Your Best Hunting Packs For Packing Out Meat
Do you love the thrill of taking down big game almost as much as you enjoy eating the spoils afterwards? The only problem is the most exhilarating big game hunts often take place in remote areas. That means if you want to enjoy the meat from that deer or elk you take down you are going to have to find a way to get that meat back to your vehicle or campsite. That is where the best hunting packs for packing out meat come into play.
These backpacks are specially designed not only to haul the meat from a fresh kill but to also carry all the other supplies you need on your hunt too. Let’s take a look at some of the top model meat hauling backpacks like my favorite the Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler. I will also go over the key features these great packs have that make them a huge asset during any big game hunt.
Key Features to Look For In a Meat Hauling Hunting Backpack
Following are the preferred characteristics to have in any hunting backpack that you will use to pack out and carry your meat from a fresh game kill:
# Decent Capacity
Even smaller white-tailed deer will normally average over 68 pounds and other types of deer are generally even bigger than that. An adult elk will often weigh over 300 pounds. That means if you are planning on saving and hauling the meat after you have brought down one of these large game animals you will need some good load capacity in a meat hauling backpack. You should be looking for one that has a 30L or higher carrying capacity.
# Good Support System
You can probably expect a yield of meat from a large deer or elk to come in at around 40% of its body weight. That means you could be hauling anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds of meat depending on the size of the animal you take down. That type of wait will wear you out quickly if your meat hauling pack does not have a good support system. So look for a pack that has such things as metal framework (internal or external), support straps which balance the load and molded foam back supports.
# Multiple Compartments and Pockets
Sure being able to haul your meat with your hunting backpack is nice but you have to be able to support your hunt with it too. That means you will not only have to have compartments to put your meat in but you will need storage for other items too. You will require such things as pockets to store your ammo, food and water. Additional compartments and pockets will have to hold such things as your scope, zippered plastic bags for meat storage, binoculars and/or a spotting scope.
# Easy To Access Compartments
Having a good number of compartments won’t mean much if they are difficult to access. When you pick a new hunting backpack take a good look at the pockets to make sure you can easily access them in a hurry, or that you can get into them in the dark. Easy to open compartments will be one of your favorite features when you get out on the hunt and get hit with unexpected cold rain.
# Bag Weight
You are going to being hauling out a lot of meat after a good weekend of hunting, so do yourself a favor and start out with a hunting pack that it lightweight before you load it down. Having a heavy-duty bag is great, but if the pack starts out heavy you will have a long and tiring trip packing back out of the wilds when it is loaded down with your catch.
Reviews of Best Hunting Backpacks for Hauling and Packing Out Meat
Here are some excellent model backpacks that will not only help you haul the meat from the game you take down but will also have enough room to nicely support all facets of your hunt:
1. Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler – TOP PICK
Durable, waterproof and silent as you move
+ Max Capacity: 36L.
+ Metal Frame: Yes, internal.
+ Key features: Molded foam back support, Only 5 lbs. empty, Integrated rifle boot.
Badlands has shown with this backpack design that they really know what it takes for a hunter to get the meat from their kill back to where it will be processed and stored. It has plenty of space to take all the gear you need on a hunt and take some nice cuts of meat home with you too.
With this hunting backpack it’s all about distributing the weight so you can easily haul your meat back to your camp or vehicle. Among its better carrying features are a lightweight internal aluminum frame and a foam back support which will conform to the shape of your back to help support the load you carry better.
It’s made out of Badland’s proprietary KXO-32 Fabric which is durable, waterproof and silent as you move.
Storage is no problem with this nice size 36L hunting backpack either. It features several large zippered compartments to put the meat from your fresh kill or other bigger items. There are also 8 smaller pockets built into it and there is even an integrated rifle boot to help make carrying your gun easier too.
After taking a look at several buyers reviews, there were very few if any major complaints from those hunters that have purchased and used this well-designed meat hauling backpack. The only complaints were minor issues such as it sits a little above your shoulders when on and smaller stature hunters may not find it comfortable to wear.
- Good size 36 liter capacity.
