8 Best Rangefinder For [LONG RANGE] Shooting

Best Rangefinders for Long Range Shooting When Out Hunting

There is nothing more important than patience when you are out in the field hunting. After all, it can take hours and even days for you to get the chance at a shot at your intended game.

That is why when that shooting opportunity presents itself you don’t want to waste it by getting off a poorly aimed long distance shot. In a situation like that the best rangefinder for long range shooting can certainly be handy to have with you.

That is why we have chosen to write this article. In it, we will review some of the top laser rangefinder models and also discuss some of the key characteristics of rangefinders that you should focus on when shopping for one.

By the time you are done reading you will know exactly what it takes to find the perfect rangefinder to help you zero in any long distance shots you need to take.

Also, as you are reading this article pay particular attention to the Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder.

It is the laser rangefinder that we like best out of all of those we reviewed because it’s one of two models that work out to 1000 yards and it’s a waterproof and fog proof all-weather rangefinder.

Eight Best Rangefinder For Long Range Shooting in 2019

  1. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser Rangefinder
  2. TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder - Laser Range...
  3. Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
  4. LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder for Hunting...
  5. TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
  6. TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
  7. Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Horz...
  8. Sig Sauer KILO2200MR...

Helpful Rangefinder Buying Guide

Here is a quick look at some of the key specs on the excellent rangefinder products we will take a closer look at a little later in this article.

#1 Size

You want any rangefinder that you buy to be small in size. That way it can easily fit in a pocket, a backpack or any other easy to carry and get to the storage place. Most quality rangefinder models will almost fit in the palm of your hand.

#2 Weight

If you are hunting you don’t need any extra weight to slow you down. So make sure you get a rangefinder that is not only compact but light in weight too. You should easily be able to find a rangefinder model that is less than 2 pounds and that will make it very easy to carry around and use.

#3 Maximum Range

Make sure you know the maximum range that any rangefinder you are looking at buying will work too. You certainly do not want to buy a rangefinder model that only works to 500 yards if you will be using it to hunt game at 600 yards. Sure this is common sense but you would be surprised how many people overlook this when making a rangefinder buying decision.

#4 Ease of Use

Rangefinder Fusion Display
Rangefinder Fusion Display

You want your new rangefinder to be easy to use especially when you are using it for hunting or golfing. You don’t have time to mess around before you take a shot. That is why clear optics and an ergonomic design with easy to reach buttons is highly desirable on any rangefinder model that you purchase.

It should also display the range finding information it gives you in an easy to read and useful way. The importance of your range finding device to be simple to use cannot be emphasized enough.

#5 Durability

Chances are when you are out hunting and shooting your rifle long range you will experience all different kinds of weather conditions. That means you will need a rangefinder that can hold up well in all different kinds of conditions that the environment can throw at you. Look for a model that is waterproof, fog proof and whose delicate electronic parts are well sealed up to protect them from the elements.

In a perfect world you will never drop or bump your rangefinder against anything but that is not the world we live in. There will be times when you accidentally subject your rangefinder to some abuse. That is why it is a nice bonus if your rangefinder is made out of such things as durable polymer plastics and also has rubber outside coatings to help protect it and ensure its long useful life.

#6 Multiple Range Finding Modes

Some rangefinders have different mode settings for using them in such conditions as a light rain or fog. Different mode settings will make your rangefinder much more versatile and accurate under all different types of conditions and for different uses such as bow hunting or rifle hunting.

#7 Long Battery Life

CR2-AA Battery
CR2-AA Battery

You don’t want to have to worry about changing batteries all the time when using your rangefinder either. That is why you want a model rangefinder that has very good battery life. Look for a rangefinder that has such things as an automatic shutoff when not operated after a few minutes and uses long lasting CR2 lithium batteries.

These batteries last much longer and are smaller than conventional batteries too. Take a look at the photo below to see how long lasting CR2 batteries differ from regular batteries:

#7 Other Uses

Rangefinder Distance Display
Rangefinder Distance Display

A good rangefinder will have other uses besides just assisting you with your shooting also. They are great for use when you are playing a round of gold or when watching motor sports and you want to know the distance between two competing cars.

