14 Best Hunting Backpacks: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Best For Large Game
Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack And Meat Hauler

Badlands 2200

The Badlands 2200 is best for large game such as deers, elk and more. It comes with a large capacity meat hauler for stowing your kill.

Best For Birds
ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest

ALPS OutdoorZ Vest

The Grand Slam by ALPS is the #1 option for turkey & duck hunters. The sling style means easy access & allows for max comfort.

It’s finally that time of year - hunting season!

You can’t be properly prepared for your hunt unless you have all of the right gear; just stuffing gear and necessities in your coat pockets (knife, flashlight, extra ammunition, etc.) certainly isn’t exactly the most organized way to go.

For hauling all of your gear around there really isn’t any better way than to have a good quality backpack.

There are a large number of manufacturers that have backpacks specifically designed with extreme hunting functionality in mind. We´ll be taking a look at several of them and see which features are the best, along with durability and design quality.

5 Important Questions To Ask Before Buying a Hunting Backpack


What are you hunting?

Taking into consideration what you are trying to hunt is a big factor in deciding what type of backpack to get; the amount and type of gear needed (for example) quail hunting is quite a bit different than that of bigger game such as deer or moose.

Having the right tools for the task at hand is a necessity, and having the right backpack to hold and carry those tools is even more important.

How long are you planning to be in the wild?

Capacity for tools and gear is one thing, but you need to ensure that your backpack has enough room for everything else for those longer trips out to the field.

Some items are going to be necessary regardless of the length of time you plan to be out, but longer hunts can add additional considerations  such as camping gear, additional food and survival items. Gunhub also recommends adding repellents for protection against bugs and ticks. 

What is your weapon of choice?

The type of weapon that you plan on carrying can have a big impact on the kind of backpack that would be the most suitable for your application.

Whether you´re carrying a bow, rifle, or pistol, there´s a backpack out there that will best suit your needs.          

Do you need to pack out meat in your bag?

A quail may not yield much meat, but an elk sure will. Making sure that there´s adequate storage space in your backpack should be a top consideration. 

By storage space I am not just necessarily talking about empty room; I am referring to specialized storage compartments that are found in the best hunting backpacks for packing out meat.

How much do you want to spend?

Ahh...the age-old question. Should you spend a little (in some cases, a LOT) more for one of the best hunting backpacks on the market, or should you just spend enough to get the minimum amount of features that you may need? 

Keep in mind that those old adages are true:

  • You get what you pay for
  • You can’t afford to buy the cheapest thing available
  • Caveat emptor (“buyer beware”)

Common Features of Quality Backpacks

Regardless of the brand or manufacturer, there are some elements and features that the best hunting backpacks will have integrated into their designs.

Quality Materials and Construction

Durable materials are the baseline for a quality backpack that can withstand the elements..  You should look for only the best fabrics (such as various nylons, canvas, and polyester) that are waterproof along with tear and puncture resistance. Having treatment to minimize sun damage due to UV exposure is a big benefit as well.

You may have the best materials, but if the construction isn’t top-notch then you may have a big pile of junk after a few uses.

Double-stitching where possible and rugged, high-quality closures (snaps, buckles, zippers, etc.) are key to a long-lasting backpack are key to a backpack that will hold up for years of use.

Weight and Capacity

You certainly don´t want to carry a backpack that weighs you down. Watch out for lightweight materials that will help to keep fatigue down during that long walk out to your stand or blind.

Care must be taken when selecting a backpack to ensure that it´s the right size for your uses. A simple backpack may be all that is necessary to carry a few tools for hunting small game on shorter hunts, but one with much larger storage space will be needed for longer hunts and bigger prizes. 

You don’t want to get in the field, bag that trophy prize, and then find out that you can’t get it all back home.

Ergonomic Design

Being lightweight is one thing, but that may not matter much if your backpack - once loaded up to its’ storage capacity - is awkward to carry and manage. A good ergonomic design is a must to, again, reduce fatigue and allow for ease of movement.

