Backpack Buying Guide

Choosing a pack is a personal decision.  There seem to be millions to choose from and until you try one out, you really won't know what you like and what you don't like.  The packs listed below are ones that I know to be well built and functional for their intended purpose.  

Finding the perfect back is like finding a Unicorn.  As your skills grow and needs change, so will your desire in what you want for a backpack.  


The packs listed on this page are meant to be a suggestion if you're looking for somewhere to start and I believe they'll enhance your experience rather than detract from it.


***When choosing the volume or size of pack, don't go crazy.  For most backpacking trips, you likely don't need anything over 50L.  Remember, the more space you have to pack things, the more things you'll pack!  Backpacking is about being minimal and enjoying going without.  The lighter the pack, the more enjoyable those miles will feel.

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Osprey Atmos AG 50 - Mens

When you're new to backpacking, the choices can be confusing. This bag can take you from weekend trips to thru hiking.

Osprey has a great warranty and there are a ton of people who swear by them . The Anti Gravity suspension system is beloved by many and for good reason. It's a welcome comfort right from the start.

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Osprey Aura AG 50 - Womens

Just like the above, but specifically designed to fit the female body.

Ultralight Backpacks

So you're wanting to go all in on ultralight?  Good for you!  It's important to know that when you go ultralight, you'll be giving up some features and enhancements that come on standard backpacks.  But here's the rub, you'll find that you won't really miss those things you thought you needed in a more "featured" pack. 

The more efficient you become with your gear, the less you need, and the less "features" you'll require on a backpack.

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Superior Wilderness Designs

SWD has a cool thing going. They create customer packs built to order. You can pay extra to have a pack built to your exact specifications, whether that's color, features, or whatever else. You can even choose to have a full suspension or go without.

Hunting backpacks

If you're getting into backpack hunting and intend on hauling out animal quarters on your back along with the rest of your gear, you're going to want to have a pack that can handle that stress while not making your life miserable (or at least making you life less miserable..haha!).  

I've listed Exo Mountain Gear on this page.  It is a direct to consumer brand out of Idaho focused on creating packs that are everything you need and nothing you don't.  They're built for comfort and efficiency while in the backcountry.  

The frame of the these packs can handle huge loads so you can be sure that a load of 40 lbs feels like a dream. 

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Exo Mountain Gear 3500

The 3500 is a great size for any backpacking trip you can imagine. It has more room than you'd imagine and is designed with efficiency in mind. For a first time hunting backpack that will meet 99% of your missions, this is it.

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Exo Mountain Gear 2000 Daypack

It might say "daypack," but if you pack smart and have the right gear, you can use this pack for well into a 3-day hunt. It's just the right size for a day hunt and 1-3 nights in the field.