QuietKat all-terrain e-bikes
Fanny packs vs. day packs
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
smurph 11-Jul-18
Ucsdryder 11-Jul-18
Panther Bone 11-Jul-18
wyobullshooter 11-Jul-18
WV Mountaineer 11-Jul-18
PECO 11-Jul-18
JTV 11-Jul-18
smurph 11-Jul-18
COHOYTHUNTER 11-Jul-18
Ambush 11-Jul-18
TEmbry 11-Jul-18
elkmtngear 11-Jul-18
splitlimb13 11-Jul-18
splitlimb13 11-Jul-18
Matt 11-Jul-18
altitude sick 12-Jul-18
BULELK1 12-Jul-18
carcus 12-Jul-18
splitlimb13 12-Jul-18
12yards 12-Jul-18
elkstabber 12-Jul-18
altitude sick 12-Jul-18
Stoneman 12-Jul-18
Cheesehead Mike 12-Jul-18
Stix 12-Jul-18
smurph 12-Jul-18
Proline 12-Jul-18
altitude sick 12-Jul-18
splitlimb13 12-Jul-18
LaGriz 12-Jul-18
altitude sick 12-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 12-Jul-18
Cheesehead Mike 12-Jul-18
LaGriz 12-Jul-18
Glunt@work 12-Jul-18
'Ike' (Phone) 12-Jul-18
smurph 12-Jul-18
From: smurph
11-Jul-18
My wife ordered me the EXO K2 2000 day pack as an anniversary gift (Awesome!). But, I don't know if I can give up my fanny pack. I switched several years ago, the fanny pack seems much lighter, cooler, less restrictive, and not as much pull on the shoulders even though it uses shoulder straps too. I mainly elk hunt and find I can carry plenty for a day hunt. The EXO pack is expensive, so not good if sitting at home. Anybody else feel fanny packs are superior or inferior to day packs?

From: Ucsdryder
11-Jul-18
No! I had a fanny pack. A nice one with shoulder straps. I bought a kifaru and sold that thing. Sure it weighs more, but my kifaru carries the weight a lot better. If you kill an elk you’re not wasting a trip to get the pack. Load 80-100 pounds and you’re on your way.

11-Jul-18
I’ve got a Badlands Monster Fanny. It’s well made, but a lot less functionality compared to a conventional backpack, since they’re worn similar.

Weight is probably gonna be close to the same, with tons less space to store gear in the fanny pack.

Granted, my Badlands is lumbar style.

11-Jul-18
I prefer a daypack myself. It just carries better and serves as a back rest when I'm sitting. I almost never take mine off. I use the badlands superday.

11-Jul-18
Depends on what/ where you’re hunting. IMO, for elk hunting, a fanny pack isn’t even a consideration.

11-Jul-18
Nope. And, if the exo is pulling down on the shoulders more then the fanny pack you have got something wrong

From: PECO
11-Jul-18
I like a daypack with a water bladder.

From: JTV
11-Jul-18

JTV's embedded Photo
JTV's embedded Photo
I guess it depends on what your hunting... for me I need many pockets I can get to easily as I go up a tree with my sticks, plus easy access when I'm settled in a stand, so for me a good fanny pack is the way to go ... it has the shoulder straps, lumbar support and many many pockets on the sides... in the pockets go the straps I use for the LW stand, gear hooks, rangefinder on one side, binos on the other ..... gutting knife, nitrile skinning gloves/skinning gauntlets, toilet paper, calls, and other stuff go in the pocket within the large back zippered pocket , my folding saw, longer bow holder and sometimes clothes go in the big pouch in back..... everything has its place ... here is a pic of it strapped to the stand before I strap the heavier clothes on the stand

kinda funny, because I only wear it going up the tree because of the tree stand support system on the stand, I cant wear it as I walk in/out because of the waist belt of the stand system

From: smurph
11-Jul-18
I will totally concede the fanny pack being worthless on the first pack trip out. Usually, I end up calling a buddy to bring pack frames while I break down the elk, or end up bringing out a front quarter on my shoulder (not great), then returning with the pack frame. Still, love how light and unrestricted the fanny pack feels out in the woods....