Optimized weight distribution once filled to the maximum and ergonomic features such as proper back and shoulder support are elements that the best hunting backpacks for that money will provide.

Good quality padding with wide shoulder straps that spread out the load are certainly a better option than smaller-width straps that will point-load the weight (and cause discomfort).

The hunter’s size may be a factor as well. Someone that´s 6’ 6” is certainly going to have different carrying capability than someone that´s 5’ 4”. The best women’s hunting backpacks take fit and form factor into account as well.

Warranty

Good manufacturers that produce high quality products know that making the best hunting backpack for your budget is only one part of the equation that motivates a buyer’s purchasing decision.

Having an solid warranty imparts the message that the manufacturer believes in the product that they build, and that they will do anything to ensure customer satisfaction.

Lifetime warranties are not uncommon, but they aren’t necessarily offered across all brands and all models. Make sure to read the fine print so you´ll be covered for any incident that would compromise your backpack use.

That being said, not all companies handle warranties the same. Some may require that you return the backpack (at your own shipping expense) so they can evaluate the damage, then repair or send you a new unit.

Others may value customer acquisition to the point where a simple email with pictures will do - with no questions asked.


best hunting backpack for elk hunt

What To Look For In a Good Hunting Backpack

For the most part, backpacks currently on the market have some, if not all, of the common features we just discussed.

While they are important, there are more specific benefits and features that you need to take into consideration when backpack shopping.

Smart, Visual, and Compact Design

Taking a look at how the overall backpack has been will be a big help in determining if it´s the right one for you. 

By having a “smart” design I’m referring to the overall layout of the product. Does it have pockets and compartments logically constructed (both inside and out)? Are there attachment points to clip on any necessary accessories that may not fit inside the backpack itself? Does it have a holder for your bow or gun?

How a backpack looks visually is important as well. You should be looking for one that has a good camouflage pattern.

Not only should it be printed well on the fabric with sharp and vibrant detail, it should also be a pattern that blends in the best and is the most appropriate for the type of hunting you plan to do. For example, you wouldn’t use a duck-hunting pattern when you are on the hunt for deer.

Compact design is a big plus in that you should only have a backpack that´s big enough for your needs. The best hunting packs for packing out meat might not be the best choice for hunting small game.

Overall Size

Since we´re on the topic of compact design, size is one of most important details to consider. As noted, too big or too small isn’t the right choice to make. The length of hunt factors in when looking at the amount of personal supplies that you may need to bring. 

Is there enough room for clothes, food and water? Enough room for any survival equipment (flares, etc.) that are always a good idea to have in case of an emergency?  Can it all be loaded in without being too big and cumbersome to carry?

Care must also be taken if you plan on packing out meat. You may have enough room at the start of the hunt but - in the case you land that big prize - you don’t want to have to consider leaving things behind because you ran out of room.

Weapon Carrying Ability

Sure - you could just sling your gun or bow over your shoulder. That might be a bit awkward to manage when you plan on having a backpack as well. 

Having the right design that includes a way to pack and transport your weapon will make your trip to the hunting location a breeze. The best hunting backpacks have a holder for your gun or bow.

A good holder design will allow you to walk through and around hazards (such as fence rows and pockets of water) without worrying about dropping your weapon. 

(Public Service Announcement: this is particularly true if you´re carrying a gun - safety first and NEVER walk with it loaded!)

Hydration Pack

Some of the best hunting backpacks have hydration packs (or bladder) included in their design. It´s always best to stay hydrated when out in the field. While it´s convenient to be able to stay refreshed, there can be more dire situations where having that hydration pack may save your life.

Having a good source of clean drinking water is probably one of the most important survival factors you need to consider when going out for a hunt - short or long. 

