Best Hunting Backpack: An Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for 2021

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Backpacks have been in our lives since we were children. They have accompanied us from early years into adulthood bringing value and practicability to our favorite activities. And speaking of activities, for those of us who love going hunting, it’s time to recognize that hunting backpacks are a must need. Why you may ask? Because a good hunting pack will support you while pursuing your prey and it can make a huge difference in your hunting experience. The best hunting pack will help you store all your essentials, and it won’t bother you while moving and hiking to the hunting location. Regardless if you hunt deers, elk, or waterfowl, a framed hunting backpack will help you carry your hunt back home. However, finding the best hunting backpack may not be as easy as you’d expect. 

You have so much variety: from elk hunting backpacks to lightweight hunting packs – they come in so many different shapes and it can be overwhelming to decide. So to help make your choice a lot easier we’ve decided to research everything about this essential hunting item, to hopefully help you learn more about how to choose the best hunting backpack and what makes it “the best”.

Hunting Backpacks For Every Hunting Style

In the last few years, hiking, military, and hunting backpacks have become very popular, and that’s no surprise. A good hunting backpack or lack of it can make or break your hunt. Thus, it’s very important to make sure that you have the right and good hunting backpack. 

Now, a simple backpack is made as a cloth bag with two fastening straps and has different pockets and even outside accessories. But not all backpacks are the same, especially if we talk about hunting backpacks.  

Plus, depending on what you need, not all hunting backpacks are made the same. Some are designed for carrying hunting or camping gear, and others for packing meat. If it requires you to wear blaze orange, as it does in Massachusets for example, then we recommend attaching a hunter orange glow to your day pack.

Best Backpacks For Deer Hunting

Brand/Model Capacity Fabric Waterproof Weight
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit 2700 cu. in. Polyester Yes 4 lbs
Fieldline Pro Series Eagle 1995 cu. in. 600D + 300D polyester Yes 2 lbs
TIDEWE 2200 cu. in. Polyester No 3.7 lbs

Deer hunting is the most popular hunting game among US hunters, so we found it necessary to talk about what is the best backpack for hunting deers. There are many styles to hunting deer, and it all depends on your grounds and hunting style. We’ve tracked down few versatile and technical backpacks to take into consideration. 

So when choosing the best bow hunting backpack look for those who are either lightweight, have many pockets, and are staying fixed on your back. Too much movement can scare the deer, so it’s crucial to look for framed hunting backpacks.

Best Backpacks For Waterfowl Hunting

Brand/Model Capacity Fabric Waterproof Weight
Badlands 2200 2750 cu. in. KXO-50 Yes 5 lbs
SITKA Gear 1800 cu. in. 450D Polyester Yes 3.3 lbs
Landing Gear n/a Polyester No 4.8 lbs

To go after waterfowls can be a wild and well… wet experience.  Ducks mainly fly low in bad weather conditions, therefore your hunting backpack should be built to endure all types of rain, snow, or even sleet. The best choices are waterproof backpacks. If you plan to hunt in marshland, swamps, or other wetlands, you will need water resister gear overall.

Best Backpacks For Upland Game Hunting

Brand/Model Capacity Fabric Waterproof Weight
Fieldline Pro Series Treeline 1723 cu. in. Polyester No 1.6 lbs
ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear 2700 cu. in. Polyester No 3 lbs
ALPS OutdoorZ Crossbuck 2080 cu. in. Polyester Yes 1 lbs

Upland hunting requires some extra technology and layers. Most upland hunt activities don’t involve venturing into wildness and don’t take as long as other hunting. For this, the backpack can be of low capacity. For example, elk hunting packs can be extra-large, with silent zippers, shoulder straps, and waist belts for support.

Best Backpack For Big Game Hunting

Brand/Model Capacity Fabric Waterproof Weight
ALPS OutdoorZ Traverse EPS 4500 cu. in. Polyester No 6 lbs
Timber Hawk Killshot 3429 cu. in. Polyester brushed tricot with PVC backing No 7.6 lbs
Badlands Sacrifice LS 3400 cu. in. Ultralight ripstop fabric with C6 DWR No 3 lbs

There are multiple hunting packs out there, but there are two major types: hunting backpacks and bow hunting backpacks. The big game hunters often prefer technical, high-capacity packs that can endure different nature’s elements and landscapes. Going into the wild calls for specialized gear, and usually, backcountry hunting packs are the most important element of it.

Best Freighter Frames Hunting Backpacks

Brand/Model Capacity Fabric Waterproof Weight
TIDEWE 5500 cu. in. Realtree fabric + Aluminum frame No 9.5 lbs
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Lite Briar n/a Polyester + Aluminum frame No 4 lbs
Eberlestock Mainframe n/a Polyester + Aluminum frame No 4 lbs

If you find yourself in need to carry heavy prey pieces, then you should look for the best hunting packs for packing out meat. Even though deer sled can be carried around in some landscapes, most of the time you will face environmental challenges. A backpack that will help you carry your throne home will be the perfect choice for carrying your meat.

Why Use A Hunting Backpack Instead Of A Regular One?

Perhaps a question regarding packs you also ask yourself. While regular backpacks are great for light movements, like going from home to the office or to the gym, when it comes to the surprises of wildlife, you need to be a little more prepared. When you go hunting, the best preparation is proper gear that offers comfort, purpose but most importantly, functionality. It’s impossible to predict the issues that you can experience in the wild, from injury to unexpected unfavorable weather conditions, and you need an item to help you safely carry food and water for more than you plan.

