Whether you’re hunting big game, upland, waterfowl, or small game a backpack can be an exceptional piece of gear. I wish I could say that there is one back that can master every type of hunting, but rather each pack seems to fit each of these categories instead. The real question then is what is the best hunting backpack for big game, waterfowl, and upland. The answers reside below on what is the best hunting backpack. A lot of these back have some amazing features and benefits, however, it’s best to consider where you hunt and what you hunt when making the best decision.
Top Related Article – Best Binoculars For Hunting
Best Hunting Backpack For Waterfowl Hunting –
Sitka Full Choke – Best Hunting Backpack
Hunting – Waterfowl
Size – 20L
Weight – 3.1 lbs.
Size – One Size Fits All
Sitka Gear originated due to the fact that hunting gear wasn’t adequate for the conditions hunters were willing to push. No longer are hunters interested in rolling out of there truck sitting 200 yards from the road and trying to shoot an animal. Instead, modern-day hunters are pushing further, deeper, and higher to reach the adventure and regions were a hunt will become a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Sitka began finding the best materials, features, and designs to accommodate and disrupt the big game hunting industry. However, it didn’t take them long to realize that waterfowl hunters require some of the toughest gear known to man. We may not be bugling for Elk in the Rocky’s, but those 4:00 am waist deep sludges through the thickest marsh know to man to get to the honey-hole requires more than just your box store set of waders and jackets. Sitka is a brand that seems to have a cult-like following or dislike for some reason. Me personally, I choose my gear based on the quality and features it’s going to give me. I look at the value of a product above all, decide if it’s worth the money, 9 times out of 10 I seem to buy Sitka without hesitation.
As we stated earlier Sitka has quickly jumped into the waterfowl hunting scene and it’s starting to make a huge impact. Hunters are experiencing quality gear that’s designed for waterfowl hunting. With that being said, the Full Choke Pack is one of the best hunting backpack options for waterfowl hunters. The 20L or 1,700 cubic inches of storage space provides ample enough storage for all of your hunting blind needs. If you’re a waterfowl hunter that’s going to be spending the entire day in the field or on the water, a backpack is the best option.
Built from 900D Polyester fabric it’s designed to make it through the brush, reeds, or timber without ripping or getting snagged on anything. And with waterfowl hunting, we know one way or another things will get wet the backpack is made with a durable water resistant outer coating and a waterproof polyurethane inner coating to prevent any moisture from getting in the pack.
Also located on the outside of the backpack are numerous buckles and pockets to cram just about anything inside of it. Therefore, when taking 3 boxes of shells, binoculars, coffee, extra gloves, a rain jacket, goose calls, duck calls, and whatever else you can fit in it is possible. The pockets include two large openings to access the entire inside of the bag for large items. However, for small items, they can be placed in the front of waistband pockets to keep them accessible.
This leads us into one of the coolest features. It has a removable waist belt and hideaway shoulder strap that allows you to covert the backpack into a haul bag. As a result, it gives you some options when you’re looking to carry your bag to and from the hunt. Lastly, the bag as eight game nooses to carry out your game freeing your hands for your gun or decoys.
This backpack is a large bag when you consider waterfowl hunting. If you’re looking for a blind bag that is smaller check out some here. However, if you’re the type of hunter that tends to hunt all day or carry in numerous items such as motion decoys or some backup items. Then the Full Choke is hands-down the best hunting backpack for waterfowl hunters.
Best Hunting Backpack For Deer Hunting –
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit – Best Hunting Backpack
Hunting – Deer Hunting
Size – 44L
Weight – 4.1 lbs.
Size – One Size Fits All
ALPS Outdoorz opened its doors in 1993 in hopes to provide exceptional outdoor gear. They quickly outgrew providing mountain gear and launched their hunting and outdoors line in 2007. Focusing on affordable and performance driven hunting gear. The currently provide gear for turkey, deer and waterfowl hunters. As a result, we took a good hard look at the Alps OutdoorZ Pursuit and it wound up as the best hunting backpack for deer hunting. It provides plenty of pockets, space, and features to make deer hunting easier.
The Pursuit bag is a large daypack style backpack featured in Realtree Edge or Mossy Oak Country. Starting on the outside the backpack has elastic mesh pockets on both sides for canteens or mugs. On the front of the pack, you have adjustable compression straps for jackets or other loose items. Plus on the side of the backpack are quiver holders to either give you some additional arrows or relief from carrying on your bow. Lastly, the exterior belt has small pockets for GPS, phone, or rangefinder. As you can see the backpack has numerous pockets to store all your deer hunting equipment.
Aside from the numerous pockets, the Pursuit has some added features that make this pack the best hunting backpack for hunting. First off, the front pack was designed as a front shelf pocket to provide you with easy access and yet it holds your items in from falling out. Therefore, if you’re looking for a pack you can take with you up in the tree stand this pocket provides some added security that your contents won’t fall out. The second feature that really helps sell it for us was the included rain cover that doubles as a blaze orange highly visible cover to keep you scene.