According to Business Insider:

“The human body needs food and water to survive. A human can go for more than three weeks without food - Mahatma Gandhi survived 21 days of complete starvation - but water is a different story. At least 60% of the adult body is made of it and every living cell in the body needs it to keep functioning. The maximum time an individual can go without water seems to be a week.” (Source:  Business Insider)

That certainly isn’t a scare tactic, but it really is common sense. Hunting is often done in isolation and there´s always the unfortunate possibility that something may happen while out.

Be a Boy Scout and “be prepared”!

Waterproof or Water Resistance

You ARE a hardcore hunter, right?

That means you´ll most likely be hunting in many different weather conditions, from a perfect sunny day without a cloud in the sky to days where it just doesn’t seem possible that the clouds can hold that much rain.

The best waterproof hunting backpacks are treated to withstand even the heaviest downpour or even a drop into a large puddle or river that you´re trying to cross.

“Water resistance” in and of itself is a good feature to have, and it certainly is better than having no protection against moisture at all. If you have the choice, though, wouldn’t it make more sense to have a backpack that was guaranteed to be completely waterproof?

Consider a cell phone - “water resistance” is great until you drop in in the sink (or...the toilet) and it gets totally submerged. Given that scenario I’ll take “waterproof” over “water resistant” any day of the week!

Quiet Zippers and Materials

One of the first things that young hunters learn is that you have to not make a sound.  All it can take to scare off your game is an off-hand move that makes enough sound to spook them off.

The best hunting backpacks for the money use zippers that are practically silent.  Piggybacking on the “waterproof” viewpoints, a good zipper is quiet AND has some sort of design element where water can’t get in (or out in the case where you may be packing meat).

The same goes for the overall material for the backpack as well - you don’t want to hear a lot of rustling around when you´re trying to get something out.

Adjustability

Hunting is an activity that people of all shapes and sizes have the opportunity to enjoy.  It would only be logical that the best hunting backpacks have a large range of adjustability for the most perfect and comfortable fit, and that these adjustments should take into account all of the body areas that are play a role in carrying (i.e., hips, chest, shoulders, and waist).

Also make sure that the range of a particular adjustment is proper for your frame. You wouldn’t want the smallest adjustment level to still be too big (or small) for your body.


14 Best Hunting Backpacks: Reviewed, Rated, and Compared

Looking at all of the benefits, features, and details that makeup the best rated hunting backpacks certainly can eat up a lot of your time. And time is one thing that you can never get back, right? So many things to consider can make the right decision hard to make.

Let’s help you out with that by reviewing the 14 Best Hunting Backpacks on the market today!

1. ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack

ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

General purpose

Rifle or Bow Holder

Yes (both)

Waterproof

No, but comes with a rain cover

Size

2700 cubic inch

Hydration Capability

Yes; capacity not determined

This excellent general purpose pack is a great choice for the best hunting backpack.  This backpack is packed with features that make it the perfect overall option when you have a hunt that requires a lot of gear.

Just about all of the important features that we have discussed are included. Weapon holders that will accommodate either a bow (a quiver holder is included as well), rifle, or handgun are included so it´s great for hunting across multiple seasons. 

An aluminum frame adds rigidity, and large front and main pockets (also mesh packets on the sides) give you space to store all of your gear.

Padded supports (such as those for your waist) help for those times where you´re carrying a little extra weight.

Multiple camo patterns are available as well so you can get the one that´s most appropriate for your hunting environment, and it comes with a blaze orange rain cover to protect it from the elements.

Pros

  • Designed with organization in mind
  • Holds multiple types of weapons
  • Padded supports for extra comfort
  • Rainfly is included

Cons

  • Weapon holder isn’t quick-release
  • Somewhat heavier than similar size packs

2. Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler

Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack And Meat Hauler

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Larger game

(deer, elk)

Rifle or Bow Holder

Gun included, bow purchased separately

Waterproof

Yes

Size

19” x 7” x 9”

Hydration Capability

Yes - 2 Liters

The Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler is our choice for the best hunting backpack for packing meat. Its large size and built-in meat shelf are perfect for getting your meat safely back to camp.

