The 10 Best Bow Hunting Backpack in 2018 – Review with Buying Guide
Human beings are inherently hunters and gatherers. At our core, we thrive on having dominion over our environment. And being able to hunt other animals firmly places us at the top of the food chain, or so we like to think. To hunt means to be in control. It’s more than just taking a shot and ending the life of an animal. It requires a great deal of patience.
And when you do strike, it has to be precise and it has to fell your prey instantaneously. A poor shot might mean the end of your expedition or untoward suffering on the animal caused by a poorly aimed shot. And this is one thing a responsible hunter should always bear in mind; always make the death of this animal swift and painless. So, having the right weapons in your hunting arsenal determines how successful you are in your quest.
Which one do you prefer, a hunting rifle or a bow? It all depends on the hunter. A hunting rifle is faster and more effective. It does, however, cause an ear-splitting racket. Other animals will scamper for safety at the sound of your gun. A miss might mean a return to the proverbial square one for you. A bow, in contrast, is a more traditional hunting method. It’s like reconnecting with our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Yes, it perhaps doesn’t work as effectively as a rifle. I mean, when you get the shot wrong and the animal bolts off with your arrow attached to it, you not only lose your meat but also an expensive arrow. Bow hunters need to possess a certain level of precision that will see to it that their expedition doesn’t fail.
Their patience should be unwavering. And when you finally receive your prize, the kill, the feeling of satisfaction is unmatched. Clearly, I’m partial towards bow hunting and this is for you’re like me. If you disagree, don’t leave. Just read on because I’ve got a treat for you as well. Now you just have to do is read our reviews and make your choice. Let’s jump right into it.
The ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is a backpack built with the hunter in mind. It’s great for taking on a day’s hunting trip. This pack nicely fits all the necessary gear, bearing the load with ease.
With a weight of just 4 pounds, the pursuit takes most of its weight from what you stuff in it. And it can certainly accommodate all you have in its array of pockets and compartments. It has a large front pocket, the main pocket, lower side mesh pockets and an organizational front pocket. Its main feature is the weapons carry pockets.
First of all, it has a quiver holder to the side. This places the arrows conveniently within your reach and easily allow you to pull them out when in need. With the arrows comes a bow and the Pursuit backpack allows you to carry not one type but a variety of bow types. Its designs allow you to secure a bow right at the front face, held in place by the lashing straps. Then, a drop down pocket holds the bow in place, preventing it from sliding off.
The body of the pack is made of a brushed mossy oak break-up country fabric. This is the fabric that thrives in the outdoors. It takes in the scratches that are bound to descend on it from bushes and branches, escaping unscathed. The material withstands the harsh outdoor conditions while keeping your safe inside.
For the eventual rainy moments, there’s a blaze orange rain cover that’s included with the Pursuit. Simply place it over the backpack to ward off the water, keeping it from entering the pack. The padded back and waist belt provide comfort for your back and shoulders while carrying the load. This takes away the strain and allows you to go farther.
The Outdoor Z backpack has a design that fits different types of bows.
The drop down pocket can also fit a rifle.
With the range of pockets and compartments, this backpack provides enough room for all your gear.
The padded back and waist belt make it comfortable to carry the backpack.
Included in this pack is a blaze orange rain cover which keeps water from reaching the contents inside.
This pack doesn’t have a dedicated meat hauling pocket.
This pack from ALPS OutdoorZ, the Pathfinder, is the epitome of versatility. Made by hunters, for the hunter, it brings to the table a fulfillment of all that one may need when on a hunting expedition. The Pathfinder is a fanny pack. And as a fanny, it can carry up to a capacity of 800 cubic inches. I know what you’re thinking; that’s not enough for all your needs.
Well, not to worry because when you have lots to carry the Pathfinder can effortlessly transform from a fanny pack to a daypack. This is done by unrolling the daypack from inside the fanny. And when this happens, you get an additional 1900 cubic inches of carrying capacity. In total, you’ll have 2700 cubic inches to stuff your gear in.
And stuff you will see as there’s a range of pockets and compartments in the Pathfinder. There are two side pocket, front pocket, main pocket, the fanny pocket and the day pack pocket. But that’s not all. You also get a hauling mode and bow carrying mode.
In the bow carrying mode, you have accommodation for whatever type of bow you own. It holds the bow securely, giving you easy access to it. Once you’ve gotten your prey, you can shift to the hauling mode where the pack provides extra space to haul your meat.
