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.
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.