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I'm a bit of a gear junkie and with it being that time of year, I thought it would be a good idea to post some pictures and reviews of the packs that you have hunted with or are going to be hunting with in the 2010 season.
Let's try and keep this as positive of a thread as possible and just try and help each other out with some of the pro's and con's of bivy packs/day packs and anything in between.
Blacks-Creek Bone collector 2.5
Testing the Sitka bivy 45 and ascent 14 on a 4 day scouting trip in the Mt Evans wilderness.
Eberlestock Dragonfly with 3 days of bivy gear.
Eberlestock Blue Widow with enough gear to last 7-10 days.
Blue widow in daypack configuration.
That's the dragonfly above, not blue widow.
Bone collector 2.5 compressed down.
Blacks creek canadian with backstraps and day hunt gear.
BC Canadian with sheds and day gear.
Did you like the Dragonfly or the Blue Widow best...if you were going to buy just one pack?
Badlands 2200 with overnight gear.
If I was going to buy just one pack? Mystery Ranch hands down!
IMO The blue widow is the best pack from the Eberlestock line. I did a ton of field testing on each and the Blue widow is a hard pack to top.
"If I was going to buy just one pack? Mystery Ranch hands down! "
With that said have you owned or used a Kifaru or other packs? Not enough suspension lift for my torso or atleast the Nice Frame. Just curious is all.
Good pics and that Bone Collector looks like a interesting pack.
I did not like the MR crew cab or longbow but thought the Bighorn was one of the best packs I ever used.
I think that the MR packs are great and bullet proof but that nice frame did not fit me as well as I had hoped. I have nothing bad to say about the nice system from MR other then the fit for ME was not what I wanted.
As far as Kifaru, I have used the Longhunter and Siwash and a few of the other packs when I was in the Army. Great packs and a great company!
BC Canadian with overnight gear for me and my girl friend.
Do you have any pics of the Bighorn loaded up?
Blue widow with overnight gear and spotter.
I will try and post pics of all the packs I have used in the last 3 years in the next couple of days.
I think I have pics of Badlands 4500 2800 2200 diablo hypervent superday sacrifice monster
MR packs bighorn grizzley crew cab longbow
Eberlestock blue widow slingshot dragonfly
Nimrod packs apex system
Blacks-Creek canadian alaskan all american
Kifaru lonhunter siwash
Sitka flash20 flash32 ascent14 bivy 45
Lol!! Dude I thought I was gear junky!!! You might be the new world record holder! Can't wait to see the pics... great post!
shoot me a PM.
One of the reasons I have used so many packs is that it is easy for someone to say that badlands is better then eberlestock or MR is awesome and everything else sucks, BUT most people that say things like that have very little first hand knowledge of all the packs.
I would rather speak intelligently about all the packs and give the pro's and con's of each with first hand knowledge.
One thing I can say for sure is that all the packs are well built and ready for use. It all come down to fit and personal preference.
Badlands 2200 with dead elk.
This 2200 has seen 4 years of use including 4 elk and 3 mule deer and is still going strong.
My daughter with the 4500 the day before I was heading in for a 9 day trip.
A question ... You mentioned suspension lift. On the BC Canadian, the lift straps are below your shoulders. In the pic of your daughter, the lift straps are well above the shoulders.
Where should the lift straps be in your opinion?
How about some impressions/information - perhaps your opinion of the best pack(s) for various scenarios? Straight day pack, day pack/light hauler, best bivy pack, best hauler - you get the picture. Pro's and con's?
Tell me more about the Sitka.
I have a Kifaru Longhunter Guide, and would like to get something smaller. A buddy has the Blue Widow, which seems nice. Another has the Sitka. The Sitka seems nicer, your thoughts?
"Where should the lift straps be in your opinion?"
Based on what I have read from Kifaru (I hope I don't screw this up), their findings is that the attachment point of the load lifter strap on the pack needs to be at least 15 degrees higher than the top of the shoulder. When the connection point is lower than that, it can't effectively transfer of weight off the top of the shoulders and to the hips. That is a big trade-off between day packs and haulers. It is nice to have a pack that has a profile "inside" of yours when walking through brush, moving under downed logs, etc., but that doesn't lend itself to carrying heavy weight well.
The pick of my daughter with the 4500 was for fun. She is only 8 and wanted to see if she could walk around with it on.
What matt said is pretty much correct as far as my testing has gone. 15-25 degrees above shoulder height. I always have liked my lifters to be in the 25% range. That is probably why I like the badlands 4500 so much and did not like the nice frame or the sitka bivy 45.
I'm working on the reviews for each pack but I run a commercial glass company and from time to time get pulled away from bowsiteing:)
The sika bivy 45 is a great pack but the load lifters are worthless and it did not carry a heavy load as well as some of the other packs I have used.
The biggest plus for the 45 is the ability it has to compress down to a day pack and detach the fanny as well.
I would get a blue widow or a badlands sacrifice/2800 above the sitka 45.
Get your priorities straight man. And get to it, I am currently in brain lock on the Kifaru Spike Camp/Late Season or MR Bighorn decision. ;-)
Small/light day pack
#1 Sitka ascent 14/ Badlands diablo------ If you have a spotting scope and tripod, the diablo pulls ahead in this category but the diablo does not work as well for taller guys from what I have tested. The badlands can haul more but with that, is also is a bit more bulky.
Thanks for the insight Reaper.
I normally like the kifaru stuff more then the MR but the bighorn is an exception. The only thing about the bighorn is that the suspension blows out at around 65-80 pounds but from what I have been told, you will have the same issues with the kifaru stuff you are looking at.
I have a few packs myself, not as many as elk reaper, but... I have a Sitka flash 32, MR crew cab, Sitka ascent 14, Badlands Diablo, Badlands Nano, and have had some others, including Badlands 2200. I think all these packs are well made, some slightly better, but not exponentialy. I also feel that all of my packs have a specific use, where they at significantly better than the others. I use the Sitka 32 for 2-3 days, the Diablo or ascent 14 for day hunts, the Crew Cab for 4+ days, or hauling weight. I guess it comes down to what fits you and what you are lookin to do with it. So many choices and so little money (for me at least)! New gear is so much fun. I would like to try out Kifau and some of the other MR packs, as well as ebrlestock.
Good luck and thanks for the reviews.
I agree with JT, If you could buy one pack that was GREAT at everything ( day hunt/shortbivy/long bivy/turkey)----- I WOULD OWN IT.
Matt and others
What packs will be on your backs this year.
MR Crew Cab
Big pack - Kifaru Long Hunter G2 Standard - love the G1, hope to like the G2 as well. Mid-Size - One of the 3 mentioned above, probably the SC. Day Pack - Eberlestock X2, like but don't love it. The space is to seperated out so you need to pack how they envision you should. Waist belt not designed with carrying weight in mind, but I like the bat wing expandability.
I had the Sitka 45 Bivy, nice pack but too much like the Kifaru so I sold it. I also had an original BL 2200, which I give a thumbs down on durability (good thing they have a great warranty because I had to use it twice) and load carrying.
Kifaru Longhunter hauler, Third yr and great!!!!
I will be using
Badlands 4500 for my 5 plus day hunting trips Badlands Sacrifice for my scouting and 2-3 day trips Badlands hypervent for my dayhunting/turkey hunting/ antelope hunting trips. The hypervent is my favorite long distance (8 plus mile) scouting pack when I am using a spotting scope but I think the sacrifice will take it's place.
I did have problems with the Hypervent squeaking a little but I wrapped athletic tape around the corners of the internal frame and that fixed the problem.
Can go from a multi day pack to a somewhat sleek day pack in a matter of seconds.
Adjustable yoke for torso size.
Durable with a good warranty.
Great company to deal with.
Not as comfortable as other "load haulers" I have used.
Expands in width and not length ( may not be negative for some)
The fanny pack flaps around easy.
If you attach the spike duffel, the load is a long way of your back.
Tested this pack on a 7 day trip
I got 175 pounds in this pack before stitching started to pop (in some areas)
Good thread, While your at it do you have any experience with various fanny packs?
I've used the Jandd Mountaineering fanny packs for longer than I'm willing to admit and have never found any other companies product that is even close for fit and comfort on my frame.
Great job on highlighting a few of the strengths and weaknesses of the various packs. Fit is so much more important than camo, cost, weight or brand for a hauler.
If you have used the badlands monster or the eberlestock gunslinger and did not like those, I would try the Sitka ascent 14
As weird as this may sound, most of my whitetail hunting buddies who have used fanny packs most of their lives have started using the 14 instead. It seems to be a happy medium between a pack and a fanny.
Hope this helps
BADLANDS 4500 ( MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MULTI DAY PACK)
Very comfortable with heavy loads
Many pocket for organization
Chit seems to die more often when I have this pack on:)
Load lifters/stabilizers are above the shoulders
adjustable yoke and 2 sizes
Pull tabs have problems. I hate any pull tabs so I take them off every pack and use 550 cord.
I have broken a internal stay/frame when I was packing out a elk this year (it was the entire elk bone out) but when I dropped the pack off my shoulders, the left side broke 6 inches from bottom.
Pack will not compress down small for a day pack.
NOTE: I have re designed my 4500 a bit for bivy hunts. I did this to solve the day pack issue. If anyone has question about how and what I did----- PM me
Mystery ranch BIGHORN
The guys at MR are great to deal with and have a great warranty.
Fits and feels great with 3-5 days of gear and scope/tripod.
Several pockets for organization.
Made in America
Hard to try out ( can only be bought from MR)
Not many camo options
Doing my first DIY this fall.So I know nothing but what I have learned on this site so far.I bought the Eberlstock J34.Just trying it out at home,seems like it will work fine for a six day hunt and all my gear.I like the way it collapses down to the size of a day pack and a bit lighter then the Blue Widow.Price was also a factor in my purchase.My deer hunting pack is a Badlands Monster Fany and I love it. Sure would like to see a J34 in action.
This is a pick of the blue widow fully loaded. You can sort of see that the pack is as wide as I am (I'm a wide guy) and not above my head.
The down side to this is it seems to throw off your center of gravity a little bit and pulled of my body a little more then I like.
The up side is that you are not hitting every branch above your head.
LUV the 4500......no doubt. Thanks for your insights on the MR....was tempted but $500 just to find out it doesn't fit me or feel right was already a spooky proposition. At least I can go just about anywhere local to try on a badlands before I buy it. I have the badlands ultra day and love it for light day packing and whitetail hunting. I have the badlands 2200 which was my elk pack last year but its only good for an overnight bivy for me. Great elk day pack.
Now we need an honest to goodness unbiased boot thread....very refreshing to see this thread with out the usual endless lemming posts for each preferred manufacturer.
I have had as many sets of boots as packs.
Dana Design Glacier. Great backpacking pack, can haul a very heavy load of meat, has lots of lash points for bow, tent, sleeping bag, etc.
Tried this versus a Badlands 4500 and hands down blew it away in comfort. That said, it is a little tall in profile and therefore difficult to hunt with it on. Also, it could compress a little better for use as a day pack. In open country, it does fine. In timber, it can be a bit of a PITA.
Very well made, very high quality. Fabric is a little noisy, no camo (black).
Best of all, got it for a great price. That said, I'm still looking for a daypack/meat hauler option.
The above comments on load lifters are correct. If they are not higher than your shoulders, they are doing you zero good. 15-25 degrees, or even a little higher is what I found to work well. REI has a good tutorial on fitting these.
This has been my biggest dislike with some of the Eberlestock packs, J104 and 105 specifically. The load lifters don't do a thing, and the space for the rifle scabbard takes the center of gravity away from your back, creating an imbalance that pulls the user backwards.
Your results may vary....
This is an older version of the Badlands 2800 at work... or as much work as it would get on this trip
Did I read that right, do you have some photos of the sacrifice? I am very interested in this. I have a 2200 and would like to get another pack a little bigger than it for 2-3 day hunts. Thank you for doing this and keeping to the facts of your findings, this is very helpful!
Thanks for the insights. Have you used the sitka flash 20? I have a badlands 2200, and a eberlestock, but would like a smaller daypack. Great thread
Anyone tried the Badlands Sacrifice yet? Is it even for sale yet?
Curious as to elk reapers comments on the Blacks Creek line and what he thinks we can expect from their new lightweight pack.
I am very close to pulling the trigger on a Blue Widow- still undecided- heard its a bit stiff for a daypack. I'm 6'3" and don't like the fit of say a std daypack like the Superday.
