Best Hunting Packs 2019
|Stone Glacier Sky Guide 7900 Expedition Backpack|
Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle offered the following, “There’s a lot of hype surrounding Stone Glacier’s packs. After using the Sky Guide for a few late-season hunts I understood why. Ultralight and built tough, this will be my new hunting and expedition pack. I work gear hard—for a while I’d destroy an expedition backpack every year—but I’m convinced Stone Glacier’s Sky Guide will accompany me on adventures across Alaska for years to come.”
|Rokman Gear Extreme Combo – Pack System|
Our tester was pretty pumped after using this system, “I’ll just come right out and say it…this is hands down, the best pack system on the market, bar none. The guys at Rokman gear killed it when they came up with the Extreme Combo Pack. It is waterproof, durable, extraordinarily versatile, and most importantly, it is comfortable. I’ve owned or used virtually every top-end brand of pack on the market, and there are plenty of great packs to be had, but if you are looking to buy one system that will cover you on everything from a fly-in, float-out moose hunt to a strenuous high-country sheep or goat hunt, this is the answer. I even use the 2500 and bino harness for fly fishing. A rigid external frame is virtually a must when handling heavy moose quarters and the carbon frame handled them with ease. One of my favorite features is the built-in field/camp seat. When you’re a couple-hundred miles from nowhere, those little creature comforts are worth their weight in gold and having a dry seat with back support for long day of glassing and comfortable spot to kick back by the fire at night is priceless. The bino harness can either be used on its own or can clip right into the Core-Flex Harness.”
|Sitka Mountain Hauler 6200 Pack|
Sitka hit a home run with this pack. When first taking it out of the packaging it seemed to be a bit technical, but after getting it opened up and messing around with it a little bit it was obvious how much thought went into designing and building this pack. It is as comfortable as any pack on the market and getting it adjusted to fit your torso is a cinch. The main compartment expands from 4000 to 5000 cubic inches when needed. The detachable lid and the center-zip rear pouch make organizing and accessing your gear a snap. When it’s time to haul your trophy off the mountain, all the critical components for hauling meat and attaching antlers are colored in Sitka orange, making it easy to load the meat inside the pack and get the antlers securely attached for the trek out. The internal sling keeps the meat close to your center of gravity and separates the lower compartment where you can store your gear in Sitka’s dry bag to keep it clean on the hike out. The waistband allows for the attachment of a hip pouch, holster, or bear spray. With all the packs on the market, this one is right there at the top and is a great choice for anyone looking for a backcountry pack for Alaska.
|Watershed Animas Backpack|
We became interested in Watershed dry bags after reading a blog written for Hunt Alaska by our trusted friend Larry Bartlett. Since Larry is a float-hunting and float-fishing expert, it stands to reason he knows what makes a good dry bag. We love this Animas Backpack. It’s completely waterproof and has an excellent backpack-strapping system that can be removed. Their most popular pack, the Animas, has space for a couple days’ worth of gear. We were even able to stuff the Pelican case containing our DSLR camera and spare lenses in the Watershed Animas Backpack.
|Slumberjack Deadfall 65 Pack|
We found this pack to be comfortable to wear on the back, shoulders, hips, and waist. It’s also versatile due to the adjustable carry system that expands to accommodate large loads. We crammed an entire quartered deer into the pack and hauled it out of the woods. On other excursions, we packed light and cinched down the straps to reduce the pack size. There are tons of pockets for storage, with an emphasis on pockets to hold optics, and a carry system that accommodates both bow and rifle. The internal storage capacity of the pack is just shy of 4000 cubic inches.
|Sagebrush Dry Gear Waterproof Gun Case|
We used this case to keep both rifles and shotguns dry in the field during 2018 and it worked well. The case features a removable padded liner, haul handle, shoulder strap, urethane-coated waterproof fabric, and beefy waterproof zipper. Color options include green, blue, and black. This is the third item we have tested from this company and are very impressed with their durability and truly waterproof performance.