Contributors to this thread:
Back Pack Recommendation?
You guys have been great on advice for quivers and boots, so I thought I would solicit your opinions again-for back packs.
I have several and cannot find the perfect back. I will use this for local deer hunting only. I need one with different pouches, yet a couple separate large areas.
The pouches are for ease of identifying quickly different items that a hunter who hangs a stand each times uses.
5-6 straps; 2 for the stand, rest for climbing sticks
Tow rope, bow hook, quiver hook.
Range finder, couple deer calls, release, headlamps, knife, flagging tape, saw, etc.
Room for hat, gloves, harness, coat straps.
Functional design most important feature, but has to be quiet material.
I put my pack on first, stand over top. I think I am fine with my early season pack, so looking for a mid to late season when I carry more stuff like gloves, neck gator etc.
For that, Sitka Tool bucket. I had one and sold it, because I needed my pack to transport the stand. I much prefer my Kuiu pack, and simply open the "load hauler" portion in about 5 seconds, and slide the stand in, then my pack carries the stand very comfortably to my hunting location.
My favorite packs for stand hunting are made by Bison Gear, you can't beat them as far as being quiet and they are well thought out for organization. I have the Lemhi and use it often, dead silent... Check them out.
If you plan to be hauling heavier loads, it'll work but in that case I use a Kifaru or Stone Glacier, these are likely over kill for what your use would be.
I agree with Nick, I have the Bison Gear Elkhunter and it will do everything you want and more. I have mine for 10 years and it is still like new. I have the silent suede and it is quiet but very tough. Shawn
Good thread! I've been looking for a good stand pack also since my 20 yrs old pack blew a strap this fall. Checking out Bison now.
I'll suggest another option. Kifaru made a pack called the Zulu, notable because it had no zippers. Just drawstrings. It was designed for military use in the sandbox. It's plenty big, built to haul a load, and quiet....no zipper noise. Now, it's cordura, so you do have that noise if you hit the brush, but that's a problem for any pack.
My dad Just bought me a back pack from LL bean and it is really nice and lightweight. It is called the Maine Warden Day Pack because they asked the Maine Game Wardens what they would like for a day pack and they designed it for them. I heard they now buy them to, it is only a day pack I think it has a big pocket and a lot of pouches for binos and gear.
I lied.... my pack that I mentioned earlier...with the busted strap... the one currently hanging next to me...its older than 20 yrs... it's Treebark camo lol! This thing has been on maybe a thousand hunts w me!
I have a Badlands tree stand pack I have used this year for the first time. I'm happy with it.
I use an ancient backpack made of some of saddle cloth and nothing compares to it. Sometimes I could use a about five or six hundred more cubic inches. Sometimes the zipper comes apart but I still use it. That said I I just looked at the Bison Gear website and am totally excited about their packs. These are no sh#t real treestand back packs. I was literally ready to buy but they are currently not taking orders. I will definitely be trying one of their products out.
I have the tool bucket and the tool box. I switch em up depending on if my stand is already hung. I am planning on picking up a new mystery Ranch treehouse. I will compare the three and decide what to keep. My even run my stand with my Kifaru 14r for a few hunts as well and see how that does.
I am thinking business is so good not taking orders. That’s like letting cash pile up at the front door waiting for another business to scoop it up. Hard enough to get new customers and keep them, horrible if shut them out with hopes they might return. The real reason isn’t much better and has same results.
Here what posted on Bison pack website.
“Currently we are not taking any orders as we are in the midst of moving our production facility across the country and will not be back up and running until the Spring. Thank You for your patience, and stay tuned for OUR RELAUNCH! “
NO such thing as a perfect pack. Everything is a compromise. Your clothes has pockets BTW. ( I have 6 different packs)
Fisher, You bet. Would like a better functional late season pack than I have now. Still would need two. I am satisfied with my early season. My pockets are used when I get to where I will hang, always keep stuff in my pack as I wash my pants every hunt.
Nick, your recommendation looks great and I can wait till Spring.
This thread is very helpful, to myself and others. Thanks guys!
Just purchased a stone glacier 5900 for the same reason, wanted a do it all pack that can easily carry a stand. The only thing missing is smaller divider pockets for gear but I use stuff sacks to divide out my gear, kill kit in one, food in one, hat gloves etc in one. I like the outside pocket on the 5900 for my needed ropes, steps and such and then the lid or hip pockets for small gear needing quick access. The stand slides easily between bag and frame in load shelf.
The the frame is great for hauling meat too.
