Contributors to this thread:
I am 5 9 and looking for a good daypack for elk hunt. I want to make sure it will adjust for someone who is not 6 feet tall. Also would like 3 lb weight or less. Not looking to haul meat with this one. Open to ideas.
Kifaru and Stone Glacier.
I've been using an Eberlestock X-2 for years. Great daypack & I've carried 1/2 a mule deer on it a couple times. Not designed for that much weight but it worked.
Unless you are going to be hunting close to the truck I would find one that at least can take a decent load of meat on first trip back to the truck. Why have a pack that requires you to go back to truck empty handed. Unless you are hunting with guys that are hunting with a pack that can haul a lot of first trip then having a pack that can't haul meat back might be brilliant!
Badlands has several that would fit your bill. I've also been really happy with the Alps Traverse X for a solid day pack with a ton of features at an affordable price.
If you’re not looking to haul meat or any real weight, my daughter has a hello kitty that works well. ;)
I go light, but if I am lucky enough to get one, I carry a front quarter over my shoulder back to vehicle where I have a game cart or a cheap packframe to remove remaining meat depending on the situation.
I don't like the idea of carrying a heavy pack on my back while hunting as it is alot more cumbersome while hiking miles through the mountains and interferes with my shooting. You spend alot more time hiking and hunting then packing out animals. That's just my strategy.
The pack I use carry's all my essential gar and layers of clothing, survival tools, food and I don't even know I'm wearing it. High Sierra Pathway 40L. Shop around internet, available < $50
The hunting mfgs know sportsman have deep pockets so they put out alot of "hunting" products with camo to capitalize on that. Wise sportsmen know big game can't see color.
Kifaru makes several offerings that would fit the bill nicely. Sub 4 pounds too. It will also have the ability to bring out a pretty decent load as long as you don’t have the bag stuffed full.
Stix has it. If you’re only looking to pack 10-12 pounds then the outdoor section (or kids dept) in Walmart has you covered. If you want to spend a couple hundo for a camo one, Sitka, badlands, mystery ranch have you covered. If you want something not made in Indonesia then the Kifaru shape charge should do the trick. A pack is a pack until you start putting weight in it.
I traded my Badlands 2200 for an Eberlestock X2 and like the X2 better. The 2200 didn't fit my torso(pack felt too long) as well and I'm 5'11" on a good day!
I use the Stone Glacier Approach 1800 for this. Great small bag on the already minimalist x-curve frame, ridiculously comfortable. Very light (a legit 4#, not claimed) and I can pack out more meat than I can carry without the need to switch to a different pack. Best part is I use the same frame for multi-day trips just by switching out the bag or I remove the bag altogether and just pack meat. Extremely versatile and well thought out system.
not sure what Kifaru frame pack/bag would be sub 4 lbs? My duplex light weights 3.5lbs without any bag. I wouldn't want to haul meat without a pack frame of some type.
Ditto JohnMC.... why would you not want to be able to pack a quarter?
even just for a day pack I would look at a high end light frame pack if you are going to be hiking all day and covering lots off country or doing a lot of up and down. They make a huge difference. My personal favorite is SeekOutside. LIght weight but comfy as hell.
Any quality pack under 3 pounds isn't going to be cheap. Here's a few options to ponder.
Kifaru Duplex frame with the bag of your choice if you have a big budget. You'll have a lot of capabilities with the ability to pack meat. Heavier than 3 pounds.
Badlands 2200, very durable and lots of capability and the ability to haul a small load of meat. More compact than the Kifaru but also heavier than 3 pounds.
Badlands Stealth, which is only 1lb 8oz but I don't believe they make anymore and has been replaced by the Dash which is over 3lbs.
sivart, I never said a framed pack and bag was sub 4 pounds. Kifaru makes packs that are meant to be carried without the frame. Some have integrated frames and padded belts sewed on and will still carry a good first load.
I just glanced and saw three day packs they offer sub four pounds. One is sub 3. 14’r, shape charge, and the door gunner. The last being under three pounds. Check their website if there is any confusion.
