In part 1 of the ‘Ultimate Guide To Whitetail Hunting Packs’, we talked about daypacks and their utility. Part 2 featured a look at packs specifically designed for treestand hunters. Now we are going to take a look at some of the best bombproof load-hauling full-frame packs available on the market. The packs we feature will still be geared toward whitetail hunters which is why we look at bags with a 2000 cubic inch volume. All of these frames would be equally at home on a 10-day mountain hunt, although in that case, you may want a larger main bag or a full dry bag in the load shelf to store extra gear.
Mystery Ranch – Pop-Up 28
1700 cubic inches
This is your backcountry hunting pack. It is a workhorse and designed to help you comfortably carry weight. Characteristics of these packs are external lightweight frames, a large main bag (generally 4000 cubic inches or more), a lid or top pocket, and a load shelf. These packs are marketed toward serious backpack hunters chasing elk, sheep, and deer in the mountains. A good frame pack will cost from $300 and up. However, it will likely last for years of hard use. The versatility of these packs does come with the price of added weight (typically 5 pounds and up) and the bulk of a frame and larger main bag. While generally overkill for day hunts or whitetail deer hunting, the ability to haul gear can be useful if you are hanging stands or carrying stuff like camera gear. A bonus of these packs is having the load shelf which can be used to haul a quartered deer out of the woods. While whitetail hunters typically drag out the entire animal, having the ability to haul out a cape, head, and deboned meat can open up some spots to hunting that were too far away before. Very similar to a standard backpacking pack (the non-hunting type) they are distinguished by features such as meat hauling and straps to attach your weapon.
Other Frame Packs To Check-Out:
Stone Glacier – Approach 1800 2200 cubic inches $584
Kuiu – Pro 2300 (Purchase 3 components for full pack)
Carbon Fiber frame $175
Pro Suspension $145
Pro 2300 cubic inch bag $149
Kifaru – Shale Charge (Purchase 2 components for full pack)
Bag $350 2050 cubic inches
Frame – Duplex Lite Frame $350