Best Bow Hunting Backpacks of 2022

A hunting backpack is something that varies between every hunter. Your hunting backpack reflects how you like to hunt, so you’ll see that not everyone uses the same one. Some like a backpack that can carry everything and anything they need. Others may just wantonly the essentials. Room fo—room bow, a quiver, water, and some essential superessential equipment.

Almost every hunter heads out with others, embarking on a weeklong unsupported hunt in the wilderness or walking into a backyard treestand for a morning. The amount of gear required for hunting and successfully navigating the outdoors necessitates a pack for most hunters, but the type of hunting you do will dictate the package you need.

Thankfully, pack design has come a long way in the past couple of decades, and hunters have benefited from advances in sports such as climbing and backpacking that have brought us lighter, more ergonomic packs. Besides being more delicate, more lightweight, and more rigid, the engine packs’ engineering and design have been impressive. Modular and expandable packs canbagsh in ways that make them much more adaptable to specific hunting situations, such as needing to pack out 100 pounds of meat when you already have a (seemingly) full pack.

1ALPS Outd our Pursuit BackpackView on Amazon
2SITKA Cargo BoxView on Amazon
3ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit PackView on Amazon
4Badlands Sacrifice LS Hunting BackpackView on Amazon
5Tenzing Hangtime Lumbar PackView on Amazon
6Allen Terrain Cape Daypack 1350View on Amazon
7Insights The Vision Bow PackView on Amazon

A good bowhunting pack should carry all the gear you need for your specific hunting style. They should also keep your equipment orgabagd so you can access what you want when you want it. Long, slow sits on a stand or an in the blind can turn into a frenzy of action, an activation link of an eye. And sometimes, you need to quickly access your call, a rangefinder, or a release, so you d, don’t fumble the encounter. But you also don’t want a pack that feels like there’s a sack of corn slung on your back via strands of bailing twine. The best bowhunting backpacks should feel like they’re part of you; like th, you’re fused to your spine and shoulders, and you’d be hard-pressed not to find one on this list that won’t work for your specific needs.

  1. ALPS Outd our Pursuit Backpack

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Pros

  • Large main pocket area
  • Tons of pockets for organizing gear
  • Comfortable when hauling heavy loads
  • Waist belt with pockets
  • Great price

Cons

  • Not a fan of the aluminum spine (but the bar is removable, so this con is fixable)

I haul a lot of gear into the woods when I bow hunt, and this pack has plenty of room without the bulk and weight. And it costs under $100. So the pursuit pack hits the trifecta for me and is one of the best hunting backpacks available. The Pursuit can carry anything and everything I want. The storage capacity is listed as 2,700 cubic inches, but its hauling capacity is even more remarkable when you start strapping things to the outside. The deep main compartment can hold even the heaviest of layers. And on long walks to a stand where I want to avoid sweating, I stuff in both a pair of bibs and a heavy coat on top of all my food, drink, and hunting gear I need to spend the day in the stand.

I like using one pack all season long. Once I get my essential gear organized – tree hooks, calls, knife, flashlight, etc. I don’t want to transfer it and reorganize it in another pack. That’s a recipe for me to leave something behind. I don’t need all the space in the Pursuit’s cavernous main pocket in the early season, where I typically carry extra layers once the mercury dips. But I’d instead use one pack all season, then switch halfway. And since this pack is lightweight, I don’t mind carrying it in the early season, even though it’s not filled.

Another great feature of the Pursuit pack is the organization shelf that’s part of a large front pocket on the box. Unzip the pocket face, and the stern look falls forward to serve as a shelf held in place by straps. There are mesh pockets on the frame and several other small pockets on the vertical face that are now exposed for stowing gear like a rangefinder, grunt tube flashlight, and other things you might want to grab quickly while in the stand. With the shelf exposed, these things are right at your fingertips.

The pack also has mesh-bottom pockets on the bottom of each side of the box and corresponding straps at the top. The mesh pocket and strap on one side of the pack are the perfect places to store my tree stand umbrella when I expect rain. It’s a much better spot for the umbrella than putting it inside the pack, especially for the walk-out when it’s all wet. The mesh pocket and strap on the other side would be great for a camera arm if you film your hunts.