I tried a all cordura daypack last year- good pack but too much fabric on fabric noise to be a good bowhunting pack.
My buddy had one of the original Hypervents and we tried everything to keep that thing from squeaking inc the tape to no avail.
I'm 6'6" and need a pack for a 12 day Dall Sheep hunt in July. I'm going to take a look at Mystery Ranch Saturday since they're at the RMEF that's in my city. Any other suggestions?
Reaper, Looking at the Eberlestock packs on their site none of them appear to have the load lifters at that 15 degree mark (BlueWidow & J34). Is this your experience? Are these packs not as good multi day packs (5+ days)for this reason?
Right now I am planning to buy a Kifaru LongHunter but I am still looking for something else that may be almost as good for less money. I PMed you about the BL day pack thing. One thing I just noticed is that the BL4500 is almost 9 pounds.
Anyone use the outdoorsman pack out of AZ I believe?
My hunting partner is 6'8" and has killed a ton of Dall sheep. A Badlands 4500 fits him great(fully extended). but if I told you it was large enough(badlands 4500) for a sheep hunt, I would be lying. If your going to be hauling all of your gear and the sheep down the mountain, you will probably need 6500 ci pack.
(I have never killed a sheep in Alaska so I will have my partner post his opinion for you today)
The MR internal frame packs (kodiak) would be best for your height. My partner uses a Arcteryx bora pack and that was the largest pack he could find that fits him well (for Alaska sheep hunts)
The outdoorsman pack is actually a WILDERNESS pack. The wilderness pack company is out of Oregon. That company also makes K&K tripods. They are attached to a molly frame and are a great 4-5 day hunting pack.
I have only seen the wilderness pack and have not gotten a chance to abuse one but they do seem very sturdy and a great pack (if you like external frames)
I do have a sacrifice and will post pictures of it and a full review as soon as I have time.
I wanna make sure I can do a honest load test and no BS review on this pack before I go off half cocked.
So far my initial review of the sacrifice is this.
It is a one of a kind pack that will work well for a 2-5 day bivy trip.
It compresses down to nothing and weighs next to nothing and would work great as aday pack as well.
I have had 5 days of gear in the sacrifice with spotter and tripod and the overall feel of the pack was great. I do think it will hold 80#'s OK but that will be pushing the limits of the pack.
NOTE: This pack is a one of a kind and for ME is going to be a one of my GO 2 packs for much of my hunting. It is not a do all pack but fits a nich in my hunting arsenal.
I would get a flash 32 instead of the 20. The weight difference is next to nothing and they both compress down to about the same size.
I was hoping the flash 32 was going to be more like a Sacrifice but was a little disappointed in the way the 32 felt with 4 days of bivy gear. If you had a choice between the 20/32/sacrifice, I would try on the 32 and sacrifice and pick from those 2. (It's more fit and personal preference)
If you are looking for a pack that has load lifters that are 15 degrees or more above your shoulders------- The EB line will not fit the bill. They will be shoulder height at best and work more as a load stabilizer then a load lifter.
Beendare------ The Blue Widow is stiffer then wood pecker lips.
I got 24 PM's last night and am working getting to them as fast as I can.
I don't get on the comp after 3:30 PM.------ I have a strenuous training program that I try to never deviate from and bowsite is good at getting me off that.
According to Issac at Badlands, the Sacrifice will be available in late April or early June.
Sorycreekinc.com should have the packs first.
You can call storycreek and ask for mike and he will know when they will be getting them (I think).
Great thread Reaper!
I recently bought a Cabelas Extreme Alaskan Outfitter Pack with Frame. I bought it in anticipation of drawing a WY elk tag, plus it was on sale. Have you ever tested this pack? Curious if it is a keeper.
Storycreekinc.com also keeps all the Badlands/Sitka/Eberlestock lines on hand.
They have been a great company for me to deal with and Mike (the guy that runs it) will bend over backwards to try and accommodate anything you need.
I have not used that pack myself but my buddy has it and uses 4 letter words about it all the time.
He ended up buying a 4500 and a sitka ascent 14 and selling that Cabelas pack.
Sorry, I don't have much more info then that.
Two questions: 1) how do you afford all these packs?, and 2) wanna arm wrestle? :)
Seriously, great review! Thanks very much for taking the time to share all of this info- it's invaluable to lots of us and much appreciated!!!
I have had a ton of PM's about what I have done to the 4500 to work for me on extended backcountry trips.
Instead of trying to PM each person, I will try and explain what I have done and post pics as soon as I can.
Keep in mind that the 4500 fits me better then any other load hauler/extended trip pack that I have ever used.
The big issue I had was the ability to take off from my base camp and not pack the 4500 with me for a day hike.
The other issue was using the fanny pack for my water and other items that I would need for a day hunt. The fanny pack was not large enough and to be honest, I have noassatall problems and a fanny packs slips down past my butt.
I NEED TO DO SOME WORK FOR A LITTLE BIT AND WILL POST WHAT I DID TO FIX ALL THIS IN A COUPLE HOURS.
Thanks for all the help last night dude......much appreciated. MUCH!
Curious about your comments on the MR Crew Cab. It seems the lifters weren't high enough for you. Is that correct? Couldn't you just raise the height of the yoke?
The X2... Wondering if you or Matt could post some infor... Matt you said you liked it didn't love it... Wondering why? Mike from Story Creek said it will be redesigned for release in May... wondering if they are going to add a few cu/in?
Personally, I think the batwing design is the optimal style for what a lot of us want in a pack... Any thoughts on that statement?
Anyone have a MSP on this pack. I am holding out even thinking of buying a pack until this one comes out. Looks like the perfect size for the 3-5 hunts.
Wow, at Price: $269.95 I think I found me a new must have pack.
If you raise the yoke, that will actually make the problem worse. The attachment points on the actual pack need to be higher then your shoulders. When the yoke is raised and you pull the lifters straps, the shoulder straps will bunch up between your shoulders and the pack.
Yep, the sacrifice will be $269 MSRP
This is a pick of the 4500 and you can see how high the attachment points on the pack are above my shoulders.
With the nice frame, the attachment points are even or lower (depending on your height) on the actual pack.
Note: I think that MR makes a great pack and the nice frame works great for some people. I like my load lifters/stabilizers to be a good distance above my shoulder.
I see what you are saying, because the yoke is on the frame, not the pack.
I was acutally having some problems with the fit of mine. I took pictures and sent them to Seacat. He made some recommendations to lower the yoke and adjust the lifters. All good now.
Best thread I've seen in a while, very informative!
I'm a badlands 2200 guy with that same butt thing going on & I'll say it's the best pack I've used for all day or up to 3 days out. It is an elk packing monster too, I've never had such a comfortable pack that was loaded down with 90+ total pounds. What sells me is the external vinyl seat & straps for packing/securing quarters that keeps the meat away from my inside personal stuff! It's a keeper in my book.
Great job Elk Reaper!
Cool man, Mark is a great guy and seems to be willing to do just about anything to help get the packs to work for people.
Good luck this season!
Thanks for taking the time to share, Reaper. This is useful stuff!
I have used the 2200 quite a bit, but for my build the 2800 fits me just a little better.
I agree with the amount of weight that each pack can carry.
I have charts that show each load weight that each pack can handle before it started to rip apart.
What I found in all my testing was pretty amazing, as far as overall weight each pack can handle from each pack company. I got well above 180 pounds on some of the packs before they got destroyed!! This was all done on a tredmill at my local gym and I used dumbbells and plates for testing.
Packs are like women - there all different, some are made better than others, some look better than others, and some just feel right - while others don't. The whole process of choosing one is purely subjective. There are a ton of great packs out there and unfortunately it has been my experience that you have to try a bunch to find out what you like (much like women). I have tried many packs from Badlands ie 4500, 2200, 2800, RT Stealth; Eberlestock Blue Widow and Mystery Ranch Behemoth, Crew Cab and Kodiak. I have settled on the MR CC as anything from a day pack to 4-5 day pack, and the MR Kodiak for 5+ day trips. Why? Sizing, comfort, feel and capacity to haul some weight. These packs may not work for everyone, especially those very weight conscious, but they work for me.
I use a hornhunter mainbeam and mainbeam xl and they are the best hunting packs I have ever used comfortable lots of pockets so everything is organized and easy to find well thought out I used the xl all archery elk season and all late archery blacktail with no complaints the external meat packing system works real well tons of with 7 straps and lashing pts Have only packed blacktail deer meat with it but it was comfortable the whole way out cant wait to pack elk with it great packs . Customer service is excellant and a no questions asked warranty on the packs. Cant wait to try out there new curl packs
I have been wrapped up all day with work and have not been able to do much for reviews.
I will try and post more on Monday.
I hate typing, so if anyone has questions about my thoughts on packs or what I did to my 4500. My phone # is 720-937-1418
Thanks everyone for keeping this a posative and helpful thread.
Have a great weekend
elk reaper have you tried out any of the hornhunter packs ?
What was the tear point on the 2800 Badlands?
Snell no experience with the new version but 105# of elk for 7 hours did the old version in.... Tore one of the batwings off.
>>This was all done on a tredmill at my local gym and I used dumbbells and plates for testing.<<
I wish you had photos of THAT!
Nice job on the reviews. Just taking all the photos and posting them is a lot of work.
Somebody asked about the X2 The design change I heard they were discussing was adding a thin frame similar to Hypervent. Here is a picture [cell phone]
I have never used any of the HornHunter packs.
I was able to get 195 pounds on the 2800 before the stitching started to pop.
I'm sure packing out 105#'s for seven hours would be worse on the pack then just adding dumbbellls and walking for a mile. Uneven loads are hell on packs:)
"Uneven loads are hell on packs:)"... and on backs... and legs... and shoulders... etc., etc. LOL!
The owner of the gym that I go to let's me get away with more then she should. I have not broken anything but I do get a bunch of funny looks when I'm doing my testing.
I do most of it around 4:30 AM or 10:00 pm and at that time most of the people are gone.
Blacks -Creek Canadian
The Good Stuff
Enough compresion straps to kill a man
Handy meet hauler
Good company to deal with and a good warranty(robert martin is a cool dude to deal with)
Adjustable yoke and belt
The bad stuff
Pulled a shoulder strap off
Extends off of the back more then I would like
Reaper, I have to know what the black things are on your feet in your pics?
ELK REAPER WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE BADLANDS SUPERDAY. IS THIS A GOOD PACK.
Tilzbow - Elkreaper mentioned I would reply...here goes. I lived and hunted in AK for 4 years and did alot of DIY sheep hunts in the mtns. I used an Osprey Cresent 110 (discontinued I think) and it performed very well all things considered.
fits my 23" torso very well--biggest issue for me as I am 6'8"
7000+ cubic inches--allows for BIG loads
pretty damn durable--i have had 120+ lbs in this pack on the way out with ram/bear/gear for 8 miles in a one day--"death march" back to the air strip--pack performed very well
doesn't come in camo
7000 cubic inches--i tend to put too much shat in it!
once you get above 80 lbs in this pack it doesnt perform as well as some others--shifts a bit--and anthing above 80 lbs for several miles just begins to hurt like a mofo
I did purchase a Badlands 4500 this year and I LOVE THIS PACK. I plan to use it for my deer/elk backcountry hunts this coming fall. It is great for tall torso'd gents and the guys at Badlands are second to none when it comes to backing their products.
It MIGHT do the trick on a sheep hunt for you but it depends on how much gear you will be taking---if you are going on a guided hunt where the guide carries the bulk of the bigger gear such as tent and spotter then it could work. I typically would plan for 8-10 days of sheep hunting and it would fill Cresent pretty full. I don't do guided hunts and the 4500 might do the trick for a sheep hunt. I like to eat and am a big dude...I don't skimp on food in the backcountry. If you are working your hump off and are wet and/or cold, a guy needs good chow to re-energize physically and mentally...so I am a lil heavy on food going in. B/C of this, I need room in my pack for it.
I never considered the MR cuz I didn't know about them much when I was in the market for a sheep hunting pack in 2005. I hear great reviews but I have also heard the Crew Cab doesn't ride well on tall guys b/c of the load lifters---but I cannot confirm. If I was considering the MR line for sheep hunts I would go with the Kodiak...its big enough for all your gear and has an internal frame...of which I prefer over external frames. If you don't need 6500-7000 cubes and don't want to drop the coin on the MR, my second choice would be the Badlands 4500--but load up all your shat in it that you plan to take on the hunt to ensure its large enough. Cpl pics of the Osprey attached... 2006 ram packout
Those are gators, I have been wearing runing gators just about year round for the last couple of years. They do look a little goofy but make up for it in the long run. I'm getting a camo set made from DAY ONE camo and that should help out with the looks of them.