Rangefinders can even before used for surveying when rough measurements are all you need. If you have other uses for your rangefinder besides just assisting your shooting then you can justify spending more money on one.

Reviews of Best Rangefinders for Long Range Shooting

Here are we what feel are the best rangefinders you can buy to assist you with your hunting, golfing and other long range shooting needs:


1. Vortex Optics Rangerfiner 1000 Review – Best Overal Pick

Durable product with high-quality image


Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 – image credit vortexoptics.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

This rangefinder product comes very highly rated by those who have purchased and used it. Vortex is a proven producer of quality optics based equipment and this rangefinder from them does definitely not disappoint. We feel it will definitely help you sight in those long range hunting shots that you like to take.

The optics on this rangefinder are very good, to say the least. Each lens is multi-coated to help cut down on glare and they produce a bright, high-quality image. Even the diopter on them is adjustable so each person who uses it can fine tune it to their own vision needs.

This is a durable product that is constructed very well too. The outer layer of this rangefinder is nicely coated with a rubberized material to make it easier to hold onto and to help prevent it from being easily scratched or dented. It’s sealed very well too to make it both fog proof and waterproof.

One of the very best things about this range finding device is Vortex backs it up with an amazing full lifetime warranty.

— Carry Your Rangefinder more easily.

With FitSand (TM) Travel Carry Zipper EVA Hard Case. This Hard case will protect your Vortex rangefinder, making it highly durable along with the process. 

Pros:

  • Rubber armor coating.
  • Multi-coated lenses.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Adjustable diopter.

Cons:

  • Sometimes takes a few seconds to get a reading.
  • No folding eyecups for eyeglass wearers.

Sale
Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser Rangefinder
343 Reviews
Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Laser Rangefinder
  • The Ranger 1000 rangefinder is easy to use and...
  • The primary HCD mode displays an angle compensated...
  • A scan feature gives continuous range readings as...


2. TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder Review

Multi-layered optics


TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder — image credit tectectec.com

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Here is a rangefinder that many people use for golf that can easily be used for hunting and shooting range finding too. The 500+ yard range it has makes it a great multi-use rangefinder.

We like the way you can easily acquire the targets you point it at and then have it quickly return an accurate distance measurement to you.

It features multi-layered optics that provides you with a glare free and crystal clear view. This rangefinder is nicely lightweight and compact too and it will just about fit in the palm of your hand. It is a durable and water resistant product to so it should last you a long time.

The kit that comes with includes both the battery and a very nice carrying case. Not only is this product backed by a very decent 2-year warranty but this device also comes with free lifetime customer support should you need it.

Carry your Rangefinder in any weather-

The TecTecTec Silicone case is here to save your TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder from any harsh environments. The silicone case makes it anti-slip and durable. There’s no way to get one without the other.

Pros:

  • Accurate to within 1 yard.
  • Clear multi-layered optics.
  • Lightweight and portable design.
  • Up to 540-yard range.
  • Durable water resistant body.
  • 2-year warranty/lifetime customer support.

Cons:

  • The battery is not rechargeable.
  • Construction is almost all plastic.

Sale
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder - Laser Range...
3,034 Reviews
TecTecTec VPRO500 Golf Rangefinder - Laser Range...
  • 2018 UPGRADED LASER RANGEFINDER; Our VPRO500 Laser...
  • NEW PINSENSOR TECHNOLOGY; provides fast...
  • THROUGH THE LENS DISPLAY; premium, ultra clear,...


3. Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder Review – Best Seller

Rain proof, water resistant 


Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Range Finder Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Range Finder — image credit nikon.com

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You don’t get much bigger names than Nikon when it comes to products that use advanced optics and this rangefinder from them only confirms why their reputation is so good.

We really like the way this model rangefinder is lightweight, easy to use and designed to be used in a variety of different weather conditions.

With this rangefinder, you can see the benefits of all of Nikon’s years making optical based products. We also liked its clear 6x magnification and its multilayered lenses allow the perfect amount of light in while keeping out the glare.