Still, if you feel all these compartments aren’t enough, you can attach the ALPS Outdoor Z accessory pockets. These are; the binocular pocket, camera pocket, and turkey call pocket. Then, for added comfort, the waist belt, and shoulder harness system are padded. This will also help distribute the weight evenly across your back making the load seem lighter than it actually is.
The Pathfinder backpack is a fanny pack with 800 cubic inches of carrying capacity.
It can transform into a daypack which gives an additional carrying capacity of 1900 cubic inches.
Using the bow carrying mode, you can securely fasten your bow onto the pack.
To carry the meat on your way back, there’s a hauling mode which provides extra fabric and straps that create extra space.
You can attach the ALPS Outdoor Z accessory pockets onto the pack for added compartments.
The padded waist belt and shoulder harness system make it comfortable to carry the Pathfinder.
The accessory pockets, which can be attached to the front of the harness, are sold separately.
Badlands are masters at engineeringhigh-quality hunting backpacks. And nothing underscores this fact than their unconditional lifetime warranty. Indeed, this very offering shows us how confident they are in their workmanship that we are convinced that the Badlands backpacks are as spectacular as they claim to be. The 2200 Camouflage is one of their works of art.
With dimensions of 19 inches by 17 inches by 19 inches, this pack leaves a large enough footprint to declare its ability to carry all we need. So, with eight pockets that combine to give a total of 2250 cubic inches carrying capacity, 2200 doesn’t cower from a load.
Indeed, with the array of pockets, straps, and compartments, there’s no shortage of room for your hunting essentials. Then, on your way back, the meat will neatly sit on the meat shelf.
All this weight need not be a worry to you. This pack has an internal T-6 aircraft aluminum frame. It evenly distributes the weight on the pack and brings it to rest on your hips. Combine this with the bat wing design and the comfort of this pack is unmatched. You won’t feel the strain of carrying a massive weight even after hours with it on your back.
Made of Badlands’ famous KXO-32 fabric, 2200 inherits the strength and durability of the material. This fabric keeps the pack looking good, in the face of harsh outdoor conditions. KXO-32 is also waterproof, allowing you peace of mind even when you are out in the rain or perhaps fall in a pool of water. And as a cherry on the cake, the fabric gives the pack a silent quality which enables you to prey without having your presence given away.
The Badlands 2200 Camouflage backpack has a carrying capacity of 2250 cubic inches, more than enough for a day’s hunting trip.
Built into the pack is a T-6 aircraft aluminum frame which is not only strong but also makes carrying a large weight much easier.
Made of KXO-32 fabric, this pack is impervious to scratches, giving it a high level of durability.
The pack is also waterproof, thanks to this KXO-32 fabric.
The 2200 is compatible with not just a bow but also a rifle and a pistol.
The pack can hold up to a 2-liter water reservoir.
The bow or rifle boot is sold separately. It would have been much better if they offered both boots on the purchase.
Here’s another hunter’s dream daypack, the Traverse EPS Hunting Pack. This is a pack that gives you lots of room to pack your essentials. When you think it’s filled, it unleashes more space. The main storage capacity is a whopping 3300 cubic inches. Whatever you need to carry be it tripods, camera arms or even large items of clothing, this is quite enough room for all that.
Then, on your way back from the successful hunting trip, you’ll have your prize with you; the meat. The Traverse knows you’ll need space for it and therefore provides an expandable section that offers an extra 1200 cubic inches of storage space. The meat will neatly fit in here. Still, the extension lashing straps allow you to attach extra gear on the outside.
This massive load requires a clever system to allow you to carry it comfortably. The padded shoulder harness provides this. It takes the strain of the weight and relieves your back and shoulders to from feeling the pressure. Then, with the adjustable torso length, you;; find the perfect fit for you to be able to carry the pack for long. There’s a drop down pocket which receives a bow securely holding it in place. This pocket is also compatible with a rifle. You also get a holster on the waist belt making this backpack ideal for hunters who want more than one kind of weapon.
ALPS Outdoor Z knows that nature can be very unpredictable. You might start your hunting day under a lovely sun only for the clouds to gather and shower you with unexpected rain. To mitigate this, the Traverse comes with a built in rain cover. Simply pull it out and lay it right over the backpack. It fits wonderfully, allowing rainwater to run off, protecting your gear from getting wet.
The Traverse hunting pack has a carrying capacity of 3300 cubic inches.
There’s an expandable pack section that offers an additional 1200 cubic inches, great for packing meat.
With the padded shoulder harness, you won’t feel the strain of carrying a heavy load.
The torso length is adjustable within ranges of 15 to 20 inches, making it flexible enough to fit individuals of varied sizes comfortably.