- Molded foam back support.
- Weighs only 5 lbs. empty.
- Integrated rifle boot for easy gun carrying.
- T-6 light aluminum internal frame.
- Zippered entry compartments and 8 storage pockets.
- Extends higher than your shoulders which is not ideal for active hunting.
- Not recommended for shorter stature hunters (5’7” height or below).
— Stay Thirsty.
Don’t let your excitement of bringing down the big buck keep you from being taken down by thirst. Adding the Badlands Hydration Reservoir Bladder to your new pack will ensure you aren’t begging for water while hauling out your meat.
- FULLY LOADED - The 2200 covers all the bases with...
- COMFORTABLE CARRY - ThermoMold Suspension utilizes...
- STEALTHY - A neutral color palette allows the...
2. Eberlestock J34 Just One Pack –
Smartly designed to take on heavy loads
+ Max Capacity: 42L+.
+ Metal Frame: No.
+ Key features: Cam expansion system, Adjustable vertical torso length, Contoured back support.
Eberlestock is a big name in both hunting and trekking backpacks. They specialize in backpacks and support gear that are smartly designed to take on heavy loads when you are out in the wilderness. This 40L pack can even expand thanks to its innovative cam system so you can save and carry even more meat from the big game you take down.
This is one of the two backpacks on our top review list that does not have internal or external metal frame support. Eberlestock compensates for that with specially designed and adjustable shoulder straps that help support and distribute the load.
They also have a contoured, 3-D back support which again helps to eliminate the weight of your load feeling like it’s concentrated in one area. There also is complete vertical adjustability with this meat hauling backpack. That means it can be adjusted to fit you nicely no matter what your height.
One very good feature on this backpack is its high visibility orange interior. Never again will you struggle to find a dark object in your backpack.
Some users did feel it carries the weight a little lower than they like. You may also want to grommet in a hole in the optional rifle boot if you purchase it because some hunters say it fills with water when it rains or snows. That will add some extra weight and throw off your load balance if it traps too much water.
- Generous 40L plus size.
- Cam expansion system for even more carrying capacity.
- Vertical torso length is adjustable.
- Contoured back support.
- Optional rifle scarab for easy gun hauling.
- High-visibility orange interior.
- Some feel it carries a load a little lower than they like.
- Rifle boot tends to hold water when it snows or rains.
— Stay Dry.
Sometimes it rains, or the morning dew soaks your pack. To help keep your gear dry, pick up the Eberlestock Rain Cover that can cover both your pack and your gun. Nobody like a soggy rifle afterall.
- If you're going to own just one hunting pack, own...
- Extremely versatile, with the hallmark patented...
- Starting at an ultra-compact 2300 cubic inches, it...
3. ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack –
Innovative and extremely versatile
+ Max Capacity: 44L.
+ Metal Frame: No.
+ Key features: Specifically made to pack meat, Hydration pocket, Lashing extension straps included.
This just may be the most innovative meat hauling backpack on our review list of the best products. It’s extremely versatile to say the least. ALPS OutdoorZ has designed this product so it can be a handy hunting daypack when you are going after your preferred game and then it conveniently turns into an excellent meat pack out backpack once you have bagged your prey.
It’s a meat hauler that distributes the weight you put in it very well. Among its load carrying features are a padded, adjustable waist belt and an advanced shoulder harness system. The ALPS OutdoorZ backpack even has a drop-down gun pocket to help support your rifle when you are wearing it.
This meat packer and hauler will hold almost 44 liters of fresh game meat if you truly want to haul that much meat. The pack itself is a very lightweight 3.5 lbs. so it does not add much weight to what you are hauling as long as you don’t pack too much heavy gear in it.
There are a few concerns I had with this backpack. For one, it holds a lot of weight for a backpack to haul meat that has no internal or external support frame. That means you have to get the support straps adjusted just right in order to disperse the weight you will carry properly. This ALPS OutdoorZ backpack is also only water-resistant and not waterproof.
- Large 44L size.
- Specifically designed to pack and haul meat.
- Expandable fanny pack.