When it comes to the straps and waist belt they are made of reinforced webbing that is padded for comfort. The mesh helps the material breath on those year season hunts, therefore, preventing some unwanted perspiration.
The Alps OutdoorZ Pursuit is a very affordable backpack that provides plenty of room for all of your deer hunting gear and needs. From Ammo to binoculars the Pursuit is the best hunting backpack for deer hunting.
Best Hunting Backpack For Upland Hunting –
Tenzing BV16 Upland – Best Hunting Backpack
Hunting – Upland
Size – 32L
Weight – 3.2 lbs.
Size – One Size Fits All
When you think of finding the best hunting backpack very few think of having one for upland hunting. However, if you’ve ever spent an entire day or week even walking the Dakota’s or the West for birds you tend to put on the miles and require a lot of gear. Considering most upland hunters tend to hunt with a dog or two, they can require some added gear as well. Therefore, an upland backpack is one of the best items you can buy.
Thankfully Tenzing has dedicated their company to make extraordinary packs for hunting. Tenzing has dedicated countless hours to perfecting their upland hunting backpacks to accommodate all of your gear and needs. They want you to trust them and their product so much as they include a limited lifetime warranty on their gear. As a result, they ensure that if the product ever fails in the field they will make the situation right!
The Tenzing BV16 is a very comprehensive hunting backpack, it has plenty of gear carrying space. However, once you’ve killed a few birds it has plenty of room for grouse, pheasants, quail, or other upland game. This backpack is one of the most comfortable packs to wear all day let alone upland hunting. If you’re looking at packing water, ammo, some snacks, a spare hat and gloves, and maybe a GPS. You’ll easily have enough storage space and it’ll be comfortable for all day hunts.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the BV 16 has a total of 5 compartments and 8 pockets providing a total of 32L of storage space. One of my favorite pockets is the elastic stow at the front of the pack. This is great for a pair of gloves or a hat. The pack is fully adjustable making it comfortable for long hunts with added weight. Unlike most upland hunting vest they don’t have the amount of straps or waist belts to properly secure it. The Tenzing BV16 sits nice and tight on your chest and doesn’t bounce or move when walking. This also provides you with some added waist belt storage for a cell phone or GPS. Lastly, the backpack is even a highly visible blaze orange color making you more visible in the field.
Once you decide to buy the Tenzing BV16 it’s hard to ever go back to an upland hunting vest. Having the conveniences of all your gear in a backpack is perfect for long or short hunts due to the low weight and comfort this backpack offers.
Best Hunting Backpack For Big Game Hunting –
Stone Glacier Solo 3300 – Best Hunting Backpack
Hunting – Big Game
Size – 98L
Weight – 4.8 lbs.
Size – S / M / L
Kurt Racicot has been on a quest to find the lightest backpack possible for long-haul hunting for over 15 years. He finally has come up with an amazing brand and list of products called Stone Glacier. Today Stone Glacier offers numerous products for day hunts to the expedition hunts, however, they all share the same characteristics of being light-weight durable packs. Stone Glacier uses military-grade materials such as X-Pac Cordura and heavy-duty UV-resistant thread and durable buckles to ensure they will stand up to big game hunting.
Due to the fact that we required finding the best hunting backpack to be high quality built and the absolute best when it comes to hunting. Stone Glacier backpacks had to be the number one choice. Of course, they have a high price point, but if you want a quality pack that won’t fail you need to pay for quality. Considering some big game hunts can require miles and miles of hiking weight needs to be a top priority. The Solo 3300 comes in at only 4.8 pounds and the bag is only 1.6 pounds, yet it can haul out 150 pounds. It’s hard to find any other backpack that can carry that much weight and be so light.
According to the pictures, this backpack looks simple, and you’d be right. Stone Glacier intended it to keep the pack simple yet extremely useful. The top of the bag can be fully unzipped to access the main compartment. Therefore, giving you plenty of room to access or load the pack when needed. Externally the pack is made of heavy-duty Cordura 500 and Xpac fabric, making to tear and puncture resistant when hiking through rocks, timber, or brush. All of the zippers are made with YKK #10s providing heavy duty strength when the pack is filled to the brim. To help sinch the backpack it offers 1″ Duraflex military approved buckles and webbing. Lastly, it’s hard to beat a USA made product, and a company that stands by their products and customers.
If you’re looking for the absolute best hunting backpack for big game you need to check out the Stone Glacier Solo 3300 it’s perfect for hiking from camp and even a one or two day hunt. As it provides plenty of space and pack out space and weight capacity.
What to Look For When Searching For The Best Hunting Backpack –
When it comes to finding the best hunting backpack there are numerous things to think of and look for. To better assist in that process we have isolated the top features and tips to keep in mind when searching for a hunting pack. The last thing you want is to buy a backpack that you can’t use or doesn’t match your hunting needs.