This rangefinder operates nicely with just the single push of a button also. It will display the range to an object with accuracy that is within one meter. You can accurately assess the range of targets for shooting out to 550 yards with it.

It features a compact and a lightweight 4.4 ounces so it’s easy to take hunting, golfing or any other place you choose to use it. This product is also rain proof, water resistant and is backed up by a 1-year warranty.

— Add comfort to your hunting sessions.

The USA Gear Rangefinder Holster Case Bag will offer you with the comfort you need for your every hunting sessions. It comes with shoulder strap and belt loop to make sure you can carry it safely and easily. Also, the Magnetic Laser Golf Rangefinder Strap is just flawless for all your golf sessions.

Pros:

  • Displays in 1-yard increments.
  • Slightly larger than a smart phone.
  • Weighs only 4.4 ounces.
  • Nikon’s quality optics w/ 6x magnification.
  • 6 – 550 yard display range.
  • Water resistant/Rain proof.

Cons:

  • Small size makes it hard to hold steady sometimes.
  • Owner’s manual could include more detailed instructions on its use.

Sale
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
701 Reviews
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
  • At 3.6"x2.9"x1.5" in size, the ACULON Rangefinder...
  • An uncluttered, easy-to-read screen displays...
  • Class 1 laser product, power output not exceeding...


4. LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder Review

Extremely long range shots


LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder for Hunting and Golf LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder — image credit Amazon.com

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We feel LaserWorks has come up with a really nicely designed rangefinder here. It is perfect to help assist you if you like to take extremely long range shots. This is one of the few range finding products that will work out to 1000 yards accurately.

It features a great optics package that includes the ability to magnify an object up to 6 times what you can see with the naked eye. It has several different modes you can use it in including one that will allow you to use it even under foggy conditions.

The long life CR2 battery it has should last you for many months or years too thanks to this range finding products 15 second non-use auto off switch.

It is a rangefinder that is compact (not much bigger than a candy bar) and lightweight (152 grams) so it’s easy to take anywhere you want to go with it.

— Never run out of juice.

Using Viridian CR2 3v Lithium Battery, you’ll be able to use this awesome rangefinder for a longer period of time. The advanced technology gives an excellent output every time you need it.

Pros:

  • Works accurately out to 1000 yards.
  • Powerful 6x magnification.
  • Water and dust resistant.
  • 15 second auto power off feature.
  • The size of a candy bar.
  • Camouflage body design.
  • Soft feel exterior.

Cons:

  • Takes a second to focus when zooming.
  • Owner’s manual needs improvement.

Sale
LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder for Hunting...
48 Reviews
LaserWorks LW1000SPI Laser Rangefinder for Hunting...
  • High Measure Performance: 5-1000 yards...
  • Superior Functional: Measure distance, speed,...
  • Excellent Quailty: Seal deal with a water and dust...


5. TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder Review

Rechargeable battery


Sale
TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
35 Reviews
TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
  • 900 YARD MEASURE DISTANCE - This laser range...
  • USB CHARGING - Our rangefinder is equipped with...
  • HIGH PRECISION & M/Y UNITS - Magnification x...

The TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder is one of the best rangefinders for long range shooting. It’s not only durable but also extremely lightweight. This features will come in handy when you’re planning for a long hike.

Having a 7x magnification level, this rangefinder can cover 900+ yards. To provide an excellent level of imaging quality, the lenses are fully multi-coated.

The rangefinder also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can provide backup for 30000 hours straight. Thus, you don’t have to worry about the power running out in any situation. The best part is that it can also be recharged using a power bank. It’s also equipped with additional features such as tripod adaptability, which adds up the extra stability to the whole system.

To help you carry it easily TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder comes with a wrist strap. This strap is extremely durable and can withstand harsh weather efficiently. The rangefinder is mostly suitable for mountaineering, hunting, typical outdoor activities, and golf.

Moreover, you can change the measuring models at ease with just a single button. You’ll get scanning model, speed model and even range model to choose from, which makes this tool highly effective.

If you are looking for the best rangefinder for long range shooting, you should definitely give this one a try.

— Add a little flexibility to your Rangefinder.

