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flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
Browning Thunder Mountain pack

Anyone else use this pack? I had been looking all around. Couldn't afford my first choice, a Badlands 4500 and was having a hard time catching a used one for $200. So I kept looking and found a Browning Thunder Mountain on Amazon, brand new, on sale for $167 plus free shipping and free return if I didn't like it. Figured I'd nothing to lose. After I got it I took it apart. Looked it over. Put it on. Thought it felt good. I then took an old 40# dog food bag and dumped in 62# of river rock and stuffed that in my new pack. I took a few trips out on hikes of 1-2 miles and realized I didn't like the way it felt. I adjusted the shoulder straps for a longer torso. That felt okay for a couple hikes. But was still sagging and felt like the weight was too low. I remembered an article somewhere about how weight should be packed so I took an old blanket and stuffed it in the pack underneath the bag of rocks. Got the weight up so the bottom of the heavy part was right about the small of my back. This worked great for a few more hikes but still wasn't quite as comfortable as I thought it could be. I adjusted the shoulder straps back down from the XL torso to the Large and wow, so much better. The first hike that way was about 2 miles. The second was 4 miles, up and down hills, and I did it in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Total pack weight is just a shade over 70# but it carries really nice.

I'd looked at Eberlestock and agreed with many reviews about how it felt like it pulled ones shoulders back. I checked out the Blacks Creek Alaskan and couldn't quite afford that but like the way it felt. Looked at some others but they just didn't feel right. Never had a chance to actually put on the Badlands 4500 but liked the smaller 2200. The 2200 felt the best and I was going to wait to buy a 4500 at good price simply because of how comfortable it's little brother was.

This Browning might not be the absolute most comfortable but it is very comfortable once adjusted. I could only find 1 for it anywhere on the net (it was good) so it doesn't seem like too many people have this pack.

Just wanted to share and see if anyone else out there had any reviews on it.

Michael

flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
I broke it :(

Yep, went on a scouting trip, had all my normal gear in it and it weighed in at 49lbs total weight. About half way through the 7.5 miles I walked that morning one of the "straps" for the adjustable shoulder strap system let loose completely and a second was one was half way ripped out. This meant I had to finish my hike with the torso setting at medium which made the weight ride on my shoulders too much. There was no way I could use the large or extra large torso setting. Tried contacting the Browning licensee (AmeriBag Outdoors/browningbags.com) twice online with no response. I had even tried to contact them about 3 weeks prior with general questions and had no response. So I called them. They told me I had to contact Browning directly. I called Browning and told them what had happened and explained how I tried to contact the licensee 3 times online and finally by phone. The rep I talked to must've had a nice conversation with AmeriBag Outdoors because I had an email shortly after "apologizing" and giving instructions on how to send the pack back for service. 

 

Long story short, I'm not so happy with the durability of the backpack so far and the customer service sucks. We'll see if they determine if the ripped stitching is a "defect" and then see if they repair or replace the ruck.

It could be 4-6 weeks but if they send a new bag I'm seriously considering sending it back to where I got it and just spending the extra money (that I don't have) and buying a Badlands 4500.

hunter25's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
Sorry about your pack. I

Sorry about your pack. I missed when you first posted this but after reading your first post I thought you had it all worked out and got a great deal.

I went through the same thought process as you but actually bit the bullet and bought the badlands 4500. I have used it for about 3 seasons now and still love it for the comfort it has while packing a heavy load. A full rear elk quarter will just slip inside and works very well for that as well.

I don't like all the features such as some of the pockets and the water system is an after thought you just have to work with. In my opinion the day pack they put on top of it is wasted and just a throw away and I don't even know where mine went. But it was still woth it fot the comfort I get when using it and the customer service and warranty is great. The book that comes with telling you how to set it up is pretty wortless as well and it's all trial and error.

It comes in two sizes so it's best if you can try one on first, I ordered mine based on the sizing chart and it just wasn't right, I called them up and had the other one in just a few days and have been happy ever since. This is where I got mine but it looks like the price has gone up or I got it on sale, I paid about 50 less.

http://www.storycreekinc.com/p-16-badlands-backpack-4500-large-free-add-ons.aspx

 

flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
Thanks hunter25. The pack

Thanks hunter25. The pack should be in the hands of the AmeriBag today and we'll see what they say. It's a lifetime warranty against defects and craftsmanship so we'll see how well they back that up. If not.. Browning will catch an earful about their choice of licensees.

flewthecoupe's picture
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Joined: 06/07/2011
Posts: 75
Round two

angry Got my pack back during the last few days of the 6-8 week turnaround time. Was out of town alot and just plain busy so didn't get out the hiking with it right away. A couple of weeks ago I packed my hunting inventory minus food and did 4+ miles of scouting. Then most mornings since then I hiked a couple of miles each time, minus 8 pounds of water. Weight was roughly 30#. Last night I took all my gear out and dropped in a 60# bag of cement.

Guess what??

Yeah, started popping the stitching. Censored And all I did was pick it up off the ground. Called Ameribag and long story short, ended up talking to the head of product development. He's sending a new pack so I'm not SOL for first rifle in 2 weeks. He's getting this bag back personally, and he's looking to find the first one I sent in to find out WTF is happening. I told him I was about 10 seconds from buying a Badlands 4500, getting this one RMAd, and then returning the new bag I get back to the vendor. I was bent, still am. He told me a story of how he and 2 others (one being Jason Elam of Bronco fame or infamy) went on an Alaskan Caribou hunt for the Browning Outdoors show and that they carried 100-120# in those packs. 3 trips each to carry 3 caribou and they had "no" problems.

 

All I can say is 550 cord and duct tape may be my friend in 2 weeks and if this happens with the third pack I am not going to be Ameribags friend.

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