17 replies [Last post]
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/13/2011
Posts: 16
I have a related

I have a related question..

What hunting back packs are out there that have enough space for long wilderness treks (5-7 days), also compress or detach into an effective daypack, and then function effectively as a meat hauler?

I know of the Eberlestock J107 pack, but that tops out 4500 cu in, which might not be good enough for a 7 day mountain trek. Also I heard that it gets pretty unwieldy with the rifle in the scabbard  because the center of mass is too far from the back. Does anyone have other suggestions?

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058

I have the Cabelas Alaskan guide series frame/pack combo. its 5300cu in. the pasck it self detaches from the frame for use by itself. I'm sure a 4500 cu in pack would work for a 7 day trek if you pack it efficently. I got mine for  7-10 day wilderness hunts, I've loaded it up with everything need for that long and it weights 48lbs. Its a very comfortable pack and doesnt put any strain on my back or shoulders or hips. they run about $230 for the combo full price. I got mine on sale for $150, it even comes with a 2 liter water bladder.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
I used a Badlands 2200 this

I used a Badlands 2200 this past season and the pack is a bit large for a day pack and the pack is hard to sling a gun on shoulder because of the side pockets.  With that said the pack had plenty od=f run for all my gear plus some.  It also has what they call a meat shelf and you can use it to haul out your first load of meat.  I have seen pic with a elk hind quater on the shelf.  Now I was not able to use the shelf this past season I think it would work well.  Anther day pack I am consiring trying is the new Eberlestock X2...it is about 1800 cubic inches and it also has the ability to be used as a meat hauler  for the first trip out.  I leave the heavy haul packs at camp and use those for the majority of the heaving hauling.  I carried 2 hind quaters out in one trip this past season for a buddy of mine that shot a 6x6 bull.  The qauters were still bone in and if I remeber right they each weighed in the 85-90 pound mark.  Now I only had to carry them about 1.5 miles along an old loggong road road that was fairly flat....but I do recomend carring that much weight...I was sore for days.  One quater at a time is about right and it makes it a bit more copmfrontable....two front os OK if they are not super big.

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397

I'd want something bigger than 4500 ci.  I also have an Alaskan Guide frame pack from Cabelas.  But I've never detached the daypack.  I've always packed another small pack to use.

Joined: 03/21/2011
Posts: 19
What about this one?

Once again, you guys are awesome, thanks for all the tips and advice. After taking into account yalls advice this is the pack I'm looking at. What do you guys think? I can use the detachable fanny pack the day hunt and put th bigger bag on to help me haul the animal. Acccording to the reviews I should be able to carry 80lbs of meat at a time, but it is not so huge that I can't use it for whitetale hunting and it has a bow sling. . I don't think I would buy a large external frame pack bc this would be only time I would use it. I like the price too. Thoughts?


Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02/13/2011
Posts: 16
The Cabela's Alaska guide

The Cabela's Alaska guide pack might not be a bad idea and seems to be quite reasonably priced given that it has a high capacity, meat hauling capability, and can be dismantled into a smaller day pack. It even has a side scabbard to hold the rifle during long treks.

One thing I've heard people complain about in reviews of packs that can be used as long haulers/daypacks is that its difficult to hold the rifle while hunting for the day. For example with the J107 you can use the scabbard for the rifle, but then its difficult to sit down and it takes more time to retrieve the rifle when you're ready to shoot, compared to having the rifle on a sling. Conversely if you choose to carry the rifle on your shoulder, the pack is often too large and bulky on the sides to allow this (unless you just have really broad shoulders).

Does this mean that the best option, as exbiologist puts it, is to just have two different packs with you? That seems like a much larger investment to get two quality packs than just one multi-function pack.

The advantage of having one versatile pack is that if you shoot an elk far from your spike camp, you can immediately start packing meat out without having to return to your camp. In that situation you would also really benefit from the built in rifle scabbard on the return trip to camp, and there would be no need to transfer gear between packs for the trip back to the car. From what I was reading, I don't think the Cabelas Alaska pack will work as a meat hauler if it is dismantled into a day pack. This would mean having to return back to camp to get the frame, and then return to the downed elk before you can even start to haul meat.

I'm starting to think that maybe the J107 is the best all around choice for a single investment in a combined frieght hauler/day-pack/meat hauler/built-in-scabbard backpack, despite the limitations mentioned. You can even add the super spike duffel for an additional cost and expand the capacity quite a bit (although this would compond the center of gravity issue I mentioned before).

I don't know, am I overthinking this? Does anyone concur, or have an awesome solution? Is it really just better to invest in two good packs?

ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
you can get a smaller pack

you can get a smaller pack than normal if you get a camel back. i like the badlands hypervent. that would be my one choice for just a day-pack.

it also has a pouch just for your spotting scope, which is awesome.

i wouldn't go over 1800 In^3. that's just me. you need extra ammo, a spotting scope, water, food, first aid kit. and that's about it. the more "gear" you carry, the more you're carrying... it adds up if your hunt becomes an epic trek through the wilderness.

good luck on that. i believe i'll be going to colorado after elk, and the hypervent is what i'd like to use. it's a little pricey though.

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