With Monument Golf Stick It Magnetic Rangefinder Strap. This magnetic rangefinder strap will make your hunting sessions easier than before. Just put your rangefinder in it and stick it to your cart. It’ll stick right to it and help you find it effortlessly in the moment of need.

Pros:

  • Covers a wide range, up to 900+ yards.
  • Comes with a really powerful battery that can last 30000 hours.
  • Supports USB charging.
  • Extremely lightweight as it weighs just at 180g.

Cons:

  • Isn’t best suited for golfing purpose.
  • Foggy weather affects the accuracy.

Sale
TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
35 Reviews
TACKLIFE MLR01 900 Yard Laser Rangefinder - Golf...
  • 900 YARD MEASURE DISTANCE - This laser range...
  • USB CHARGING - Our rangefinder is equipped with...
  • HIGH PRECISION & M/Y UNITS - Magnification x...


6. Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder Review

Organic Light Emitting Diode display


Sale
XOOYKI Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Graphite...
276 Reviews
XOOYKI Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Graphite...
  • The Kilo2000 will range over a mile with results...
  • Revolutionary light wave dsp Technology enables...
  • Features our proprietary lumatic OLED display, an...

Sig Sauer is one of the most popular brands for electro-optics. Right after the launch of Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder, they received Field & Stream Best of the Best Awards 2015, which is of the most honorable awards of all time.

This establishes the credibility of Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder. The rangefinder is equipped with the latest technologies offering a superb performance during hunting sessions. It covers a maximum distance of 3,400 yards! Only a few handful rangefinders on the market can cover this much distance providing clear and crisp imaging altogether.

Additionally, it comes with Angle Modified Range to make sure you hit your target accurately without any miss. The Lumatic Organic Light Emitting Diode display lets you hunt even in dim light situations. This unique display automatically adjusts to the environments brightness level, relieving you from all the trouble.

The imaging quality gets way better with the anti-reflection fully multi-coated lenses. On the other hand, SpectraCoat guarantees color fidelity and gets rid of glare.  

The Kilo 2000 also offers a magnification level up to 7x and eye relief up to 15mm. So, if you wear glasses, you can still use this rangefinder without any problem. It also includes a powerful CR2 battery, which lasts up to years.

— Protect your Rangefinder.

With FitSand (TM) Carry Zipper Travel EVA Hard Case. It’s the perfect case for your Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder, providing the necessary support you need. 

Pros:

  • Comes with an Angle Modified Range technology that helps in angle calculation.
  • Covers a huge range of distance; up to 3,400 yards.
  • The OLED display ensures brightness in any environment.
  • Offers three operation modes: HyperScan, Last, and Best.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support tripod mounting.
  • Some of the units may be defective.
  • Battery works poorly in cold weather.

Sale
XOOYKI Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Graphite...
276 Reviews
XOOYKI Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Graphite...
  • The Kilo2000 will range over a mile with results...
  • Revolutionary light wave dsp Technology enables...
  • Features our proprietary lumatic OLED display, an...


7. Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Laser Rangefinder Review

Blue Tooth Wireless connection


Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Horz...
38 Reviews
Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Horz...
  • Ranges from 5-1,760 yards with 1/10-yard display...
  • Laser wirelessly communicates with the conx app on...
  • Wind data is incorporated into holdover values...

Do you want a rangefinder for long range shooting that connects with your phone? If the answers yes, then you should definitely give Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Laser Rangefinder a try.

Elite 1 Laser Rangefinder is equipped with modern facilities to make sure you get the best of both worlds. You’ll connect your smartphone using Con-X and after that, you can fix the rangefinder from the settings. It’s a feature that you should definitely have on your rangefinder.

You’ll also be able to see the display from your smartphone and ever change the reticles to MOA or mils. This allows you to control this awesome tool without even touching it.

It covers 1760 yards with ease, giving you crystal clear view all the way. The Rangefinder also offers three modes, which includes: Scan, Brush, and Bullseye. The build comes with a waterproof coating that makes it durable even in the rain.

— Add up extra perfection.