2. SITKA Cargo Box

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Pros

  • Roomy
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable
  • Intuitive pockets

Cons

  • Expensive

From the first time you hold the Sitka Cargo Box, it’s clear the Sitka engineers went bowhunting with a tree stand and then thought about all the features needed to carry and organize all their gear. The pack initially looks like any other backpack, but it breaks into two sections so you can sandwich a tree stand between them rather than simply strapping it to the outside. It also has storage areas on each side that evenly distributes the weight and stow them quietly. The padded shoulder straps and waist belt are sturdy and adjustable, so they can keep a snug fit as you add and remove layers and shift your load to navigate different terrain.

The genius of the Cargo Box’s stand-carrying capabilities is that it’s a snap—unsnap to remove the stand and sticks once you reach your favorite tree, and it’s time to hang. Undo a couple of buckles and pull back some straps to free your equipment. Lash the two halves of the pack back together, and now it’s just the pack you’ll hang behind you in the tree. But even with its stand-carrying capabilities, the Cargo Box doesn’t eat up the real estate you need to have the usual gear you need for an all-day sit in the air.

The deliberate thought about this pack becomes even more evident once you’ve hung your stand. A front flap folds up to turn the bag from the tree, exposing a row of zippered, mesh-faced pockets. And you can quickly access the gear with a slide of a zipper. Also, the front of the main compartment folds partially down with the pull of two zippers, so you don’t have to reach up and over a top lip and then dig into grabbing your coat or binos. While this pack has all the bells and whistles you need for a comfortable and convenient all-day sit-in stand; the price tag might deter many. But the Cargo Box is hard to beat if you want a pack that eliminates all the hassle of carrying bowhunting gear to the air so you can focus on shooting when it matters.

3. ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Pack

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Drop-down pocket to carry your gun or bow securely and quiver holder on each side of the pack

Large main compartment with front organizational shelf pocket to keep gear at your fingertips

Padded waist belt with two sacks and reinforced webbing to accommodate clip-style holster-ring clip allows you to hang pack from a tree while hunting easily

Padded waist belt with two pockets, center aluminum stay, hydration pocket, and port, side mesh pockets, front lashing system, and blaze orange rain cover included

4. Badlands Sacrifice LS Hunting Backpack

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Even in cooler weather, carrying a pack builds up a sweat. Badlands’ Hypervent suspension pulls your bag away from your back for constant cooling airflow. Where your body does come in contact with the group, ventilated foam and a tough mesh fabric help continue the flow of air, keeping you more relaxed, dryer, and more comfortable. Load-distributing flex rods help you manage heavy loads.

Ultralight Ripstop fabric is Badlands’ go-to choice when reducing weight is your foremost concern, but you still need durability. Made from tough nylon fibers, it has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio. But we didn’t stop there with the Sacrifice LS. Badlands’ C6 Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment doesn’t allow moisture to seep into fabrics. Water beads and rolls off, keeping your gear dry and long.

5.Tenzing Hangtime Lumbar Pack

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Pros

  • A rigid shell allows the pack to hang or sit open in the stand or blind
  • Lightweight
  • Compact, yet has a fair amount of storage space
  • Easy on shoulders and back
  • Intuitive pockets

Cons

  • Only available in Mossy Oak Bottomland

It’s late October, and you have a couple hours after work to spend on the stand, hoping to catch that shooter that’s been showing up on your trail cams regularly the last few days. You won’t be out long and don’t need a ton of gear. That’s where the Tenzing Hangtime Lumbar Pack comes in handy. It’s built for speed and comfort. The Lumbar pack slings over your shoulders, but the storage compartment sits above your hips rather than your whole back. Think of a giant fanny pack with shoulder straps and a waist belt.

This pack has adjustable shoulder straps. Waist belt, and chest strap, so you can get it to ride your torso the way you want. I’m a big fan of chest straps on backpacks because simple shoulder straps can slip off or hang up simple shoulder straps can slip off or hang up when you’re ducking under branches and jumping over streams. With the chest strap, you can do somersaults on your way to a stand, and your pack will stay on your back.

While it weighs less than 2 pounds, the Hangtime has a generous amount of space–750 cubic inches–for an extra layer of clothes, binos, a rangefinder, Ozonics, all your calls, and more. Once you get into your stand or blind, you can open the lid and hang the pack. Or you can set it on the ground, and the top stays open for easy access to your gear. The main compartment stands upright and honest, thanks to the rigid, molded shell. That means no fighting with the pack to access your equipment. Inside that main compartment, mesh pockets organize your vital gear in handy locations, and you can see what’s in each bag. It might not have the same appeal as traditional packs, but the Hangtime works great for those sporadic or quick hunts.

