You’ve got all your gear for your next elk hunting session, but where are you going to store it all? If you’re not equipped with a strong, durable, and large enough backpack for your gear and elk meat, you’re going to derail your hunting plans.
What’s a good elk hunting backpack? Elk hunting requires lots of gear and the covering of long distances, which means you’ll want to choose a supportive, easy-to-carry backpack with comfortable features
With the above in mind, here are our five best elk hunting backpacks. We’ll strip down their pros and cons so you can choose the best one that suits your hunting style.
Best Elk Hunting Backpacks – Reviews & Buying guide for 2022
Editor’s Choice: TIDEWE Hunting Backpack
- Material: Polyester
- Waterproof: Yes
- Capacity: 35L
The first thing you’ll notice about this hunting backpack is that it’s covered in Realtree Edge and Next camo to ensure you blend into your environment and stay undetected. Elk are smart animals that can detect you in their environment very quickly.
They have eyes on the side of their heads, giving them an increased field of vision and an ability to distinguish certain colors in their environment, such as blue, yellow, shades of grey, black, and white.
Whether you use a bow or rifle, this TideWe hunting backpack will give you enough space for all your gear. The large front pocket and main compartment provides a capacity of 2,200 cubic inches (35 litre), also ensuring you stay organized during your hunt so you don’t misplace anything.
The durable polyester of this backpack won’t let you down, and while it looks bulky it’s actually light, weighing in at just 3.7 pounds.
Since it’s so easy to carry, it’s suitable for a spot-and-stalk hunting style. You won’t struggle to take this backpack with you on all your hunts.
For increased comfort, this hunting backpack has a channeled back paneling design that’s both breathable and supportive. It evenly distributes your weight without causing aches and pains to your pressure points.
Combining comfort with durability, this elk hunting backpack gives you the best of both worlds so you can have a more successful hunt.
- A padded waist belt helps to prevent chafing.
- The built-in rain cover keeps your hunting gear dry.
- Suited for bow and rifle storage with its carrying pocket and hook and loop quiver pocket.
- The hydration port helps you to stay hydrated on long hunting sessions.
- The pockets are made of mesh with elastic lining to keep you as quiet as possible.
- This backpack’s zippers are large, which can make them noisy to use.
- Some of the pockets are oddly placed which may make them difficult to reach during a hunt.
- Some people have reported that this backpack releases a strong smell so you’ll have to air it out before use.
Runner-Up: Badlands 2200
- Material: KXO-50 FABRIC
- Waterproof: Yes
- Capacity: 34L
This Badlands hunting backpack is a game-changer with its innovative magnesium alloy frame. Although aircraft-grade aluminum is the standard for backpack frames, this company decided to change it for a lighter, yet strong and durable material.
This ensures the backpack’s strength while providing you with greater comfort during a tiring elk hunt.
This backpack contains molded memory foam suspension making it comfortable to wear for long hours at a time, perfect for those day-hunting trips. Its harness conforms to your body without getting in your way and prevents pain during use with its support.
The reverse-tightening feature on the waist belt allows you to adjust its tightness easily, when required. The Badlands backpack is made with KXO-32 fabric, a durable, quiet, and waterproof material.
To further increase its waterproof nature, this bag has been coated in a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment so rain washes off quickly, ensuring your backpack and gear remain dry.
It’s easy to clean, as well, which is great for reducing the tiring cleaning chores after returning home.
One of the best features about this Badlands hunting backpack, specifically when used to hunt elk and other game, is that it comes with a built-in meat shelf. This makes it much more versatile to use when hunting elk.
- The detachable bow/rifle boot, along with batwing straps, secures your weapon in a hands-free way.
- It’s compatible with the Badlands Bino Connect System, so you can connect your bino case to your backpack harness.
- A two-liter hydration reservoir keeps you well hydrated during a long hunting trip.
- The many side pockets can be used to store a variety of hunting accessories, such as knives.
- There are a variety of camo patterns, such as Realtree Edge and Realtree AP-Xtra to accommodate your hunting environment.
- This backpack doesn’t come with a built-in rain cover, so it’s not ideal for harsh weather.
- The straps don’t offer enough adjustments for smaller-sized people.