It has an internal aluminum frame designed for extra comfort in that it helps promote weight distribution. It also has Thermo-Mold technology the conforms to your body the more you wear it - almost like breaking in a great pair of boots!

Waterproof and mold/mildew-resistant, the Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler is designed to withstand the toughest weather.

One of the most impressive features is the unconditional warranty. The manufacturer claims that “...we don’t care what happened, or whose fault it was, we will fix it free forever”.

Even more impressive is that you don’t have to be the original owner to take advantage of the warranty - once you buy it you´re covered for life.

Pros

  • Included meat shelf
  • Waterproof and mold/mildew-resistant
  • Thermo-mold technology
  • Exceptional warranty

Cons

  • Not enough organization compartments
  • Does not include bow holder
  • Might not be best suited for women

3. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

General purpose

Rifle or Bow Holder

Rifle only

Waterproof

No

Size

5,250 cubic inches

Hydration Capability

Yes - port and pocket

The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag is a great general purpose backpack option.

One key feature is the design of the external frame. The entire bag portion of the unit can be taken off using a unique clevis and cotter pin attachment system. This makes the entire frame available for hauling bigger objects or larger amounts of meat.

It has several pockets on top of the main compartment, and it even has a special pocket for storing a spotting scope. In addition, it has extra webbing loops on the outside so extra gear can be lashed on for transport.

The main bag is constructed from nylon ripstop fabric for durability. Support for a hydration port and pocket comes standard, and padded shoulder straps and waist belt make it a breeze to carry those heavier loads - especially when the bag is taken off.

Pros

  • Design allows for complete bag removal
  • Numerous pockets for gear organization
  • Extra webbing loops for lashing points
  • Durable nylon ripstop material

Cons

  • No camo options
  • Can be noisy due to frame
  • No rain cover

4. ALPS OutdoorZ Traverse EPS

ALPS OutdoorZ Traverse EPS

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

General purpose

Rifle or Bow Holder

Yes - all

Waterproof

No, but comes with a rain cover

Size

4,500 cubic inches

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

One of the better general purpose packs on our list, the ALPS OutdoorZ Traverse EPS contains great features to accommodate most of your hunting needs.

Carrying heavier loads is a breeze with a lightweight ‘H’-frame internal design constructed from tubular aluminum. The padded shoulder harness, waist belt, and suspension system add to the comfort level.

Other features include the ability to carry a gun (including a handgun with the holster-compatible waist belt) or a bow, and it´s relatively lightweight at just under 7 pounds when empty.

You have your choice of two camo patterns as well (Mossy Oak Mountain Country or Realtree Edge).

While not waterproof, a blaze orange rain cover is included to protect your gear from less-than-optimal weather conditions. Multiple compartments add to efficiency when organizing and storing your gear with a total of 7 total compartments.

Pros

  • Internal frame constructed from aluminum
  • Can carry a gun, bow, or handgun
  • Multiple compartments for organization
  • Rain cover included

Cons

  • Can be creaky/noisy
  • Straps can loosen over longer hikes
  • Needs more room for meat packout

5. ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest

ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Turkey and duck

Rifle or Bow Holder

No

Waterproof

No

Size

Two sizes (standard and XL)

Hydration Capability

Pockets for water bottles

Our choice for the best turkey and duck hunting backpack is the ALPS OutdoorZ NWTF Grand Slam Turkey Vest.

This vest (it’s called a vest, not a backpack) is loaded with features specific to turkey and duck hunting that you won’t find on most other general purpose packs.

Its constructed with a unique “kickstand frame” that allows you to sit upright and it offers extra support, in addition to having a padded seat that can be folded out of the way.  The shoulder straps are removable to allow for greater range of motion while sitting.

Shell loops for extra ammunition, several organizational pockets, a blaze safety flag, and even a smart phone sleeve are some of the great features this vest has to offer.´It also has different sizes of pockets so your call collection can easily be accessed.

A limited lifetime warranty covers all defects from materials and workmanship as well.