After a lot of research, I decided to upgrade my Daypack, to the Mystery Ranch Mule. It has a carbon fiber frame, is capable of hauling 100 pound loads if necessary. Weighs in right at 4 pounds. Pretty happy with it...see link
Kifaru, then never worry about it again.
Mystery Ranch all the way!!!
I like the pop up 28! An awesome pack for day hunting elk!!
I’ll be going into my third season with my Stone Glacier Kiowa 3200 and couldn’t be more pleased.
Im biased to the Badlands 2200. I think its the perfect pack. It will hold alot, but you don't have to pack it to the gill if you're just using it as a day pack. In the event you get an animal down, it'll more than handle the weight and save you one extra trip. Walking back to the truck empty to get another pack is not very efficient.
Kuiu makes some day packs under 3 lbs but I have not used them. Check out the reviews in their website.
I almost always use the Badlands Monster Fanny with shoulder straps. Not good for taking a quarter but the top is enough like a shelf that it can be done with some cordage.
Really like my back staying cooler and a smaller upper torso for sneaking through tight cover. Carries more than enough gear for a day and emergencies.
Per Stix post, I bought a 90L High Sierra last summer because I took my kids backpacking and had a lot of extra gear to carry. Didnt expect much for the price but it was actually pretty comfortable when adjusted and well worth it. Not like the high end packs but I was loaded way heavy and it worked good.
Been using my Bison Gear fanny pack for probably 20 years or more (can't remember exactly when I got it). Similar to Glunt's sentiments, it's such a wonderful pack to wear while bowhunting. Wearing this pack makes me happy, and I'm perfectly content not packing meat out on my first trip back to camp or the truck (other than perhaps the tenderloins or heart).
You don’t need to spend big bucks for a daypack. This one does everything I need in a Daypack.
Weighs 2 pounds and I got it on sale for $40.
I chased this idea for many years, ended up with 6 different packs. Sold them all and bought a Stone Glacier 5900. It’s a great do all pack.
Love how everyone thinks the kifaru is the greatest pack ever made. For the money, I expected a better feeling pack. Buckles on the load lifters broke and took two weeks for replacements. Was not happy with the pack at all. I'm going with EXO or Stone Glacier.
I used my Eblerestock Tailhook lumbar pack in Arizona in December and January and carried 30 pounds of meat out with it with no issues. Love that pack.
Recently bought the stryker xl for my kifaru frame... it’s the beeez kneeeez!
I use the Exo with the 1800 bag for a day pack and have the 5500 to swap out for overnight trips. I would consider the Pop-up 28 or look at some of the Badlands packs if I were the OP.
If you are planning to hunt in moderate or heavy brush, and you plan to hunt with your pack on, none of those packs are appropriate. They are too noisy rubbing the brush. Pure or nearly pure fleece is the only thing you’ll want. However severe packing disadvantage with this type of pack. Food for thought
When ever a pack thread comes up, you get recommendations based on loyality. Because that is what people have come to trust. It also brings out wise comments that just weren’t needed.
Nobody suggested anything about one being better then another. Only suggested what they would use to the OP.
But, since the can of worms got opened, Kifaru doesn’t make buckles. And, I imagine they are like everyone else in these times. Struggling to keep material in the hands of their manufacturing sector. And, some people just don’t like their packs. That’s ok too.
Choices are wonderful.
WV, what are you talking about??? I run a Kifaru and therefore anyone who doesn't is dumb and doesn't get it! My pack is the best pack and all other packs are garbage!!! I dropped half a month's salary on my pack and I'm damn sure going to justify it by defending it to the death!!!
BTW, I do own a Kifaru pack and I love it. However, lots of great packs available today! Packs, to me, are a "buy once, cry once" purchase. Saving money is perfectly fine, but will result in some discomfort most of the time for most people (when they are hauling weight at least). Nothing wrong with that, it'll just make you tired and sore for a while (more sore than if you had a great pack- but haul an elk a bunch of miles and there likely will be some soreness somewhere regardless of pack!) I tried to save money on a pack when I went from a cheapie, to a little better one, to a mid-level one, to a really great (for me) pack. I dumped a ton of cash in the process and wish I woulda just bought a good one right away.
