Looking for a hunting pack but having a hard time figuring out what suits you best?
Hunting backpacks can be a nightmare to sort through. First of all, almost all of them are camouflage, so it's often hard to even see a lot of the differences at first glance. Additionally, there are so many options out there to pick from, it's hard to know where to start.
Fortunately for you, we've found six different packs, all from Field & Stream, ideal for six different kinds of hunting. These choices should help you sort through the noise and pick something that works for you.
After testing out each one of these packs, we couldn't believe the quality we saw at such a fair price point. We know which ones would work for us, and now it's your turn to figure it out.
Big Game Hunting
When you're embarking on a big game hunt out west, you're generally going to need a lot of gear, and you're going to walk a lot of miles. For these reasons, the Wasatch Internal Frame Pack is a great choice. Considering everything this pack can do, an $89.99 price tag isn't much at all.
After carrying it through some thick woods with adequate elevation changes, we aren't sure we would be able to find a better deal on a pack of this quality.
It features padded shoulder straps and a removable lumbar support, as well as a whopping 3,400-cubic-inch main compartment and a deployed gun/bow support base. That means packing it full, like we did for our testing process, isn't going to be a problem.
If you're planning on doing it big, this is how you do it.
Whether you're hunting ducks, geese, or just predicting a rainy hunt, the James River Hunting Pack is a good way to go. With 1,600 cubic inches of storage space in the main compartment, it's the perfect size for a one-day hunt, and offers comfortable, padded straps you'll thank later.
At $59.99, this pack excels in wet conditions with its front clean-out pocket for dirty or wet items. You no longer have to throw a wet pair of socks in with the rest of your gear! Plus, it's got a water repellant, zippered, and padded compartment for a cellphone, laptop, or other valuable you can't afford getting wet.
Anyone who's ever been shed hunting knows success generally comes down to the number of miles you walk. And when you're objective is racking up steps, you don't want anything slowing you down. A smaller pack is key, but having a hydration bladder is an exceptional bonus.
Not only is the Great Plains Hydration Refresh Pack comfortable, but it can actually pack a lot, too. When we were testing it out, it seemed like we just kept piling stuff in; the amount you can fit in this pack is impressive! Also, the pack-on-pack convertible design allows you to throw a couple sheds back there and strap them down. Available at $44.99, your shed hunting excursions just got a whole lot better.
Scouting is another activity that demands a lot of walking. The biggest issue with scouting is you generally do it during the summer, and when it's hot, a backpack will almost certainly make your back sweat. Having something like the Oregon Trail Lumbar Pack that rests on your waist instead of your back will make life exponentially better for those who scout regularly in the off-season.
Also $44.99, this pack will store everything you could ever need for a scouting trip and then some. It could also double as a day pack for a hot-weather hunt.
Day hunt for deer
For some, a deer hunt doesn't have to entail the full backcountry experience that would require a bag like the Wasatch. Smaller parcels of land and less walking means you don't need too many bells and whistles.
If that's the case, the River Bottom Hunting Pack is the perfect option. It still offers lumbar support and deploys a support base to carry a gun like its big brother, but it features a more modest 2150-cubic-inch main compartment. Oh, and there's a neat rattling antler connector on the exterior, which we found as a unique and useful feature. At $99.99, this pack can do it all.
The Ultimate Whitetail Hunting Pack is exactly what you need if you're the kind who likes to hunt out of a climbing stand. Field & Stream designed this pack specifically for treestand hunters, and we're thankful they did.
It features the Realtree EDGE camo pattern as well as the same convenient rattling antler connector as the River Bottom. The large, flip-down panel offers hunters additional packing strategies, and the high-quality lumbar support made it easier to pack out heavier loads. We're looking forward to seeing how it does carrying some butchered game meat once the season gets rolling. You can purchase this pack for $89.99.
This pack list hopefully gives you options, and a better idea of what to look for depending on what kind of hunting you plan to do. Make the smart choice and go with a Field & Stream pack. Your back and shoulders will appreciate it.