The Kestrel 5700AB Elite Weather Meter and Kestrel 5000 Series Rotating Vane Mount and Carry Case is here to save your day. With the weather meter, measure up all the environmental factors with ease. The mount goes perfectly with your weather meter and provides the support it needs.

Pros:

  • Comes with a tripod mount.
  • Offers Vivid Display Technology.
  • E.S.P. system is 2nd generation.
  • Covers a wide range of distance; up to 1760 yards.

Cons:

  • The output is adequate, not extraordinary as it claims.
  • Sometimes it doesn’t pair with the phone.

Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Horz...
38 Reviews
Bushnell Hunting Series Elite 1 Mile Con-X Horz...
  • Ranges from 5-1,760 yards with 1/10-yard display...
  • Laser wirelessly communicates with the conx app on...
  • Wind data is incorporated into holdover values...


8. Sig Sauer KILO2200MR Laser Rangefinder Review

Ultra-fast refresh time


Sig Sauer KILO2200MR...
33 Reviews
Sig Sauer KILO2200MR...
  • Superior light transmission and optical clarity
  • The kilo rangefinder is engineered for extreme...
  • Manufactured in United States.

Sig Sauer KILO2200MR Laser Rangefinder is another premium level optical introduced by Sig Sauer. With an extraordinary range of 2200+ yards, this can easily be one of the best rangefinders for long range shooting. Offering a magnification of 7x, this rangefinder has a wide field of view.

This will enable you to cover big grounds and hit your target without any difficulty, or whatsoever. Using the different modes is really simple. All you have to do is push a button and it’ll scan the distance or speed within only 0.25 seconds.

It also supports four types of measurements in every second, giving you a higher level of accuracy than any other rangefinder on the market. The OLED display makes sure you have an uncluttered view.

Additional features offer a higher level of durability with its extra strong build. It’s made of magnesium alloy and it’s covered by a black rubber armor. So, there’s no chance of slipping it out of your hands.

— Make your Rangefinder durable.

With FitSand (TM) Carry Zipper Travel EVA Hard Case. It’s the perfect case for your Sig Sauer KILO2200MR Laser Rangefinder, providing the necessary support you need. Also, using the Mildot Master you’ll be able to calculate the distance at ease.

Pros:

  • Comes with a CR2 battery, which lasts up to a year.
  • Anti-reflection lens coating gives a flawless crisp view.
  • Lightwave DSP Engine refreshes the measurements faster.
  • Extremely lightweight.

Cons:

  • Not best suited for eyeglass users.
  • The reticle has some alignment issues.

Sig Sauer KILO2200MR...
33 Reviews
Sig Sauer KILO2200MR...
  • Superior light transmission and optical clarity
  • The kilo rangefinder is engineered for extreme...
  • Manufactured in United States.


Summing Up Our Thoughts on Rangefinders for Use with Long Range Shooting

Rangefinders are truly great pieces of equipment to own if you like to shoot your weapons over a distance. We really like all of the models we reviewed here. We feel any one of them would be a great purchase that will enable you to accurately learn the distances to the targets you want to shoot.

Remember the keys to finding the right rangefinder for you is:

  • Making sure it covers the distance away from you that you want to shoot at.
  • Make sure it is easy to use.
  • It should be a compact and lightweight design.
  • You want anti-glare optics that present a clear image.
  • It should be durable and weather-resistant.

If you keep all of these things in mind when shopping you will have no problem making a sound rangefinder purchase.

5 Best Hunting Packs for [PACKING OUT MEAT]

The Best Hunting Packs For Hauling and Packing Out Meat: Hunters’ Guide

If you are pressed for time and want to find one go-to pack for hauling meat, then we suggest looking at the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag.

The Commander’s frame and pack bag provide quality, versatility, and a huge load capacity at an affordable price point under $200. If you get your hands on this guy, you definitely will be using it for years to come.

Our Selection – Best Hunting Packs For Hauling and Packing Out Meat in 2018


1. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag  Top Pick  

  • Frame: External
  • Capacity: 86 liters

Key FeaturesDetachable pack.


2. Eberlestock F1 Mainframe Pack

  • Frame: External
  • Capacity: N/A

Key Features: Modular frame supports many configurations.


3. ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack

  • Frame: Internal
  • Capacity: 44 liters

Key Features: Fanny-pack converts into full pack.


4. Mardingtop 65 + 10L

  • Frame: Internal
  • Capacity: 75 liters

Key Features: 1 large compartment and MOLLE webbing outside.


5. Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack

  • Frame: Internal
  • Capacity: 36.9 liters

Key Features: Quiet, durable material with 8 pockets.

The Reviews – Best Hunting Backpacks for Hauling and Packing Out Meat


These five meat hauler backpacks were carefully chosen after reviewing key specs for many of the best backcountry hunting packs. With the described buying criteria in mind—internal capacity, number of pockets, weight, etc.—I compared many products against each other and alongside their customer reviews.

Testimonials from verified buyers helped select our final five backpacks. There are many good hunting packs out there, but when buying online trustworthy customer reviews can give us, the buyers, peace of mind and confidence in our purchasing decision.

All five of these packs have great specs that hold up to the questions we should ask, and they all have stellar recommendations from many buyers. So let’s get to it—here are our reviews of the best hunting packs for packing out meat.


1. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag Review –  Best Overall Pick 

Best for versatility


ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag – image credit alpsoutdoorz.com

 CHECK on Amazon.com

After squeezing the trigger on the biggest buck of your life, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your ten-year-old pack is big enough for all of that meat or if its frayed seams will rip under that much weight. The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander pack bag provides a lot of space on a sturdy external frame.

The bag gives you multiple pockets to organize your gear and still have space for meat. Or remove the bag entirely when you have a massive amount of meat to strap to the frame.

ALPS OutdoorZ has created a masterful balance of high-quality functionality and affordability.

With this hunting backpack, you get the time-tested benefits of an external base frame with a large detachable bag. This is basically a modular frame with its biggest and best add-on included, which is a very nice bonus considering the quality of the bag.

Perhaps the biggest downside to this pack is a height requirement. The external frame is made for taller people, and many buyers suggest using this pack if you are 6’ or taller.

— Why do we recommend this?

We gave this pack the tagline “Best for versatility,” but maybe it should be “Best all around.” When you don’t want to constantly change packs between turkey hunts and deer hunts and duck hunts, this is what you need. The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander has go-to versatility, large load capacity, and a detachable bag all at an affordable price.

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ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag
731 Reviews
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag
  • Made of durable Nylon Ripstop fabric, giving you a...
  • Organize your gear in one of the many pockets: two...
  • Torso range: 17 inch to 23 inch. Keep your...

2. Eberlestock Mainframe Pack Review – 

Best for modular add-ons


Eberlestock Mainframe Pack Eberlestock Mainframe Pack – image credit eberlestock.com

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Eberlestock is not afraid to take on the internal frame style of packs. With the F1 Mainframe, champions of the external frame get an amazingly versatile piece of equipment.

There are many compatible bag and pouch products that fit on this frame, which allows you to customize to your heart’s content.

If you are truly a gear head, then you need this pack: Buy different pouches, build your collection of add-ons, and create sweet pack rigs for all your hunts from squirrel to turkey to sheep to elk.

The biggest downside to this pack frame is that it costs around two hundred dollars; and that purchase only gets you the Mainframe—no bags included. But if you want complete control of your pack setup, then you have got to get this frame.

— Why do we recommend this?

A dependable external frame that will see you through hunt after hunt for years to come. The F1 Mainframe doesn’t come with any bags, but it is compatible with many Eberlestock products, which makes it our top choice for modular packs.

Check out the Eberlestock J-Type Dry Bag, Large as an add-on with the purchase of the F1 Mainframe Pack. Many Eberlestock products work with the F1 Mainframe, but a waterproof, stuff-sack style dry bag is a simple, no-nonsense way to add pack space to this modular frame.

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Eberlestock F1 Mainframe Backpack - Hide-Open:...
36 Reviews
Eberlestock F1 Mainframe Backpack - Hide-Open:...
  • Lightweight Intex II aluminum modular frame...
  • Full MOLLE webbing matrix across the main panel to...
  • Durable built-in horizontal compression straps for...

3. ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack Review – 

Best for compound bow hunts


ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder Hunting Pack – image credit alpsoutdoorz.com

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When you bow hunt, it can be difficult to draw and shoot with a bulky pack on your back. With the ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder, you can pack your essentials in the bottom and stay in fanny pack mode while you stalk your game.

That way if you don’t have time to remove your pack for a shot you still have full range of motion. After the kill, expand the pack, fill it with meat, strap your bow (or rifle) into its place along the outside, and you are ready to haul your meat back to camp.

A cool thing about this pack is its minimal weight. At 3 lbs 5 oz, the Pathfinder is the lightest meat hauling pack on our list. If you pack light, you really won’t feel this guy on your shoulders when you raise your bow or rifle. If you need a lightweight pack for day hunts, the Pathfinder provides flexible use at a good price.

The biggest con for this pack might be its weight limitations. Some owners complain about weak buckles and carrying discomfort. While the majority of owners enjoy their Pathfinder in both its configurations, it is worth noting that a 44 liter pack that weighs only 3lbs 5oz shouldn’t be over-packed.

— Why do we recommend this?

The removable top really gives you two completely different bags. Let your back breathe by keeping the Pathfinder in fanny pack configuration until you need to expand it for hauling meat and holding your bow (or rifle) on the trek back to camp.

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ALPS OutdoorZ Brushed Pathfinder Hunting Pack,...
215 Reviews
ALPS OutdoorZ Brushed Pathfinder Hunting Pack,...
  • 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. Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack Review

Best for stuff-sack style loads


Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack – image credit mardingtop.com

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Do you want functionality over frills on your big-game hunts?  Do you prefer internal frame hunting backpacks? Are you on a budget? If you answered yes to these questions, then the Mardingtop 65L + 10L may be the hunting pack for you.

You don’t need to keep using your ragged old pack just because you cannot afford a two or three hundred dollar new one. This Mardingtop is big, rugged, and affordable.

Thick straps provide more comfort than you would expect out of a 75 liter pack in its price range, and the huge single compartment allows you to pack your gear any way you see fit.

Use the two 5L side pockets on the MOLLE webbing for easy access to specific gear, and add even more pouches if you need. This is a utilitarian pack designed to get the job done, hunt after hunt.

You noticed I just said “utilitarian,” right? So don’t be surprised when the biggest complaints are about comfort and bag weight. The bag is on the heavy side, because it is durable and affordable.

The straps are padded, but we are not talking custom-molded hip belts here. Be warned.

— Why do we recommend this?

Mardingtop provides an excellent modular-style internal frame pack for hunters on a budget. You get two side pockets with the purchase, and you can add (or remove and change) other MOLLE webbing pouches as needed. With this hunting backpack, the only limit to configurations is your imagination.

Don’t forget some game bags! Check out these Alaska Game Deer, Antelope and Sheep Bags, 48-inch to help you pack your meat in a safe and sanitary fashion. If you strap some to the outside of your pack, these bags will help protect against any adverse weather you encounter on the hike back to camp.

Sale
Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack with...
125 Reviews
Mardingtop 65+10L Internal Frame Backpack with...
  • MATERIAL- 65+10L, 11.4"*7.1"*35.4". This tactical...
  • BREATHABLE WAIST BELT- This travel backpack with...
  • MOLLE WEBBING- You can hang on tools,trekking...

5. Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler Review – 

Best for small game and short distances


Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler – image credit badlandspacks.com

CHECK on Amazon.com

When you are stalking game through the woods, you have a lot on your mind—Are those antlers within regulations? Did the wind shift? Was that footfall too loud?—and the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your pack just ripped against that thicket or if it smells from the last time you hauled meat in it.

When you need high-quality, durable materials, Badlands delivers—and they do so again with the 2200 Hunting Pack.

The Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack with meat shelf is the priciest pack on our list. At over $200, this meat hauling day pack may seem expensive considering its low 36.9 liter capacity.

It’s definitely not the pack to take on an elk hunt if you are packing out on foot, but if you consistently hunt small game then don’t let the price point deter you from considering the Badlands 2200.

