6 Best Elk Hunting Backpacks of 2020

Finding the best elk hunting backpack might be tricky as there requires much gear for this specific kind of hunting, not to say that some of them are really heavy. A good pack should be durable and endurable enough to handle all of them while being compact and lightweight to facilitate a day hunt.

Here are the best elk hunting backpacks you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack
  • The Largest Capacity: ALPS OutdoorZ Commander
  • Most Durable: ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack
  • Best For Low-Light Conditions: Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack
  • Best For Long Day Hunts: SITKA Optifade Elevated II
  • Best For Bow Hunting: Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack
Top 6 Best Elk Hunting Backpacks
Best Overall
Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack
    Read Our Review
    The Largest Capacity
    ALPS OutdoorZ Commander
      Read Our Review
      Most Durable
      ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack
        Read Our Review
        Best For Low-Light Conditions
        Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack
          Read Our Review
          Best For Long Day Hunts
          SITKA Optifade Elevated II
            Read Our Review
            Best For Bow Hunting
            Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack
              Read Our Review

              Best Overall: Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack

              Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack
              Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack
              9.2Outstanding
              Pros
              • Silent when moving or under rain – made of KXO-32 fabric
              • Superbly strong, waterproof, and flexible – Hypalon
              • Easily adapt to multiple light conditions and surroundings - dark wood camouflage colorway
              Cons
              • The holsters in the pack are useless

              Known to make hunting backpacks based on an acute knowledge of bio-mechanics, proper ergonomics, and physics, Badlands is our top choice. The Superday is a typical example!

              It is outperformed by the material - KXO-32 fabric, which isn’t crinkled like a tarp under rain or with movement, therefore, your target will never hear you coming. This material is also known as the strongest and most waterproof material in the hunting backpack realm.

              To enhance the backpack’s durability, Badlands also use Hypalon – the strongest yet most flexible fabric – on all high-stress positions, making them virtually indestructible.

              Speaking of capacity, this unit gives you 1950 cubic inches with the main compartment is 1440, which is compatible with pistol, bow, and rifle. The dark wood camouflage colorway helps easily adapt to the current lighting and your surroundings, making it ideal for Eastern or Midwest hunters.

              Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack Specifications

              Weight

              3 lb 15 oz

              Dimension

              21 x 16 x 11 inches

              Capacity

              1950 cubic inches

              Number of Pockets

              7

              Highlight Features

              KXO-32 fabric

              Hypalon material

              Dark wood camouflage colorway

              Verdict

              The Badlands Superday Hunting Backpack is a nice choice for a day hunt. The ergonomic design with wise material choices keeps you focus virtually to your work with no sound making.

              The Largest Capacity: ALPS OutdoorZ Commander

              ALPS OutdoorZ Commander
              ALPS OutdoorZ Commander
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Ample room with good organizing – feature 5250 cubic inches of the main compartment’s capacity and numerous outer pockets.
              • Allow for hauling meat – lashing loop system
              • Provide ultimate support and comfort - the freighter shelf and torso adjustment
              Cons
              • Make noise
              • Have slack between the pack and frame
              • Occasional poking

              The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander has ample capacity to allow you to hunt far off the beaten trail without leaving any essentials behind.

              Just the main compartment has an incredible volume of 5250 cubic inches, not to say there are numerous exterior pockets to organize your stuff, lashing loops for hauling meat, and spin-drift collar top.

              But don’t worry, ALPS also designed this pack with the freighter shelf and torso adjustment to keep your heavy loads secure and support your back in the best way. The backpack itself is crafted from durable nylon rip-stop fabric for long-lasting durability.

              This special material can withstand the harshest weather environments as well.

              ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Specifications

              Weight

              7 lbs. 5 oz.

              Dimension

              41 x 16 x 13 inches

              Capacity

              5250³

              Number of Pockets

              5

              Highlight Features

              5250 cubic inches

              Lashing loop system

              Verdict

              Not just give you the largest volume to organize your essential hunting gear, the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander also delivers maximum support and custom fit to ensure you won’t feel pain while carrying your whole world behind.

              Most Durable: ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack

              ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack
              ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Secure & protective – feature durable materials plus expandable pockets, bartacked webbing, and front lashing straps
              • Compact, lightweight, and neat – have a small-profile silhouette, weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz., capacity: 41L/2,500 cu. in.
              • Keep you hydrated while on the go – H2O compatible
              Cons
              • Don’t have a built-in ladder for water, just H2O compatibility
              • Can’t haul a huge quantity of meat as it’s a small backpack

              Contrasting to the Commander, OutdoorZ Trail Blazer is a small pack with just 2500 cubic inches of capacity – nearly half of the previous sibling. But it strikes back with extreme durability that can proudly handle all weather conditions with the highest protection to your essentials.

