If you were just starting out what pack would you buy?

OP
G
Joined
Dec 6, 2023
Messages
98
It’s a tough lesson. Probably would have been ok if it had been one elk. But two guys and two elk in one day about took me out. And we truly weren’t a terribly long way in.

Hopefully a problem I have to face one day!


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jmez

WKR
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
7,426
Location
Piedmont, SD
I always go against the grain on this one. You have no experience with backpacks, you have no idea what features are important to you. No one on here can tell you. The high end packs are not the same. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Go drop $800 on your first pack and confirmation bias will likely prevent you from getting the pack that is right for you.

Get a decent entry level pack and use it for a few years. Eberlestock, Badlands, Horn Hunter etc. contrary to what you'll be told here, you can actually pack animals, and weight, in something other than an $800 pack. You won't be damaged or injured doing so. It may suck but you don't know any different.

I'll let you in on some packing secrets, carrying 100# on your back sucks, I don't care what pack you are using. Most people aren't even capable of that in terrain and elevation. When you hear about X brand with "monster pack outs," they didn't weigh the pack. When 100$ feels like 70#, it's because you are carrying #70 not #100.

After some experience you will figure out the features that are important to you in a back pack. You can then sit down and make an informed decision on what will work for you. Once you figure out what you like, want and need in a back pack the decision will be easy as they are all different.

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MT-nuffgun

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jan 24, 2023
Messages
120
I used the Eberlestock F1 mainframe with a 5000 CI bag this season. Packed out a spike bull elk, 2 deer, and one antelope so far. Best pack I’ve had yet and not too hard on the wallet with lots of different bag options for the frame.
 

CC55

FNG
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
31
If I started from scratch again and money was tight, I'd find something used in a big name. I went with a Kifaru AMR like 8 years ago, but would have gotten any of the other biggies (SG, Exo, etc) in something similar I found a better deal! Pack layouts are personal preference, and as PNWGator said, find something that looks like it'll work for 90% for you and you're gtg.
 

ManBun

FNG
Joined
Jan 27, 2023
Messages
42
I always go against the grain on this one. You have no experience with backpacks, you have no idea what features are important to you. No one on here can tell you. The high end packs are not the same. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Go drop $800 on your first pack and confirmation bias will likely prevent you from getting the pack that is right for you.

Get a decent entry level pack and use it for a few years. Eberlestock, Badlands, Horn Hunter etc. contrary to what you'll be told here, you can actually pack animals, and weight, in something other than an $800 pack. You won't be damaged or injured doing so. It may suck but you don't know any different.

I'll let you in on some packing secrets, carrying 100# on your back sucks, I don't care what pack you are using. Most people aren't even capable of that in terrain and elevation. When you hear about X brand with "monster pack outs," they didn't weigh the pack. When 100$ feels like 70#, it's because you are carrying #70 not #100.

After some experience you will figure out the features that are important to you in a back pack. You can then sit down and make an informed decision on what will work for you. Once you figure out what you like, want and need in a back pack the decision will be easy as they are all different.

Sent from my moto g power 5G - 2023 using Tapatalk
100% agree with 👆
 

COJoe

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 22, 2023
Messages
122
Location
Southern Colorado
I was in your position last year and my hunting buddy recommended I buy a used quality backpack based on his experiences with gear and where we would be hunting. I started looking and found a used stone Glacier Evo 40/56 pack, not perfect looking but half the price of a new one and yet still very functional. If I would have found another brand first I would have bought it as I wasn't really concerned about one particular brand but rather function and fit. SG is adjustable how the pack attaches to the frame, as are others too, in many ways for comfort. One thing to note, I suffer from back issues so I was willing to make the sacrifice for a better brand because I can transfer the weight from my hips to shoulders or back the other way simply by loosing or tightening certain straps as the miles of pack out add up.
One other note, sometimes there are places that you will have to carry in all your water for your multi-day hunt. Carrying lots of water in is lousy to do but I am glad I have the extra room to do so. Good luck in your search and find something that works for now and is in your budget at least and get out hunting somewhere.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2023
Messages
38
Daypack/tree stand pack and a multi day pack all in one? Kinda two different requirements.
I use a Sitka 2700 for most all day packing and 2 day trips, a Mystery Ranch Beartooth 80 for 4-5 day trips and a 750Cu in waist pack with a chest harness for tree stands whether bow or gun hunting on single day outings.
Carrying a larger multiday pack up a tree is not very comfortable nor will you enjoy the amount of area it takes up on a screw in hook around your stand.
IMHO...buy two packs, used to start with from Ebay or Craigslist and see what fits your needs best. One smaller day pack and one 3-5 day backpack for backpack hunting and camping. I just can't imagine one pack filling all those requirements!
Good luck
 

TheCougar

WKR
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
Messages
3,130
Location
Virginia
I went all in on a Kifaru years ago. It’s done great, but it’s getting heavy. I’m about to buy another pack for my son/me and I’m pretty sure it will be a SG, although I prefer the Exo bags. FWIW, my Kifaru frame has an Exo bag on it. They have improved their frames since then, and I would be giving them a hard look.

I do not like the Kuiu or MR frames. I have no experience with the HPG or Seek Outside.

