Even though hunting day packs may seem like a fairly straightforward item, a lot more thought goes into picking the perfect product than one would think. Such backpacks come in different sizes, materials, with different features and varying price tags.
There is something for everyone in this market – however, navigating your way to the perfect product for you is tougher than expected, especially for beginners. Thus, we have put together the perfect guide to answer all the questions you may have about the best hunting day pack.
In this guide, you will find the basics of hunting day packs such as their types and functions, a list of the six best products on the market, a buying guide as well as answers to some frequently asked questions. Without further ado, let us dive into the guide and answer all your questions.
6 Best Hunting Day Pack Reviews
Reviewed below are six of our expert picks. We have considered features, quality, and value for money, and durability to find products that perfectly balance all of these attributes.
1. Badlands Diablo Dos Hunting Backpack
Our first product is one of the toughest candidates in the race. Admittedly, this model is better suited for those comfortable with shelling out a pretty penny for the best hunting day pack. However, we assure you will not regret a single penny spent on this extremely durable and functional hunting day pack.
First of all, the fabric used to make this model has gone through exactly 31 trials to be the best one the manufacturer could offer. It is entirely water-proof. Rainwater will roll off the fabric, keeping your bow, rifle, or other gear completely safe from deterioration.
In addition to being water, the fabric is strong yet lightweight, which ensures that the total weight of your hunting backpack is the lowest possible. The fabric is also incredibly tough, guaranteeing wear and tear proof hunting day pack that is built to last.
For those looking to haul meat, this model is a great option as the fabric also repels blood meaning your prize will not end up ruining your bag or other gear in it. Furthermore, the bag is designed to offer maximum ventilation at all times.
Hypervent suspension technology and ventilated foam and mesh construction keeps air flowing to your back at all times. With this model, discomfort due to heat and sweat build-up is a thing of the past. The product also comes with a detachable bow or rifle boot, giving the backpack a versatile design.
For long haul comfort, the bag boasts seamless shoulder straps that distribute weight comfortably and prevent the user from feeling the excess strain. Other features like having accessible straps and pockets make this an overall comfortable model for everyone to use.
2. ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit
Next up, we have a budget-friendly internal frame model with amazing features. This is a great pick for those looking to purchase an affordable product without compromising quality and features. The best hunting day packs are the ones that boast great features – not necessarily ones with a heavy price tag!
To begin with, the main feature of this backpack is that it is great for those who take a traditional approach hunting with a bow and arrow. A drop-down bow boot and quiver holder makes it much easier to store the gear and carry it without risking damage, making it one of the best hunting daypacks for such people.
The backpack comes with a rain cover to protect the gear and bag itself from rainwater. This helps boost the bag’s longevity by restricting exposure to water. While on the topic of water, the bag also features a hydration pocket, which is a very handy and useful feature to have in such bags.
In terms of comfort, the bag leaves much to be desired when it comes to ventilation. However, the padding and other comfort features make up for it. With a high quality padded waist belt, the bag stays secure on your back while distributing weight evenly.
The front of the backpack boasts a unique front shelf style compartment system. It drops down to turn into a tray-like storage space where you can safely store all smaller items such as knives, phone, compass, tools, etc.
In addition to all of these features, this is also one of the most affordable internal frame packs you will find with a great balance of quality and features. Overall, it’s a fuss-free no nonsense product that will serve all your needs and last you a long, long time.
3. Badlands 2200 Hunting Backpack with Built-In Meat Hauler
The next product is for the passionate hunters who want to bring their prize home. This is a super durable hunting backpack that has a built-in meat shelf to make meat hauling much easier and less messy.
Even though these features make this model one of the more expensive ones, it is perhaps the best hunting day pack for meat hauling.
You must be wondering why this is a special feature. Dedicated meat haulers do an incredible job of resisting blood and insulating scents. Bags without this feature can still carry meat, but we are sure you would not want your elk hunting trip to end with a pungent bag seeping with blood!
It is also one of the best options on the market when it comes to functionality. With several features besides the meat shelf like tripod pockets and internal scope, the bag gives you multiple options to choose from when it comes to storing gear and items. It also comes with a rifle boot, but a bow holder would have to be purchased separately.