The built in rain cover protects the contents of the pack from getting wet.
To carry your weapon, there’s a drop down pocket that accommodates a rifle or a bow.
The backpack doesn’t have an inbuilt frame to ease carrying heavy loads.
Once again, ALPS OutdoorZ gives us an amazing hunting backpack. This one is the Matrix Hunting pack. It has numerous pockets for carrying your hunting essentials; there’s a main pocket, two front wing pockets, two side mesh pockets and two waist belt pockets. All this combines to give you a total carrying capacity of 2700 cubic inches.
To give you support while carrying the massive load occupying the full capacity of the pack, there’s a center aluminum stay. This stay helps to evenly distribute the weight of the pack’s contents making it easier to carry the pack.
At the front face of the Matrix, a bow can be carried. This system is also able to carry a rifle easily. The weapons are secured in place, keeping them firmly held by the two padded straps that start in the middle of the backpack and wrap around the weapon. On the wing pockets, you can insert your arrows and have them conveniently placed by your side, easy to remove when needed.
With a hydration pocket and port included, you won’t have to worry about removing your backpack to reach for your water. Simply insert a compatible reservoir, attach a bladder and keep yourself hydrated while on the go. Then, since it might rain, you don’t want your gear to get damaged. To counter this eventuality, there’s a built-in orange rain cover. The cover neatly lays over the pack and protects it from getting wet.
The packs total carrying capacity of 2700 cubic inches allows you to carry all your hunting essentials.
With a center aluminum stay, the pack is supported while bearing the large load.
The blaze orange rain cover keeps the pack protected when it rains.
Having a design that allows the carrying of a bow, rifle or even a crossbow, this is a very versatile pack.
The hydration pocket and port allow for carrying of a hydration reservoir to keep you supplied with water.
The ALPS Outdoor Z Matrix pack doesn’t have a dedicated meat hauling system.
The Eberlestock X2 hunting backpack joins this list with a range of features that make it an ideal bow hunting backpack. This pack’s size gives you a considerable amount of room to pack in a day’s worth of hunting supplies.
With dimensions of 22.5 inches by 16 inches by a depth of 6 inches, the X2 offers a total of 1,839 cubic inches in carrying capacity. This might seem inadequate for some but hold judgment and see why it’ll do.
The pack has been cleverly designed to present an array of pockets in unique fashions. There are side pockets on either side of the pack. These open up like wings to reveal two tuck pockets on their interior, excellent for quick access.
Then, there’s the main compartment which can carry a massive load. But wait, there’s more. Eberlestock added their FlexChassis feature that enables the lower end of the pack to flip forward to be used as a seat.
To ease the carrying of the massive load that the X2 is likely to bear, there’s an internal aluminum frame. And we know that having a frame transfers the weight of the pack from your shoulders, lower down to your hips. This gives you a more upright position and an easy walk. Also, there’s a well padded full mesh back panel. This panel hovers over the main pocket, separated by an air gap to enhance breathability while carrying.
Though the X2 has a compact, lightweight build, it’s made to bear massive loads in its 1839 cubic inches of carrying capacity.
The numerous pockets, cleverly placed in the backpack give you ample space to insert your gear.
Having a tough and lightweight aluminum frame makes it much easier to carry the heavy load in the pack.
Using the lashing straps on the load, extra gear can be attached on the outside of this backpack.
Eberlestock’s FlexChassis provides a feature in which the bottom of the X2 flips forward to reveal a seat for the hunter.
This pack has a side scabbard in which a bow can easily fit. It can also accommodate a rifle.
The size of the pack seems too small for individuals as tall as 5’8’’ or taller. The tall users have complained that it barely fits them properly.
Another Eberlestock product, the M5 bears the characteristics of the Eberlestock family. These are the quality build, the versatility and the functionality. The M5 was made specifically for the Elk-hunter.
So, with dimensions of 23 inches by 11 inches by a depth of 9.5 inches, a whole elk can fit in here. And I don’t exaggerate. It has a total carrying capacity of 3100 cubic inches making it ideal a day’s hunting trip.
Being able to carry such a heavy weight, we would need support to easily carry the pack. And support you get.
With the Intex tubular aluminum frame, the pack’s weight is evenly divided and then rested on your hips. This makes it seem much lighter than it actually is, allowing you to carry it more comfortably.
To carry the weapon, you get a fold away rifle scabbard and, for the bow hunters, there’s a built-in bow carrier. All these are placed at convenient points that make it easy for you to access the weapons.