No bugs up pants
Great for frosted over grass in the AM
Great for creek crossing
2007 packout...another death march...shot a bear along the way as well and that made things interesting...
couple more of the Cresent---hit me up with a PM if you want to talk sheep hunting. I love it.
I don't have any pics of my 4500 in action but plan to use it this fall for deer and elk backcountry hunts. Here are a few of my brother (he is 6'7" 260 lbs) and this pack fits him very well.
First pic is of him with 5 days of gear for a backcountry deer hunt.
one of me with his pack on ...not a good pic.
Definetly trade offs involved. I understand the load lifter concept, but I'm not hunting with a pack that extends over my shoulders. And when collapsed it is narrower than my waist. (An older j105, basically a j104 with the beefed up frame.)
That's one of the reasons I like the Eberlestock packs. They may not be the very best at load hauling, but for hours spend with a pack on I'd say it was 10 to 1 hunting and not extra heavy packing. But when needed will handle the loads well enough.
Another thing is I hunt in hot weather a fair amount, the Eberlestock packs tend to have very good ventilation as a rule. Again another design feature that may put the load a bit father away than some?
Thanks for the reviews TER, pretty useful.
I was curious on the MR crewcab WRT fit. Was your impression it may fit a smaller frame body better than a big frame?
I don't hunt with a pack that extends over my shoulders either, I do carry everything 5 plus miles in with a pack the extends over my shoulders. I also carry the meet out with that same pack.
I agree with what you are saying, if I had to hunt during the day with a pack that was that far over my head I would go crazy from hitting branches.
All the pack lines have things that are really great and things that suck. Like I had stated above, the blue widow is a hell of a pack and is a great pack for some guys. It all comes down to a few things!
Where you hunt
How you hunt
How long you're hunting for
If I lived in Hawaii, I would not be hunting with a 4500 or a blue widow. I would have a heat stroke:)
Jdog and Elk Reaper,
Great thread and thanks for the tall guy posts! I'll give the Mystery Ranch a look tomorrow and see what I think. I've done several back country hunts but only one involved a back pack (the others were via friend's horses) and that pack was an external frame Kelty that performed okay but I want to get a better pack for this NWT sheep hunt. I've been told I might be flown in by helicopter but that'll be a decision the outfitter will make when I get there and will depend on where he's finding the sheep so I want to be prepared for 10 days off my back. Like Jdog I eat a ton so I don't want to cut it too close on gear and with that said I'm looking for something over 6,000. If I'm flown in the guide and I will have separate tents supplied by the outfitter but I'm planning to take my own tent just to be sure it's long enough.
I thought that the MR CC would be a btter fit for shrter guys but I do know some larger guys that love the CC. I had the NICE frame and Longbow pack and loved the LB pack but was not happy with the nice frame fit.
I will say that I am a Badlands guy BUT am not trying to sway anyone one way or the other. I'm just trying to help people that are interested in getting a new pack.
Should give hornhunter packs a test run I did not care for badlands packs switched over to hornhunter and have never looked back. I just dont think the name is out there as much as badlands and eberlestok very good post though
Post some pics of the HH packs in action. I have a friend that uses the main beam for a day pack but have not seen it with any type of load in it.
Which fanny pack is the best for elk hunting. I'm thinking just a day hunt. The Badland's Monster or the Black's Creek All American? Also, any review of these would be helpful.
To be honest, the 2 fanny packs you would wanna pick from would be the BL Monster and the Eberlestock Slingshot. To me the All American was just a normal fanny pack but the monster and SS have a bunch of extra stuff.
THE GOOD STUFF
Internal frame to keep it from bunching up
Adjustable shoulder straps and 34oz water bladder capacity
Several pockets for all the normal day hunting stuff
All the same as above for the good stuff but the SS has the ability to carry a bow and the monster does not.
I did take the bow carrier part off the SS (I always have my bow in my hands)
I don't have any negatives about either of the fanny packs but I think the SS is a little heavier but not by much.
I don't think you can go wrong with either of the two I listed!
At 3.8 lbs. and 3800 cu. in., I'm pretty sure the BL Sacrifice will be on my back this fall. I love the hypervent type packs as my back tends to sweat a lot.
The Sacrifice looks intriguing but it makes me nervous when even the manufacturer is calling it a "noisy" pack...
Thanks for the info Reaper.
It's pretty obvious your NOT trying to sway anybody to one pack or the other. Just giving honest reviews.
Elk Reaper, Thanks for this great thread. I have the Eberlestock J105 that I have been using for a couple years. I use the pack more as a day pack but I have plenty of room for enough gear to stay out a couple night if I need too. I was curious about the load lifters and what they were supposed to do. The only difference I could tel when i would adjust them was the load being moved closer to my back. Now, with your explanation, I have a better idea and see they will never lift the load because they are at my shoulder height. Thanks for this great post. Randy
Have only had the mainbeam xl for 2 yrs wish I would have gotten some pics of packing that blacktail but it was pouring down rain and we just wanted to get out of that clearcut yes I will try to get some pics up on some of my shed hunts staring next weekend
check out link above to look at the badlands sacrafice or preorder
never really saw the benefit in having a camo pack. i bought a couple of few years ago, but they sit in the closet. i started out using a camp trails external pack that i also hauled a day pack in. then i upgraded to an internal pack and also carried a day pack. those days are gone. i now use a 65L backpack. this size works for a 3 day hunt to a 12 day hunt. 2 years ago, i used an osprey atmos 65L for 2 weeks of bivy hunting. my pack weight was 30-35 pounds. the pack itself was nice, but it dit not fit me well. i did not get to test it on a meat carry. last year i used a gregory z65 pack. that pack weighs 3lb 13 oz, i carried 60 pounds of gear 5 miles to camp, used it every day as a day pack, used it as a 3 day bivy pack and hauled meat/horns out with it. in my 16 years of hunting, i would say this has been my best pack. i also use it to backpack with throughout the year. it has held up well. for the big meat hauls to the truck( up to 76 pounds), i have and arcteryx bora 95L pack that hauls heavy loads nicely, although, 80 pounds is still heavy. it weighs 7lb 10oz, but has heavy duty shoulder straps and hip belt.
i have tried on some of the badlands and kifaru packs and never felt they were worth the money.
The BL Sacrifice is tempting at its weight. I am planning my first pack hunt for deer and am wondering how big to go. For 5 days is 3800ci enough? (Eastmans says it is 3450ci??) What about 6 days? Anyone have a formula for knowing how big of a pack you need for x days. Cant you just strap your bag or tent to the outside with a rain cover?
I have the exact same question as Muleyfever. Will 3800 do for a 6 or 7 day back in? I know food amount will vary by person, but should the Sacrifice work?
With the smallest lightest gear I think the Sacrifice will work for a week long deer hunt. I am actually thinking about it myself.
The only problem I see is it might be hard to get your camp and the whole deer in, on, and strapped to the pack.
You can do 7 days with a sacrifice( I have that much in my sacrifice now) but is is STUFFED full.
You will not get the gear and deer in the pack at one time----- not even close. I have trouble doing that with my 4500 and 5 days of gear.
If you have a packer coming in for your meat, then the sacrifice would be the best option BUT if you are thinking you can get 7 days of gear and cape/meat/antlers out in one trip------WON'T HAPPEN.
7 days worth of gear plus a deer in a 3800" pack? Now I'd like to see that!
All my gear and a deer. Oh yeah, it'll all fit in a Sacrifice. You've never seen the deer I kill.....hahaha.
No, if I was lucky to get an elk it would be several (two of us)trips back and forth with meat and then one for the gear.
I just am leanaing towards the Sacrifice b/c of the reduced weight of the pack. It seems perfect. However, I will have to attach a daypack to (or in)it for use while elk hunting. That's my plan anyway. I figured I could always put the tent/sleeping bag attached to the outside while packing in if needed.
Should work......but so should have all my other hair brained ideas that were a disaster at the end of the day.
I have gotten a bunch of PM's on the load lifters and what angle they should be from your shoulders.
IMO on a daypack, it really does not make much difference either way.
For what I look for in a load hauler/5 plus day bivy pack is a 25% or more angle from the shoulder to the attachment point on the pack.
If you are using a pack like a Badlands 2200/2800 or a Eberlestock X2 for a day pack and could be packing the first load out with it, I always hope to have them at least even with the top of my shoulders.
This is a pick of Jdog(6'8") with a 2200. We kept the lifters loose so you can get an idea of how much the pack can get pulled closer to your pack when the pack is loaded down with weight.
I don't think attaching a daypack to the sacrifice is a good idea. That will not be needed because of the ability of the sacrifice to compress down.
A pick of my normal day pack with a look at the lifter even with my shoulders.
Reaper, I noticed you said you have a sacrifice. How are the load lifters? How will it work for a day pack? If you knew you had to make a trip back for your meat would this be the pack you use for getting your gear for 6 days in and out?
There is no way I am getting a deer and my gear out in one trip no matter what pack I have. I am not that tough.
A few picks of what I like when I have 100 plus #'s in my pack.
Is that stuffed full with food also Elk Reaper? Or just gear?
Also does the pack have an external pocket for a spotting scope? I don't see one from the few pics I have seen of the pack.
Archerdan. Seems like the Sacrifice will compress small enough to work as a day pack also.
Yep, that is what I am planning on this year.
Sacrifice for 1-7 day hunts
Get a animal on the ground
Hang up the qaurters
Take camp out with the sacrifice
pick up 4500 or frame pack from truck and head in next morning to debone and pack out entire animal in one trip.
That's with food spotter and tripod
No pocket for tripod but I do the same thing with the sacrifice that I do with the diablo.
I use the mech water bottle thing and put the spotter on one side and my tpod on the other. This actually takes up less space inside the pack and keeps the load equal.
I'm using a K&K tripod and a Swaro HD Angle 65mm scope
Gotcha. I'm gonna get a Sacrifice or the BC Featherlight. That pack looks good also.
Do you happen to have pics of the Sacrifice with all your gear in it?
A good shot of the Sitka 45 and the load lifters.
WTF? Wrong picture.
I don't have pics yet but will get them up soon.
You going to make it out 2 CO for mule deer?
Isn't that the X1 not the X2? Just wondering since it looks very different than the X2 I fondled...
will a blue widow or a 4500 fit me i have a 28 in waist and am 6 ft tall am goin to buy one but dont really have anywhere i can try them on thanks
My bad, that is the X1. That pack is my buddies and I wasn't paying attention.
Elk Reaper is the baddest MOFO I've ever seen pics of on here.
I think I figured out how he has so many packs. When other hunters see him they drop their gear and haul arse....hahaha.
Man, thanks for the great advice here. This has been the most informative thread I've seen on bowsite. Real, actual tested equipment with no bias.
looking forward to a pic of you with the sacrifice loaded? I would like to see how the load lifters look. Or you could just tell me if you think a pic is not needed. My biggest concern in a pack is getting the weight off my shoulders and I think I can only afford one pack as I am buying all my gear at once. That and the trip out may not allow me the room to carry a meat hauler specific pack. So my pack needs to carry a deer out without killing me.
Thanks for all your knowledge. You save a guy like me and others a lot of trouble and expensive hard learned lessons.
Yea Reaper I already applied. Going to try and make a scouting trip out there also.
If you need a scouting partner or a ride from the airport, give me a call.
Yea I need to send you a PM cause I have more info on the unit you were talking about hunting.
I'm a shadow of my former self now!
I'll get back on track now:)
I have had a few PM's about the cam gators.
You can go to DAYONECAMO.com or call 800-347-2979
He has a bunch of camo to choose from ASAT/PREDATOR SPRING GREEN/PREDATOR GREY/MAX1 and a few others
THE ELK REAPER i love the name and this is prob the best thread i have read on this site. anyways i own the j104 and have been thinking about buying the blue widow for biving but mainly day hunting which pack would you recommend for this need. i own the badlands super day and the j104 but want the best pack not caring about the name
If you are going to be use it more for a daypack then a bivy pack, I would not use the blue widow.
I would need to know a few things from you first.
What is you height/weight/torso length?
Do you use a spotter/tripod?
Are you going to try and strap your bow to the pack?
Is your biggest reason for wanting a large daypack to be able to haul out a heavy load?
