How many times have you discovered your gear has become disorganized after you’ve made it out to your preferred hunting location? And would you even dare take your smartphone or a tablet with you when you’ve got to take unpackaged snacks along to avoid sound detection? The best hunting backpack reviews will let you find the best fanny packs, the best elk hunting backpacks, and the other storage gear you’ll need for a successful experience.
Hunting backpacks come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are designed like multi-day backcountry packs with metal exterior bracing. Others are like a modern electronics backpack, with interior sleeves for laptops, tablets, and other accessories. The chart below has the best-rated backpacks in this category so you can quickly identify the ones which could meet your needs.
The Features of the Modern Hunting Backpack
The best hunting packs may come with a wide variety of features to set them apart from other backpacks in this category. Some are very reminiscent of military backpacks. Others are similar to the backpacks that kids take to school. Each model has specific advantages and disadvantages to consider, so let’s instead take a look at some of the features you might want to have with your next hunting backpack.
- Hydration pouches. The snap of a plastic lid can quickly end your hunting experience. Look for a hunting pack with a hydration pouch so you can quietly enjoy your favorite beverages while actively hunting or using sedentary hunting techniques.
- Exterior mesh. This allows you to clip on added accessories that you may need. When the mesh forms an elastic pocket, you can also stash an extra mag, a few arrowheads, or other spare items you might need for a successful hunt.
- Accessible electronics sleeves. Using a zipper while up in a tree stand is bad news indeed. Look for a hunting backpack, which has accessible electronics, sleeves or pockets so you can just slip your iPod or smartphone out when you’re killing time.
- Loops, belts, or holsters for your preferred weapon. The best elk hunting backpacks excel at this. If you need to hike a good distance to your hunting grounds, then it works best to have your hands free. With a place to hold your preferred weapon, you be able to safely carry and comfortably hike at the same time.
Stitching above anything else is also important to look at as a feature. Without a strong stitch, even the best quality materials are going to slowly tear apart when you use your hunting backpack. Look for a combination of features and craftsmanship in the best hunting backpack reviews found right here and you’ll be able to find the perfect pack to meet your needs.
How to Find the Best Elk Hunting Backpack
It might sound like common sense, but it is important to remember that you’re actually going to be hunting with a hunting backpack. This means you shouldn’t be trying to pack for every conceivable scenario you might encounter during the day. It does mean you should have a backpack that can carry the gear you need for a short day hunt without much of a problem. Think mobility, stealth, and comfort for best results.
How do you get mobility from a backpack? Through expandable storage and pockets that won’t make a lot of noise when you need to access them. There are always last minute things you’ll want to grab before you head out the door. Expandable storage gives you a spot for those things and maybe even a change of clothes if it gets warm.
Stealth comes from a design that doesn’t offer a lot of sound pollution. Look for toggles, ties, and straps as closures here instead of zippers or Velcro. This way you won’t disturb the elk or deer before you ever get a chance to bring your weapon up to take a shot.
Then there’s comfort. You don’t want to compromise on toughness to get a hunting pack that doesn’t hurt your shoulders. You’ll be out in the wind, rain, and much more while hunting, so your backpack has to stand up to those challenges while keeping your stuff safe. Look for durable, non-rip materials that are water resistant with padded straps and balanced weight support for the best combination of these two critical components.
What Are the Best Materials for a Hunting Backpack?
If you pick the wrong materials for your backpack, then your stuff is going to get soaked by the end of the day. Pack a lightweight pack with too much stuff and it might tear by the end of the day. Look for nylon or polyester options that are relatively thick for the best results so that your stuff stays dry, but the backpack doesn’t stay wet and end up smelling like your dog does after getting a bath.
In addition to a solid exterior shell, it’s important for the best hunting backpacks to have a padded hip belt. Unlike school packs or other standard backpacks, almost all of the weight you’ll be carrying is going to be on your hips. If you can support that weight evenly with some padding protecting you, then you’ll have less overall fatigue at the end of the day.
Contouring on a hunting backpack shouldn’t be ignored either. The pack should fit your back, but provide you with some air flow so your back doesn’t sweat and give your location away because of your scent.
What Are the Prices of the Best Elk Hunting Backpacks?
Hunting backpacks don’t come cheap. This is even true if all you’re looking for is a lightweight day pack. A good quality backpack in this category is going to typically cost a minimum of $35. Depending on the length of your hunt and the number of supplies you may need to bring along, you may find that the price points are above $100.
In our experience, we’ve found that high capacity backpacks of at least 30L can be found for around $50-$70 if you shop for specific features.
5 Best ELK Hunting Backpack Review:
1. Alps Outdoorz Review:
This mountaineering pack is perfect for elk hunting, a day trip, or whatever else your hunting trip may entail. It’s a top loading pack, but there is a helpful lower door access. A rifle holder is complimented by webbing loops for lashing so you don’t have to make a ton of sound to access your stuff. Overall it’s pretty lightweight at 7 pounds, offers exterior pockets for flashlights and other easy access items, and the frame is balanced well. We definitely recommend this hunting backpack to all active hunters who need something more durable than what they already have.
2. Aircee Multi-Use Pack Review:
If you need a backpack that can hold a lot of stuff, then this is the right pack for you. It holds 25% more than your average hunting backpack at this price point. You also have plenty of attachment straps and loops so you can bring along whatever you need. There’s a space for the best hunting walkie talkies you’ll be taking along and the breathable mesh padding will help to keep you comfortable. There’s even a laptop pocket if you want to take your electronics along for a solo hunt.
3. Tactical Hydration Review:
This hunting backpack offers users the Molle straps, D-rings, and other attachment points you’d expect on a quality pack. Made from 600-d polyester, it has enough water resistance to get you through some sticky experiences. The best feature, however, is the quiet 2L hydration pouch which allows you to ditch the noisy water bottles while you’re out on the trail. Load compression straps are perfectly positioned to give you the right balance and the shoulder straps are plenty wide enough to give you the right levels of support. All in all, this is one solid backpack.
4. Allen Company Review:
If you’re rough on your hunting backpacks, then this is the best one for you. It’s been designed for the toughest of users, with a 240g brushed tricot fabric keeping your stuff safe and quiet. The camouflage design won’t make you stand out while you’re outside. Bed roll straps compliment a bow or gun carrying system depending on your weapon preference. We’d change the zipper pulls since they stand out – they’re bright yellow – but that one small complaint is far from a reason to ignore the benefits of this backpack.
5. CVLife Review:
This camouflage waterproof backpack is great for a short day trip you’ll take when hunting. It has a relatively small overall capacity, but it is balanced well and won’t make you stand out. Two compartments are complimented by two small pouches and exterior attachment points for some extra carrying flexibility. The shoulder straps are a little disappointing as they can dig into the base of your neck with a heavy load, but overall we found there to be a lot of value at this price point.
The best hunting backpack reviews will help you find the best pack at the right price for your budget. Get to work finding yours today and you will make your next hunting trip become a lot easier because everything you’ll need will be right within reach.