- Some people have said that they didn’t receive boots for bow and rifle carry.
Best Value For Money: Insights Hunting by frogg toggs
- Material: Polyester
- Waterproof: Yes
- Capacity: 35L
If you’re looking for a versatile hunting backpack that doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money, you’ll love the Insights Hunting backpack.
It’s not just versatile for different types of hunting, it also gives you different options for how you want to use it, catering to your hunting style.
This elk hunting backpack comes with a Tree Stand Shelf front-panel system that enables you to use its front pocket as a basket, a storage space, or a shelf. This system also ensures you’ll have easy access to the items you’ll need in the middle of a hunting trip.
The main compartment is extra large, giving you a wider storage space that fits various hunting gear, such as quivers, optics, arrows, and parallel-limb bows.
This comprehensive design is useful for bringing different hunting gear or if you’re sharing the backpack with another hunter in your group.
One of the best things about this backpack is that it’s user-friendly and versatile, allowing you to use it in the most comfortable way for your specific hunting style.
Wearing this comfortable hunting backpack will prevent strains on your body with its unibody chassis, a padded back support panel, and shoulder straps.
These comfortable features ensure a secure fit, allowing you to move around without it following your movements and getting in your way. This is important during an elk hunt where you’ll probably cover steep terrain.
- The straps are made of an ergonomic cool-mesh to keep you comfortable.
- The weatherproof construction helps you hunt in harsh elements.
- A padded bow storage compartment to protect your bow.
- The pockets are easily accessible, promoting hands-free usage.
- It comes in three camouflage pattern options: Realtree Edge, Realtree Escape, and Solid Elements Brown.
- This hunting backpack is a bit bulky to carry, especially if it’s full.
- Although durable overall, the backpack’s zippers may break easily.
- Some people said that its waist strap can’t be tightened enough to be comfortable for smaller-sized people.
Alternative: SPIKA Hunting Backpack
- Material: Nylon
- Waterproof: Yes
- Capacity: 40L+
Sometimes you just need more capacity for all your hunting gear. If that’s the case, this SPIKA hunting backpack is worth checking out.
It provides 2,440 cubic inches (approximately 40 liters) of storage capacity so you can use it for extended hunting or day-hunting trips.
With abrasion-resistant, 500D treated nylon construction, this backpack is durable so it won’t need to be replaced often, it is not easily damaged, and the nylon keeps your backpack dry if you encounter unfortunate weather conditions.
This elk hunting backpack comes with many features to make your hunts more comfortable. It has a roll-top snow collar, a removable hood, and a waterproof rain cover construction. The YKK zippers are lightweight and durable, with user-friendly access.
These zippers give you easy access to the backpack’s main compartment and multiple pockets so you can keep all your hunting gear and items better organized and within easy reach.
Not only reserved for hunting, a walking pole and ice axe attachment are included, which makes it a versatile backpack that will fit your active lifestyle. It also comes with a safety whistle on the chest strap for when you’re spending time outdoors.
Buy this backpack simply for the reason that it’s been designed with easy front access so that you can reach your gear no matter where you’ve stored it. This hunting backpack accommodates a bow and a rifle, so you don’t have to reserve it for one hunting style.
- This backpack has an external water bladder compartment to stay hydrated.
- The removable frame construction and load adjusters ensure a better distribution of weight and a comfortable carry.
- There are different options for a 40L or an 80L capacity.
- A pack attaches to the frame of this backpack via zippers or compression straps, turning it into a meat hauler.
- Its material is soft and quiet, helping you to remain undetected in your hunting environment.
- This hunting backpack can’t be extended from 40L to 80L capacity. If you want the 80L capacity, you’ll have to purchase that backpack.
- It might not be affordable for all elk hunting budgets.
Alternative: TIDEWE Backpack with Waterproof Rain Cover
- Material: 600D Polyester
- Waterproof: Yes
- Capacity: 25L
This TideWe is another type of strong backpack that’s made with 600D material to protect it from wear and tear. If you’re lugging around heavy gear, this backpack will rise to the challenge.
The straps and buckles keep your gear safe while also resisting impact, providing a more comfortable fit when hiking around in different terrain to find elk.