6. Allen Terrain Cape Daypack 1350

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Pros

  • Decent storage
  • Will get your gear into the woods
  • Won’t break the bank

Cons

  • It doesn’t have the same build quality as higher-end packs.

Not everyone wants or needs to spend $200 on the best bowhunting backpack. For some bowhunters, the bag is solely utilitarian. It’s for hauling gear. The Terrain Cape Daypack will do that at a budget-friendly price. This pack has two large zippered pockets; a deep, full-pack pocket and a smaller one with three individual pockets inside for essential organization. Two elastic-top mesh pockets sit low on each side of the pack. Allen says they’re for water bottles, but you could also use them for other gear.

Weaved onto the front of the pack is an elastic band that you can expand to strap gear to the outside, like a jacket or umbrella. The shoulder straps are padded, though thinly. And if you must carry a heavy load for a lengthy period, get ready for sore shoulders. Again, this is a simple backpack. There are no frills. It’s for putting stuff in and getting to the woods. But if that’s what you’re in the market for, look no further.

7. Insights The Vision Bow Pack

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Pros

  • Holds your bow and arrows securely
  • Plenty of storage for all your other gear
  • Quiet
  • Many organization pockets

Cons

  • A bit bulky

Many backpacks provide systems for strapping your compound bow to them. Typically, those systems don’t hold securely, and the bow flops around or gets caught on the brush. In a nutshell, The Vision Bow Pack is a soft bow case with a full backpack sewn to the outside. I securely stowed my Mathews V3X 33 with a 12-inch front stabilizer, a 10-inch sideroad, and an Excel Landslyde sight that sticks out six inches from the riser. I didn’t have to remove or alter any of my accessories to get my bow to fit, and it’s a big rig by bowhunting standards.

Attached to the bowcase, a full-sized backpack holds plenty of storage for your other gear. Another zippered pocket can be used in various ways on the main compartment. You can use it for storage. Or you can open it halfway, and it becomes a shelf with mesh-faced pockets exposed. Unzip it completely, and a mesh basket sits upright that you can toss a release, call, and rangefinder into for quick access.

This is a strategically designed, functional backpack that holds your bow securely. Yes, the bow-case portion of the pack creates added bulk, but that part is against your back, so you don’t notice it as much as you might think.

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Hunting Pack

Fit

Unfortunately, there’s no way to precisely judge a pack’s fit without actually testing it in person. Still, one dimension can render a bag painful or impossible to use correctly. Luckily, many modern bags come sized (with helpful size charts online), so you can at least approximate which size ought to fit you best.

When ordering online, ensure the seller’s return policy gives you a reasonable window to test the product and return it if you find that the fit won’t work for you. If you want to try several packs and keep the one that fits you best, keep in mind that some sellers may charge you for the return shipping.

Volume and Expansion

How you hunt will dictate the size and type of pack you need. For example, a whitetail hunter who walks a few hundred yards into a backyard treestand for a morning session needs a much different group than one embarking on a 10-day, self-supported Alaskan moose hunt. Some hunters want one backpack they can use for day hikes and overnights and will prize expansion and adaptability. Other hunters may prefer dedicated packs for different types of hunts. Turkey hunters, for example, will benefit from a turkey vest, which is often a vest, backpack, and integrated padded seat all rolled into one.

Many modern hunting packs offer impressive expansion options that permit a medium-sized bag that can be used as a day pack to expand enough to carry several nights’ worth of gear or to pack out meat from a successful hunt. These containers are good options for hunters who want one group that can work for almost any situation and duration of the search for budget constraints or simplicity.

Judging how much pack volume you need is most accessible if you have an existing frame of reference, such as previous hunting or backpacking packs you’ve used. Pack volume is usually measured in liters or cubic inches. For me, a reasonably sized day pack is about 30 liters or just under 2,000 cubic inches. I find that bags any smaller than that often force me to strap things to the outside, especially when hunting in colder seasons where more layers are required, and I prefer to keep my gear inside the pack as much as possible. For up to three-day overnights, an 80-liter bag is about right for me, but different hunts and people will have wide variations in volume requirements. For example, I have hunted areas without water sources and had to carry in all my water for three days, which at least doubled my pack weight. In this case, I used a burly external-frame pack where, in a different environment, a larger internal-frame pack might have sufficed.