From: COHOYTHUNTER
11-Jul-18
I too used to wear a fanny pack. I think it's because that's what I always saw my dad wear when he hunted elk.. but then once I went to a conventional pack, never went back.. so much more versatile and of course comes in handy on a pack out.. I'd say, since you already have it, try it this season, ya never know ya might like it..

From: Ambush
11-Jul-18
I tried fanny packs a few time and still have a like new Badlands. Never found them comfortable for all day hunts. Used a badlands 2200 for about fifteen years. The meat shelf is fantastic for bear hides. I now use a Mystery Ranch Dragonslayer and it's about right for a long day when you need that extra gear in case you get stuck somewhere.

From: TEmbry
11-Jul-18
I’ve never been a fan of FUPA pouches...

Daypack for me.

From: elkmtngear
11-Jul-18

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
I hunt with a Trailblazer II Daypack from Crooked Horn, waterproof and tough as hell. I can fill it with loin, and stick a front quarter in the flip-down pouch in the back that's designed for a bow or rifle.

I bring a meat frame back for the remaining loads.

From: splitlimb13
11-Jul-18
There would be no way for me to fit all my stuff in a fanni. Exo-k-2000 is awesome. Especially if you get an elk down. You can start packing right away.

From: splitlimb13
11-Jul-18
There would be no way for me to fit all my stuff in a fanni. Exo-k-2000 is awesome. Especially if you get an elk down. You can start packing right away.

From: Matt
11-Jul-18
Fanny packs are awesome if you plan on not killing anything.

12-Jul-18
I have switched back and forth and usually go back to my old trusty fleece cat quiver and for actually killing things not hunting them, a small fleece fanny type is better IMHO. If traveling a long way where I might not get back to camp I would carry a larger noisy bag with more gear and better packing capabilities but day in and day out when sneaking in on a bedded or feeding animal. Or even a herd moving from bedding or to bedding. Carrying a 500 weight Cordura bag on my back does not work. It either has to be dropped or every limb and piece of brush has to be worried about scraping back along that Cordura belt and bag. Taking away focus. Then if the animal moves off. You must go back after the pack losing track of the animal. So yeah after u kill it’s much more CONVENIENT to already have a pack frame. But if that in any way impedes my hunt it doesn’t go. My opinion is I would rather cut it up, hang it and come back later fully prepared. Now if I’m hunting a wide open area and able to glass the animal and have a complete open stalk then a pack is ideal. That’s why I switch. But to completely write off a small Quiet bag is not the right choice for me. I also don’t like dropping my boots so I use bears feet, or sneaktec stalking pads.

From: BULELK1
12-Jul-18
I have both and each has it's own place in my hunting desires.

If I am doing a quicky hike in/out and want to make good time, Fanny Pack.

If I am actually hunting, and need all my chit man, DayPack.

Good luck, Robb

From: carcus
12-Jul-18
I use a tenzing lumbar 1250 fanny with shoulder straps, I prefer it to a regular pack, I use it elk and moose hunting, great pack, customer service is awful, I broke one of the buckles, next to impossible to deal with those idiots, so after a year and fixing it myself with a buckle of amazon I gave up

From: splitlimb13
12-Jul-18
I guess for whitetail a fanny woul work. Probably be better actually!

From: 12yards
12-Jul-18
Fanny pack=whitetail hunting Daypack=elk hunting

At least that seems right to me.

From: elkstabber
12-Jul-18
Yes!!! Smurph if you are currently hunting elk and can fit it all into a fanny pack then don't switch. I am a big fan of a fanny pack because I typically hunt in the early season for elk and can fit it all in. I would only use a daypack/backpack if I couldn't fit the gear in the fanny pack.

For example, I've found that I have to use a backpack for early season mule deer because of the optics and tripod needed. It's not a big deal because when hunting mule deer you're only doing one of three things: 1. hiking to a spotting location, 2. sitting relatively still for a while when spotting, or, 3. stalking in which case you will only have your bow (no pack), and maybe a little water/snack.