What is a heavy load for you 65#'s or 110#'s ?
My first answer to you question(without knowing those answers) would be a negative on the blue widow. It's a great alll around pack but a little stiff/rigid/heavy for a daypack. especially if you are going to be using is 20% as a bivy and 80% as a day pack.
One thing I think I should ad about the Eberlestock line.
IMO, if you are not a gun hunter, you should not use one of the Eberlestock packs with the gun carrier. Esp if you are going to be using it to pack heavy loads.
If you may be using the pack to haul around a gun at some point, then that type of pack is great .
When I got a heavy load in my Dragonfly, It was to far off my back and shifted around and pulled against me and threw me off balance more then I like.
"will a blue widow or a 4500 fit me i have a 28 in waist and am 6 ft tall am goin to buy one but dont really have anywhere i can try them on thanks"
I don't know about the 4500 but eberlestock does make smaller waist belts you can get for their pakcs, so the Blue Widow should fit you. I am 5'11" and 32" waist and the blue widow with standard belt fits me nicely.
I use it to pack camp in and also always use it as a daypack to haul the meat and antlers out. It fits me nicely and is very comfortable as an all day pack.
I was at the gym training this AM and started thinking (deep thoughts in a shallow mind)
The #1 and #2 pieces of equipment that you can have in you bowhunting arsenal are FREE.
I don't care how much money you spend or what pack you have on your back or bow in your hand or boots on you feet-------
If you're not mentally and physically tough, YOU WON"T NEED THE COOL NEW GEAR.
A gym memership is cheap and running is free. If you don't put your body through some physical abuse before the season and if you don't get mentally prepared to be alone (without cell phones/cheese burgers and a womens love:) THE HUNT IT OVER BOFORE IT BEGINS
I can not stress enough for everyone to TRAIN like your life depends on it------- AND THEN TRAIN SOME MORE!!!!
One of my instructors in the Army had a saying
TRAIN HARD AND YOU WILL COME OUT EASY------TRAIN EASY AND YOU WILL COME OUT HARD! I have thought about that saying just about every time I feel like leaving the gym early/cutting my cardio down a few minutes or just not wanting to get out of bed at 4:00 AM and that always will keep me going that extra mile.
This link will give you all the info that you need to know about pack fit and load lifters.
Thank you for sharing all of this info. I am looking forward to the review on the Sacrifice. I think it will fit the bill great for 3 days and two nights on the hill. I can do it with my 2200 but it is pretty tight. Does the sacrifice have a bottom access for a sleeping bag? Thanks again for all of the info you have given so far.
Elk Reaper-One pack that I haven't seen mentioned is the Jannsen's Hardcore Hunt Pack, do you have any experience with that one? It has decent volume for 3-5 days and is light enough to use as a day pack from a bivy or base camp. Be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one.
The Sacrifice does have bottom zipper access for a sleeping bag. I have a mamrot pinnacle sleeping bag/thermorest pillow and a change of sox/underwear in the bottom of the pack. I still have some room left for extra food in the bottom section.
Elk Reaper- when using the badlands 4500 did you use the hydration system made for it or something else. I used the one that goes into the top fanny pack and it leaked from day one. also didnt find a real good way to get it into the sleave made for it. only real disapointment i had with my pack. I am thinking about a blue widow for my next hunt in 2011 just because it will compress down for hunting
I never use the fanny on the 4500. I changed up the straps a little and cut some of the extra weight of the pack and then added a daypack in place of the fanny. When I was all finshed, I had a 4500 with a diablo or hypervent compressed down on it for almost the same weight I started with.
I liked that set up more then the blue widow.
Aron, I have known Robert at BC for several years. We hunt together and I am on the Blacks Creek field staff. With that said. I know you used to be on their pro-staff. Last year Elk hunting Robert was test driving the new Barbarian. Have you tried it out and if so give me a review. I tried it and liked it. I currently use an Alaskan from Blacks Creek and my wife has a Western. Just curious if you have looked at the Barbarian?
I don't have much info on the jannsen's hardcore pack. I know what people have told me.
Heavy for a 3500ci pack
I think this is a pack cameron haines uses sometimes and has talked about it in his book and hunting video's.
I don't have any first hand use with the barbarian. It looks like it's going to be a great pack and has adjustable torso and belt sizes. When I get a chance to abuse on, I will be sure and post a review.
I will say the the Badlands Sacrifice and the Blacks-Creek Barbarian are 2 packs and 2 pack companies that are moving in the right direction.
Light/Durable/Good price point/Good size
"I don't have much info on the jannsen's hardcore pack. I know what people have told me."
I had the Wilderness Packs version and it was well put together, but I thought it was a bit noisy with the buckles and all and for shorter torsos.
I do not want to sound like a broken record, but after using the majority mentioned here, the Kifaru is a bargain! I wasted alot of money trying a bunch of them and sore shoulders.
As soon as I can I will post the feather light pictures from testing in july 09
Here is pictures
The above picture is my son in July 09 he had just gotten back from Iraq
ttt for a bookmark
Pack looks good Robert.
Seriously......this is one of the best threads I've seen on here as far as gear reviews go. I would like to pick up a new pack this year myself. I've been using an older model BL 2800 for all my day hunts and several days. The pack is shown in one of the pictures earlier in this thread and here loaded next to my son. However, I don't really care for how it loads with the wings, it is a little heavy for day hunts, and my back sweats a lot if the temps are the slightest bit warm. I'll have to read this more thoroughly and then I'm sure I'll have some questions of my own.
Elk Reaper- do you know if Badlands is doing any type of a daypack with an adjustable yoke?
Those one size fits all packs hit me too high above the waist. That leaves me with MR [tried too noisy], Eberle X1 and BW and possibly the Blacks Creek pack which if made with the new lightweight fabric may be too noisy also.
I have the older badlands 2800 too. I sweat, but it is a heck of a good pack. Had badlands make me a custom clip-in duffle to attach in the middle (kind of like the eberlestocks). It can now go anywhere from 2800 to 4000 c.i. Probably not the best pack fully loaded at 4000 inches, but it works...and I can't afford to not have an expandable pack. Mostly I use it as a daypack, although I like the versatility.
Last year I hauled out my first elk with this same pack. Wasn't the most comfortable pack for that... but it did what it was designed to do. Then you can bring in the frame for the heavy lifting. I'll be using it again in the future.
Must say though, the new Badlands Sacrifice with it's light weight and breathable back has me interetest, as does the eberlestock redesigned x2.
Here is me with the 2800 and my son with the Black's Creek Canadian.
Here is the 2800
I am really liking the looks of the BC featherlite. I will have to check into it. I don't think anyone around here carries it. I will have to order online.
I don't think badlands is coming out with any packs with adj yokes. Have you used a 2200? I have a few friends in 6'1"-6'8" area and the 2200 fits them well.
elk reaper to answer your questions i am about 5'9 160 lbs i can pack i would say into the 80 to 90 lb range if i have to most of my hunting is out of base camp with some 1 to 2 day outings thrown in i bought the j104 for the fact that it is so versatile but at times it is to big for a day pack but the superday is to small i want something that can easily pack meat but is not to bulky would the sacrifice fit these needs or would u recommend looking at something else
I would say the Sacrifice will fit the bill to a T. I will get some pics of the sacrifice in action as soon as I can.
Nimrod Apex system
Sitka bivy 45 without fanny pack.
Fantastic Job, Elk Reaper. Thanks so much for your work. It didn't take long to see, you knew what you were talking about when it came to packs and probably have forgotten more than most will ever know. (Hence the 5000 questions)
I would encourage everyone to read this entire post or maybe even use the search engine to search within the post. Already a wealth of info. I for one just wanted to say thank you.
I appreciate the kind words.
I think what the most amazing thing of all is, is the fact that we have all kept this a positive thread!
I think everyone has done a great job and wish all threads could be like this.
I appreciate all the positive feedback from the PM's as well!
I have to agree way to keep this a positive thread that dose not happed very offten...I hope Arron "The Elk Reaper" dose not have all you guy's as screwed up as I am on packs now...Arron is a good friend of mine and we have been talking pack's just about every day sense Elk season ended..Haveing a buddy like The Elk Reaper will screw you up when your going to buy a new pack and he calls just about every week with a new pack...Hear is where i am at right now I used a Badlands 4500 last season and I have to say it is a sweet pack I would have to say as for a load huller it is tough to beat..the only down side to this pack I had was it just don't work for a day pack once you get in the backcountry..so this year after alot of time on the phone talking packs with Arron I thought I would go with a Eberlestock "Blue Widow" but now after all this I am thinking the Badlands 4500 with a hypervent straped on like Arron has set up...but who knows that may change by next week...great work Arron Jared<><
For what it's worth the guys at Mystery Ranch set me up with the Nice Frame and a 6500 bag at the RMEF Saturday. They were very helpful, fitted it to my torso and loaded the pack with about 75# of stuff so I could walk around on the show floor and try it out. We had to adjust the lifters and a couple of other things that I haven't figured out yet and once that was done the weight felt pretty good and evenly distributed (even though it was mostly a couple bags of gravel). I know it was only a 15 minute walk on a flat surface but the pack felt good and I can't really try others out this way so I bought it. They recommended the Nice Frame and the 6500 bag over the Kodiak for load hauling over 80# which I hope happens more than once!
i just bought the 4500 this year and i am getting ready for this year, where does the bladder sit in this pack? On my 2200, hyoervent, 2800 and monster it clear has a desinated spot. But on the 4500 i am not quite sure where. Good thread Elk Reaper
The water bladder goes in the fanny pack. You will need to get a square bladder from Badlands if you are going to use the fanny for this. I use a normal bladder and have rigged up a attachment point on the inside of the 4500. It sits up close to my back and is somewhat easy to get to.
If you have any questions on the 4500, give me a call. My # is on my Facebook page.
If I don't hear from you , good luck this season.
If you don't mind, It would be great to see some pics of the Nice6500 Combo (I don't have any).
First of all great thread. I am a pack newbie and have read A LOT of threads on this site in particular about lots of packs out there. I realize what might work for one guy might not work for another. One pack I have considered is a MR Nice frame with a load sling and just strap their load cells (or something similar)to it. Price wise it's right in the ballpark as many other packs and it would probably be quite versatile for me. Could you guys fill me in on the Pro's and Con's of this? Granted I haven't tried one on (under load) but I would first if I were to get one.
Whats the scoop on the Horn Hunter Full Curl System? I sent them an email with several questions a while back and got no response. Does anyone know the weight of it? Thanks
I just got off the phone with Badlands and they said that their website should be updated in about 2 weeks, and they will have the Sacrifice on there at that time.
Nice thanks for the reviews and pics of all the packs. i h
I have tried both Badlands and Eberlestock (both good pack makers) but finally settled with Kifaru. Amazing products. Kifaru and Mystery Ranch are the best in the business imo. No other packs compare. I currently use the Kifaru Longhunter as my backcountry pack. Might pick up a Late Season or Spike camp for day hunts. Kifaru= custom hand made packs. Doesnt get any better!
I know you have a bunch of pics of some Kifaru packs. It would be cool if you could post some for everyone.
Sure i will post a couple. here is a Kifaru Longhunter. The Longhunter in the pic is the standard (5200 cu inches). very light weight but can carry a monster of a load if needed. I currently have the Longhunter Guide (7200 cu inches). Only a few ounces heavier than the standard but alot more space in case i need to use it (i.e. winter backpacking etc)
Another shot of a Longhunter. Civilian backpacking mode. This is a first G1 pack. In 2009 Kifaru launched a G2 line. Offering many upgrades to the already great pack as well as different colors (Green and Foliage which is kinda grey color).
Kifaru Siwash 4200 cu inches. Also with a Kifaru Cargo chair strapped on (holding the antlers)
Thanks Ermine and keep me posted on your season:)
Thanks Ermine for posting the pics of the Kifaru. You saved me some money.
Has anyone tried out the badlands ox it looks like a unique design and taking out meat looks like it would work great but with it being a solid frame how would it do on 3-5 day bivy hunts?
I just pulled thr trigger on a Kifaru Late season. I struggled between that and the Mystery Ranch Bighorn, but my familiarity with Kifaru products, the lower weight (4.5# versus 5.8#), slightly larger size (3,200 ci versus 3,000 ci), and more open back panel (presumed better ventilation) won out over the zip configuration of the Bighorn. I am still in a mild state of lust over that MR pack configuration though.
