The backpack is one of the essential items needed when elk hunting. However, not just any backpack will do because hunting requires precision organization, use of tools and physical demands on the hunter that a good backpack can provide.
Thus, before buying your backpack, consider the following factors:
- Comfort, fit, and weight – The backpack has to properly conform to your body type and size. Ideally, you should target a lower weight because it will strain the body to have too much to carry.
On the other hand, consider the weight of the elk quarter or part on top of your other items when deciding which size to get and the average length of your trips.
Also important is your body type because the backpack has to fit comfortably. If it is too long, you will struggle, cause you back pain, and hamper your trip. If it is too short, you might not be able to pack everything you need.
Best Elk Hunting Backpack Comparison Table
Backpacks are measured according to cubic inch. A 3,000 cubic inch backpack is good if you are a minimalist unless you are planning a 7-day trip in which case, a 7,000 cubic inch bag would be better.
You can also select a backpack that comes in multiple sizes which will give you all the options for any length of time out in the wild.
This is essential so you can easily reach for the things you need when you need them. You should look for a backpack with several compartments especially for the small and the sharp objects.
One way to decide what you need in terms of pockets is to list down everything you plan to bring and arrange them according to use. This will give you a general idea of how many pockets to look for.
Don’t forget big ticket items like your sleeping bag, tripod, and food!
Should you get an internal or external frame? Lately, the internal frame has become more popular but don’t decide based on trend but on personal preference.
The external frame holds heavy weights well and has vents to prevent sweat from sticking to your clothing but they can be unstable and bulky. The internal frame conforms to your body and is not likely to cause back pain but it can be hot to wear for hours because it clings to the body.
5 Best Elk Hunting Backpacks
Eberlestock X2 Hunting BagPack
Eberlestock is a company founded in 1985 by Glen Eberle who used to compete in biathlon which combines cross country skiing and shooting.
The company’s products are made to honor the country’s service men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect Americans.
Eberle was inspired to start the business because of his chosen sport but his goals changed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
The X2 is an incredible backpack with a light tubular aluminum frame. It has large spotting main side and waist pockets with oversize straps. The compartments are dual hydration and it comes with smaller easy-access pockets.
- Weight is 4.95 pounds
- Liquid weight is 37.7 fluid ounces
- Size is 1,830 cubic inches
- Height is 22 1.2 inches long
- Waterproof zippers
- FlexChassis which allows you to flip it forward
- Compatible with ARCG ButtBucket (for compound bow) and side scabbard attachments (shotguns or rifles)
The waterproof X2, which is made in Vietnam, is guaranteed to be able to carry a 100-pound load and has vents to prevent sticky sweat from forming on your back.
Yet it is light and comes with a lifetime warranty. This backpack comes highly recommended for short overnight or day trips.
ALPS Mountaineering Commander
ALPS Mountaineering has a brand called ALPS Outdoorz which manufactures quality backpacks that are affordable and durable.
The waterproof Commander Freighter plus 5250 cubic inch pack bag is the complete package with front pocket, lower door access, spotting scope pocket, rifle holder, and side pockets on top of the main compartment.
The pack bag can be detached so you can use the frame to secure your meat and haul it. The shoulder straps and waist belt are adequately padded and you get additional small pockets for your knife and flashlight.
- Weight is 7 pounds, 5 ounces, frame is 2 pounds, 3 ounces
- 10 zippers used
- Internal divider
- Webbing loops for lashing
- Top loading with spindrift collar
- Clevis pin attachment system
- H20 compatible
You can even attach a sleeping bag at the bottom of the bag although it will add weight to an already heavy frame. On the other hand, you can use a different pack bag to lighten your load.
Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Backpack
Badlands is known for its hunting gear and has over 2 decades of experience in the industry. Their water resistant 2200 Camouflage hunting backpack cannot be faulted for its design and comfort.
It uses the T-6 aluminum aircraft frame which allows it to ergonomically conform to your load and your body’s ability to carry the weight. With a unique bat-wing design and multiple pockets, you have all the space you need for your gear including pistol holsters and meat shelf.
- Weight is 5 pounds, 5 ounces
- Height is 22 inches
- 2L Hydration compatible
- 8 pockets
- Zippered back panel
- Can be compressed into a day pack
- Bow boot sold separately
Like most of the elk back packs we have in this list, the 2200 Camouflage comes with a lifetime warranty, no questions asked.
Tenzing TZ 6000 Hunting Backpack
Called a big game backpack, the Tenzing TZ 6000 is an extra large bag with full suspension adjustment, rigid internal aluminum frames, and padded hip support. Fortunately, for its size, it has vents to provide an air-cooled back pad. You will also find the gun boot and foldout bow very conveniently placed and the surprising lightness of the backpack.
- Weight is 4 pounds, 6 ounces
- Size is 4400 cubic inches expandable to 6013 cubic inches
- 20 pockets and compartments
- 3L H2O compatible
- Expandable meat pocket, 5 special zip pockets
- Compression straps
- Triple entry, expandable sides
- Detachable fanny pack
- Rain cover
Also impressive is the quiet use because it has an external frame. Many backpacks make some noise from metal or aluminum parts. The TZ2000 is amazingly quiet. This and its versatile use – you cannot go wrong in choosing this as part of your gear!
Slumberjack Bounty 4500 Hunting Backpack
The top and side loader Bounty 4500 is the top of the line from Slumberjack and designed for big game and high elevation hunting.
Slumberjack, a company that has been leading the industry with over 50 years experience calls this their biggest and most versatile military-grade backpack with multiple options.
If you want, you can remove the main bag if you need a hauler, the load system is expandable, and you will not get back pain because of the load support.
- Weight is 5 pounds, 14 ounces
- Height is 30 inches
- Dual stay suspension system
- Removable field pack
- Weapon carry system for bows and guns
- Hydration compatible
As a backpack, this is one of the best in terms of versatility because it’s like getting 3 options with one product. It’s durable and in spite of its size, pretty easy to carry around being well-balanced and well-constructed.
Some Final Words
In conclusion, it’s not the brand or the price that will matter when you’re out in the wilderness, hunting for elk – it will all boil down to skill and gear. Getting the right backpack is critical to the sport.
The key is simple: the backpack has to carry the weight well so you don’t have problems with tears or fatigue on your back and shoulders.
Any one of these backpacks will do a great job, just make sure to take into consideration the factors mentioned earlier before you make your purchase.