              The pack also overcomes the biggest flaw of Commander – the noise, which means it lets you go unnoticed in the forest.

              Although considered small to other ALPS backpack versions, it is still roomy enough for a bow, firearm, and other gear. You’ll also have expandable exterior pockets, bartacked webbing, and front lashing straps for extra storage.

              The added hydration port and pocket is a big plus to keep you against feeling thirsty while hunting.

              ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack Specifications

              Weight

              2 lbs. 9 oz.

              Dimension

              41L/2,500 cu. In.

              Capacity

              2,500 cubic inches

              Number of Pockets

              6

              Highlight Features

              Durable materials plus expandable pockets

              Bartacked webbing and front lashing straps

              Weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.

              Capacity: 41L/2,500 cu. in. H2O compatible

              Verdict

              If your goals are just rabbits or squirrels, and you want an ultra-durable hunting backpack for long-lasting durability and protection to your gear, this is exactly what you’re after.

              Best For Low-Light Conditions: Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack

              Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack
              Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Supportive, comfortable, and breathable – feature adjustable waist belt, sternum strap, adjustable shoulder straps with foam padding, and back support panels with mesh
              • Visible in low-light environments - High-vis lining and zipper pulls
              • Ultra-convenient and handy - some zippered pockets on the adjustable waist belt & bigger zipper pulls
              Cons
              • Can’t haul meat or pistol

              With an 1800-cubic-inch capacity, the Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack is spacious enough to let you bring a hunting bow or firearm in addition to other accessories, and keep them stay organized.

              It comes with several loops on the front as well as two water bottle pockets for days when you need an extra supply. There are also some zippered pockets on the adjustable waist belt to help you load up your essentials with ease access, such as keys, phone, sunscreen, chapstick, and more.

              What really sets this pack apart from the rest is the high-vis zipper pulls and lining, making it ideal for low-light environments.

              Another thing that we really appreciate is the back support panels. Though this is just a medium-sized pack, Allen doesn’t close their eyes to their customer’s comfort. These panels are even equipped with cool mesh to keep your back breathable.

              Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack Specifications

              Weight

              2.21 pounds

              Dimension

              1 x 1 x 1 inches

              Capacity

              1800 cubic inch

              Highlight Features

              High-vis lining and zipper pulls

              Verdict

              For dusk or dawn hunters, the Allen Pagosa 1800 Hunting Daypack would be your best companion thanks to its high-vis zipper pulls and lining.

              Best For Long Day Hunts: SITKA Optifade Elevated II

              SITKA Optifade Elevated II
              SITKA Optifade Elevated II
              9.2Outstanding
              Pros
              • Well-organized – have a large major compartment, 4 zippered pockets, and 7 slide-in pockets
              • Supportive, comfy, and cool – padded straps and back
              • Limit scent-causing perspiration and make no noise - brushed woven polyester
              • Hand-free capability – feature tree-step hanging ring
              Cons
              • Not waterproof
              • No bow attachment

              If the biggest problems that you had with your old hunting backpack are organization and storage space, then the SITKA Optifade Elevated II is definitely a great replacement.

              While giving you a 1500-cubic-inch volume, it provides you with a large major compartment, 4 zippered pockets, and 7 slide-in pockets, which is perfect for hauling, organizing, and hanging everything you need.

              The pack is crafted from brushed woven polyester for minimal scent-causing perspiration and noise with no compromises of breathability. There also comes with padded straps and back to make sure you’re carrying all the gear with comfort.

              Finally, the tree-step hanging ring soups up the pack’s convenience and utility. Once at the stand, just using it to hang your backpack for hands-free capability.

              SITKA Optifade Elevated II Specifications

              Weight

              1.26 pounds

              Dimension

              22 x 10 x 8 inches

              Capacity

              1800 Cubic Inches

              Number of Pockets

              12

              Highlight Features

              A large major compartment

              4 zippered pockets and 7 slide-in pockets

              Brushed woven polyester

              Tree-step hanging ring

              Verdict

              Highlighting super-neat and well-organized design with durability and comfort, the SITKA Optifade Elevated II is our top choice for long-day hunts.

              Best For Bow Hunting: Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack

              Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack
              Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • Easy to carry different types of bow and arrows – have a fold-out bow carrying boot & side-mount quiver attachment
              • Deaden noise efficiently – feature robic rip-stop strength panels crafted from quiet tricot fabric
              Cons
              • No hydration ladder

              By providing everything that any bow hunter might need, the Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack is the best selection for bowhunting you can buy.