As for the fabric, this manufacturer is no foreigner to making some of the best fabrics for the best hunting daypacks. These are strong, tear-proof materials that do not make any noise or rustle, preventing animals from getting alarmed and running away. However, the fabric is not entirely water-proof, which is worth noting.
This is an internal frame backpack, meaning it has an aluminum frame inside that helps keep the bag’s form. Such bags are great for easy carrying and to decrease footprint due to its more compact design. Despite being an internal frame, the model allows for great ventilation, thus keeping your back cool and comfortable.
Lastly, the bag also has an impressive internal volume, allowing you to carry more gear or meat at a time. Compression straps are also included to ensure the backpack doesn’t seem awkwardly oversized when all the space is not being used.
4. 5.11 Tactical Military Backpack – RUSH12
Technically, this tactical backpack is not a hunting day pack. However, seeing as to the features it has to offer to its users, it only makes sense to include it in this list of the best hunting daypacks. So let us take a look at all the attributes that have earned this bag a place in our top 6.
First of all, this has one of the features we highly recommend for hunting daypacks: water-proofing. The water-proof material keeps all your items and gear completely safe from water, helping extend their service life.
Secondly, the bag has all the different compartments and pockets you would ideally look for in hunting daypacks. In fact, it has a massive sixteen compartments with each meant for a different item. This is one of the most organized backpacks – that too without becoming bulky and awkward to carry.
Made of 1000D nylon, the strength of this bag goes unquestioned. The fabric will not tear or split, neither will it let any water seep through. Furthermore, the bag has a unique feature which is its self-repairing YKK zippers, which could save you a lot of hassle on a trip.
This tactical backpack does not have the traditional frame design we have come to expect from hunting day packs, which can be a slight inconvenience for some. However, for those not looking to spend more for an internal or external frame bag, this is a perfectly good option. Because of all of these features, this tactical backpack is being recommended as one of the best hunting backpack. We hope you will enjoy this multi-purpose and durable backpack as much as we do.
5. Badlands Sprint Camouflage Day Pack for Hunting – Bow and Rifle Compatible
The next recommendation in our list is the best hunting daypack for those who strictly want a lightweight model. As you may gather from the name of the product, this model allows you to move effortlessly without weighing you down. The total weight of the backpack remains comfortable and convenient for everyone.
This model, weighing in at just a little over 2 lbs., is meant to be taken on shorter trips that do not require too many equipments. The internal volume is too less for large equipment or elaborate plans like elk hunting but perfectly sized for concise hunting adventures.
However, you need not worry about the internal volume as the bag comes with compression straps to help you carry items externally. As for durability, the bag is made of Ripstop nylon, which is one of the most reliable materials. This material also contributes towards the impressively light weight of the bag.
Another great feature is that the bag makes provision for both rifle and bow by offering storage options for both. This makes the bag very versatile and a good investment for those who like to switch up between bow and rifle.
The bag is also compatible with water bladder of 3 liters. Users have said the pack is comfortable to carry in the long haul. Not only does the lightweight build make this possible, but the padding and straps also have a great role to play too – for example, the super comfortable hip belt that helps take the strain off of your waist.
Well-made and packed with features, this model has proudly held its place as one of the leaders in lightweight hunting day packs for years now. Stealthy and reliable, you will enjoy every bit of this product as we did.
6. Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack
For the last product on our list, we have saved one of the best products on the list. It boasts features similar to some high-end hunting day packs – but at a fraction of the price. In fact, this product could be up to two times cheaper than some of the items on this list.
First of all, the bag offers lots of internal compartments which can be used in various ways. They make packing more space-efficient and help improve weight distribution too. You are also at no risk of losing small items with such organized storage systems in your day pack.
If you are worried about the quality offered at such a price tag, let us ensure you that the bag is made of strong brushed tricot fabric. In addition to being durable, another great advantage of such fabric is that it is extremely quiet.
It does not produce noise when it comes in contact with leaves, equipment, or even the user, making it perfect for hunters.
With almost 30 liters of internal volume, the bag stands towards the higher end of the spectrum in terms of capacity. What is great is that the design of the bag and placement of the compartments allow for the weight of the items to be distributed evenly all throughout.
