, I saw it good to discuss it separately…
A good hunting pack should not only be able to offer you ample carrying space for all your hunting gear and accessories but should also be able to carry them in a well-organized manner so that you can always get a particular item instantly (or when the need arises).
An ideal bag should come with multiple pockets and compartments that will allow you to correctly organize all your hunting gear and easily access them when the right time comes.
A bag that features a weapon carrying system as well is also highly recommended.
The good thing about most of the hunting backpacks is that they come optimized for the ultimate comfort, even when they’re hauling heavy loads.
This is quite understandable given the fact that you’ll be carrying it on your back for a long time in the fields, over and over again.
So, how do you know a hunting backpack will offer you the ultimate comfort?
Just check if the bag comes with the following comfort-enhancing features listed below…
…and so on.
Get this from me: taking with you a noisy backpack to your hunting zone will ruin your day.
Such a bag will produce sounds when out there which will then alert the game about your presence. As such, the animals will run for their dear life. And your dreams of bowing down that monster buck will get dashed.
Needles to mention, this will lead to an unsuccessful hunting expedition.
Luckily, you can turn things to work in our favor by investing in a quiet, noiseless bag that helps you remain undetected in your hunting stand. Ensure the bag you want to buy is made from materials that produce sound whenever you want to access an item or when they brush with tree branches.
Some models even come with noiseless zippers than remain quiet when you open/close them.
How many times have you gone out for a hunt in extreme weathers, filled with fears of your weather-sensitive hunting equipment (like binoculars, compass, GPS, phone, etc.) getting damaged in the process?
They’re countless, right?
Again, a nice hunting pack should come waterproof design to help keep all your hunting gear protected from the rainwater. While you might not find a 100% waterproof pack, I can assure you that you’ll get a model that resists water to certain level.
Some hunting packs even come with a rain cover as well to ensure your stuff remain dry after a downpour.
Another thing you should consider when making your purchase is the color that comes with the pack.
As I was going through the top models in the market today, I was quick to note that nearly all of them come with camouflage patterns. I highly recommend you to go such bags as they blend seemingly well with the environment, thus concealing your stand.
Still, some models come with blaze orange. Such a bag is also great for you, especially if the area you intend to hunt in requires you to wear bright orange colors for safety reasons.
Apart from these two main colors, you can also find packs with other solid colors- e.g., pink or neutral- so, you will have more than enough options.
Where possible, always go for the camouflage patterns.
Sometimes you’d want to buy from the top hunting bag manufacturers that have built a reputation for their quality products.
Some of the top names in the industry include ALPS OutdoorZ, Badlands, Tenzing, Eberlestock, to name but a few.
If you want to buy a bag that offers you the best in terms of durability and reliability, just buy from these brands. Thank me later.
As much as most hunters tend to ignore this factor when buying a hunting bag, I strongly believe it’s quite essential.
Buying a bag without a warranty is, doubtlessly, a risky move. Some of the top manufacturers we’ve just listed above sell their bags with full, unconditional lifetime warranties. And this acts as an assurance of the quality of their products to all hunters.
With a sufficiently long warranty, you can always rest assured that you’ll have a safety net in case your backpack develops a manufacturer related defect.
One more thing…
Different hunting packs come with different prices. They range from incredibly cheap models to higher priced models.
As in all the other products, the rule of thumb also applies here- the hire you pay, the better the product.
But don’t get me wrong…
You can still find a great hunting pack that comes with all the essential features, including sufficient volume for conveniently carrying all your hunting items at an affordable price.
Just come up with a reasonable budget and then analyze all the packs that fall in that budget to see which one matches your needs/expectations.
Types Of Hunting Backpack and Their Usage
I know this might be a surprise to many hunters out there, but there are different types out there.
Below, I’ll take you through a list of the most common hunting backpacks and their usage…
A daypack is typically smaller than a multiday pack (discussed below). It comes with an extremely lightweight design as well as smaller carrying capacity- ranging from 1300 to 2500 cubic inches. Most of the packs that fall into this category lack a meat hauling compartment.