I have found that the Cabela's stores have a wide variety of sizes and makers of hunting packs. So, if you want to do some of your own test drives think about going to one near you and trying some on. With their expansion over the past several years there is likely one within a days drive of many of us.
Bass Pro, unfortunately, doesn't seem to have much of a selection, especially in camo if that is what you want.
Sorry about the broken image under the link. Go to cabelas.com and click on the Retail Stores link to see where they are.
Matt, when you get that Late Season give me a holler and I'll come down and take a look at it....maybe even break it in for you if you ask real nice....grin
Damn it Matt!!! I was hoping you would drop the hammer on the Bighorn so I could get a straight forward review on that thing! LOL!
Ermine that sure is a good looking Longhunter! Come to think of it that Siwash looks very familiar as well! LOL!
Hi All! Great Thread- Has anyone ever tried any of the TimberHawk Packs? Specifically the Killshot? Looking for info/opinion on that pack.
Looking for a new pack: Eberlestock/Badlands/Horn Hunter/Timberhawk/BC Canadian are ones I'm interested in
Pack in 1-2 nights Bivy/Day Pack I average about 8-10 miles per day- and Yes with a rifle, so having a pack that can accomodate is important
any and all info is appreciated
Whoah CJPEPA, easy on the rifle comments! I know this is a debate-free thread, but you better go back and edit your post! Didn't you know that this is the ruthless Bowsite? Just kidding man. Sometimes I just can't help my saracsm. I wish I could help you with your pack question, but I can't. If ELK REAPER hasn't been run off this site yet, I'll bet he can answer your question. I would suggest sending him a private reply, just in case he's taking a break from the public threads. He really is the most knowledgeable guy I know when it comes to packs. Good luck, and I hope I didn't offend you with my previous sarcastic joking. - Jesse
Elk Reaper,looking forward to the Sacrifice Review and how it fits you etc...etc..I'm very interested in that pack.
I have used all of the packs that you have listed. If you wanna shoot me a PM. I will do my best to answer whatever questions you have.
Hah! Finally figured out the PM thing! And Arctichill-Sarcasm isn't Offensive it's the only thing that keeps me sane! Thanks!
So what if a person is looking for strickly a meat hauler. No day pack or bivy pack. Purely something your going to strap a hundred pounds on your back with a hike out a couple miles. What features does one look for? and who makes it?
That Blacks Creek looks like a nice pack. Is it a meat hauler also?
Bull pack/ Mystery Ranch Nice frame with load hauler/Barneys packs/Kifaru load hauler
If you are just looking for a frame pack that can handle a ton of weight, the frame packs that I listed above would work just fine.
If it's just for a couple miles and not going to be used for anything but a load hauler, I would not "break the bank" on a frame pack.
If money is no option Kifaru Load hauler or the Mystery ranch Nice frame.
I know must people are not checking this thread as much but I have been searching around and looking at many differnt packs and came up with a pack from m home state I was interested in. It is called Oregon Pack Works. Not sure if anyone is familiar with but they started out for climbers and now are for hunters, You custom build your pack and its a all in one pack where you can pack in and then make it a day pack once your out there. If anyone knows of anything let me know I am interested in this pack but still not sure, They are also from my home town so maybe I can stop by and check them out and compare with my other packs.
I have a Kifaru Longhunter and a Badlands 2800. I was just reading the recent Backpacker Magazine, and was impressed with the article on the arcteryx pack. How do the hunting packs compare to top of the line backpacker packs?
First off I want to say thanks to Aron for all the help! Next, have you tested the new style 2800 or the old style? I have the new style and after putting my camping gear in it now think I might need a new (bigger) pack:)
Thanks for the info on the Oregonpackworks- looks very interesting- I like the idea of it being modular on a internal frame design- unlike the others that are basically on a pack board- I sent an email for further info on their system and will post info if anyone interested when I get the response
Thanks again, CJ
You can get 4 days+/- but that is puching it. Shoot me a PM or give me a call. We can shoot the sh_t about everything.
I'm using the newer model 2800.
I talked to the owner a couple hours ago(Oregon pack company), he is going to send one out for me to abuse and take some photos. I will post the review as soon as I can give it a good look.
Don't let that distract you from testing out the Sacrifice.
Buckballs, I had the opportunity to load an Orion pack up at the Central Oregon Sportsmen Expo this weekend. The guys at Oregon Pack Works are making a serious pack setup. It is a module system that you can add or take away from to customize it. The Orion is the pack I am buying. You can pack into an area and detach the two top bags and just have the frame that is a hydration unit on top and a lower bag for your day packing stuff. That's just the way I would use it. But the way they have made this pack there are around 15 configurations. It is made out of great quiet camo material that is waterproof. It has a meathauling material shelf. The shoulder straps definitely can lift weight off your hips. It is just a well thoughtout, designed and made pack system! Glad I had the chance to check it out. Oh, and Karl....sorry, I have already forgot the other guys name....are great guys who went out of their way to help me. They are serious backpacking hunters.
Hi,this is Karl from OregonPackworks.com Fellas' there are some things you do in life because its in your blood, and hunting is it! You are who you are because we hunt...Period! Non-hunters don't get this. I'm by trade a fire- Captain, in Bend, Oregon. I'm in my thirtieth year in this field, and my pack concept has been a hobby. I started hunting the back country at 16. My Brother-in-law influenced/mentored me, and this pack "system," I've come up with has evolved with me. I'm trying to run a business SINGLE-HANDEDLY right now, so I ask that you not overwhelm me with inquiries....Thanks! Elkreaper will have a pack to review. It tells a story about what many people have asked for, but never have found in a pack[system].
I've included a picture of the Orion pack, that was posted earlier. It is the work horse "DayPack." It is the pack Elkreaper will get as well as the Greengate Pack. The picture shows it opened-up.
Sorry this is long, but read my website--Its not the best right now--money can buy alot of nice things; My packs are a reflection of how I hunt--I needed to have a day pack that could haul weight(meat), immediately after the kill, from my remote location. This has been nine years in the making. I'll get to you folks as soon as possible, and Elkreaper will take my "system" out and have at it! Thanks for your understanding and interest. Karl, President, Oregonpackworks.com
I'll be honest, I'm biased, and know Karl personally, but this Green Gate Pack system is the bee's knees! Used a prototype in steep, steep, and steeper canyon country this last season and packed in 70 lbs. The pack was quiet and showed no signs of failure. I am waiting for the ASAT version before I buy one though! He has no plans on making an ASAT version, but I thought I would start a riot and demand it.
Thanks for reading my first post.
For JUST a meat hauler-kelty cache. For $90 you can't beat it, it was as comfortable as my Kifaru.
Here is 90# of boned out meat, on it.
Kifraru Longhunter, 96# for a 16 day hunt.
A buddies Blue Widow, with about 70# for a 7 day hunt.
70# of boned out meat, cooled overnight, inside the Blue Widow.
Les.....where do you find that kelty cache for $90???
More like $200+ that I'm seeing....
The meat bag runs $90.
I'd love a sweet deal on a quality comfortable meat hauler! I just don't find it.
Dooh.....now I see where the FRAME only is $90......now make that $107 is best price I can find.
Very interesting to consider the frame only with a couple 35L Ultra Sil Dry Bags and a day pack strapped to it. hmmmmmmm......
Les....where are those load lifter straps located...above the shoulder????
I use a similar rig and use a couple midsized sea to summit drybags and it works out well for hanging the food bag etc.
I also make a bow hanger similar to the ones they use. A couple of 4 inch o-rings from a hydraulic shop and a little webbing it's easy hooked on the pack and they work great to hold the bow for glassing etc.
Some of you wanted to see the duffle I had made for my old style Badlands 2800. It "Clips In" to the existing clips on the pack. I'll post several pictures to give you the full flavor.
Here is the Duffle itself
Both sides have 2 side pockets.
It has a pull out blaze orange cover/meat shelf as well. This clips in to two clips on the top of the duffle. It won't handle much weight, but will probably carry 15- 20 lbs.
The Duffle then "Clips In"
The Inside of the duffle has 6 mesh pockets. Two large ones along the back, and 2 smaller ones on both of the sides of the interior of the duffle.
The normal Badlands 2800 (older style).
Here is the pack with the Duffle clipped in.
If you need to haul out meat, just loosen the straps and presto... you have a space for meat in the middle. the Pack itself is 2800. Add the duffle and you get 4000 ci. With the space in the middle...??? More than I want to carry with this pack that is for sure!
Finally, my fake "hindquarter. : )
Thanks for posting the duffle pic's.
I got mine on sale at Scheel's for 89.99, and found them online for that also.
Here is a front pic, that shows the lifter location.
Les, Please disclose what is in your 96# pack for your 16-day hunt!!!! Wow, did you take in a generator and a wall tent? LOL! Looks like it handled the load well... I like the Blue widow pics as well...
Sleeping bag/socks/underwear/toothbrush/wipes/eyedrops/duct tape
Big agnes air core pad
Day One camo top and bottom---Fleece
2 days of food
foot and first aid stuff
Extra Marino wool top
One of my "batwings" with extra room for another day or two of food.
The pic above is with "load lifters" loose and this is the pick of me pulling them in about 2.5-3 inches.
All done :)
LIST OF GEAR FOR 2 DAYS
Marmot pinnacle 15 deg bag
2 days of food = 2350 calories per bag
Swaro 65 HD
Big Agnes Air Core
One set of UA underwear----One set of Smartwool socks
3 Game bags
Petzel Taktika Headlamp---2 Strobes
50ft of 550 cord
Havalon Knife with 6 blades
My migraine pills(I get the brain pain sometimes)
Duct tape and super special stretch blister bandages
Day one Camo fleece top/bottom
Garmin Oregon 400T
Wet Wipes/tooth brush/eye drops/butt wipe/
Brunton spork and a Brunton lighter that I could cut steel with :)
Snow Peak Giga/cup/fuel/spork
Ice Breaker Marino wool top
NOTE: My packing list will very from one trip to another. I can go for a max of 4 days with a 2800 (and stay comfortable) I could go longer but will need to cut out things like---- water purifier/pillow/
My daughter was the photographer on this:)
Good stuff, ER. What is the total weight?
nice......gotta show my buddy Greg these pics.....he says the 2800 fits him better than the 4500....
I think it's about 32 lbs with the spotter and the actual weight of pack.
Jordan----I use a Sea to Summit dry bag between the batwings of the pack and I can stay for several days with that setup. Call me if you have questions.
Aron are you putting together your own first aid kit or is there a commercial kit you recommend?
I make my own, I'm not going to "church" it up. If I needed to improve on one thing, it would be a better first aid kit. Duct tape is 80% of my kit.
Super Glue (surgical)
Moleskin /Blister bandaid
For me, if I need more then that----I'm in deep doo doo
I suck at BEAR PREVENTION. I have never used or carried bear spray or a gun and I have a bad habbit of eating in the tent.
The Badlands 4500 "retrofit"
Take off the fanny fack
Install new male/female buckles. Male buckle on the vertical strap and a female on the trap that is located above your shoulder( the straps that attached to the fanny)
This should be the end result.
The badlands monster fanny works well(with this set up). For the most part, I use the hypervent but the monster and ultraday are the best for weight saving.
This is the Hypervent attached, I have the bow holder strap around the center of the hypervent and the straps that connected to the fanny, are now criss crossed over the hypervent.
ITEMS NEEDED TO COMPLETE
1) 2 male/female buckles
2) I" thick strapping. you will need this to lengthen the straps that are above you shoulders.
3) sewing kit and a thick needle.
When I sew the strapping to lengthen the straps above my shoulder, I use HALO serving or something like HALO. Center serving will work just as good. This will allow the straps to go all the way over tha pack when the pack is fully loaded.
This transformation you have done with the badlands 4500 has givin me new hope for my 4500. I cant wait to finish mine up and install my new badlands diablo I bought this week. You've cost me a little money but a guy is always looking for an excuse to buy a new pack(LOL!) Also the adjustments you pointed out to me over the phone were very helpful they worked and my 4500 pack is fitting me better than ever. This has probably been the most informative thread on this forum I've read and look forward to the new posts each day. Keep up the good work! Doug
Badlands monster fanny
Badlands bino case. I use it also for a rangefinder, cell phone, digital camera
those are a pair of my new ZEN RAY ED2 8X43 in the badlands
horn hunter. Lifetime warranty and made in USA,
I love my horn hunter pack
horn hunter blind hog
blind hog by horn hunter
Nice pics, the three amigos pic is priceless!
