November 30, 2021
There are two main things hunters pay for when they buy a pack: capacity and technology.
Capacity’s influence on price is pretty straightforward; the larger the pack, the more material required to make it and therefore the higher the price.
Technology is a more complicated subject and covers pack features from the design of the frame to the materials used in construction and the type of waterproofing applied to the fabric.
To get the best pack for your needs without overpaying, analyze how you’re going to use it. For example, it makes no sense to pay for a lightweight pack that can hold a few days’ worth of gear if most of your hunts are three-hour sits that require a 15-minute walk to the stand. In that case, the number of pockets and their arrangement may be the most important features to consider.
On the other hand, don’t sell yourself short on capacity. Make sure a pack will hold all the gear you’re planning to take into the woods without being so jammed you have to yank on the zippers to close it. And remember, as the season progresses and temperatures drop, you’ll need more space for hauling heavier clothing.
Here are four packs at four price points with features that cover the gamut of big-game hunting. Finding the right pack has never been easier, as options like the following meet specific sets of hunter needs perfectly.
ALPS OutdoorZ Impulse
Some do-it-all daypacks are too big. Some are too small. But the ALPS OutdoorZ Impulse is just right. The wide, fold-down top secures in place via silent magnets and offers unhindered access to the main compartment. The pack features a square base so it sits upright, or it can be hung from a tree via the carry handle. Its fleece exterior is quiet and backed by a soft fabric that also minimizes noise when contents are moved around as you dig for that last Snickers bar.
No matter if you’re heading to the treestand or the ground blind, this pack will carry all the essentials for a successful day in the woods. The Hangtime Day Pack was designed with the archery hunter in mind. Easily strap your bow to the back on the ambidextrous bow carrier while all your other gear remains at hand in the pack’s 15 pockets. The Hangtime’s rigid EVA-molded shell holds its shape for hassle-free accessibility to all your gear. If you’re hunting on the ground, attach your quiver to the side of the pack for quick access to arrows.
KUIU Pro 2300 Kit
- Capacity: 2,300 cubic inches
- Top Feature: Interchangeable bag sizes
- MSRP: $489
The Pro pack kit includes a bag made from 500-denier Cordura Ripstop material treated with K-DWR for water resistance, carbon-fiber frame with Spread Tow technology for increased rigidity and strength, padded suspension with 4 inches of torso adjustment, and two hip belt pouches. Four other Pro bags come in capacities of 1,850 to 7,800 cubic inches, and all are interchangeable with the Pro frame and suspension. Each bag includes a 2,500-cubic-inch load sling that enables carrying meat or additional gear outside the pack. The Pro 2300 pack setup weighs less than 4 1/2 pounds.
Stone Glacier Evo 6900
- Capacity: 6,900 cubic inches
- Top Feature: Lightweight storage space
- MSRP: $684
Born out of necessity for backcountry excursions, this pack has a 6,400-cubic-inch main bag and an additional 500-cubic-inch hood. With that amount of space, you shouldn’t have any issues loading all your gear for a multi-day hunt. In case you need extra room for cold-weather clothing or other bulky items, you can put more stuff on the 2,500-cubic-inch load shelf, which doubles as a meat hauler for the pack out. This pack weighs just a little more than 5 pounds empty when attached to Stone Glacier’s Medium Evo Frame, and it can carry 150-plus pounds comfortably.