Best of all, the fabric doesn’t make a lot of noise, so you’ll remain undetected on the hunt. This is important because elk have excellent hearing as well as the ability to differentiate between different sounds.
This backpack will ensure that you can approach them with more confidence.
When packing your hunting gear and accessories, this backpack helps you to stay organized with its three large front pockets with easy access to your items. There are also interior pockets for smaller items that you need to keep safe.
This hunting backpack comes with ergonomic padding on the shoulder and the back, providing additional cushioning during long hikes and when moving from one hunting site to another.
The comfortable design will also prevent aches and pains after a long hunting session, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
- The adjustable waist belt helps you carry heavy gear with greater comfort.
- There is a hydration port, so don’t forget to stay hydrated.
- Adjustable straps help you carry your tree stand or bow with greater ease.
- The waterproof rain cover will protect you from the harsh conditions.
- This hunting backpack is made with heavy, precision stitches that ensure greater durability.
- The zippers on this backpack aren’t always durable, as some have reported.
- If you have broad shoulders, you might find this backpack a bit too small for you.
- Some people reported that they didn’t receive the waterproof cover.
Elk Hunting Backpacks FAQ
After reading our reviews of the best elk hunting backpacks for 2022, you might still have some questions about choosing the best one for your varied needs. Read this FAQ section to learn more about elk hunting backpacks and how to choose the best one.
How big of a backpack do I need for elk hunting?
The capacity you require for an elk-hunting backpack is approximately 2,000 cubic inches (about 35 litres). To provide you with greater support, the backpack needs to have a strong and durable internal frame so that it can tolerate heavy loads.
A backpack that gives you 2,000 cubic inches is ideal for day packs and are suitable for different game hunting. This capacity will be enough for you to carry food, water, calls, a first aid kit, extra clothing, and anything else you need for a day’s worth of hunting.
When choosing a backpack with enough capacity, you need to take the length of your hunting trip into account. If you’re going on a day-long, or even two day, elk hunting trip, you will manage with a backpack that is 2,000 cubic inches or less.
If, however, you want to go on a long three to five-day trip, you should aim for around 3,000 to 5,000 cubic inches (approximately 49 to 81 liters) of capacity.
The backpack needs to be large enough for all your hunting gear, equipment, and storage space for loads of elk meat, as well as extra items you need for sleeping outdoors, such as tents and sleeping bags.
Any hunting trip that’s longer than five days will require you to purchase a hunting backpack that offers around 8,000 cubic inches (131 liters) of capacity.
Most hunters won’t require a backpack that has this much capacity, but for extended trips, such as in the backcountry, you’ll need to ensure you have everything you need in your backpack so you can sleep and survive outdoors for a long period of time.
What items do you put in an elk hunting backpack?
There are some essential items to pack for your elk hunting trip. These include the following:
- Binoculars are a must-have in your backpack as they’ll enable you to stay at a distance and track elk in the area without alarming them.
- Headlamps will ensure you can track elk and navigate your hunting area with enough light, as it offers a hands-free operation to focus on your weapons or other items.
- Water, or filling your hydration reservoir, is an essential step for tracking and hunting elk during periods of time.
- A compass, or GPS watch, will prevent you from getting lost during an elk-hunting track, especially if you’re new to a certain hunting area.
- Extra clothing is always a great idea as you never know when the weather will change and require you to add more clothing layers. If you’re on a multi-day hunting trip, you’ll need to ensure you have extra clothing for sleeping or regulating your temperature.
- Elk decoys and calls are great to use when you want to draw elk into your hunting zone, so don’t forget to put them in your bag.
- Personal items are important to remember and you’ll want to pack items that will keep you safe and comfortable outdoors, such as sunscreen, lip balm, bug repellent, pain medication, and any chronic medication you require.
- A fire starter kit is useful if you’re spending the night outdoors, for warmth and cooking food.
- Camping items, from tents and sleeping bags, to camp stoves and eating utensils, are essential for a multi-day elk hunting trip.
If you’re hunting elk, you’ll need the right backpack so that you have enough space for all your gear and enough comfort for your trip.
In this guide, we’ve featured five of the best elk hunting backpacks, providing important information you should know and looking at the pros and cons of each backpack to match your hunting style and to suit the duration of your hunting trip.