Weight distribution on the user’s back is also made more comfortable by the padded, high-quality waist belt and shoulder straps. They allow for the bag to sit comfortably on your back. However, our only gripe with this product is the poor back ventilation, which could definitely be improved.
An amazing and unique feature of this bag is the high visibility lining of the main compartment. Not only that, but the product also has extra bright zippers. Both of these features make it easy for you to spot and sift through your bag for items even in the dark. This bag is truly an unbeatable candidate at this price level!
What is a Hunting Day Pack?
Hunting day packs are a must-have for all hunting enthusiasts. These day packs are a perfect pick for short trips as they are able to hold all the items needed but are not oversized and inconvenient. Longer hunting trips call for a hunting backpack, which may be overkill for shorter trips.
Coming in backpack like designs, these hunting day packs have several different compartments, pockets, and shelves to help you compartmentalize your items in order to find them more easily. It also helps utilize space better to ensure you are able to carry all your gear and items without damaging them.
Types of Hunting Day Pack
Hunting day packs can come in many different types – let us take a look at some of them.
Exposed (External) Frame Day Packs
The first time of hunting day packs have an external aluminum frame and are designed to carry heavier or larger items. External frames allow the backpack to distribute weight equally, making sure the weight does not put a strain on your waist and back. This makes aluminum frame backpacks easier to carry.
Additionally, external frame backpacks help the fabric hold its own shape. Thus the bag is generally held away from your body. This allows for your back to be well ventilated at all times, preventing friction and sweat. So for those who want to carry greater weight but still keep their form and comfort, external frame hunting day packs are where it is at!
Built-in (Internal) Frame Day Packs
Internal frame hunting day packs are better suited for those looking to save time. How so? Given the design of built-in frame models, they are easier to put on and take off.
Additionally, being less bulky in design means the backpack is likely to take up less space than its external frame counterpart, hence better for moving in thick forests.
Internal frame hunting day packs mostly do not leave space between itself and your back like external frame models do. Even though this can lead to sweating, chafing, and other problems, many hunters prefer this as it adheres better to the natural forms of their back.
Frameless Day Packs
Frameless day packs do not offer any of the features of external, and internal frame packs do. This makes them slightly inconvenient for hunters who are looking for specific features and significant comfort from their hunting day packs.
However, these models have their own set of advantages. Firstly, they are the most affordable style – thus, great for beginners or hunting enthusiasts on a tight budget. Frameless day packs are also great substitutes for everyday backpacks, so if you are looking to hit two birds with one stone, this is your guy.
What to Look for Before Buying?
As for any product, one may possibly want to buy, there are certain features which need to be looked at carefully to make the best possible decision. Explained below are some attributes to be looked at before purchasing day packs for hunting.
Material refers to the fabric that is used to make the bag. There are several different fabrics that can be used to make a hunting day pack, and they all have their own benefits and disadvantages.
Generally, canvas, tricot, mesh, and nylon are mostly used to make a hunting backpack. Some or even all of these materials, except for mesh, are combined in different proportions to make the perfectly strong and durable fabric needed for a hunting day pack.
We recommend purchasing hunting backpacks made of strong, tear-resistant, water-proof material. These three attributes will give you a basic yet high-quality hunting day pack that can survive most hunting conditions – sun, rain, or snow.
Mesh is generally used to create compartments and pockets such as water bottle pockets. It is also used on the back and other parts that come into contact with the user’s body to create a comfortable, ventilated space.
As discussed before, a hunting backpack can come in three different types – external frame, internal frame, and frameless. Which type you decide to go for is mostly based on personal preference.
Exposed Frame Hunting Backpack
Exposed frame models are good for those who want their backpack to be able to carry significant load. It is also suitable for hunters who appreciate constant ventilation on their back for comfort.
Internal Frmae Hunting Backpack
These type of hunting backpacks are suitable for users who prioritize the ease of taking off and putting on their daypack. Additionally, those who want to eliminate bulk and carry a bag that conforms to the natural form of their back will appreciate this type.