Bought a Mystery Ranch Sawtooth 45 last year to upgrade my old day pack. I'm so glad I made the jump. It is super comfortable and is built to pack out your meat. I put it all to the test and ended up packing out my elk with it...I'll never go back to a light weight day pack!!!
Check out this review on packs, http://www.battlemountainmedia.com/backpack-showdown.html Packs are like boots, different packs for different situations, what fits and works great for me might not work for you so try as many as you can and get the one that fits you.
Yes Glunt, I don't get caught up in the high dollar stuff, just what is utilitarian. The High Sierra pack works for me and I hunt the varying terrain here in Colorado. Could be in the mountain timber for elk, heavy timber, thick brush, or scrub oak for bear. Open country for pronghorn, transition terrain for mulies, and all the above for turkeys. It suits me well and not carrying around a heavy pack-frame several miles in while hunting. I can always sling a meat bag or front quarter over my shoulder and come back with something to take the rest of meat out.
It's cool because I can do one quarter at a time with a game cart with the remaining elk quarters and it's not grueling at all, just a comfortable walk enjoying the scenery.
The pack may be a little more noisy going through high brush but it has one positive consequence....it slows me down. If I'm making noise in the brush on a close animal,... I'm going way too fast.
Why buy multiple packs when you can buy one that does it all. The Stone Glacier Archer, the most versatile pack I have every owned. It can be configured for everything from day to week long trips and it is light! On a day hunt this year I packed out a entire boned mule deer. On a different day hunt I packet out a half a boned out cow elk with back straps and loans.
Get a pack that you can pack out an initial load with gear as a first trip. Something that breaks down so you can put a quarter between the frame. I'm an exo gear fan above all packs and have tried them all. Either way buy something quality. Kifaru, Exo, SG, Mystery Ranch... Kuiu packs have supposedly improved but will never try them again. I'll let them stick to clothing...
The 2nd Generation Kifaru Late Season I primarily use is a fantastic day pack that can pack meat when needed. I also have a Duplex frame and run that more or less as a hauler and can function as day pack as well. Haven't even bothered to look at other packs and a lot has changed since then. Very happy with my Kifaru packs and would recommend them without reservation. Their suspension works well, but may not be the best for everybody. There are other good options out there also made in USA. For the most part though with this stuff you get what you pay for. No free lunch.
Since the OP asked for a light weight day pack, with no meat hauling capability, I'd suggest one of the Kifaru offerings. They've got at least a dozen different smaller day packs to choose from. I own a couple different models and they're perfect for short trips. I usually stuff one into my internal frame Kifaru main pack to give me more options during back country pack trips.
I like reading pack threads because I also want to buy a new pack & frame. I had a Barney's external frame & sold it a couple years ago. I'm looking at Kifaru, Stone Glacier & Exo but can't make my mind up & it seems like everyone has their favorite. I have a couple Eberlestock X-2 day packs but want a really good frame for getting meat out that would also work as a day pack. Lots of different bags to fit different frames but I'd really like to start with the best frame & work from there.
If it matters to you, Stone Glacier and Kifaru are berry compliant. That’s 100% sourced and made in the USA.
I noticed the other day you can get a stone glacier pack at scheels, that’s a very big plus to stone glacier.
I have had a Kifaru pack for the last 8 years, don’t see myself switching but if I were to shop for a new pack it would be another kifaru or a stone glacier for the reason above, 100% American made and sourced.
I don’t shop everything 100% American made, but some purchases are worth it IMO...
I hate you people. Always costing me money.
For years I've used an old Mystery Ranch Crew Cab as a do-all pack. But it is rather heavy by itself, and the non-functional load lifters occasionally suck when packing heavy.
Couple years ago I bought a MR Sawtooth 45. Really like it, but it's rather tall. Would work well to pack out heavy loads, but I'm not sold on it as a daypack.
Well thanks to this thread I got to looking, and yesterday I ordered a MR Pop Up 28 for some upcoming travel and hunts. We'll see how I like it. . . .
I love my Exo 3200 Pack more than any pack I've owned, it's light-weight & a beast when needed. With that said there are times I wish on shorter elk hunts like 1/2 day hunts that I had a smallish daypack! -- If I could only have one or afford one it would hands down be the Exo!