When actively chasing elk a fanny pack is my preference. This is assuming that you aren't carrying your camp on your back because a fanny pack won't handle all of that. A fanny pack is perfect for day hunts either from the truck or from a camp. Typically, I'll backpack into an area and set up camp. Then I'll day hunt from there using a fanny pack.

Once I shot a mule deer when I was elk hunting (had both tags). I put the backstraps/trim on the fanny pack and carried out the shoulders and bow (recurve) out over my shoulders. It wasn't ideal but wasn't bad. Then, returned with a backpack the next day to pull out the hindquarters and head. It worked great.

If you can keep the weight off of your shoulders you will be way less fatigued at the end of the day. My fanny pack weighs about 15-16# maximum including water. If you're the kind of person that has to bring lots of extra gear you're going to need a backpack.

12-Jul-18

altitude sick's embedded Photo
Here is an example of having to carry my entire kit from camp to camp.
altitude sick's embedded Photo
Here is an example of having to carry my entire kit from camp to camp.
Elkstabber, good explanation. It depends on the type of hunt. And it’s like most equipment choices. Very subjective. I prefer to be lightweight and highly portable, and Quiet. For the most part I am only 1-2 miles from my camp. People tend to exaggerate how far they are from camp. For me stealth trumps convenience. But again, there are times when carrying half of another camp on your back.

From: Stoneman
12-Jul-18
I bet once you give the exo a chance in the field you will never look back. I used to run the nomad fanny with the meat pack attachment, now regardless of time or distance it will be something more conducive to hauling meat with out the gymnastics.

12-Jul-18
I have several fanny packs including the Badlands Monster and the Timberhawk Guthook. I prefer the Timberhawk over the Badlands.

I use my Timberhawk a lot while hunting whitetails and I have worn it while elk hunting. I like the fact that my back stays cool with while hunting with the fanny pack but from a practicality stand point a daypack with the ability to pack out a load of meat makes more sense...

Most of the time now I wear a daypack while elk hunting, or if on a spike camp hunt I'll wear my Kifaru frame with some kind of a bag attached. The fanny pack is reserved for short day-hunts from the truck...

From: Stix
12-Jul-18
Frame backpack to get camp in.

Fanny pack while hunting.

Frame backpack to taked out boned meat.

Frame backpack to take camp out.

From: smurph
12-Jul-18
X2 on elkstabber's explanation. Stoneman, I'm going into this with an open mind this season. Two weeks in Montana, got a 410 tag and will hit a couple of my go to spots in S.W. Montana on my way east. I will try both packs, maybe report back on my experience -pros and cons. Good luck this fall everyone!

From: Proline
12-Jul-18
I only hunt Whitetails and fanny pack any day. Tried a backpack and hated it. Fanny pack is much more organized and if I cant fit what I need in it then I'm toting to much useless junk.

12-Jul-18
I must be doing something wrong:). I hunt many more hours and days than I pack animals. Until I read these posts I was happy to kill one animal in 7-14 days of hard hunting. If I was as skilled, and killing trophies 5- 10 miles from camp every 3-4 days I guess I would carry a pack frame every where I went also. Better brush up on my skills:)

From: splitlimb13
12-Jul-18
That's the beauty of the exo. Pack in camp with it,pack out elk with it.

From: LaGriz
12-Jul-18

LaGriz's embedded Photo
Hunted out of a cabin in 2009
LaGriz's embedded Photo
Hunted out of a cabin in 2009
On a wilderness hunt or when one is hauling a lot of gear of course a backpack (with a frame) is going be the best option. From a base camp or rental cabin in mild weather, what's not to like about a 1200-1800 cubic inch "lumbar pack". I think the word "fanny pack" gives the impression of something a 1990's yuppie might use for his walkman.

I have been rocking a wool FTO (First trip Outfitter) purchased 1997 from Pack Idaho (now Bison Gear) , until it got too thread-bare to use. Lately, I have replaced it with a wool King of the Mountain model that also has shoulder straps and a hip belt. Both are frame-less and are best suited for loads around 16-24 lbs.

