This Hap­pened to Me: “The tree I was hunt­ing in al­most crushed me!”

OUR EVAL­U­A­TION OF hunt­ing back­packs rates hard-work­ing meat freighters, pur­pose-built tree­stand bags, and all-around gear car­ri­ers.

Outdoor Life - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW MCKEAN

Every se­ri­ous hunter needs a pack to tote the essentials of a day afield: out­er­wear to stay dry and warm, food and wa­ter to re­main sa­ti­ated, and ba­sic field-dress­ing equip­ment to take care of an animal. Most back­packs will fit that bill, but many of us need a pack to do more than carry the ba­sics. We also want it to be stout enough to freight meat and have the ca­pac­ity to carry enough gear—a sleep­ing bag, a sim­ple stove, and extra cloth­ing—to al­low us to com­fort­ably spend an un­ex­pected night out in case our hunt takes us far from our start­ing point. The day packs in this test are de­signed to pull that extra duty. We asked man­u­fac­tur­ers to send us new packs in­tended for var­i­ous big-game hunt­ing pur­suits, with ca­pac­i­ties of around 2,000 cu­bic inches. Each should have the ver­sa­til­ity to be used as a tree­stand or stalk­ing pack, but with the back­bone to com­fort­ably haul a quan­tity of meat and/ or heavy gear. Here are the best of the bunch, eval­u­ated and rated by our panel of six Out­door Life edi­tors.

On­line ed­i­tor Alex Robin­son tests the Bad­lands Di­a­blo DOS in Utah’s Uinta Moun­tains.

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