Pros

  • Kickstand frame for additional support
  • Several pockets for various sizes of calls
  • Folding padded seat
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Magnets for seat don’t always work
  • Design of kickstand frame not sturdy

6. ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack

ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Smaller game/shorter hunts

Rifle or Bow Holder

No

Waterproof

No

Size

No

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

One of the best hunting day packs we have come across is the ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack. 

Designed for the shorter hunts for smaller game, this pack may not have a lot of the bells and whistles that larger and more expensive packs have - but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the features needed to serve its’ purpose.

With at least five pockets you´ll have enough room to haul everything you would need for that quick day hunt. Extra webbing loops create attachment points for lashing on any extra items that you may need.

Weighing in at only a little over two pounds when empty, you can be assured that you will be comfortable. The padded shoulder straps and waist belt help out with that as well.

It´s offered in several camo patterns as well so you´ll be assured to blend in with your surroundings.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight at just over two pounds
  • Multiple compartments for gear organization
  • Several camo pattern options

Cons

  • Construction quality could be more robust
  • Cloth can be noisy

7. ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Crossfire X Hunting Pack

ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Crossfire X Hunting Pack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Shorter hunts/small game

Rifle or Bow Holder

Yes - both

Waterproof

No, but comes with rain cover

Size

2,325 cubic inches

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

A great small, general purpose backpack, the ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Crossfire X Hunting Pack has all of the features that you´ll need for those shorter hunts.

A vented back panel, Lycra shoulder straps, and molded foam waist belt were designed for comfort. Durable construction with nylon fabric is a big plus as well.

A large pocket will allow you to carry either your gun or your bow, and a clip-style handgun holster can be supported as well. 

One unique feature is the removable accessory pocket that can be used in three different configurations: attached to the rear of the pack, the front of the shoulder straps, or independent of the pack completely by means of a separate strap. 

The ALPS OutdoorZ Extreme Crossfire X Hunting Pack is a very versatile backpack that can be used for any type of hunting.

Pros

  • Designed for multiple/general purpose
  • Unique removable accessory pocket
  • Support for holding your gun or bow
  • Designed with comfort in mind

Cons

  • Frame attachment points can cause discomfort
  • Lack of instructions

8. ALPS OutdoorZ Huntress Hunting Pack

ALPS OutdoorZ Huntress Hunting Pack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Shorter hunts/small game

Rifle or Bow Holder

Yes (both)

Waterproof

No, but comes with rain cover

Size

2,200 cubic inches

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

Sorry gents - hunting isn’t just for you! Sometimes it may seem like that if you take a look at the way most gear is designed.

Items specifically made for women may be few, but the ALPS OutdoorZ Huntress Hunting Pack is certainly the best women’s hunting backpack that we have come across.

Designed specifically for women, this backpack is a comfortable and lightweight (only 2 lbs. 14 oz.) alternative for most other packs that just might not fit right. The design of the shoulder straps and waist belt takes into account a woman’s smaller frame.

All of the normal features and benefits found in the ALPS line are found here as well, with multiple organizational pockets, mesh pockets, hydration capability, and the ability to carry your gun or bow.

A blaze orange rain cover is included to keep your gear out of the harsh elements, and a vented back increases airflow to keep you from sweating.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for women
  • Incorporates all features of the ALPS line
  • Rain cover included
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Hydration pocket location distributes weight incorrectly
  • Limited adjustability on waist belt

9. Fieldline Pro Series Treeline DayPack

Fieldline Pro Series Treeline DayPack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Shorter hunts/small game

Rifle or Bow Holder

No

Waterproof

No

Size

12.6” x 18.5” x 7.5”

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

This backpack packs a lot of features for being firmly in the economical space of the backpack market. A large main compartment, a front pocket that’s great for your keys or your phone, and mesh side pockets all add to functionality on a budget.

Hydration compatibility is there as well, but you have to purchase a reservoir separately (not a big deal as many backpacks on the market utilize the same approach).

