It is fair to say that a hunting backpack is not the same as a travel backpack. The reason for this is the unique design elements to safely stow a bow, crossbow or other equipment while still making them quickly accessible.
In our opinion, the best bow hunting pack is the ALPS OutdoorZ Matrix Hunting Pack.
A good bow hunting backpack includes sufficient internal storage to offer shelter from the elements, a change of clothes out of wet ones, perhaps a sleeping bag for hardcore hunters who don’t mind spending the night, and plenty of pockets to stash gear inside. (If you´re looking for bow hunting backpacks with a bow holder, read our review)
Here are our recommended bow hunting backpacks which offer a selection of benefits depending on your requirements.
Here are our Top 5 Picks
Compression straps around a pack help to reduce its size to a manageable level. A few packs may also include a hydration pocket ready for a water bottle that feeds water using a bladder through a port in the pack itself.
The water bottle* and bladder are separate purchases and handy little extras that’ll get used more often than one would imagine, particularly since the trips get longer with greater experience and larger groups.
ALPS OutdoorZ Matrix Hunting Pack
The ALPS OutdoorZ Matrix Hunting Pack has a belt around the waist with enough padding to make it comfortable to wear for several hours.
An aluminum stay also helps with back support too. For long hunting days, a convenient hydration pocket can hold a water bottle with an available port to feed a bladder through.
Considerable thought has gone into the design to make it simple to carry a compound bow, crossbow, or other weapon strapped and fitted to the back of the hunting backpack. Additional straps for lashing large items to the back of the pack are also included.
At the front, up to two handheld weapons, including a holster, may be strapped into position. Front pockets with zippers ensure that both weapons stay secure.
- Unique back system for stashing a compound bow, crossbows, and other items
- Secure hand weapon storage on either side of the pack
- Plenty of external zippered pockets and one internal one for organization
- Hydration pocket and port
- Padded waist belt
- Rain cover
- Just a little over 4 pounds
- not really
Two good-sized exterior mesh pockets on either side make it easy to stash small items. Two front pockets and waist belt pockets provide additional quick access storage, and an interior pocket keeps possessions organized with this 2,700-cubic inch pack.
The Realtree Xtra HD brown camo fabric doesn’t add significantly to the weight with the whole pack weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce.
Allen Company 19099 Pagosa Daypack, Realtree Xtra, 1800 Cubic Inches
The Pagosa daypack offers 1,800 cubic inches of storage capacity. It is designed in a combination of Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak brown and green camo fabric.
Inside, the lining is a high-visibility canary yellow which catches any light in the forest making it easier to see what’s stored inside.
There is a separate pocket for the back to storage slimmer items distinct from the main internal storage area.
- Padded back panels and shoulder straps for easier multi-hour wear
- Waist Belt
- Compression straps on the side to crush the hunting backpack down – making it easier to carry
- Bright yellow inner lining providing light for searching for your gear stowed inside
- Realtree Xtra and Mossy Oak Break-up Country fabric blend
- Space to add a water pouch and bladder
- No water bladder provided
- No secure gun pocket
The zippers have zipper pulls that are simple to locate and pull across in darker environments. For longer wear, the shoulder straps are padded, as is the waist straps at the back; the waist strap system adjusts up to a 52-inch waist. Perfectly suitable for bow hunting trips.
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Back Pack
Firstly, the Outdoorz Pursuit pack is available in a choice of either Brushed Mossy Oak Break-Up Country or Brushed Realtree Xtra HD fabric/camo combinations.
Either option will help the pack blend into the forest nicely. This bow hunting backpack is designed to hold a variety of different bow types, with arrows stored on the side, and this part of the pack stows away when not needed.
There is aluminum stay for support and extensive thick padding all over the rear of the pack to provide additional comfort.
Webbing loops at the front offer quick lashing opportunities, and there is a lower front pocket for storing essentials. The padded waist system has two pockets too.
- Front lashing system
- Multiple pockets and two mesh pockets
- Front pocket that unzips outwards
- Aluminum stay for support and numerous back padding for comfort
- Hang pack from a D-ring clip
- Holds a bow, rifle or gun
- Quiver holder
- Hydration pocket and port provided
There are also some mesh pockets for easy convenience. A hydration pocket and port are provided.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Freighter Frame + Pack Bag
The Commander Freighter Frame and Pack Bag is an excellent hunting backpack for rifle owners who like an easy way to hunt and carry their weapons around. The pack is also able to store handguns.
The brown nylon fabric is durable preventing accidental rips. There are many lashing points, loops, and straps to make it easier to hook things onto the pack.
The backpack is built around a freighter frame which is detachable. The 5,250 cubic inches of storage provided by the pack is excellent, with a spindrift top that expands the vertical space.
There is a rifle pocket to secure the butt of the weapon and straps, and pockets above it. A larger pocket for storing the range finder scope is also provided. A Clevis pin attachment system is included too. It’s ideal for your next bow hunting trip.
- Top-loading rifle holder with pocket at the bottom
- Storage pack and freight frame which detach from each other
- Plenty of lashings, pockets and webbing
- Clevis pin system
- Hydration pocket and port
- Nope! In our opinion one of the Best Bang for the Buck
A hydration pocket is present and a port for a water bladder as well. The whole package weighs 7.3 lbs.
ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack
The ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber Day Pack is a basic backpack for storing a few essentials but won’t hold your bow of other hunting gear such as the best bow hunting beanies etc.
It comes in a choice of either Brushed Mossy Oak Break-Up Country or Brushed Realtree Xtra HD fabrics/colors. Side compression straps reduce the size of the hunting backpack before wearing it.
The padded belt for the waist and comfortable shoulder straps make it easier to carry.
The pack has a front pocket, side mesh pockets, a lower storage section, and an interior with a deep rear pocket and a front interior webbing-based one.
Bartack webbing is used around the Timber Daypack to attach additional small items like a torch.
- Basic hunting backpack with several interiors and exterior pockets
- Exterior webbing to attach items
- Padded belt at the waist and padded straps for the shoulders
- Crunch the pack size down using compression straps
- Size mesh pockets for quick access
- Hydration pocket and port
- won´t carry hunting weapons
There is also a hydration pocket and a port ready to fit a hydration pack (purchased separately). The pack offers 2,285 cubic inches of storage and weighs 2 pounds 1 ounce.
When looking for just the right hunting backpack, it pays to consider what you’ll be using it for exactly.
There are ones ideal for elk hunting, others for carrying various types of bows for bow hunting, and then there are smaller bags for more generalized uses.