- Hydration pocket.
- Drop-down gun pocket.
- Included lashing extension straps included for very big loads.
- No frame support.
- Water resistant not waterproof.
–A Home for Your Binoculars.
Having a quick way to remove and replace your binoculars is a nice advantage when out stalking the beasts of the wilderness. The ALPS OutdoorZ Accessory Binocular Pocket gives you a dedicated pouch for your binoculars that protects and gives fast access to your eagle eyes.
- Fanny pack expands to day pack with adjustable...
- Comfortably carry heavy loads and haul meat, use...
- Day pack fits a wide variety of compound bows and...
4. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag – BEST SELLER
Heavy duty stand-alone meat carrier
+ Max Capacity: 86L.
+ Metal Frame: Yes, external.
+ Key features: Rifle or crossbow fastening system, Zippered side pockets, Frame can be a freighter backpack.
If you are one of those people that like a 2 for 1 deal you will really love this hunting backpack. It can be used to haul supplies for a lengthy hunt or it can handle carrying the meat from a kill in 1 of 2 different ways.
When you are using it conventionally you can store ammo and other gear in its convenient side pockets while you peat the meat from any game you have taken down in its large center compartments. You can also remove the exterior bag and use the tubular metal frame itself as a heavy duty stand-alone meat carrier.
Some of its nicer features are its 86L load carrying capacity, its water bladder pocket and its weapon fastening system. It is definitely the best pack on my review list for hauling meat from larger size deer or elk.
There are a few drawbacks when using this meat hauler. For one, you will feel the weight of the pack itself when it’s on you even if you are not hauling meat. This is also not a very stealthy backpack. The material that the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander is made of is sturdy and fairly waterproof but it does make a little noise as you move around during a hunt.
- Rifle or crossbow fastening system.
- Zippered side pockets for gear storage.
- Tubular metal external support frame.
- Great for hauling elk or large deer meat (86L capacity).
- Frame can be used as a stand-alone freighter backpack.
- Built-in hydration pocket.
- The material its made out of makes a little noise as you move.
- You can feel this packs weight more than other style meat hauling backpacks.
— A Little Rain Never Hurt Anyone.
A little rain doesn’t hurt, but is certainly will make you uncomfortable and leave your gear washed out. Protect your meat, and your gear, from pouring rain with the FOME Nylon Backpack Rain Cover designed specifically for the wilderness adventurer.
- Made of durable Nylon Ripstop fabric, giving you a...
- Organize your gear in one of the many pockets: two...
- Keep your essentials close with accommodation for...
5. Teton Sports Escape 4300 Ultralight Internal Frame Backpack –
Lightweight, high capacity
+ Weight: 4.75 pounds.
+ Max Capacity: 4300 Cubic Inches / 70 Liters.
+ Frame: Internal aluminum.
The Teton Sports Escape 4300 is a lightweight beast of a hunting pack that gives you a high-capacity in an extremely lightweight frame. This pack is the an awesome choice for those long hunts thanks to its 9 total compartments with 4300 cubic inches of storage space. You can either use it to pack everything you need for a long trip or as a great option for those hunts where you know you will be hauling out the meat from some big game.
The body of the Escape features an aluminum frame that is strong and light with high-density foam padding that creates a super comfortable feel. Teton focused the design to maximize comfort. They added extra padding and support in the areas where the bag will press and pull against your body when fully weighted down. The also included extra strapping that lets you shift how the weight is suspended on your body as you pack out your haul.
The seven main compartments are quick and easy to access. The main pocket of the bag expands up to 12-inches to give you extra room to pack your gear without crushing down your meat or valuable toilet paper. Two additional pouches are great for storing the small stuff that you might need quick access to while out on the hunt.
- Lightweight overall pack.
- High capacity for long trips, or big hunts.
- Frame is adjustable for user height and load.
- Needs better ventilation.
- Fabric feels cheap.
— A Multi-day Adventure.
The Escape is great for those hunts that your find yourself tracking down an elk for a few days. Don’t go uncomfortable, tag along the Teton Sports TrailHead Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag to keep you warm and cozy at night, while saving space during the day.