I know the OP said he didn't care about packing meat but at some point hunters might change their minds. I thought I would always need an external frame pack but recently sold a Barney's frame pack because I quit using it. I just looked at Scheels website & they had the Stone Glacier Avail daypack that was 3 lbs. What caught my eye was the shoulder straps were removable & the pack could be attached to any of their frames in case a guy changed his mind at a later time?
Bison gear would be my choice for your needs.
I use the Mystery Ranch pintler for elk. It is easy to access everything and if you do need to haul meat, undo a couple buckles and you have a meat shelf that will hold a bunch of elk
Alot of high dollars being spent by some of the contributors to this thread. I'd like to know if spending all that money, did anything to help your hunt over the $45 High Sierra daypack I've used on Colorado hunts for the past 3 years to take 4 animals? Granted, I carried one light quarter or bag of meat back to vehicle over my shoulder where I picked up an army surplus $30 pack frame to get the remainder of meat, which was anywhere from 3-5 miles of varying terrain back to my truck/camp. And I'm in my late 50's. For younger person, it would be even easier.
Not tooting my own horn, my point is these mfgs know hunters are willing to shell out big bucks for stuff that can be bought significantly cheaper that have no benefits other than a catchy name.
I have packed 20 or more elk out with wal-mart packs......I use kifaru packs now!
For day pack I carry a compressed down big Kifaru pack. Then I can expand it and take out a big load on the first trip
Some great info on here....And some really bad advice
Remember the OP's question and his requirements:
"I want to make sure it will adjust for someone who is not 6 feet tall. Also would like 3 lb weight or less. Not looking to haul meat with this one. "
Remember the OP's question and his requirements:
"I want to make sure it will adjust for someone who is not 6 feet tall. Also would like 3 lb weight or less. Not looking to haul meat with this one. "
Anything else answers a question he didn't ask.
I asked the OP in a PM if the thread was going sideways for him because I wanted some pack input too. He said he was learning a lot about packs & didn't know their were so many options. Hope he doesn't twist an ankle packing an elk quarter out for 5 miles over his shoulder tooting his horn as he stumbles along!
Stix I agree with you to a point. When packing sub 30# loads most packs can be comfortable. A good kifaru, SG or exo will be far more comfortable than your surplus frame when you put serious weight in them. That’s why my original post said get stix bag. A bag is a bag until you put weight in it. Weight will separate the sheep from the goats.
That could happen to anyone, and is more focused on the footwear you have. But then again that's what trekking poles are for. The High Sierra pack has attachments for them. Also attachment points for your bow if necessary.
Using a "Fieldline" brand for a day's hunt in the high country..have several packs for different uses but this one the last 2 years in CO.
Being a small business owner, I’m aware of costs that any who aren’t, can’t quite wrap their head around.
Get on line and try to order enough cordura to sew a pack. Buy the seam tape, thread, Buckles, foam, and other hardware needed. From only American sources. Then pay American labor to see it. Then, tell me how much money is being made. High dollar is right. And my grandkids will be using them too.
I chose Kifaru because I’ve packed animals, including elk, 3-5 miles in packs that were inferior. Did it work? Yes it did. If I didn’t have the resources to buy better would I still be using those same packs instead of a Kifaru? Yes I would.
It’s all about choices. If you want to walk in and out without meat, good for you. When I do that, I don’t wear my Kifaru frames or pack.
Wear what you like. And let the wanders soak in the happiness of their choice.
Most of my remaining meat hauls are probably in the 60lb range, but I'm just estimating. The army surplus pack frame covers that task well for my 5 mile hikes back. But to each his own. What might fit me, may not fit everyone. By the OP's post, he is looking for a fit for a small to mid framed torso. Most of the lower cost packs will fit that niche nicely.
I find the one of the most important parts of mid to longer distance elk hunts in varying terrain is footwear. I've found the best footwear for me is Irish Setter.
