Backpacks are essential for hunting. While many people would think that choosing a backpack is a matter of personal choice, there are still things to consider when buying one.
The best hunting backpack for marksmen is spacious enough to handle loads of meat but light enough for use while hunting. Suffice it to say, it can haul a weapon like a rifle or bow. The bag is moisture and water-resistant, too. It is also easy to access items inside the backpack, which is very important for people who are outdoors.
Considered as one of the best hunting backpacks ever, the ICON Pro 1850 is tough and versatile. It comes with four internal and external pockets and a full opening to the main compartment. With a capacity of 1850 cubic inches, this backpack can be relied upon for a day of hunting.
One of the best things about this hunting backpack is its pocket configuration. The main compartment is spacious enough to hold tons of clothes and other items. There is also a mesh pouch inside it for holding water bladder. A vertical pouch located on the back is ideal for placing a spotting scope, or when hiking, stashing a camera. Then, there are bottle holders located on the side of the backpack.
It also gets high marks for fit and comfort. It lets a range of adjustments particularly on the hips, shoulders, and lower back. It also distributes weight well on the hips which make it comfortable for most users.
It is durable and should last for a long while. It has a sturdy frame with double stitching. Weighing 4 pounds, the ICON Pro 1850 is well built yet lightweight enough for most hunters.
Here’s another solid choice from Kuiu. It is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. It measures 39 x 20.5 x 16 inches and offers 9000 cubic inches of load capacity which is enough to load boots, clothes, and other hunting essentials.
The design of the hunting backpack can be described as minimalist and smart. It is made of TPU coated, double ripstop fabric for enhanced durability. The bag has fully taped seams. There are webbing handles filled with foam and attached on each of the four sides of the backpack.
The shoulder straps also attach through locking clips for quick and easy re-installation and removal. The fabric is waterproof while the zipper storm flap keeps rain and water from soaking the contents of the bag.
On the surface, the Slumberjack Carbine 2500 Highlander gets high marks for its camo pattern design. But look closer, and you will understand why it is such a top-rated hunting backpack for men. It is made of ultra-durable denier polyester material and features a versatile multi-weapon carry system for easy transport of a bow or rifle. The backpack has multiple pockets with side pockets for storing essentials such as optics.
Offering 2,450 cubic inches of capacity with lots of pockets, the Carbine 25000 Highlander from Slumberjack is spacious. The main compartment has enough room for items like clothes, raingear, and a sleeping bag.
Up front is a pocket assembly which can accommodate gear like a loaded game bag or bulky clothes. Its handle on the top features a quick-release buckle that can be used in hanging the bag.
It features a multi-weapon carry system with a pocket unfolding from the bottom of the pack. This can be used for holding the stock of a rifle. The hip belt has a strap for a sidearm holster. This carry system is also adjustable, giving you lots of flexibility in carrying your weapons.
The Tenzing TZ 2220 hunting backpack is considered as one of the most innovative hunting packs ever. It provides up to 2400 cubic inches of space. It is made of strong and durable fabric.
Weighing just under 4 pounds, the TZ 2220 is lightweight. It features 11 compartments for holding various accessories. Tenzing also designed it to be comfortable. It has padded hip support and evenly distributes the weight on the hips and back. While it doesn’t have an integrated hydration pack, it does have a compartment capable of holding a two-liter hydration pack. This is a convenient and flexible feature of the backpack that is worth mentioning. Finally, the backpack has a built-in rain cover, so there is no need to buy a separate one.
The Clutch from Badlands has been on the market for several years now, but it remains a highly rated hunting backpack for men. It offers a 2900 cubic inch capacity. Weighing in at 7 pounds, this is not the lightest backpack around, but it still gets good marks for its versatility and toughness.
Outside of the backpack are the dual bat wings, which support compression of the contents as well as for hauling of meat. Suffice it to say, there’s enough room inside the backpack for storage. A small hydration pack is included in this backpack.
Also outside the backpack are three compression straps placed horizontally for compressing and hauling heavy loads. At the bottom of the pack are two lash gear straps that can be used in attaching a sleeping pad or bag.
There are two mesh tubular pockets inside the main compartment and a hydration hanging pouch. At the back of the backpack are two zippered pockets at the back for more storage options.
Badlands also designed this backpack to be comfortable with padding at the back and waist belt. In short, this is a well-designed, comfortable, and spacious backpack for hunting.
The Kifaru 22 BAG offers 3000 cubic inches of storage. It measures 11 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 20 inches tall. Made from DWR coated Cordura fabric, it is able to handle heavy loads. There is a full-zip front panel where ammo, scopes, and other accessories can be stored. Two horizontal compression straps, on the other hand, can keep the load stabilized. Bottom straps are also included for holding sleeping pads.
Storage won’t be a concern with this hunting backpack as it has multiple mesh pockets aside from one top pocket where small gear can be stored. There is also a water bladder sleeve found on the interior.
This is one of the best hunting backpacks if space is the main consideration. With 4000 cubic inches of space, it can handle tons of meat. It is solidly constructed with plenty of storage options, too. It is also designed to provide superior protection from the elements.
It combines an internal frame with a detachable pack bag, giving a lot of flexibility in packing stuff. It also offers tons of space and customization, making it a highly rated backcountry hunt backpack. The top pocket is adjustable and makes filling easy. The front bag is versatile enough to be used as a stalking pack. There is also a weapon carrying pocket that can be tucked away when not in use, as well as optic storage found on the side.