A padded back and shoulder strap system along with a small waist belt show that “economical” doesn’t have to mean “uncomfortable”. There are compression straps integrated into the sides to help keep the load weight distributed evenly across your back.

Durable polyester construction coupled with quiet zippers are a plus, and there´s also a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Pros

  • Good features for an economical pack
  • Designed with comfort in mind
  • Durable polyester construction
  • Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • Not waterproof and has no rain cover
  • No way to carry a gun or a bow
  • Hydration reservoir purchased separately

10. Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack

Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Shorter hunts/small game

Rifle or Bow Holder

No

Waterproof

No

Size

9.5” x 8” x 17”

Hydration Capability

No

The Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack is a great general purpose pack for shorter trips. It certainly can be used as a hunting backpack but the overall design seems to be more along the lines of the “military” genre.

It has many of the features that the best hunting backpacks have, such as breathable backpack straps and a padded back for comfort, webbing loops (to lash extra gear) and D-ring attachment points, and side mesh pockets that can hold 32 oz. bottles of water (which is great since there´s no provision for a hydration bladder).

While it certainly can serve the main purpose of hauling gear, there are a few aspects that may not make this the best option for hunting. The lack of any holder for a gun or bow means you’ll have to carry your weapon separately. Also, there are no camo options to help blend in the wild.

Pros

  • Sleek, “military”-type visual design
  • Padded back and shoulder straps for comfort
  • Ability to carry up to 64 oz. of water

Cons

  • No weapon holder
  • No camo options
  • Not waterproof

11. Allen Remington Camo Hunting Daypack

Allen Remington Camo Hunting Daypack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Shorter hunts/small game

Rifle or Bow Holder

Yes - rifle only

Waterproof

No

Size

1,853 cubic inch

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

The name says it all: the Allen Remington Camo Hunting Daypack is designed with the gun hunter in mind.

The best feature of this pack is the integrated long-gun carrying system. It´s different from the traditional rifle holders found on other backpacks as it has a strapping system towards the upper back area where the gun barrel is restrained, and the gunstock is held by means of a small pocket that´s attached by straps to the bottom of the backpack.

Adding to the benefits of this, the rifle holder is located in the middle of the pack to help with weight distribution.

Padded shoulder straps and hip belt along with mesh lining for comfort and multiple outside pockets for organization add to an impressive benefit list.

The rifle holder can be worth the price of admission alone. That coupled with the other great features make this a great, economical option.

Pros

  • Unique rifle holder system
  • Multiple outside pockets for organization
  • Padded straps and hip belt for comfort
  • Filled with features at economical pricing

Cons

  • No bow holder
  • Zippers could be more robust
  • Shoulder straps can work their way loose

12. In Sights Realtree Xtra Multi Weapon Pack

In Sights Realtree Xtra Multi Weapon Pack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

General purpose

Rifle or Bow Holder

Designed for bow

Waterproof

No

Size

small

Hydration Capability

Pocket and port

With all of the focus on being able to carry your gun, it’s nice to know that there are hunting backpacks being manufactured with the bow hunter in mind as well. If that’s you, then the In Sights Realtree Xtra Multi Weapon pack is your answer.

While it’s true that it is a “multi-weapon” pack, its ability to act as an efficient bow holder can’t be overlooked. 

An assortment of pockets and holsters help with organization of your gear (the mesh holders on the sides are great for gear storage, but using them as holders for your quivers may make the most sense).

There´s also an attachment systems on the left side of the pack that allows you to lash on extra gear. Additionally, the Realtree camo pattern is great way to let you blend in to your environment. 

These packs may be getting hard to find so it might be a good idea to pick one up before it’s too late...