Frameless Hunting Backpack
For anyone on a tight budget, do not lose hope. There are several frameless daypacks on the market that boast all high end features found in framed packs while being easy on the pockets!
Compartments and Pockets Available
There is pretty much no end to how many different types of pockets and compartments a hunting backpack could offer. However, the trick to purchasing the perfect product is to know exactly which compartments you need – and which may be overkill.
Before deciding on the number of compartments, you would like for your backpack to have, think of all the items you typically bring along on hunting trips or ones you are likely to bring along.
For basics, we recommend having separate compartments for water, small tools (such as Swiss knife, compass, mobile phone), and any wires to prevent tangling. It is a bonus if these pockets are in easy-to-reach areas to ensure you always have these times on hand.
The main compartment should be big enough to store clothes, food, and larger items comfortably. You may also opt for models that have a separate compartment for sleeping bag storage, even though this option is mostly absent in day packs meant for short trips.
If you are looking to haul meat, you must seek out hunting day packs that have a dedicated meat shelf. This will keep the rest of the day pack clean.
Any volume is 20, and 40 liters is great for hunting day packs. However, more is not always better since you would ideally want a total weight that is comfortable for you to carry – and this depends on the volume your bag is able to hold.
Strong, durable, and comfortable straps on the shoulder are key to you being satisfied with your purchase. Shoulder straps can, to some extent, determine how much of the weight you feel on your shoulders. This feature, that may seem simple or negligible, can make some of the heaviest hunting bags feel light and manageable.
Poorly made strapscan dig into your skin and lead to chafing and scratching. Mesh with very high nylon quantity can be especially painful on your shoulders and any exposed skin. On the contrary, padded shoulder straps can exponentially boost your comfort. Thus, this is a key feature to look into.
In addition to that, you may also want to check if the bag has a hip belt. Whether or not you wish to have one is a personal preference, but we recommend keeping the option open. A hip belt can keep your hunting day pack secure on your back if you have you climb or trek.
Size and Weight
The perfect size and weight will mostly depend on the height and weight of the user as well as how much they are able to carry comfortably.
It is best to purchase the lightest possible day pack (without having to compromise on quality) to ensure that you can carry all the required items without the total weight exceeding your comfort.
Water and Rain Proofing
As discussed before, water-proofing is a very important feature if you want a day pack that will last you a long time. In addition to purchasing a hunting day pack made of water-proof material, we also recommend opting for one with a rain cover for double protection against the element.
Hunting is a very tiring activity, and one may not always have the luxury to stop somewhere for a sip of water. Because of this, we suggest looking for models that have a water bladder or at least the provision for one. These are easier to access and quicker to use than water bottles.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have tried our best to give you a complete picture of purchasing and using hunting daypacks. If you still have questions, they may just be answered below!
1. What should I look for in a meat hauling day pack?
The things you should definitely look for are a well-sized main compartment or dedicated meat shelf, blood proof material, scent insulation, enough space and great quality straps and sewing, which will be able to support the weight of the meat.
2. How can I decide on an ideal internal volume for my bag?
An interesting way to decide on how big a day pack you will need is to consider 1,000 cubic inches for each day of your trip. Following this rule will assure that you’re able to fit all the gear and items you will need.
If you plan on carrying meat, you obviously have to take that into consideration and ensure that considerable space is left empty to store the meat in. The same applies if you plan on adding a sleeping bag or water bladder.
3. How much should I expect to spend on a hunting daypack?
This will depend entirely on the features you are looking for. Our list covers products in an approximate range of $100 to $300. However, as for every product, a heavier price tag does not automatically guarantee better features or, more importantly, better quality and reliability.
4. What is some safety equipment I should bring with me on hunting trips?
For your own safety, always carry flashlights, knives, a compass, first aid items, and a survival blanket.These items will keep you safe if any adverse or unforeseen situation arises.
5. How do I remove blood stains from my daypack?
Blood stains are all too common among hunters who haul meat. Firstly, we always recommend purchasing products that are made of materials that resist blood to avoid such mishaps. However, for blood stains on fabric like canvas, you can make a concentrated soap solution and scrub manually till it comes off.
As promised, that was our complete guide on day packs for hunting. We hope it has made your mission to find the best hunting day pack easier!