However, they come with basic features like weapon carriage system, inbuilt rain cover, comfort-enhancing design, etc.
The daypack is suitable for hunters planning to go on a one-day hunting trip.
Multiday is another common type of hunting backpack you’ll find on the market.
This is usually a large hunting pack that presents you with a bigger storage capacity of up to 2500 cubic inches. In other words, they come with ample storage space where you can carry all your hunting gear (including large gear for overnight hunting, e.g., tents).
Unlike the daypacks, they’ve meat carrying compartments.
Due to their large carrying capacity, these backpacks often feature an internal/external frame o offer you maximum support. They also present you with all the other essential features you can expect in an ideal hunting pack.
As the name suggests, a multi-day hunting pack is great for hunters who plan to go a hunting expedition for several days.
Hunting fanny pack (waist pack)
A hunting fanny pack is the smallest of all hunting packs. Its smaller size translates to a smaller carrying capacity of less than 1300 cubic inches.
The pack is usually worn by wrapping it around your waist. Don’t forget they tend to fit easily and feel very light around your waist.
A typical waist pack features a large pocket at the center section. Besides, it features additional, multiple smaller pockets where you can stash all your smaller hunting stuff like gloves, sunscreen, extra ammo, GPS, notebook, and even cell phone.
Judging from the above description, you can easily tell that a fanny pack facilitates easy and quick access to your hunting items.
This means you can use it when going to your stand or during your scouting trip.
How To Select The Perfect One For You?
If you want to get the PERFECT type of hunting backpack that blends well with your needs and expectations, you should start by asking yourself the 4 questions below…
1. What’s your hunting process like?
The first step to getting the perfect type of haunting pack for your hunting trips involves defining what type of hunter you are.
If your hunting style involves moving from one stand to another, then you should consider looking for a smaller backpack. This will give you the high mobility you need while making it easy for you to traverse the rough terrains you’ll come across.
What if you hunt from a blind? In that case, a large backpack can work excellently for you as you’ll not have to lift it from point to point.
2. Which game do you plan to hunt?
The second question you’ll need to ask yourself is the type of game you intend to hunt.
If you plan to hunt small animals like ducks, then you’ll need a small sized pack. A bigger backpack will be ideal if you plan to hunt the deer.
The bigger the size of game, the bigger the size of bag you’ll need. This is considering the hunting gear you’ll require for the job as well as a means of carrying your meat after a kill.
3. What type of weapon will be using out there?
In the hunting world, its either you’re using a rifle or a bow.
As a bow hunter, I’d recommend you to go for packs that come with built-in bow and quiver holders to enable you to safely and comfortably carry your weapon (as well as easily access it when the necessary).
A pack with single strap design can also do for the bowhunters.
For the hunters using a rifle, be sure to check out for backpacks that come with a rifle carrying system to ensure you’ll have an easy method of carrying it and free your hands to do other essential tasks.
4. For how long do you plan to spend in the hunting fields?
If it’s just for a day, then you’d be better off with a daypack. As we’ve discussed earlier on, this type of pack comes with sufficient space for holding a single day hunting equipment.
But if you’re going to spend several nights out there, then you’ll need to carry with you more supplies and gear. And this means you’ll need to invest in a multi-day pack to carry all your necessities conveniently.
Backpacking For Hunting: What To Take?
Before I close our long post on the best hunting backpacks, there’s one more important thing I’d like to share with you.
That is, a checklist of the items to carry inside your bag to increase your chances of getting a successful hunt.
For any serious hunter, having the best hunting backpack should be your top priority. Such a bag will not only make the while hunting process less cumbersome but will also leave your hands free to carry out other tasks.
It also ensures you don’t leave behind any essential hunting item due to lack of means of carrying it to your hunting spot.
In the above post, I’ve outlined for you the 10 top-rated packs for hunting, their features, and what makes them stand from the rest.
Because I picked these with the help of experienced hunters, I can 100% assure you that they’ll more than meet your hunting gear carrying needs.
Just go through these products and let the provided buying guide help you in selecting one that matches your expectations.