On the plus side: 1.) Quiet wool construction - surprisingly durable 2.) Freedom of movement and the ability to shoot bow or rifle is superior IMHO. 3.) I vent heat much better. Is bino-harness friendly, less so with daypack or ruck. 4.) In thick cover, clean back makes ducking under branches a non issue. 5.) By design I have to take less, limit weight & bulk. I tend to over-fill any daypack. 6.) While gun hunting, your orange can be seen from any direction, not covered up. 7.) Both lumbar packs are hand gun carry friendly. FTO has pocket with shell loops. KOM has room to attach extra pocket, bear spray, or water bottle pocket. 8.) Both packs have external straps for rain gear/jacket easy access. KOM is bigger. 9.) Like any pack, all my required gear is handy in one easy to organize item. Tags, ammo, kill kit, fire starters, cordage, head lamp, water, lunch, rain gear, all the basic items I need to get thru the day.

limitations: 1.) To carry meat or any kind of a load well, you need a frame. Also true of a ruck or daypack without a frame. May require an extra trip to the kill site. 2.) If weather requires packing extra clothing, backpack can handle it. 3.) If you wish to long haul a lock-on stand or blind material, extra capacity allows. 4.) If the hunt changes, and you choose to do an overnight or spike out, no question that you need a true backpack. 5.) Not best suited for use with a platypus or camel-back.

LaGriz

12-Jul-18
Well written. Great pros and cons.

12-Jul-18
"Fanny packs are awesome if you plan on not killing anything."

And that's exactly why I use a fanny pack!

Not for elk though. It's not worth it not taking out something on the first haul.

I do use them for deer hunting in CA. It's nice to not have to have anything up against your back (so much cooler in early season) and I only kill something on a rare day so the vast majority of the time, I only need a fanny pack. On the rare days that I kill a deer in CA or AZ, I don't mind going back to the truck for a full pack if it's 3 miles or less because a deer is one trip when boned out.

12-Jul-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I'm sure somebody will give me crap for this and say that the antlers and cape should be packed out last, but if you're hunting with a "lumbar" pack, where legal, it is possible to pack the antlers and the cape out in the first load. After all, you're going to pack them out at some point anyway...

Btw, this photos is a crappy little old lumbar pack that I don't use anymore...

In regard to lumbar packs not being suited to hydration bladders, the Badlands Monster has a pouch on the shoulder straps that contains a mesh bag for holding a bladder. Also, there are external bladder pouches available that you can attach to a lumbar pack's shoulder straps.

From: LaGriz
12-Jul-18

LaGriz's embedded Photo
Montana 1998. Took this buck on evening while using the pack. Rolled him out whole with my "mule" the following morning.
LaGriz's embedded Photo
Montana 1998. Took this buck on evening while using the pack. Rolled him out whole with my "mule" the following morning.
IdyllwildArcher, Have to disagree. I have taken several animals while actually wearing the pack and few others while using it to get to a stand site. To date; my best Mule Deer (Muzzy), 2 rifle bulls, one Muzzy cow, my best whitetail buck, and only hog. I could choose to ware it just for the Mojo! Having the pack for years, it stands to reason that no-matter how limited my success, I was usually using the Pack Idaho FTO when it came together. That said, I also had many days (too many) without a shot. LOL! On some of these successful hunts recovery was made with a Jeep, Toyota land cruiser, and with pack animals on two occasions. If your going to use stock to get your critter out, the reason to use a larger pack is that much less important. LaGriz

LaGriz

From: Glunt@work
12-Jul-18
Badlands monster fanny has been my main elk pack for 20 years (replaced once). If needing a day pack or doing an overnight, I have an Eberlestock x1E.

Once in a while I just take what fits in my hunting pants pockets if it's a quick morning or evening hunt.

12-Jul-18
Going to use a smaller ‘Sling’ type pack this year for Treestand hunts...

From: smurph
12-Jul-18
Wow, when I first posted this, I was kind of embarrassed to say I had been elk hunting with a Fanny (politically correct lumbar) pack. Nice to hear so many others like them as well, for the exact reasons I do. Still. I better get a couple selfies wearing the EXO k2 2000 this season, or my wife might get insulted and quit buying me hunting gear!

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