I sold 6 packs to purchase this one. Hoping it works out as intended this next season.
stringgunner, I bought a Kifaru hunter frame this spring past. I switched back and forth between an apollo and a mountain rambler. Being painfully frugal and lazy, I decided to use it while tree stand hunting areas I drag deer out of instead of packing them out. I had to justify the purchase and, I simply didn't like the idea of changing my stuff out for week and weekend hunts. To cut it short, both were less than desirable versus a cheaper, flexible tree stand backpack. I too used small stuff sacks and pockets to organize gear. But, if that 5900 has a full length zip like the apollo, you are going to lose sacks from time to time when you are scrounging around in the pack while up a tree. With the top access, it gets hard to find stuff in the bottom of the pack.
I have no choice but to use it on my weekend wilderness hunts. But, I'm definitely going to pick something up for tree stand hunting close to home. Just sayin' all this to hopefully get you up to speed on what you face.
I’ve been using an x2 for the last several seasons, basically the same type of setup as the 5900 just way smaller. I totally see what you mean by a bigger pack and solid frame being burdensome in the tree.
My big issue wasn’t so much the being in the tree part as much (I can see where it’s not going to be ideal) but it was having a pack that can haul stands comfortably in and out for miles along with tons of gear and comfortably pack an animal out. I tried several, kelty, x2, no name packs, fanny packs, and just could not find one comfortable with 30-60 pounds loaded that had the ability to carry all the stuff plus a big hang on stand for miles in and miles out.
I also wanted ability to bivy out for 2-3 days at a time, carrying bivy gear plus stand.
That’s what it really came down down to for me, too much stuff and needing a pack designed to carry decent weight.
Appreciate the heads up though, it’s definitely going to be a learning year getting it all figured out. I have ordered a Kifaru cargo panel to see if it will connect to the SG frame easily. If that works I might play with various Kifaru pokets and ditch the 5900 bag.
I use a sandpiper pack mule, a company out of California, that sells more packs than anyone else in the country,,,,, It works well for me,,,, It is a constructed, pack frame, very light, which you carry what you want on it,,,,, might not be for you, but you can check it out on line
10-4. I bought the Kifaru for the same reason. I hunt mostly in big country and needed to bring gear and deer out at the same time.
Good luck and God Bless
I've been using my Badlands 2200 for the last few years and it works great. I put the climbing sticks in the batwings and it has plenty of straps for strapping on stands, etc. It also has a large area for clothes and several small pouches for other gear. It has a very good suspension system too.
Using your pack back straps for gear to carry your stand is something I have never tried. I always put my coat or extra layer of outer wear on that. I place my pack on my back and then have back pack straps on my stand that I use to put the stand on my back on top of the pack. The gear straps on my pack are much thinner than the ones above and I doubt they would hold the weight. I will try that as it does look much more convenient, thanks!
For tree stand use, I like the Sitka Tool Bucket. It was made to haul a tree stand and act as a daypack. I'm also a fan of Bison Gear packs for the tree stand, however, not so much for hauling a stand.
Kota, I keep looking at the tool box but it is only 1700 ci. I currently use a 2500 for winter as my hat, neck gator, extra clothes, etc. stay in there until after I hang the stand. But thanks. I have it on my calendar to order the Bison in the spring and will probably just continue to use my extra stand straps. The Bison is much bigger and it appears to be constructed of quieter material. Thank you.
pa bowhunter's Link
I agree, the size of the tool box could be bigger IMO as well, but it is nicely laid out, and carry's a stand with ease. I use mine early season when I'm "running and gunning."
I've owned a couple Bison Gear packs and they are great. For just everyday tree stand use, the "Lemhi" is awesome. I've also used a "First Trip Explorer" and it works great as well. I sold both of mine, but am considering replacing the Lemhi. I've never seen/or used the other Bison Gear pack labeled as "tree stand hauling" packs. (The Limit and the Windwalker) Can't go wrong with Bison Gear.
Check out the EXO 3500 by exo mountain gear.
I like how the stand attaches, but what jumped out at me is the lack of external pockets. Those are important when hanging a stand in the dark. I know what pockets to go to with hardly looking to get my tree straps, tow rope etc. We all have different systems, and after decades of doing it a certain way...well you know what they say about us old folks:) I really appreciate the input though. This place is great at helping see how others do stuff and I have also taken ideas for gear that are not in our local Cabela's and Bass Pro. Thanks.
Totally agree with you habitat on the extra pockets. Frankly, no standard daypack works well in a tree! My tree stand pack needs to be just that. I had not heard of Bison Gear but jumped on their site when Nick suggested them. I know from past experience that he researches everything very and I value his opinion and as stated above am ecstatic about trying one of their packs. I spend about 70 days in a tree so I need the right pack.
I do the exact opposite that most people when packing a stand. I just hang the pack on the stand and carry the stand.
Totally agree about listening to Nick's recommendations. Disappointed they were temporarily halting production. Also agree there is not one perfect pack. But I have a winning design;)
Habitat... that’s the thing about BG as well.. if you wanna work with them and design a truly customized pack they will do that as well.