Thanks. Nice tips, pics, and reviews there Elk Reaper. Lots of good info there. Thanks fir the info!
Hardcorehunter, Can you shoot your bow while wearing the Badlands chestpack (Binopack)? Great thread! Tim
I have the same binopack/case from BL and I have not had any issues.
Thanks Reaper (and Hardcore). Looks like it would do double duty for a fly fishing chest pack, too.
By the way, how do you like your MSR snowshoes? Is that size bouyant enough for a 200 pound man wearing a 20 pound pack? Or would you recommend bigger?
Thanks again, Tim
If you are not in heavy powder, the MSR shoes work great. I can be very agile/mobile with 30"ers and in the backcountry I will choose the mobility over flotation every time. I have had several sets and I sink almost as much with the tubbs 36" mountaineers and they don't have the traction like the MSR and are about twice the weight. The only thing I have used (and had success) in deep powder is 46" Michigan shoes. Wood shoes and heavy. I'm about 250 with pack/ shoes and overnight gear.
Thanks again, Reaper. That's what I was wondering about. I've had the same pair of Michigan woodies for over 20 years. I put a coat of Man O' War marine varnish on them every spring and they're good as new. Time to join the 21st century and try the lightweight shoes.
Back to the pack thread... great reviews all around. Pertinent and informative stuff. I took my first backpacking trip in 1971 when I was in the 9th grade. I had an aluminum frame with a 2 inch unpadded cotton webbing hipbelt and a "Gateway" canvas packbag on it. Weighed 60 pounds and rubbed me raw but we had fun - Packs have come a long way!
Thanks again for all the great info, Tim
Barclay, you can shoot your bow with the Badlands Bino case on.
A dude on Sage Creek Forums has a 4500 for $250 shipped......
I should grab it but I'm super cheap so got the Kelty complete cache hauler (although I may ditch the bag) for $165......thanks Les and Aron
Jordan,you will be happy with the cache, I think.
I had/have the Kelty Bison and Bighorn and they were/are good packs... stitching and frame support was subpar compared to BL and Eberlestock but was functional... Good packs for the money! For my style of hunting, the bat-wing style packs work best for me so they don't get much use now... just thought I would pass that along...
FWIW-My go-to meat hauler is a Kelty RedCloud 5500 and it is amazing!
This is a great thread Elk Reaper, Thank you for all the info. Four years ago I tried a few packs and settled on the BL 4500. This pack has been great for the type of hunting I do. Which is to hike in 5-7 miles set up camp and hunt out of camp for 4-7 days.
The pack handles heavy loads very well and is easy to compartmentalize your stuff into the many different pockets.
I have broken the internal struts and Band Lands replaced them for free while I waited at their shop.
I also found no use for the fanny pack and removed it. I prefer to be light as possible while hunting and use a small quite lightweight cabalas fanny. It easily straps to the top of the pack.
After reading about other packs I though I was missing something and might need a new pack. The info in this thread has helped me to be content with what I have.
A Predator deception green Rocky Mountain Coyote fanny pack I have a weakness for packs lol. Just not as bad as Elk Reaper:-)
Cat quiver 6
Cabelas Alaskan outfitter. HUGE pack with lots of room and very comfortable. Great quality too. Once in camp, the pack can be removed from the frame and you have full frame for packing quarters, firewood, or whatever.
Top view of backside of the Cabelas outfitter so you can see the shelf that items can be piled on.
Here is my latest pack. It is called the Magnus Rack Pack. It is a packframe and chair, rolled into one. It also has a compartment that has an orange game bag that you can place meat in. It really is designed and shines as a ground blind carrier and a chair once in your ground blind. Predator hunters, and ground pounders that don't use a blind can appreciate them too. Very well thought out and seems to be great quality.
Seat deployed without the head rest popped up
Head rest deployed. The head rest has 3 different positions that it adjusts for. This is a comfy seat and will be nice for long sets in a turkey blind, antelope hunt.
Freight shelf deployed for carryibg heavy loads. For simply carrying a ground blind, the shelf isn't used.
top view of freight shelf
Received my Kelty Cache Hauler today. I am impressed and pleased as pie with my purchase since I got it cheap as a new item with open box.
Can't wait to load it up and feel how it adjusts and rides. I had low expectations for the included pack but actually think I might keep and use it. Lots of room and well made. Not sure if it will do well off the frame as a day pack....but will have to test it out.
Man I love a good deal on good equipment!
Gratuitous post alert:
I have a Kifaru G1 Long Hunter standard that I will be selling shortly (only for sale because I bought a G2 version), and would prefer to sell to someone on the Bowsite to give them a deal. The pack is in very servicable condition but does have a couple of spots that are worn from use (wouldn't affect functionality). I have spoken with the company, and they indicated that if it wasn't warranty-able, it would be cheap to repair. If interested, let me know via PM so as not to further clutter up the thread.
Edit: One thing I should add is the belt is their small belt which fits better for those with smaller waists (I am a 31").
I'm really interested in the Badlands Sacrifice. How soon will the pictures and reviews of this pack be available?
I have to say that I've been doing some testing with the Sitka Bivy 45 that I "stole" from Matt on eBay, and I'm really liking it so far...
Matt, got any more Sitka packs you would like "thieved"?
Nope, only got my trusty ole' Longhunter. All my other old packs have been stolen by Bowsiters.
I just spoke with ELKREAPER and he is out testing the Scarifice as we speak. He promised he would have pics posted tomight.
2010 BADLANDS SACRIFICE
I will post all the pics now but I need to do a little "WORK" before I fire myself.
I will do the review and answer any questions, in about a hour.
Thanks and I hope the pics are OK.
Thanks for the pictures. I cant wait to get my hands on one of those packs! It will make a great scouting/hot weather pack like you said earlier.
How much wieght did you put in yours? How was the waist belt for fit and comfort?
Looks nice! Thanks for the review.
Thanks Aron,really nice depiction of the pack.Looking forward to your thoughts
Aron, you do a great job with the reviews. Could you in your free time start another tread and list/photo your typical pack setup and how you pack it? I know I would learn a lot from it. Thanks
Sorry it has taken to long to get the review done on the Sacrifice. I wanted to make sure and give it a good "beating". I also wnated to make sure and try a few configurations with it. I had not had a chance to give it the "death march", and put a solid 10-12 miles straight. (I got that out of the way today)
As far as the "noise" of the pack. It was much quieter then I had expected. It reminds me more of BDU/Army pants type material then anything. I was able to test this pack in 15-65 degree weather and the difference in "noise" was little if none in cold weather.
This Sacrifice will be moving to my primary 1-5 day bivy pack, as well as my primary scouting pack. One of the best things about the Sacrifice is it's ability to disappear. It does this with it's weight(or lack of weight) and how well it can compress down. You can hardly tell the pack is on your back and the sweat factor was at a all time low:) With a pack at 3600 cubic inches and a weight of 3.8 pounds, it would be hard for me not to use this as a day pack as well.
No problem. It will take me a little time but I will get something together ASAP.
How many pounds of meat would it accommodate, Reaper, if you used it to haul the first load out after a kill? Front elk quarter? Straps/Head/Antlers? Hind quarter? This is the key question, IMO
Front quarter----No prob
Front quarter and backstraps-----pretty good
Rear quarter-------Could do it but will be uncomfortable
The pack is not going to rip appart with a heavy load but after 65-70 pounds, you would be hitting the max of the suspension.
So to anwer the question_____YES____ It will take out the first load with no prob.
I will post some pics of the amount of weight that I had in the pack(when I was testing it at the gym)
dang....that thing looks like its sitting way above your hips dude. Looks like the front buckle is above your belly button. I like my hip strap to support my beer belly (grin).
You are correct! This was a smaller size. Badlands only had a Sacrifice with a 18" torso but I could not handle waiting amother month. I got this one to test and will be getting a Sacrifice that is the correct size as soon as they have one available.
The belt is about even with the top of my bellt button______ I must have a high belly button or I need a little more beer to pull it down a some:) :) :) :)
I gotta say I've been following along, even though I don't need a pack, and this is one of the best threads I've seen in years. I commend you Aron for the job you have done and for bringing an honest to goodness, no BS'n, unbiased, straight up report on all these packs. And for testing the heck out of them for all of us.
Now the only downside is the time it takes for this thread to load - lol. And the fact that now I want to go spend a crapload of money and buy a pack or 2. This has been very informative, and that's an understatement!
I have read every post and changed my mind 5 times. Looks like I am going to be getting a "Badlands sacrifice" Thanks Reaper! Are they in stores yet? Where to buy? Best Prices? By the way Elk Reaper, what kind of watch is that you are wearing? I have destroyed 2 bands taking off packs.
Sunto Vector----5 years and a ton of blood on it:)
It will be in stores in June:)
Storycreekinc.com should have them first.
Have you got any photos of it on your back with it compressed with just the items you would carry during a day hunt after you've already set up camp? Or do you use another pack for that?
I've been using an older 2800 for both 1-3 day hunts/scouting and to wear daily while hunting, and considered the newer 2800 or 2200, but like the sound of the Sacrifice if it can snug down fairly compact for daily use and isn't noisy.
Survival Kit___ havalon Knife/headlamp/first aid/water tabs/ribbon/stuff
Day One Camo Jacket
Day of food__2,300 calories
2 game bags
I take more stuff(for day hunts) then this but I'm in the middle of cooking dinner and this should give you a good idea:)
You didn't need to burn dinner for me..........but thanks for the photo. I may unload the older 2800 and buy the sacrifice, but I'll have to get my hands on one first. If the older 2800 isn't too big for him, I may let my 11 yr old use it some this year and next yr. when he starts after big game.
THanks again for the photo.
Osprey Aether 85.....4# 9oz. of serious pack.
Have you got a chance to use that Aether 85 much?
Do you have any pics pf it in action?
What did you think of the pack with heavy loads?
What a great thread. I have been reading these reviews and others. I soon will have to make a decision on a backpack. I was planning on buying the Eberlestock Blue Widow. Now I'm thinking the Sacrifice. Is the Sacrifice waterproof or do I have to buy a cover for it? Thanks
You would need a cover.
A friend of mine is a mountain goat guide in B.C. He has been using the Osprey packs for a couple of years with very good results. He uses the big 6,900 ci version and frequently packs 100+ lbs.
I think i will be seriously looking at the sacrifice for my first pack. Thanks again Aron for such a great thread.
I think i will be seriously looking at the sacrifice for my first pack. Thanks again Aron for such a great thread.
Does the top pack come off and turn into a fanny pack?
Elk Reaper, is the Oregon Pack Works products next?
Guys, don't go investing in a pack until you look at what these guys are making...here in the USA.
I looked at them, didn't care for them.
WapitiBob, I'm curious what you didn't like about them? I realize packs are almost like boots...each to his own. But I would like to hear what you would have done differently with the pack. Thanks, David
On the mountain, testing the oregonpack and a hornhunter. I will post my reviews on Monday. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Reaper which hornhunter pack are you testing the curl or mainbeam xl
Ordered my Sacrifice from stoney creek. They say they will ship out in June, but they are putting together a DVD of the pack and it's features and will be shipping it out shortly. Thanks Aron for the great thread!
Is there anyone using a 4500 that has a 30-31" waist? I have a 2200 that I had to have the waist belt cut down to fit my waist, and am wanting to get a 4500. Just want to make sure that it will cinch down enough to get the load on my hips.
I can't find Storycreek or stoneycreek, can someone post the link? Thanks.
I have had the "Oregon pack" for over a week and have been able to put some miles on it now.
This is a multi use pack and can be changed from a day pack, to a multi day pack, in a couple minutes.
The day pack version has a "batwing"desighn and also is hydration compatible. The yoke of the pack can be adjusted in height but, you can run into problems with the yoke bunching up when you pull on the load lifters. I tested this pack on a range diff size torso heights.
The material of the pack that I recieved is very quite and I had no problems with the "strength" of the pack whith normal loads. When I loaded up the pack with 100+ pounds, some of the stitching started to pull loose in some areas.
The pack in the "multi day" configuration is somewhat load sensative. When I say load sensative, I am talking about the ability to cram stuff in the pack and still be able to keep a certan level of comfort. If the pack is loaded correctly, it will be fairly comfortable but you need to keep the heavy things as close to your back as possible.
If I was going to pick a "weekness" of this pack, it would be the harness and it's attachment points on the pack.
With a few desighn changes and tweaks, I think this pack will make for a great all around use pack.