- ALL-PURPOSE ULTRALIGHT PACK: Extra-large capacity,...
- FIVE-STAR COMFORT: Multi-position torso adjustment...
- TRUSTED QUALITY: Beyond Basics backpack by TETON...
6. Mardingtop 65+10L/65 Liter Internal Frame Backpack –
Lots of space for extra tools
+ Weight: 6.1-pounds.
+ Max Capacity: 65L main with detachable side pockets, adds 10L.
+ Frame: Internal frame.
The water-resistant Mardingtop 65 is made from 600D polyester that makes the pack lightweight, yet strong enough to handle rough outings hunting for deer in the wilds. Threaded along the polyester skin is a vast array of molle webbing designed to hold a surprising number of extra tools and equipment. This design feature saves you room on the inside of the bag for all that delicious meat you will be hauling out at the end of your hunt.
The total capacity of the Mardingtop is 65 liters, plus it has capacity for up to a 5-liter water bladder. The drinking tube from the bladder feeds up to the top of the pack for easy access for hydration for the longer treks out into the woods. The capacity and pouches of this hunting pack are rated to give you the space for up to 3-days of heavy hunting, or if you’re like me, wandering around trying to find something to hunt.
Multiple storage pockets allow you to separate your equipment from your game. The very top of the pack is a smaller pocket that is perfect for storing those irreplaceables, like your phone or keys. Each side had a detachable pocket for holding additional water bottles or large tools that you will need for cleaning and packing up your catch.
- High quality, sturdy material.
- Molle Webbing greatly increase capacity.
- Detachable side pouches add up to 10-liters of space.
- Comfortable waist and shoulder straps.
- Needs straps to tie down equipment in the Molle Webbing.
- Only has one large compartment (but has multiple small pockets).
–A Little Extra Around the Middle.
GIve yourself a little extra support around the waist for carrying you hunting knife, hatchet, or binoculars with the ZSJAY Tactical Belt. A tactical belt will let you move equipment needed for quick access to your hips, instead of on your back.
- MATERIAL- 65+10L, 11.4"*7.1"*35.4". This tactical...
- DETACHABLE WAIST BELT- This travel backpack with...
- MOLLE WEBBING- You can hang on tools,trekking...
7. Tenzing TC SP14 Shooter’s Pack –
Pack your weapon and your meat
+ Weight: 4-pounds 6-ounces.
+ Max Capacity: 1600 cubic inches.
+ Frame: Internal Fluted Aluminum Frame.
You need an all in one pack that lets you keep your hands free for climbing, holding binoculars, or chowing down on a Powerbar. Tenzing gives your hands that freedom to be more productive because it has a specially designed center strap system that holds your weapon securely in place.
The center compartment is capable of fitting either a crossbow or a rifle, so load up your favorite hunting tool and hit the hunting ground. When you’re taking aim, the SP14 doubles as a shooters rest to take away as many aiming excuses as possible, I mean to help make sure you hit your target.
As a meat pack, the Tenzing SP14 has nine total compartments the will allow you to separate your meat from your gear. The main compartment measures 21-inches tall, 11-inches wide, and 4-inches deep.
Two other large compartments have 330.75 cubic inches of space each. Additional pockets include smaller zippered pockets and two mesh pockets for your smaller gear, toiletries, and tools. To keep you hydrated, the SP14 can hold up to a 2-liter water bladder.
Comfort features of the Tenzing TC SP14 include an adjustable waist belt that can fit a 28-inch waist all the way up to 54-inches to accommodate a wide range of hunters and comfort regardless if you are going light for a spring hunt, or heavy for those exciting winter hunts.
Padded hip panels and a breathable mesh back pad make the pack comfy and help reduce the heat and strain from packing out your catch. Wrapping up the pack is a fold out rain cover to keep your dry during the morning mists and sudden temperate forest storms. If you aren’t dry and comfy carrying this pack, you can only blame yourself.
- High-quality, durable feel.
- Holds a rifle or crossbow in center of pack.