How to Choose a Quality Hunting Backpack

The best day hunting pack is made out of tough fabric, comes in fitting sizes, and has a good frame for you to carry it without back problems. It’s an investment and in our opinion is the most important one of all the hunting gear. If you want to know what to look for the best backpack for hunting should be:

Size and Carrying Capacity

The size of your hunting backpack refers to both the number of gears it can carry, but also to how well it fits your body. The most important is to make sure the backpack is comfortable to carry, mainly if you plan  to cover a large amount of land hunting.

Now, while creating our hunting backpack reviews, we’ve also determined that another important aspect of a good backpack is the frame. If it does not fit your body, the backpack can cause back pain and cut the hunting fun short. Make sure you pick the one that is adjusted to your torso’s length for maximum comfort, even on long walks.

Material and Endurance

When talking about a good hunting backpack, we can’t leave materials out of the discussion. What makes a good hunting pack a great one is primarily the material it’s made of. Some of the most popular hunting packs are made of nylon, a fabric that is durable and popular among sportswear. However, polyester and UV-resistant materials are also a great choice.

Thus, if you want to have the best hunting day pack, choose one made of good material and is UV resistant.

Frame Style

When it comes to frame style, hunting backpacks come in three:

  • External
  • Internal
  • No frame

 The difference between these styles lies, of course, in where the frame is situated on the pack.

External frames are the best to carry a lot of gear. They are very practical adaptable for a hunting backpack with gun holder for example. They can be taken off as well. External frames are great for long hunts.

Internal frames are tighter to your body, but they are lighter compared to external ones. Thus, we don’t recommend them to carry meat, since you can’t take off the frame.

As you already figured, backpacks with no frame are the lightest and, of course, the cheapest. They’re the perfect choice if you go hunting for a short period, like a day, and don’t have much to carry with you.

What Size Hunting Backpack Should You Get?

Depending on how much you plan to stay in the wild, the duration of your hunting will impact the size of your backpack.

For a short trip into the wildness, a simple day backpack should suit you perfectly. It can be between 30 and 40 liters (1831-2440 cubic inches). These sizes will give you plenty of room for clothes, hunting gear, water, food, first aid kits, sleeping back, or even cooking equipment.

On longer trips, however, it’s necessary to get a backpack that will help you for several days, in terms of clothes. When it comes to carrying the meat, when going deer or elk hunting, then you also need a strong meat self to help you carry it after you.

A final important aspect is a comfort. Again, depending on how long the hunting session is, you will need a backpack that will fit you to avoid it becoming uncomfortable over time. You need to focus on the target, and the best backcountry hunting packs don’t put too much pressure on your shoulders or back. Find a backpack that offers shoulders and back support!

What Should I Pack in My Hunting Backpack?

Packing for hunting can be as fun as packing for hiking. The only difference is that you will also need to add specific items to your backpack.

If you’re overwhelmed by how many things you need to have, or if you have no idea what to bring with you into the wildness, relax! We have a list to help out:

  • Weapon and gear (ammo, arrows, anything that you need to hunt)
  • Binoculars and a rangefinder
  • A blaze orange gear
  • Game smells and calls
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Field gear like rubber gloves, skinny knife, game meat bag.
  • Raincoat/gear
  • Clothes for warm/cold weather
  • Food
  • Water

Another thing a lot of hunting backpack reviews from users advise, that if you plan to stay more than a day, make sure to grab cooking equipment, a sleeping bag, a trash bag, toiletries, a blanket, and other night gear.

Top Backpack Brands

Now that we put the base of what a hunting backpack should be made of and why it’s crucial to carry one in your hunting adventure, let’s review a couple of the best hunting backpacks:

ALPS OutdoorZ

This is a versatile backpack that weighs only 7.3 pounds. It’s made out of nylon, which makes it strong and sturdy.

APLS OutdoorZ is also designed with many pockets of different small and medium sizes. It’s also equipped with a clip-like holster, perfect to carry a small arm. This backpack can also be detached from the frame and can carry meat with a very secure system.

Pros Cons
  • Versatile design
  • Nylon-resistant fabric
  • Big space for small items
  • Very large in size
  • Heavy compared to others

Badlands

Many hunting pack reviews from users often praise this hunting backpack for it’s waterproof properties. It was mainly designed to be a meat hauler, but it’s also perfect for day hunting. It has an integrated rifle boot and a hip-belt pistol holder. The layers can also be removed and packed away if the weather gets too hot.

Pros Cons
  • Waterproof fabric
  • ThermoMold compression system
  • Cameo design
  • Few main pockets
  • May not feet younger and smaller hunters

Quick Guide Summary

A well-prepared hunter doesn’t sleep on the importance of a backpack in his hunting gear. It’s worth investing in more than one bag, as your needs as a hunter may vary on the type of hunting you do. 

Also, don’t be shy to search for hunting backpack reviews from people that bought the model you have your eyes on. It will help you learn everything about how good it is, and ensure that you get only the best hunting backpack 2021

With that said, we sincerely hope that we’ve helped you learn all about what makes the best hunting backpack and what you have to pay attention to choose one!