pack that converts into a light-duty backpack, the 2,700-cubic-inch Big Bear is what online editor Alex Robinson called a “tweener.”
“It’s stuck halfway between a fanny pack and a backpack, and it does not excel at being either,” he said.
The 800-cubic-inch lumbar pack is well designed, and the yoke strap fit most testers well enough, but because the 1,900-cubic-inch bag stores in the top of the lumbar portion, the smaller pack’s utility is diminished. And when the larger bag is deployed—it clips onto the shoulder harness—the pack becomes top-heavy and uncomfortable under bulky or weighty loads. One brilliant feature: the ambidextrous bow hook that holds the bowstring while a hunter glasses with both hands.
score: 67.9 price: $140
The ambidextrous bow hook on the Alps pack is a smart and useful feature.