NOTE: MY SPELL CHECK IS NOT WORKING ON MY HOME COMPUTER:) SORRY
Found the link to storycreek.Thanks anyway.
Elk Reaper Have you ever used the Crooked Horn High Country Extreme II pack? I know it is a little bigger than the Badlands Sacrifice, but I was wondering if you had used it how they compared to each other?
Hi, this is Karl with Oregon Packworks.com First, I want to say thank you to Elkreaper for man-handling our pack(s)!! It always helps to have others wear and handle gear so we know where to look for improvements. Secondly, the pack Elkreaper received for testing is a demo pack. Two or three items have been improved/changed since that pack was built in '09. The most important of those changes was our stitch-length. There is a fine line between inherent strength in a stitch length, and one that is more like a bar-tack (i.e., NO stitch length). Since I haven't heard where any seams may have loosened, I'll guess that since he mentioned the "bunching" of the "H-Yoke," this means the shoulder straps may have been too long for his torso. This in turn will overload the "Whammy-straps," or the load adjusters on the top of the shoulder straps.
We plan to provide a video on our website for proper fit and adjustment of our suspension--something we may have overlooked initially. We also will provide an instruction sheet with each pack purchased in order to lessen any confusion as to the proper fit of our revolutionary suspension design. Once the suspension is set for your torso, it never has to change; even when used in other pack bodies.
Please also refer to our website's "Downloads" Page, there you will find various articles, and the fundementals for proper loading of your gear into any pack. As well as our "Videos" Page for instructional videos.
Again, a big thanks to Elkreaper for providing us with useful information on our packs, and I look forward to more details from him as to the above "issues" with our product.
Thanks for all your interest and inquiries.
Sincerely, Karl President, Oregonpackworks.com
Reaper, any pictures of the Oregon Pack yet. I am curious to see what it looked like on your back with a load?
I was just browsing around and found a sale on Sitka Bivy 45 packs.$174.99
Sounds like a good deal to me
That is a hell of a deal. If you have any questions on the pack---shoot me a PM. I don't think you can go wrong (at that price)
What's the poop on the Blacks Creek Barbarian Featherlight that Garth is pimping in the latest edition of the Huntin' Fool?
Can't help you on that one. I will call Robert at Blacks-Creek tomorrow and see if I can get the poop on the scoop.
Their site is really informative. There is a section labeled "videos". This will give you an indepth demo of the possibilities with their pack system. Worth a look!
I spoke with Robert over at Blacks-Creek today, he said the new barbarian featerlight will be available in mid may.
The best place to order this pack will be-- GEMCOUNTYARCHERY.COM
They have a $20 of sale going on if you pre-order.
Thanks elkreaper and everyone else for all the great info.
This is the best thread I have ever read on the Bowsite,THANX! Elk Reaper & All who have contributed to it ,GRATE88888 INFO.
heres a couple of badlands 4500s loaded down. thanks to Elk reapers advice on how to adjust them and a little customizing we will be taking them on another trip
So Elk Reaper, after all this your favorite packs are the 4500 and Sitka 14? What did you not like about the Siwash and LongHunter? Do you have much time with the Hornhunter XL? You are right about having a bunch of packs and boots, it is an addiction!
I'm in the blind Turkey hunting (hope this works ).
My top packs are the 4500/2800/hypervent /sitka 14/Mr bighorn.
I use the hyperventilation and like it more then the 14, because it holds a spotting scope. The good thing about the 14 is the torso fit for tall guys.
I liked the kifaru packs, I just like the 4500 better. I will say that if I was going to use a non camp pack(like kifaru). I would use a arcterx mountaineering pack,they feel more like my 4500(with heavy loads) and the load lifters are at the angle I like ,k ifaru's are not.
Great thread!!! Great pics!!
I've got a Mystery Ranch NICE frame and Behemoth pack that works great!!!
Actually have just listed it for sale....if anyone is interested toss me a PM!!
I LOVE the Mystery Ranch stuff....its some of the best stuff I've ever used....
Great thread!!! Great pics!!
I've got a Mystery Ranch NICE frame and Behemoth pack that works great!!!
Actually have just listed it for sale....if anyone is interested toss me a PM!!
I LOVE the Mystery Ranch stuff....its some of the best stuff I've ever used....
Sorry for the double post.....here is a pic!
What an awesome source of information - ElkReaper (and others) - thanks for all your time in posting this information! Does anyone have any more information regarding the Blacks Creek featherlight? What type of warranty Do they have - There is nothing on their website about the warranty.
I have been using packs made by rocky mountain packs.
They make a wide variety oof pack from simple day packs to full on frame packs. And the best thing is they are american made.
Badlands has some new magnetic closure pouches out now too. I just bought a rangefinder case this weekend.
I talked with Crooked Horn Outfitters today (very nice lady) and I'm hoping to have the High Country ExtremeII pack soon.
The owner was out of the office (when I called) but heshould be calling me back in the next couple days.
I'll keep everyone posted.
Has anyone used the Kelty Varanger pack at all?
"Badlands has some new magnetic closure pouches out now too. I just bought a rangefinder case this weekend."
You have to be careful with those, if you close them wrong they are LOUD!!!
I just found out the Barabarian Featherlights will start shipping Apr 23rd
Thanks for all the hard work and valuable info Elk Reaper and all you other guys!
OK so what do all of you think of the new line of Badlands accessory pouches?
Personally, I think they are one big mistake. Matt made a good comment about the possibility of them making a loud noise if you weren't careful about how you close them.
I think that little orange loop opener that sticks out like a sore thumb could be a potental brush catcher. Looks cute for the yuppie types but not so good for the serious hunter.
Hey Elk Reaper, hows does the Sacrifice fit and strengh compare to the Osprey Amos and the Gregory Z55 packs? Thanks
I like the badlands "bino pouch", it has the yuppie orange loop but I have not had it hook up on any brush yet.
I used the range finder case as well and I would choose that over any of the other cases that I have used.
I can't speak about any of the other stuff because I ahve not had a chance to use them.
I would say that the Sacrifice is very close to what you will see in the Atmos. I can't say to much about the Gregory Z55(have not used it).
I did about 6-7 miles with the Sacrifice last night. I had about 37 pounds in the pack (without water weight) and it felt great. I was really happy with the amount (or lack of) sweat off of my back.
Reaper- I am 6'6" and am currently debating the 2200 or the hypervent. Both fit well the 2200 slightly better, but the hypervent has the venting system that looks like it would really be nice, I sweat a lot so this is really pulling me towards the Hyper. I just do day hunts with the need to bring out meat also. What can you say to sway me either way?
If you are going to be hauling out meat, the hypervent will not be the best option. The 2200 will fit a loonger torso much better (for load hauling) then a hypervent will.
If you have the option of taking out the backstraps and your gear on the first load and then coming back in with a load hauling pack, then i would get the hypervent.
If you are getting the pack for a "DO ALL" type of a thing, the 2200 is a way better option.
I can tell you at 6' 6' , the 2200 is going to be one of the only packs that will fit your torso length and still have the load lifters above your shoulders.
PM or call me if you wanna chat about it further.
"Matt made a good comment about the possibility of them making a loud noise if you weren't careful about how you close them."
The Badlands bino case can make quite a CLOPing sound if you close it without fully controlling it all the way. I have been trying to find a better mousetrap than my mad dog bino manager but haven't yet. It isn't perfect, but better than the alterantives I have tried.
Well that answers it for me. I called Badlands also and goy a similiar response, the 2200 seems to have really great reputation also it seems like a really solid pack that last for a long time..........Thanks for the reply
The buckles on the Badlands 2200 "load shelf" will break under the weight of an elk hind quarter. I had this happen on 2 separate occasions (fixed one side, then broke the other on a different elk). its a nice little pack, but ended up switching to a MR CrewCab for 2 reasons:
Badlands belts don't fit guys with 30-32" waist very well
Stronger buckles on MR CrewCab and it "felt" better under load on me. I also like the expandability.
Packs really are like boots, and different people will like different things....body type makes a difference as well.
If I stood next to ELKREAPER it would look like Danny DeVito standing next to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Twins (OK, i'm thinner than DD). You gotta go try these things on and throw some junk in them to see how they feel.
I think you posted a pic of the "crew cab" but do you a few more that you could post. We don't have many of the MR packs on the thread and it would be cool to get a few more up.
Can you post a pic of the "mad dog" bino case that you are using, or the positives and negatives about it?
I agree with you about that "snap" that the magnets make on the bino case from Badlands. I guess for me it was more like slamming a car door. I know ahead of time that I need to make sure and not just let it go or slam it shut. On the other hand, I could forget about closing it quietly when a 350 bull is coming in :)
I have a BL 2200 and love it the best pack thats ever been on my back Im 5'8" 170lbs. But I have not had the chance to haul meat out in it sorry to say. If you are hauling meat in a 2200 do you put it in the pack or on the outside and wrap the bat wings around it and strap it on. I know most would say Im crazy but I am going to use it and pack in 5 miles and hunt for 8 or 9 days this year. To me it looks like the only advantage to a bigger pack is you can put everything inside and not have to strap anything on the outside. For me having alot of room is bad I will over pack and try to take more than I need and Die on the hike in or out with a way to heavy pack on my back LOL. Widow
I would say the "Elknut1" has packed out more elk then anyone else (with a 2200). I know the he straps the quarters to the outside of the 2200.
As far as the buckle/zipper issues on the 2200 and other badlands packs.
Badlands had a issue with a bad run of buckles and zippers, this is one of the reason that you get such a wide variety of durability answers on some of the Badlands packs. They have fixed this issue and should not have any problems with the buckles or zippers.
I can say that the sacrifice has a new style and buckle and I can tell you (with first hand knowledge) that the buckles will hole more weight than you would want to carry.
Elk Reaper is correct to say we've packed out a few elk on our Badlands 2200. To date we have had zero issues with buckles or any snaps breaking or coming loose on us. It has been a very tough pack. 3 of us use them on our all day hunts & for meat packing. Rarely do we ever just have just a hind quarter strapped to it, we generally have much more & we only strap meat to the outside of pack on the supplied seat & straps which is in a zippered pocket on bottom of pack. We do not like the idea of putting bloody meat bags on our inside items. You can secure bagged meat on this pack in less than 60seconds with no rope or bungees needed, all straps are on the pack itself.
We have had a few tabs break off on the zipper pulls, but the zippers are fine & just a portion of the tab breaks not the whole tab. We just add a paper clip or piece of rawhide like a boot strap thickness with a knot on one end & you're good to go, it's no big deal at all.
Not sure about the waist issue either, I'm 5'7 1/2" 157# 31"-32" waist & have no issues with the belt tightness, it is close to the end but not a problem that I've noticed at all. I love the pack & it's tough as nails & will hold anything you can carry for miles & miles under any terrain conditions. Before this pack came along we used to pack out all meat on Kelty Cache Haulers with the "batwing" style side strapping, it's a good pack frame but the badlands 2200 is so comfortable we use it on return trips as well, it flat hauls meat & fits solid as a rock to your body. None of us have complaints about the versatility of this pack!
Here's a photo of my son with a front shoulder & hindquarter & a backstrap, tenderloin & scrap meat all on this load, we generally carry loads like this with this pack with no problems! Not sure of the weight but it's well in excess of 100# with meat & all inside items.
OREGON PACK WORKS
I have been able to get several more miles and a ton more testing done on this pack. Much like the Sacrifice, I wanted to get as much time on this pack before I gave a very detailed review.
My first review. was my initial thoughts and I had about a week of testing (into the pack) but now have about 30-35 miles on the pack and have been able to get a few guys at different heights to try this out.
Weight limit and material strength
This pack measured up well against all of the other packs I have used. When I was running through the "durability" test, I reached weights of 170+ pounds before I ran into any issues with the stitching. I would NOTE that if I did not tell someone that the stitching had "poped" in a couple places, you prolly would not notice.
I was able to get the pack to fit guys from a height of 5'6"-6'7". I would say that the pack suits a guy from 5'9"-6'2" the best, but will work for taller/shorter guys as well. NOTE: Karl at Packworks is able to "custom fit" the yokes for different size hunters.
The best use of the pack
If i were going to use this pack full time, the orion configuration would be on my back the most. When the pack is set up with the two "bat wings" attached and the water/hydration system, you could easily bivy out for 4 days. You also would have the ability to pack a good amount of meat out on the first load as well. The "ORION" configuration (as well as the whole enchilada) has a multitude of compression straps and you would be able to strap just about anything to the outside.