I would also buy used off the classifieds, if you can be patient.
 

squid-freshprints

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
102
Location
CO
I always go against the grain on this one. You have no experience with backpacks, you have no idea what features are important to you. No one on here can tell you. The high end packs are not the same. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Go drop $800 on your first pack and confirmation bias will likely prevent you from getting the pack that is right for you.

Get a decent entry level pack and use it for a few years. Eberlestock, Badlands, Horn Hunter etc. contrary to what you'll be told here, you can actually pack animals, and weight, in something other than an $800 pack. You won't be damaged or injured doing so. It may suck but you don't know any different.

I'll let you in on some packing secrets, carrying 100# on your back sucks, I don't care what pack you are using. Most people aren't even capable of that in terrain and elevation. When you hear about X brand with "monster pack outs," they didn't weigh the pack. When 100$ feels like 70#, it's because you are carrying #70 not #100.

After some experience you will figure out the features that are important to you in a back pack. You can then sit down and make an informed decision on what will work for you. Once you figure out what you like, want and need in a back pack the decision will be easy as they are all different.

Sent from my moto g power 5G - 2023 using Tapatalk
This is so true !
1 the more you backpack the less it hurts. 2 packs don't last forever. 3 there are a lot of good options for less from non hunting companies. (I pack a lot. been so for a long time, north of 500 for a daypack is silly! You could end up looking like the guy with no scratches on his brushbar, and an unused high lift.)
 

Watrdawg

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
141
Location
NC
I don't think there is a do all treestand, daypack multi day pack that will cover all of those areas acceptably. I deer hunt in the east mostly and carry a Badlands Superday pack. I've hunted Montana a couple of times and going back next November. Originally I bought a MR Metcalf for next year and then after talking with my outfitter I also bought a EXO K4 5000. I got the Metcalf at a great discount so I wasn't too worried about the cost of 2 packs. My plan was to give both packs a trial and pick the one I liked most and sell the other. I put 50 pounds in each pack and then put close to 25 miles on each pack. The EXO K4 was hands down way more comfortable and handled the weight better than the Metcalf. Now this doesn't mean that the Metcalf isn't a good pack. Just means that for me the EXO was more comfortable and out performed the Metcalf. So as far as I'm concerned EXO K4 all the way.
 
OP
G
Joined
Dec 6, 2023
Messages
98
I don't think there is a do all treestand, daypack multi day pack that will cover all of those areas acceptably. I deer hunt in the east mostly and carry a Badlands Superday pack. I've hunted Montana a couple of times and going back next November. Originally I bought a MR Metcalf for next year and then after talking with my outfitter I also bought a EXO K4 5000. I got the Metcalf at a great discount so I wasn't too worried about the cost of 2 packs. My plan was to give both packs a trial and pick the one I liked most and sell the other. I put 50 pounds in each pack and then put close to 25 miles on each pack. The EXO K4 was hands down way more comfortable and handled the weight better than the Metcalf. Now this doesn't mean that the Metcalf isn't a good pack. Just means that for me the EXO was more comfortable and out performed the Metcalf. So as far as I'm concerned EXO K4 all the way.

I’ve been looking at those badlands. I think the 2200, looks solid. I’d probably pick up one on a good score


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Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
5,028
Location
oregon coast
The frame that fits me the best.
At the end of the day, this is #1, but it’s usually not that simple.

I know how packs are supposed to fit, how to pack a heavy load, and can troubleshoot discomfort because I have used a bunch of different packs

It still takes me a little bit to really dial in a pack, and takes some real world use to know if I like it

That is why my suggestion is usually to buy a used top shelf pack, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you can get your money back if you buy it for a decent price
 

Gseith

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
265
Location
Ohio
Find a used pack in the for sale section and save a few bucks. A good pack with a little use will last you for years.
You will be happy with the comfort and it will get you thinking about what features you want to try for your next pack.
 

fatlander

WKR
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
1,921
Mystery ranch METCALFs are on camofire.com for a pretty darn good deal today.


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Drenalin

WKR
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,719
Mystery ranch METCALFs are on camofire.com for a pretty darn good deal today.


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This is the route I'd recommend as well. Metcalfs have been on sale for around $300 for the last two weeks all over the internet. They're not my favorite, but they are capable and affordable at that price. It'll give OP a chance to use a good pack, figure out what he likes or doesn't like, and then decide whether he feels a need to make a change later. And he may even love the pack and never want to "upgrade" it.
 

fatlander

WKR
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
1,921
This is the route I'd recommend as well. Metcalfs have been on sale for around $300 for the last two weeks all over the internet. They're not my favorite, but they are capable and affordable at that price. It'll give OP a chance to use a good pack, figure out what he likes or doesn't like, and then decide whether he feels a need to make a change later. And he may even love the pack and never want to "upgrade" it.

Agree with this 100%


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Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,600
Location
Tijeras NM
I have 2 do it all bags. Only because my DT1 bag is still a great bag (if you don't mind a top loader) and mostly use my Hoodlum now. Both cinch down tight if compact is how I am going on a particular day, but will expand out to carry more that I care to carry if I need to.
 
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