I’ve done the really cheap backpack thing and the way the current backs are designed and fit for me at least extremely enhances the hunt. I always want a day packed with the option to break down to carry meat loads so I can keep my backpack clean as well as have a load that’s much more tight to my body and comfortable. I know there’s talk about cheap backpacks and daypacks but those are two different concepts to me altogether. Once I ditched the cheap backpack and went to a much more ergonomically friendly designed pack my back and legs felt better.
I tested alot of high end backpacks this winter. SG, EXO, and Kifaru. They all have pros and cons. I wish I could combine all of the good of each into one. Here's my personal take:
Kifaru frame was most comfortable to me. Also the heaviest. Don't like any of their bag configurations, especially when you factor in how much heavier they are than the competition. meat shelf sucks. belt is by far better than any other.
EXO has the best bag configuration. Meat shelf converts the quickest of the three. Pretty lightweight. I like their frame, don't love it.
SG wins with weight savings. Good bag configuration. Love the solo and 5900. They only offer 26" frame. Too tall for my taste, especially for day hunting in brush. I prefered the EVO to the Xcurve, but neither was as comfortable as the Duplex for me. Both frames also squeaked right out of the box w/ minimal weight.
I'm still looking for the perfect day hunting pack that will haul meat. For now I day hunt out of an old badlands diablo, which I love, but it won't haul meat. I have an old Kifaru longhunter that I use for extended hunts and meat haul.
Sivart, you thought about a 357 Mag bag from Kifaru? Sounds like it fits the Bill nicely.
I did think about that one. Although I prefer an external frame so a guy can change bags for different hunts.
If all you want is a day pack, that doesn’t pack meat, just holds water and snacks; go to your local Sportsman’s, Cabelas or Bass Pro and buy one.
one thing to look for in any daypack are compression straps that will allow you to strap the bow to your back. To me, that's a huge feature when your mid day strided out covering ground.
The kifaru Stryker bags have a panel, not a meat shelf. Tho a heavier design I definitely prefer it over the meat shelf on my rambler.
I will second the Alps X I have on nice day pack and is big enough for 2-3 night overnighters! On Camofire frequently for good price!
Have a Eberlestock X2 that is perfect for me. It’s a little over 3#, but bomb proof. Taken the stupid thing around the world and still can’t kill it. Only thing I don’t like is the zippered pouches on the belt are pretty much worthless. I’ve carried 30#+ and survived.
Choose wisely. I had a shoulder strap come apart when I killed my first bull on one of those Chinese packs mentioned. I bought a Kifaru the following year in 2013 and have packed many a quarter out with it between mine and my buddies kills. I bought a new Kifaru last year. Not because the other pack was wore out either. In fact I loaned my Hoodlum to 1 buddy while I packed a quarter in my old Kifaru. Point being these things are bulletproof and “reliable” every time!
Very lightweight can haul all the weight you can
I noticed only one post referencing Badlands. Is it just not a popular brand or is there something wrong with them? I’m considering the Sacrifice for my first trip this fall. Is that a bad decision?
Actually For what the op described, badlands are perfect.
I used a Badlands Superday for years & ordered the Sacrifice when it 1st came out. The material was really noisy so I sent it back. Bought an X-2 & it's been a great day pack. The internal frame makes a big difference.
A good day pack will haul out the first load of boned out meat , then you can get the pack frame for the quarters and subsequent trips. Badlands has some good daypacks with internal frames that will haul out meat. For elk hunting I prefer a small daypack that rides behind me and not above my head or wider than my body. Nice and quiet moving through the forest. Pack frames are for packing but my day pack has hauled out many a load of boned out meat.
I've had a couple Badlands packs, including the 2200 and the 2800. I liked the 2800, but the zippers came apart and the material around the straps started squeaking as I walked. Made me nuts.
My go to daypack for years has been a $100 Camelback. Strictly a daypack. Useless for packing more than a liver, loins and half a backstrap. Also a PIA to strap a bow to it....
Hard to beat a Kuiu 1950 for a day pack. It's about as light as they come, pretty comfortable with gear water and snacks. I have borrowed a friends and it is nice. For me I still use an old Camelbak. Cheap and does what I need It to do.
I bought a used Badlands 2200 for my last elk hunt. I thought it would be a little much for a day pack, but I loved it. Worked great and didn't feel too big or too much at all.