With a carrying capacity of 3100 cubic inches, this pack is big enough to carry as a day pack.
The M5 has an inbuilt tubular aluminum frame that makes it much easier to carry the massive load that the pack is bound to bear.
It is ideal for both rifle and bow hunters. There are a fold away rifle scabbard and a built in bow carrier.
Access to the main compartment can either be through the front or top making it easy to quickly reach your gear.
The M5 is also built with hydration pockets that allow for attachment of the reservoirs to keep you supplied with water.
The side pouches are rather small and can’t accommodate bigger spotting scopes.
If you’re looking for a deceptively compact backpack, then the Tenzing TZ 4000 hunting pack is for you. I say deceptively because, at first glance, it looks rather small. However, it offers a sufficient carrying space of 2500 cubic inches. Still, the deception doesn’t end.
When in need of more space, the side of the pack reveals expanding compartments that offer an extra 300 cubic inches. But wait, there’s more. There’s a central meat compartment that carries the meat on your way back. This one takes in a staggering 1400 cubic inches.
To be able to carry this whopping load, the designers at Tenzing endowed the TZ 4000 with an adjustable torso suspension. With this, any person can comfortably carry the pack irrespective of their body size. To add onto this, the TZ 4000 has an internal aluminum frame that makes it much easier to carry the heavy gear in the pack.
We know that you need to carry your bow and Tenzing know that as well. They thus included a foldout carrying boot that not only accommodates your bow and arrows but can also carry a gun making this ideal for all hunters.
The Tenzing TZ 4000 has a main carrying capacity of 2500 cubic inches.
The capacity can be increased through the expanding side compartments. This adds an extra 300 cubic inches.
To carry the meat, there’s a central meat compartment that increases the carrying capacity by another 1400 cubic inches.
With the internal aluminum frame, carrying the massive load won’t be a problem.
Bearing an adjustable torso suspension, hunters of varied body sizes can comfortably carry the backpack.
The TZ 4000 has a fold out carrying boot in which you can fit your bow or even a gun.
True to ALPS Outdoor Z character, they have created another brilliant backpack, the Trail Blazer. It’s designed to embrace your back comfortably as its straps hang over your shoulders. With a carrying capacity of 2500 cubic inches, this is more than ideal to use as a daypack.
It has a large main compartment that offers secure storage for your gear. To the front, there’s a zippered pocket that’s is excellent for the smaller gear like binoculars or your camera. This pocket places the gear within quick reach. If the space inside the pack isn’t enough, you can attach more gear externally thanks to the bar-tacked webbing on the front of the pack.
ALPS Outdoor Z also didn’t forget about your weapons. The Trail Blazer has a drop down pocket that securely fits your bow or even your rifle. And using the front lashing system, you’ll be able to firmly lash the bow, keeping them safely held on the backpack.
The Trail Blazer also has a hydration port and pocket in which you can fit in a compatible reservoir to keep you well hydrated throughout your hunting expedition. To carry this massive load, the pack is fitted with a PE frame sheet that offers additional support, evenly distributing the weight of the pack making it easier and more comfortable to carry.
The Trail Blazer has an ample carrying capacity of 2500 cubic inches, excellent for use as a daypack.
The pack has an array of pockets in which you can secure your gear.
ALPS Outdoor Z also included webbing on the pack on which additional gear can be attached.
A drop down pocket on the pack securely fits a bow or rifle.
This pack also has a built in rain cover for protection from rain.
With the PE frame sheet on the Trail Blazer, the load is made easier to carry.
The pack is too small for more than a day’s hunting trip.
Eberlestock is renowned makers of excellent quality hunting backpacks. The pack is no exception. It’s one of the best bow hunting backpacks in the market. Its chief selling point is the ability to carry not just a bow but also a rifle. This usefulness makes it a popular choice for hunters who don’t want to be tethered to just one weapon choice.
The back scabbard snugly fits a full-scale hunting rifle. Eberlestock calls it a quickdraw scabbard. As the barrel of the rifle sits safely inside the scabbard, the butt protrudes above and rises outside behind you.
This positioning makes it easy to pull out the gun at an instant. On the front face of the Eberlestock, there are X pockets which were designed to give your bow a place to sit. The bow is then secured in place using the ripcord bow tether.
The assortment of pockets in the pack provides a safe place to stuff your gear in. This makes for a daypack that can carry more than enough gear for a day’s trip.
Then, to ensure that you’re comfortable while carrying such a load, the shoulder harness has been made such that it’s vertically adjustable to fit different torso lengths. No matter your size, this backpack will accept you. Even if you’re carrying a really heavy load, this adjustability allows you to shift the harness and the load to a position that’s most comfortable for you.