Pros

  • Great for use as a bow holder
  • Awesome Realtree camo pattern
  • Numerous pockets for gear organization
  • Mesh pockets perfect to hold quivers

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • No hydration capability
  • No internal frame to help distribute weight

13. 5.11 Tactical Covert

5.11 Tactical Covert

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

General purpose

Rifle or Bow Holder

Designed for guns only

Waterproof

No - Water resistant

Size

32” x 12” x 2.5” (main compartment)

Hydration Capability

No

The 5.11 Tactical Covert certainly needs to be considered when looking at a rifle transportation backpack.

Geared more towards rifle transport and sport shooting as compared to some of the more “traditional” camo-style hunting backpacks on the market, this pack still have a lot of features to take a look at.

It has a lightweight nylon construction (500D and 420D outside; 600D lining) coming in at only 2.6 pounds when empty, and top quality zippers to add to its’ durability.

It’s 32” long which will let you secure your firearms quickly and easily (especially those firearms that can be collapsed) with an internal strapping system. 

Pros

  • Designed for tactical & sport shooting
  • Internal strapping for firearm retention
  • Top quality construction
  • Single shoulder strap

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • No camo options
  • Not be the best option for hunting

14. G.P.S. Handgunner Backpack

G.P.S. Handgunner Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features

Best for Hunting

Made for the shooting range

Rifle or Bow Holder

No (handguns only)

Waterproof

No

Size

16” x 10” x 19”

Hydration Capability

No

Our last review takes a look at a market segment that´s often overlooked: handguns. The G.P.S. Handgunner Backpack is the perfect option for you when looking for a handgun range backpack.

Designed more for the tactical and sport shooting market, this pack is unique in that it allows you to carry up to four handguns in a very organized manner.

The holder is made from single piece of lightweight, high density foam that will hold them in a vertical position, and the foam holder actually can slide in and out of its storage compartment at the bottom of the backpack.

The extra items needed for a day of shooting (safety equipment, extra ammunition, targets, cleaning supplies, etc.) can all be well organized and stored in several additional pockets and compartments at the top of the pack.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for handguns
  • Multiple pockets for additional storage
  • Foam holder holds up to four handguns
  • Labeled pockets for better organization

Cons

  • Not designed for hunting purposes
  • Not waterproof
  • Longer barrels may not fit well
best bow hunting backpack

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some benefits of a hunting backpack over regular bags?

Hunting backpacks are preferred over traditional backpacks or carrying backs mostly because they´re designed for the task at hand, with features that can be unique to the particular type of hunting that you may be doing.

Are internal or external frames best for hunters?

It really depends on your usage. Internal frames obviously aren’t ideal for attaching other gear to the outside of the pack, but they aren’t as bulky and they can be ergonomically better for more comfort.

External frames allow more flexibility and are typically less expensive, but they also can shift weight off of your body when your load is heavier.

How long can I carry meat around for in a backpack?

According to the USDA, consumers are advised to “never leave food out of refrigeration over two hours” (USDA.gov). Colder weather environments may help with extending that time.

What are some tips for staying safe when hunting?

Among the best tips (but certainly not all of them) include:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and the environment
  • Use a restraining strap when in a tree stand
  • NEVER be on the move with a loaded weapon
  • Always have a communication method available (i.e., cell phone or satellite phone)
What are some other safety equipment for hunters?

You can never be too safe, either by your actions or by the equipment you place in your backpack. Recommended items include:

  • Hearing and eye protection
  • GPS unit to avoid getting disoriented or lost
  • Rain poncho
  • Blaze orange vest or hat (if required per local law)
  • Small first-aid kit
What should I pack in my hunting bag?

As with most things, your intent and usage will be a big factor in determining what additional items you´ll want to carry.

Having general items such as food, extra ammunition, and safety equipment are always a good idea, along with any particular tools that may be needed (i.e., a knife with a gut hook for bigger game).


Conclusion

What we have reviewed today is really just a small sampling of the best hunting backpacks that are available today. 

When making your decision as to which one to buy, remember to keep our tips and guidelines in mind. Picking the right backpack for you specific purpose will help to make your hunting experience the best it can possibly be.

Happy hunting - and good luck!

  • Updated January 16, 2020
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