- Doubles as shooter’s rest.
- Separate pockets for gear and game.
- Pockets can be tough to access and open.
- Has a lower capacity than other hunting packs.
— That’s High Quality H2O.
Celebrate your deadeye shot with an energizing gulp of sweet water. After a long day trekking the woods, you get parched and the cool water becomes a much deserved reward delivered to you by the Tenzing TZ Hydration System, a 2-liter bladder of liquid heaven.
- Designed to use as a shooters rest for rifle
- Split through center of pack to carry cross bow or...
- Breathable mesh back pad
8. Teton Sports Explorer 4000 –
Customized fit, high-capacity
+ Weight: 5-pounds.
+ Max Capacity: 4000 Cubic Inches / 65 Liters.
+ Frame: Internal frame.
What makes the Teton explorer an excellent choice for hunters is the great capacity and the wide range of adjustments to fit almost any hunter. The waist belt can fit 28 to 70-inches. You can get the perfect customized fit for your body size and to for the various thicknesses of survival clothing.
The height of the Explorer 4000 has a 4-inch torso adjustment to allow the pack to fit comfortably for men, women, and kids. Nobody gets left out when using this pack.
The internal frame maximizes storage space and is padded with open cell foam across the back, hips and lumbar to improve comfort and lift the pack just far enough away from your body to encourage air flow.
The 65-liter total capacity is well suited for hiking trips for up to 5-days. For hunters, this means that you will have ample space to pack out the meat one one and two day hunts. Pass through side pockets can be used to haul your rifle. The Explorer 4000 includes storage capacity for a water bladder with a mx size of 3-liters.
- Fit adjustments are great for a wide variety of hunter sizes.
- Includes external strapping for gear like tents, sleeping bags, and guns.
- Comfortable pack to wear.
- Has a sew-in rain cover.
- No front access to compartments.
- Bag has a slight squeak and creak while walking.
— Keep it Clean
If you want to save a little space in your pack, but don’t want to sacrifice hydration, check out the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. This handy little water filter will let you turn any mountain stream, river, or lake into a pure and clean water source. At only 2-ounces, you will barely feel the weight. The filter will fit on the included pouch, or just about any standard water bottle.
- HIGH RANKING PACK: Continues to be a top selling...
- BEATS OUT OTHER PACKS IN ITS CLASS: Packs at much...
- FIVE-STAR COMFORT: Multi-position torso adjustment...
Some Final Thoughts On The Meat Hauling Backpacks I Reviewed
Any one of these backpacks will make a very convenient way to carry the meat from any game that you take down while hunting. They each have some unique features that give them some overall benefits over the other packs on the top review list.
If I had to choose the one I like best it would be the Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler. This meat packing backpack just checks all the boxes as far as features that I said to look for.
I really like it for the following reasons:
- It has sturdy internal frame and nice strapping support system.
- It can haul almost 40 liters of meat when properly packed.
- This backpack has enough room to store fresh game meat and your hunting support gear.
- It even has a built-in boot to help you carry your rifle.
The Badlands 2200 is definitely a backpack you should strongly consider if you are looking for one to pack out and haul the meet from any prey you take down.
Take a loot again at Our Picks
|Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Backpack - Meat...||79 Reviews||$279.95||Check on Amazon.com|
|Eberlestock Just One Pack||33 Reviews||$329.00 from $305.00||Check on Amazon.com|
|ALPS OutdoorZ (9411193) Brushed MAX-1 HD...||199 Reviews||$80.38 $79.99||Check on Amazon.com|
|ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag||680 Reviews||$159.99 $129.99||Check on Amazon.com|
|TETON Sports Escape 4300 Ultralight Internal Frame...||83 Reviews||$94.99 $89.99||Check on Amazon.com|
|Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack Tactical...||79 Reviews||$99.99||Check on Amazon.com|
|Tenzing TC SP14 Shooter's Pack Hunting Backpack,...||41 Reviews||$249.99 $176.79||Check on Amazon.com|
|Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack...||1,449 Reviews||$79.99 from $64.99||Check on Amazon.com|