The Eberlestock is able to carry a full-scale hunting rifle in its quick draw scabbard.
A bow snugly sits X pockets and is then secured by the ripcord bow tether keeping the bow stable while you walk or run.
The adjustable shoulder harness makes the pack comfortable to wear for people with varying torso lengths.
A large number of pockets accommodate more than enough gear for a day’s hunting trip.
Webbing tie-points all over the pack allow for attachment of extra gear externally.
Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Best Bow Hunting Backpack?
As a hunter, you obviously have numerous supplies that you want to carry with you. Therefore, your backpack has to be made specifically to accompany you on the hunt. For a bow hunter, finding the right pack that not only carries your gear but also firmly secures your bow and arrows has always been a challenge, until now.
The hunting universe currently has a tasty menu of spectacular bow hunting backpacks. They range in size and vary in color. They also come in different materials with a wide array of features. So, what does one look for when poring through the multitudes of bow hunting backpacks in the market?
This feature isn’t only specific to the bow hunting backpacks but all hunting backpacks in general. When choosing the right backpack, the material used will tell you whether the backpack will be durable or not.
Manufacturers are pushing the limits in the build quality of their products. Using combinations of materials like Hypalon and Aramid, backpacks can now bear massive weights without losing quality.
Also, with the right material, the backpacks can be endowed with a water resistant ability. This comes in quite handy when exposed to wetness, for instance; unexpected downpours. Bow hunting backpacks that are water resistant are more common nowadays and aren’t as expensive as they used to be.
Weapon Carrying System
It isn’t a bow hunting backpack if it doesn’t provide a system in which you can carry your bow and arrows. If there is such an accommodation, it has to firmly secure the bow in place using lashing straps or inside a nicely fitting bow pocket. Still, there being different kinds of bows, the backpack should be flexible enough to fit any bow one has.
Don’t forget your arrows. A bow hunting of’s compartments must include one in which a quiver can neatly slide into in which your arrows will lay. And all this must be within your reach to avoid the need to remove the backpack to access them.
Does the backpack have a frame? No? If not then does it have a padded back? Is it breathable? Is the shoulder harness adjustable? If these questions are negatively answered, run as far away from the pack as you possibly can. The comfort of the backpack will determine how much of a load you can easily carry.
It will also ultimately dictate how far you’ll travel without needing to remove the pack. A frame is normally included in the bigger backpacks that carry massive loads. For more than a day’s hunting expedition, these packs are the best. Daypacks don’t normally have frames, internal or otherwise.
They do, however, have padding on the back, shoulder straps, and waist belt to enhance comfort. Compression straps may also be present. These, when fastened, will push the load higher and ease the burden of carrying such heft.
Meat Hauling Pocket
You expect to be successful on your expedition. Therefore, you’ll be carrying, perhaps, a huge load of meat on your way back. Where do you put it? Do you carry a separate pack for the meat? Why not just shove the meat in your backpack?
A good hunting backpack will provide space for the meat. It’ll have a dedicated meat pocket which should provide proper aeration. Come backpacks are built to expand their capacity to take in the extra load of the meat.
So, you might go to the hunt with 1900 cubic inches of carrying capacity and return with a backpack that has 2700 cubic inches. Pockets that fold away from sight and are easily unleashed when needed make it convenient to use these kinds of packs.
Finally, if you’re looking for a hunting backpack, ask about the manufacturer’s warranty. One with a short warranty shows the amount of confidence the creators have in their product. The good news is that with genuine products, manufacturers will offer lifetime or unlimited warranties.
This means that whatever happens to your backpack that isn’t your fault, they will quickly come to your aid. The image this paints is one of the packs that are wonderfully built and won’t show any signs of defects no matter how long you use them. Look out for such backpacks.
And you don’t have to go far to find the right backpack for bow hunting. We’ve done a compilation of the packs in the market. These are those that came out on top. They stood out to us because of their quality and functionality.
Be sure that when you buy a pack, you’re investing in the real thing, not a counterfeit. The manufacturers mentioned above are reputable with excellent quality products. Unfortunately, because of their popularity, the product above is replicated by shoddy manufacturers.
The best indicator of a genuine product is the warranty. All the backpacks in our list come with lifetime warranties. Then also, look at the branding carefully. Counterfeits tend to have misspellings on the brand names. That aside, our list above contains the best bow hunting pack you can find in the market. Whatever your taste and preference are, you can’t go wrong by choosing one of them.