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 in to 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.
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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).
- FULLY LOADED - The 2200 covers all the bases with...
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- STEALTHY - A neutral color palette allows the...
Key Features to Look For In a Meat Hauling Hunting Backpack
Here is what I feel 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.
Reviews of Other Top Hunting Backpacks For Hauling Meat
Here are also 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:
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.
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- Vertically adjustable torso length
3. ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack – BEST VALUE
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.
- Universal design that fits a wide variety of...
- Drop-down pocket to carry your gun securely;...
- Designed to secure and comfortably carry heavy...
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.
- Unique Fastening System Secures Crossbow, Bow, Or...
- Front Zippered "Wing Pockets" Allow You To Secure...
- Extension Lashing Straps Included For Extra...
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.