              Aside from a 1500-cubic-inch capacity with 6 well-organized pockets, it highlights a fold-out bow carrying boot, 2 vertical and 2 horizontal compression straps, and a fold-out rain cover.

              The side-mount quiver attachment helps remove extra weight from your bow while allowing for holding the arrows within your arm’s reach for easy access. It also has robic rip-stop strength panels crafted from quiet tricot fabric for both custom fit and noise-deadening.

              That means when accessing your hunting gear, it is extremely silent to not shock the deer.

              Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack Specifications

              Weight

              3Lbs 4Oz

              Dimension

              1 x 1 x 1 inches

              Capacity

              1500 cubic inches

              Number of Pockets

              6

              Highlight Features

              A fold-out bow carrying boot & side-mount quiver attachment

              Robic rip-stop strength panels

              Verdict

              Created with a fold-out bow carrying boot and side-mount quiver attachment, the Tenzing Choice Hunting Daypack is perfect for bowhunting.

              How To Choose The Best Elk Hunting Backpacks?

              Capacity

              • The measuring unit of a pack’s capacity is cubic inches (or cu.in.). To know how big of a hunting backpack should you get, determine your intended purpose for it.
              • A basic rule of thumb is estimating 1000 cubic inches per day. Below are some simple suggestions for beginners:

              Capacity

              (cu.in.)

              Purpose of use

              1000-2000

              Day hunts

              3000-5000

              3- to 5-day trips

              5000-8000

              5- to 10-day trips

              Quietness & Colorway

              • Wild animals are very alert to strange noise and if they know you’re coming, they’ll run away. So when considering a hunting pack, pay attention to the fabric and zippered. They need to not make noise, especially when you’re moving in the bush or under the rain.
              • Also, don’t forget to choose the right color pattern of your pack. Camouflage is the most common choice as it easily blends to the natural background, making you move without being noticed.

              Suspension System

              Differing from normal packs, elk hunting backpacks are constructed from a wide range of things that work together. Everything should be in the best connected and it comprises of:

              • Load lifters – help reduce the tension on your shoulders, carry the load tighter to your back, and add some stability
              • Frame – to support your neck, shoulder, and back when lifting heavy, bulky items
              • Shoulder straps – it should be properly padded to reduce stress and strain on your shoulders
              • Waist belt – to hold the brunt of the weight in your backpack, eliminating stress on your shoulders

              A pack without a good suspension system obviously results in regular neck and shoulder pains.

              Which Brands Make The Best Elk Hunting Backpacks?

              Badlands Gear

              • Established over 25 years ago, Badlands Gear’s hunting backpacks highlight a bevy of distinguishing features: quality, performance, and breathe technology. They create products that always put their customers at the forefront.

              ALPS

              • ALPS is arguably the brand that best embodies the concept of affordable yet quality hunting packs. Founded in 2007, they have now been one of the most popular manufacturers in this industry.

              Allen

              • The company has embarked on the journey of producing the best valuable hunting packs since 1970. Up to now, it has celebrated success in categories ranging from Archery and Hunting Essentials to Shooting Accessories and Tactical Gear.

              FAQs

              What should I put in my hunting pack?

              Here are the most essential items that any hunter must put in their hunting backpack:

              • Hunting weapons (bow or firearm)
              • Hunting license
              • Food
              • First aid kit
              • Water
              • EDC knife
              • Trash bags

              Some other additional gears are:

              • Game call
              • Lighter & fire starter
              • Baby wipes
              • Flashlight
              • Survival Blanket
              • Rubber gloves
              • Rangefinder

              How much meat do you get from an elk?

              Averagely 190 to 225 pounds of boneless meat.

              How much does it cost to hunt an elk?

              A 5-day trophy bull elk hunt can give you $5000 or up while most cow elk hunts are in $1000 to $2000 range, depending on your trip length and location.

              How long should elk hunting backpacks last?

              This issue depends on many factors, such as how often you use it, what purpose you use it for, and how it is made. In general, it would be 6 months to 3 years.

              How do you hunt elk on public land?

              Watch this video:


              Conclusion

              Having the best elk hunting backpack is only going to help you, whether you’re looking to dive into day hunt from your trucks or backcountry.

              We have done all the legwork for you in doing the research and testing many backpacks. To find out the right one for you, just ask yourself what you’ll be doing in your pack and then, pick one.

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