Materials and Construction

As with hunting outerwear, modern hunters have significantly benefited from advancements in materials and coatings that make packs lighter, more challenging, and more waterproof than your father’s hunting pack. That said, I don’t tend to scrutinize the materials used in a box the way I would for a hunting jacket. Having a water-repelling treatment on a group is nice, but I prefer to use a rain cover, and many packages come with rain covers built in.

How We Selected These Hunting Backpacks

I’ve hunted in a wide range of conditions, having grown up hunting whitetail and upland game in Upstate New York, then moving West and hunting big game in big mountains. However, my selections here are biased somewhat toward Western hunting. In part, that’s because a hunting pack is a much more critical decision for most Western hunting, where you’re covering many more miles and likely doing some overnight backpacking hunts. Your average whitetail treestand hunter may not even use a backpack, and if they do, the details are less critical because there’s generally less gear, and it gets hauled for shorter distances. To make these recommendations, I considered both packs I own or have owned and the half-dozen packs I tested specifically for this review.

What is the best brand of the backpack?

I struggled with this one because at least four solid backpack manufacturers are revered within the bowhunting community, but I’m going to give the nod to Badlands for the best brand. Their packs are well-made, comfortable, and strategically designed for handles, several pockets, and pocket locations. They’re soft, quiet, and durable and do their job well. They also have a pretty solid lifetime warranty, so if something goes wrong or you’re not happy with something, Badlands will make it right.

How long should a backpack last?

What you do with your backpack will determine how long it lasts. Realistically, the average tree-stand bowhunter should be able to get 20 years or more out of a bag. Typically, the packs go from the house to the truck to the tree and back again. I certainly have backpacks 20 years old that are still usable and weren’t as well made as the packs available today. But the rougher you are with a group, the sooner it’ll start to break down.

Do I need a backpack for hunting?

Technically, you don’t need a backpack for hunting, but they make it easier if you carry a lot of gear. You might not need a bag if you don’t have far to walk or hunt in places where stands are already hung. However, if you have a long walk and need to pack in more layers, food, grunt calls, wind indicators, etc., having a backpack will make carrying all those items much more manageable.

Why do I need a bow hunting backpack?

Bow hunters need a backpack made specifically for bow hunting because it provides them with a safe and secure place to store their bow and arrows. Bow hunting backpacks offer appropriate storage for all your hunting needs, including meat pockets.

What size bow hunting backpack should I get?

How big of a bow hunting backpack you purchase will depend on how long you plan to stay out there hunting. Packs between 30 and 40 liters will work perfectly for short trips, up to about three days. You will need a giant bag if you plan to be out longer.

Do I need a waist belt?

If you plan on carrying a lot of weight inside your bow hunting backpack, you will want to invest in a pack with a waist belt. Waist belts are essential for supporting and distributing the weight of heavier bags to make them more comfortable to carry.

Does the price reflect the quality of the bow hunting backpack?

The short answer is no; prices don’t always reflect the quality of the bow hunting backpack. Cost is often affected by the demand for the pack. A great group that isn’t in colossal order will offer a more affordable price than the most popular bag on the market.

What are some of the most desirable features of bow hunting backpacks?

The bow holder and quiver holder are two of the most popular features of bow hunting backpacks. Other popular features include the sheer number of pockets to help organize your specific hunting gear. Bow hunting backpacks are more significant than different types of bags and offer longer straps to help support heavier loads.

Are all hunting backpacks waterproof?

The short answer to this question is no; not all bow hunting backpacks are waterproof. The majority of bow hunting backpacks are what is called water-resistant, meaning they will not allow water to penetrate to the inside. Always check for water resistance before purchasing.

How durable are bow hunting backpacks?

How durable bow hunting backpacks are will depend significantly on how well you take care of them. Even the most durable bow hunting backpack will get ruined if it is not taken care of properly. Bags regularly cleaned and repaired will last far longer than neglected backpacks.

Are our bow hunting backpacks comfortable?

If you buy the right bow hunting backpack, it will be comfortable. However, some bow hunting backpacks are not very comfortable to wear. Look for features that enhance the pack’s comfort level, such as padded back panels, padded and adjustable shoulder straps, breathability, and waist and chest belts to help with weight distribution.

Do all bow hunting backpacks come with a warranty?

Most bow hunting backpacks come with a warranty, but the kind of guarantee they offer depends on the manufacturer. The better the security, the more confidence the manufacturer has in their product.

How safe are bow hunting backpacks?

High-quality bow hunting backpacks will offer visibility linings to ensure the hunter’s safety. These visibility linings are designed to make the backpack and the hunter more visible and easier to identify.

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