It wasn’t long ago when it seemed like all hunting clothing, gear, or equipment was made from the same fabrics. However, thanks to companies like GORE that time has quickly come and gone. Now we are starting to see some of the highest technologies being used for hunting apparel and equipment. Now we have dozens of materials to keep things warm, dry, lightweight, durable, and much more. The thing that makes it hard for a consumer is we aren’t fully sure of what each material is good for. For example, when looking for a hunting backpack for hunting Elk in Colorado, you are going to need different material than looking for a backpack for waterfowl hunting. As a result, we are going to explain some of the latest materials used for hunting backpacks to have a better idea of what you need.
Gore-Tex is one of the most widely used fabric materials in the outdoor industry. For many years Alpine skiers and hikers have been using Gore-Tex. However, it wasn’t until recently that it was used in the hunting world when hunters demanded higher-quality gear. It’s hard to believe it took this long, but thankfully it’s here to stay. As one of the only materials that are waterproof, and breathable. It’s hard to believe a material that could be used to keep water out could also be breathable, but thanks to W.L. GORE in the 1960s the material was invented. This lightweight material has become very popular for jackets, pants, packs, and other gear due to its properties. Gore-Tex is a very durable and lightweight material making it ideal for hunt trips that take you through tough wet or cold conditions.
One of the most widely used fabrics for backpacks is Cordura. This is formed with a collection of fabric technologies that give it durable and abrasion resistant properties. Hence, why you can see it would be used for hunting backpacks that go through woods, timber, brush, and other situations that could tear or rip a pack. The material has actually been around since the 1920s when it was first invented. However, it took a while for it to become a staple in hunting backpacks. In the event, you’re looking for a pack that withstands abuse on rocks, timber, any other abrasive surface. Make sure you’re searching for Cordura in your packs.
Toray Dermizax NX –
Toray Dermizax is another fabric that has some unique properties that are advantages for hunters. It competes with Gore-Tex, due to its moisture-permeable waterproof characteristics. Dermizax is a laminate that’s membranes achieve high levels of water resistance, breathability, and resistance to condensation. It’s extremely flexible and packable which is why it’s started to make it into the hunting scene.
Fit & Comfort –
The second most important aspect to look for in a hunting backpack is the fit and comfort. However, you first need to know what you’re using your pack for. If it’s going to be a day pack, weekend pack, or week-long backpack. With that in mind, you can begin to look at a pack that you’re comfortable carrying for the period you’ve chosen. For example, if you’re looking to find a backpack you can use as a blind bag for duck hunting, the most you may carry that around is for a few hours to and from the blind. However, if you’re going on a 10-day Elk hunting trip you need a pack that you can carry for days through rough terrain and over numerous miles.
The best way to find out if your getting a backpack that will fit correctly is to read the companies measurements and take a few of your own. This way you’ll get a pack that fits correctly to your chest and waist. The last thing you want is a pack that leads to pain or discomfort.
Similar to the comfort factor, size depends on what you’re hunting and for how long. Most packs are categorized into a daypack or long hike category. Additionally, they are usually measured in Liters, for the space that each backpack provides. As a good rule of thumb, we recommend a backpack that is less than 35L is a great size for a day pay. If you’re planning a weekend hunting/camping trip then a 35-50 liter pack is going to be ideal. If you’re planning on hunting for more than a weekend, then a backpack that exceeds 70 liters is going to be your go-to size to consider.
Zippers seem like a minute detail when you think of a backpack. However, zippers are the gatekeepers to everything you pack. A low-quality design may lead to lost items. Zippers are also the most often used on a backpack, therefore, they tend to wear out first. Look for zippers that offer quality entry and closure.
Zippers for most camping backpacks don’t need to be quiet. However, if you’re hunting wild game you know how a zipper can sound like a car crash when you’re trying to be quiet. If you’re planning on hunting game that can be spooked from noise, look for quiet zippers to help prevent busting your game. Also if you’re hunting waterfowl or marshes where water is inevitable you want to consider waterproof zippers to keep your clothing, optics, and equipment dry.
As we mentioned before thanks to a few leading fabric companies we know have some of the highest-quality hunting gear ever available. Yes, there were still men and women that filled their tags or bagged their limit 100 years ago. However, most equipment up until now was outsourced for cheap materials to save on cost. For some, the concept is hard to swallow, that you get what you pay for in the hunting industry. Some people are so used to paying cheap prices and having to buy a new pack or jacket every year. Those days, however, are over, we are on to brighter pastures. Where the products we buy are designed to last decades, but they do cost more.
No matter what you’ve got to consider the cost of the backpack you’re buying. A backpack is not going to kill a deer or bag a limit of geese, however, if it makes it easier to carry your gear it then becomes an accessory to hunting. I liked to consider what I’m spending on gear dependent on my skill level and passion for hunting that type of hunting. Hence, if I know I’m only hunting a species once or twice a year I’m not going to break the bank. Although, if I know I’ll be hunting something for 3-5 months out of the year. I’m going to want a high-quality item that won’t fail and can handle the abuse.
Lastly, hunting backpack manufacturers are constantly adding new features for every item you can imagine. Some packs have optics holders, gun holders, rain covers, etc. You name it the feature is offered. However, before you say you need them all, make a list of what are the most important before you end up with a backpack that becomes overkill.