This hunting backpack offers 4000 cubic inches of space, making it the ideal bag for a multi-day trip. It is durable to withstand wear and tear as it is made from ultra-tough nylon ballistic fabric. It weighs 9 pounds.
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This hunting backpack is intended for use during several days in the countryside. It is lightweight at less than 10 pounds. It distributes weight evenly and this makes it comfortable to use and carry for camping and hunting trips.
There are a couple of front-loading compartments in this pack. Both can be used for holding bulky items. Multiple exterior pockets are available for storing different essentials. It also features a removable Fanny top bag and a tubular aluminum frame.
This backpack has a rain cover that can be pulled out and keep your things dry. Moreover, the manufacturer backs it up with a lifetime warranty.
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The Sitka Mountain Hauler 6200 is lightweight but surprisingly strong and comfortable. It weighs less than 7 pounds yet is strong enough to carry up to 150 pounds of load. The primary compartment is expandable to 5000 cubic inches.
It is designed to provide carrying comfort to its users with all its load-bearing components secured directly to the frame. This results in efficient energy transfer. Comfort is also ensured with multiple foam pads in the shoulder and hip areas for superior cushioning.
The backpack should fit well due to the adjustable suspension. The hip belt is also adjustable for max comfort and fit.
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The Mystery Ranch Metcalf is designed to be a workhorse. With 4333 cubic inches of space, it is an ideal travel companion for a multi-day hunting trip. It is also relatively lightweight at 6.1 pounds.
This backpack features a dynamic frame system designed to move with the user. The lightweight carbon fiber doesn’t add up to the load, too. There are also sturdy compression straps and load lifters for stabilizing the load.
Meanwhile, a special waist belt system secures it in a natural and forward pull direction. It also incorporates the brand’s patented Future Yoke for ease in adjusting the torso length for a more comfortable fit.
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The K2 2000 daypack is a lightweight and compact hunting backpack that’s best suited for a day-long hunting sojourn. It weighs 4.5 pounds and offers up to 2900 cubic inches of space. There is enough storage in this backpack, including a hidden lid pocket, a stretch pocket at its back for storing a spotting scope, and angled side pockets for quick and easy access of items.
Accessing the contents inside the main bag area is easy with its U-shaped zip access. There are also numerous built-in mesh pockets for securing and organizing small items. It also features numerous compression straps for securing various items and loads, too.
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This lightweight hunting backpack is surprisingly lightweight and spacious. With more than 6000 cubic inches of space, it can be a good backpack to bring during a multiple day hunting trip. It is made with a resilient and TPU-coated nylon and YKK zippers that can last for many years.
Like the other Mystery Ranch backpack, it features the brand’s patented Guide Light Frame system that moves with the user and enables comfortable lifting of load. Then, there’s the familiar Overload feature for expandability and versatility.
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This hunting backpack features a spacious main bag with its center zipping apart to reveal an open top space. It offers enough room for bulky equipment and loads of meat. It also has external pockets for storage of smaller items.
It has an internal frame sheet that gives it superior stability, while the padded shoulder straps provide enough cushion and comfort. Adjustable straps are also found in the sternum area.
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Rounding out our list is this 2000 cubic inch hunting backpack from Browning Buck. It weighs less than 3 pounds, but is made of BaumShell fabric, which is both water-resistant and ultra-durable. The main compartment is large, and the front storage pocket offers enough space for storing and organizing hunting essentials. The shoulder straps are well padded, while the waist belt is comfortable and comes with storage pockets.
What to Consider When Choosing a Hunting Backpack
Consider the following factors:
Perhaps the most important factor in buying a hunting backpack is the size. You’ll need to figure out how large you need your backpack to be. Consider the gear you’ll need on most trips as well as the length of your normal hunting trip.
Backpack capacity is rated either in liters or in cubic liters. A 30 to 40 liter backpack (which measures around 1800 to 2400 cubic inches) offers enough room for storing essentials for a day or overnight trip. A larger backpack with a capacity of 50 liters or 3000 cubic inches has enough room for a weekend trip. If you are to hunt for 2-3 days, you’d need a backpack with at least 60 liters or 3600 cubic inches capacity or even more. However, as you may realize, a bigger backpack is harder to carry and maneuver with.
This doesn’t just pertain to the look of the backpack but particularly the frame and loading of the unit. For the frame, there are three choices: external, internal, or frameless. External frames offer flexibility to the set up as you can attach other items to the backpack. Frameless packs are for light loads and short hunting trips.
The more noticeable aspect of backpack design is the loading design. Top-load backpacks look like the traditional hiking pack with an opening that’s either zippered or covered with a flap. On the other hand, a panel-loading backpack is one that has its entire front open and with smaller pouches for convenient and easy access. This type of backpack is more appropriate for longer hunting expeditions.
Fit and Comfort
Fit is crucial in shopping for a hunting backpack. Simply put, a poorly fitting backpack won’t only be a nuisance when in the outdoors; it can also potentially cause a disabling injury.
Padding is crucial in ensuring comfort. Ideally, the best hunting backpack has padding in the shoulder and back area. Moreover, there should be a waist belt to accompany the shoulder straps for equal distribution of the weight load. The straps must also be adjustable.