a lum­bar

Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

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.

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