There are a few important features to look for in hunting backpacks. The intended usage of your hunting pack is key: for the hunter who goes out in the early morning dawn to spend the day hunting, they must prioritize their mobility and their stealth.
Light and Compact
As a hunter, it is crucial that you pack lightly for mobility and compactly to maintain a quiet presence in the woods.
Heavy and loosely-packed hunting backpacks are loud and awkward, effectively ruining your chances at a successful hunt. Your pack is more than just a way to carry gear. It serves as a gun rest, a seat, a quick nap pillow, and the contents for your home-away-from-home while you are outdoors.
With support straps to keep things tight, you distribute the weight of your pack better and provide yourself with better stability as well as control over the pack. You will walk quieter, not alarm your prey, and can keep your gear inside the pack from dislodging or being damaged. The light weight, of course, helps the hunter use his or her own mobility to be able to get out there without being weighed down unnecessarily.
Hunters agree that a versatile pack is the best pack. Being able to use a pack in different hunting situations is a great investment and a smart way to go out into the woods, knowing you have various options and uses of the pack at your disposal.
However, when taking versatility into consideration, be sure to use this priority after deciding what kind of hunting pack you want (such as a daypack). Otherwise, you may end up buying a heavy pack you do not need and undoing the “light and compact” priority.
Sturdy Frame if Needed for Your Hunting Style
A sturdy frame is not needed for all hunting packs. For overnight trips or in terrains where you end up away from camp or roads, a sturdy frame is best. Hunting packs such as the Eberlestock X-2 has a tubular-aluminum frame, which is both strong and light.
Do not focus solely on the features of the backpack, but make sure you seek out the companies with the best reputation and durability. Cabelas, LL Bean, Eberlestock, and Badlands are just a few companies that are reliable and make durable, fine hunting packs.
Focus on Necessary Features
Everyone loves to shop for a great pack with features they want, whether or not they are needed. They can be important, but not having accessory functions should not be a deal breaker. Focus what you need your pack for: what type of hunting, the longevity of your hunt, whether it has a spotting scope or tripod compartment, if it has a water reservoir, if it has support straps, the types of pockets it features, the camo of the fabric and if it matches the terrain you are hunting in (earthy tones or snowy, for example), and the compartments it contains and their uses.
Once you have your priorities and considerations in mind, you will narrow down the field and find the perfect hunting pack for you.