The whole enchilada
With the pack set up in this configuration, you could fit just about anything inside. You have the option of attaching the fanny pack to the top portion of the pack and the bat wings as well. The general idea behind this pack system / this configuration, is to hike into the backcountry and set up your camp and then re-configure the pack into the orion system and have a great day pack and the option of a load hauler back in camp.
I would say that if you are looking at a pack that will do a multitude of different things and have a good deal of comfort in each configuration---- This pack is worth taking a look at. The biggest decision you will need to make(when choosing this pack) would be owning 3 or 4 packs from a different company and being a little more comfortable in those OR buying the whole enchilada and having a decent amount of comfort BUT only owning the one pack. (you can't have your cake and eat it to) but you would be close with the Oregonpackworks.
As far as my "negative" comment on the shoulder straps. I have spoken with Karl (owner of Oregonpackworks) and they had come out with a newer design and I had the older model. I had also made a few suggestion on some things I would change / modify and he was "open armed" with anything that I had to say.
I am on my office computer but when I get back to the house, I will post all the pics I have of the pack.
Feel free to PM or call me with any question on the Oregonpackworks pack.
Attached is a picture of it. In its stock configuration, there is nothing to keep the binoculars from popping out the bottom. So I had my wife sew in some mesh on the bottom 1/2 of the cover to form a pouch. The shoulder straps are neoprene so they stretch. I like it better than Crooked Horn type straps because of the protection you get for the binos (good in rain/dusty conditions), and it keeps the binocs from swinging when you crawl. It also protects them in transit, as you can wrap the whole thing up and clip the straps around it.
Great thread on packs. Lots of real life tests on packs. I have tried a few for bivy trips. I thought about getting a Badlands 4500 but after trying it on I decided on a pack more for the backpacker. I use a Grerory Palisade It isn't camo but fits ME good. Hunting packs are getting much better on comfort and quality in the last few years.
Matt I have the same thing as that for my small 10x25 leupold binos and love it! Its great for stalks and when you take a shoot in a funny postion because you dont have them swinging or bounicing around like the crooked horn types.
I will certainly defer to Paul on the durability of the Badlands 2200 as he has much more experience with it than I do. It is possible that I got a lemon with weak buckles on the "meat shelf".
I still have mine that I use as a "loaner" pack or for Whitetail hunting from time to time.
Watching the video on the Oregon pack it seemed like you are unable to get the same use out of the batwings like the badlands 2800? I put my spotting scope and tripod in between them on my badlands like in your earlier photo , but just by watching the video of the Oregon pack it looks like the space between the batwings will not tighten up very snug due to the positioning of the buckles on the batwings. What are your thoughts on that?
" NOTE: Karl at Packworks is able to "custom fit" the yokes for different size hunters."
But that does nothing for the load lifters and the resultant geometry. It's no different than every other hunting pack maker. They simply raise the shoulder straps and totally ignore the lifters and the location of the pack to the body. I'm not singling him out, they all do it.
One thing I find "disturbing". In my search to find a pack that fits, EVERY backpack site I went to emphasizes measuring the torso and getting a frame to fit so the lifters actually work, and the load is properly placed on the body.
NOT ONE hunting pack site I have been to even mentions torso measurement.
At 22-23 torso length, the 2200 is the only mid size "do all" that even comes close for me.
Yep, I do agree with Bob on that. The first pack company that will combine a adjustable load lifter/ yoke, will probably take over the majority of the pack market.
I would add that most people have no idea what their "torso" length is or how to measure it. I would also say that most have no idea on how to properly "fit" a pack to themselves to get the maximum comfort level.
They measured me again at REI, 21".
I already have a cpl pack designs drawn up. Not sure I'll make more than 1 but I'm doing one for sure. It will be totally adjustable as we talked about off line.
I'm working some odd hours so I haven't finished the Crew Cab Load Leveler yet. I have the frame done but still need to add the clips. It will snap right onto the Nice frame using the "unused" clips that are behind the Crew Cab bag. Totally adjustable load lifters.
You are the man.
Beendare sent me the web site of McHale packs a while back, and one option they offer is extendable stays. Pretty slick.
They make some cool looking packs but their web site leaves little to be desired. Do you know anyone that has a McHale pack?
OREGON PACK WORKS PICS
Here is my Badlands 2200. I am surprised I see no one using a motorcycle cargo net on their packs??? Being a biker for years, taught me that I can load a Harley down big time by attaching a net to a T-bag on my sissy bar. Same applies for any pack. You can shove clothing under these nets, Lone Wolf climbing sticks, lots of different gear.$5 at wally word or more at a Harley dealer. Also some handy items I place on my pack waist belt. Left to right: 3rd hand Hip clip...allows me to hang my bow by the string on my belt, while I glass,etc, so I don't have to lay my bow on the ground to free my hands, a crooked horns rangefinder/camera case, a Badlands rangefinder/bino case, and on the other side, a buck knife, and my GPS.
All Thank you so much for the useful information...just purchased a new Badlands 2800 for $165 on Ebay.
I am pre-selling the Badlands Sacrifice for $249.99 plus shipping. Price includes one free item with the pack. Packs will be available in June. PM me with any questions.
The link to the online store is http://shop.HMHUNTING.COM/Badlands-Sacrifice-JAsacrifice.htm.
A couple pics of the Sacrifice (shed hunting this weekend).
The pack held up well to some extreme abuse. I was suprised that nothing ripped off the pack with the amount of weight and the awkward loads. No ripping of material or stiching and the sweat factor was much lower then normal (on my back).
Day hunt stuff and 120 oz's of water.
I like the pack, but man you must have found the elk graveyard with all those sheds!!!!!
We find about 30-45 each year. I had 2 guys with me and that always helps:)
Elkreaeper you wanted MR CC pics, sorry this is what I could find, but here was an over nighter packing. I have switched or sold everything in the pic, but here is one.
Here is one wearing it and you can see how low it rides below the shoulders. I was dying by the end of the week and sold it when I returned a week of hunting. It was a medium yoke fully extended. I have a 19+ torso.
Last one of my ugly mug is the only one I can find with the Wilderness pack similar to the Hardcore pack based on the Molle II frame.You can see the frame and get an idea it rides low as well.
hunting 1: If you want the pack to ride higher you shorten tne yoke, not extend it.
Call it lengthen or shorten it is still going to ride on your shoulders! Well made, but packs that ride low ride on your shoulders. The Kifarus pull up if you will and that is my point. If you guys like the CC glad it works, for me it was an expensive test.
My hunting partner has a late season, it rides lower on his shoulders than does my longbow with nice frame. We both have the same torso length.
I am glad it works well for him phil, but having both packs and by no means claiming to be an expert, just a gear hore who loves the oudoors I would say he needs to bring the straps up higher. My LS does not even touch my shoulders when using it. The CC sits so low and the lifters are totaly different and shorter. Either way they are both great companies and I always say go with the one that will make you most comfortable! Good hunting!
Anyone heard when the new 2010 Eberlestock X2's will be out?
Does anyone have pics of the new hipbelt design (larger zippered pockets on the belt, beefier belt etc)?
Hunting 1 : Looking at Ermine march 10 on this thread walking up on that antelope with his siwash,his pack is riding lower than you with your mr cc. Does this mean he needs to bring the straps up higher?
I don't know when the new x2's will be out, but I got a sweet deal on the older model from the fire sale eberlestock is doing. It is going to become my new whitetail pack.
Adjusting Load Lifters Load lifters, located at the crest of the shoulder, are responsible for shifting the weight of your backpack off of the top of your shoulders and more toward the front. This will improve your balance and save your back some unnecessary fatigue.
Pull the load lifter straps until they are taut. If done properly, the shoulder straps will no longer be in complete contact with your shoulders near where they anchor to the pack. You will feel the pack’s pressure shift off of the top of your shoulders to the upper part of the chest, just below the collarbone.
If necessary, loosen the shoulder straps from the bottom by about a half an inch and then pull the load lifter straps taut again. Repeat until you feel the pressure properly distributed as described above.
Step 3: Load Lifters
Load-lifter straps are located just below the tops of your shoulders (near your collarbones) and should angle back toward the pack body at a 45-degree angle. Gently snug the load-lifter straps to pull weight off your shoulders. (Overtightening the load lifters will cause a gap to form between your shoulders and the shoulder straps.)
I prefer to drop a load.....
Phil we get it, you love your CC, GREAT, Iunderstand I paid a bunch as well for mine and tried to tell myself it was great. Let it go! I posted how to adjust them for you as well. Go and hug your CC! :)
Great help ! I am looking for an Elk pack and it was suggested to get the Badlands Superday w/ water bladder. I sweat like a pig and saw the Hypervent. I'm bowhunting for Elk the first time with a guide. I'm size XXX (working out to be XX) and therefore have huge shouders and back, etc.. any help?
I am 6'6" and have been searching for a pack myself. With that said I have tried on all the main companies packs and found the Badlands packs to fit the best, with the 2200 fitting better then anything else and the hypervent was my 2nd choice.I called and talked to the BL folks and they did some measuring for me and told me the 2200 has the longest range for a larger torso as for big I would say that it fits me the best aslo and I am a XXL. Best thing to do is go try them all on.....
There is a fix for the Nice Frame/Crew Cab lifters on the way.
Elk Reaper will have the 2nd one I make.
I'm not going to enter this pissing match, but I will post some pics and you guys can make your own judgments.
This setup felt good for me last year...
I adjusted things slightly for day hunting use as the weight was much lower. Damn those ferns were high in CO last year!
hunting 1:I can't believe you want me to take advice on how to adjust a pack from a guy who thinks you extend the yolk to raise the shoulder height of the pack. My hunting partner and I have been backpacking since 1975 and backpack hunting since 1979. Believe it when I tell you I know how to adjust a pack. People visit this website to find honest and accurate information. I hate to see you turn people off on a pack because you don't how to make the proper adjustments. I think Kifaru Packs are right up there with MR Packs. My hunting partner has had the Late Season for five years. It just so happens I received my MR Longbow with a Nice frame last year and we traded packs back and forth. We both agreed that we liked the weight hauling ability of the Longbow best. I don't understand the kinky relationship between you and your pack; but if I am going to hug something, it's going to be the wife or grandkids! GG NYC @ Work is right. This should never have turned into a pissing match. He posted some excellent pictures demonstrating why he likes the CC. This is it for me and hope it is for you too.
Anyone want to get rid of their CC I'll buy it. Don't need the NICE frame got one with the Longbow and Love it.
Hi Reaper- I appreciate your review and information. I prefer the older bl 2800. I have stumbled on a guy selling a US Marine Corps Issue I.L.B.E. Marpat ARCTERYX Main Backpack. Forgive me if you have covered/reviewed this pack in this thread. Its getting difficult to search with over 450. Do you have any insight? I am leaning towards a BL 4500 but the money is right on this ILIB.
I finally got my registration done...been reading this thread for about a month. My brother-in-law and I are going on our first OTC DIY hunt this year. You have all done a phenominal job with the info. I just can't decide which way to go. I have done some backpacking and had myself convinced on getting an OSPREY ARGON 80 to use for a very "multipurpose pack". Anyone used one of these? Now looking at the EBERLESTOCK line and really like the Blue Widow or similar Just One type.
rambows and SD Double
Sent you guys a PM.
I'm getting ready to head deep into the wilderness for a couple of weeks chasing spring Toms. Actually, I usually get into my spot, kill one bird and eat it for a week and then start to hunt the second so I can bring it home. Anyway, I use an external frame Cabela's Alaska II (I think that's what it's called?). I've had this pack for years and usually carry about 50-90 pounds. 50#'s is usually the load goin in (2 weeks worth of gear and food). 90# is a heavier than normal load packing out with a bird and some of the nicer muley and elk sheds I find.
It doesn't seem like I'm seeing a lot of external frame packs on this thread? Am I mistaken or is there a reason external frame packs are not ideal?
In the end, It's a personal choice and if the external frame pack is what works best for you, you should stick with that.
The biggest negatives (for me) with a exteral frame pack are that they are a little bulky/ rigid and can be a little less comfortable. They are also a little heavy (some models).
They do pack a heavy load very well (framed packs) and are generally easier to lash thngs on to.
All the guys that I know that use a frame pack are going in with a internal frame pack and leave a frame pack back at the trail head (in the truck). ounce they have taken a animal, they bring the first load out (with the internal frame) and then come back in with a frame pack for the bulk of the work.