One of the most impressive thing that comes with the Badlands’ name is an unconditional warranty. Whether you bought the pack from an authorized dealer a month ago or picked it up at a garage sale three years ago, Badlands promises to fix any problem you have. Now, that’s a deal hard to beat!

— Why do we recommend this?

This is an excellent meat hauler daypack. Its smaller size ensures a comfortable fit that won’t be bulky as you stalk your game through thick brush. The odor and stain resistant materials will help keep your pack in good condition even when you utilize the internal meat shelf for your small game.

Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Backpack - Meat...
84 Reviews
Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Backpack - Meat...
  • FULLY LOADED - The 2200 covers all the bases with...
  • COMFORTABLE CARRY - ThermoMold Suspension utilizes...
  • STEALTHY - A neutral color palette allows the...

The Research – What to look at when buying your hunting pack for hauling and packing Out your Meat


Which is the right pack for me? 

Every buyer goes through a journey when purchasing something new. This “buyer’s journey” consists of a few stages—awareness, consideration, and decision.

These days, we, the buyers, travel more and more of that journey alone before making the final purchase in a store or from an online retailer.

To make better purchasing decisions, we should be aware of what we want out of a product and why we need it. Backpacks are important for many outdoors pursuits, and a good backpack can make the difference between enjoying a weekend immersed in nature or having a miserable time and coming home with aching shoulders, an aching back, and sore feet.

When hunting, the pack plays a crucial role once you have dropped the big buck and need to haul out the meat, antlers, and anything else you want on foot.

So, what questions can we ask about the products to make sure we get the proper pack for this task? Let’s take a look at some questions that address the key buying criteria of a meat hauling backpack:

What size hunting backpack do I really need?

There is a vast difference in carrying capacity needs between a hunter who prefers going after big bucks and a hunter who only goes quail and turkey hunting.

Packs come in all shapes and sizes. Even on our top five list the carrying capacity ranges from 36.9 liters to 86 liters—or even more if you consider the unlimited size of the Eberlestock F1 Mainframe.

After considering the game you usually hunt, you should consider your physical condition and the terrain you will be hunting in.

A big buck might yield a lot of meat, but are you ready to haul out an extra 70lbs through ravines and over steep hills?

If you usually hunt big game and are able to carry the weight, then the larger external frame packs may be a good fit for you.

Is this pack durable enough for my hunts?

Once you find the right size for your hunts and your physical condition, then you must decide on quality.

Quality often translates into price: A 75 liter pack that costs $50 probably won’t be as durable as one that costs $150. The fifty dollar version might have thinner material and weaker stitching that means a lower weight threshold.

Do your hunts take you through thickets, across streams, and over jagged rocks? If so, you want a pack that can hold up to beating after beating Skipping on quality here can lead to a ripped pack or torn shoulder strap seam when you are hiking through thick brush loaded down with fresh meat.

Can I use this pack for all of my hunting needs?

Versatility is important. It is the difference between one pack being your go-to choice for all of your hunts and needing a different pack for every different kind of hunt.

As a rule, a larger pack is more versatile, because you can always leave empty space in a pack but you cannot make more space inside a small pack.

Another thing that adds to a pack’s versatility is its ability to be customized. Organization can be considered here, too, and that often comes down to the number of compartments or pockets that the pack has.

Of course, there is a fine line here: one large, stuff-sack style compartment might be idea for creating custom loads of varying sizes, but it will be difficult to organize your gear and the meat you need to haul after a kill; on the other hand a pack with 10+ pockets isn’t very versatile, because you cannot create many custom loads when pocket 1 is specially made for a monocular, pocket 2 is specially made for rifle clips, and so on.

My hunts take me to the lake for ducks, to the backwoods for small game, and into rugged hills for whitetail, so I need a versatile pack that will work for all these conditions. How much versatility do you need? 

How much weight can I carry?

This ties into the first question about how much load capacity you need in a pack and honestly assessing your physical condition. (For example, if I can only shoulder 45 pounds, then I know that an 85 liter pack will be too big.).

Once you have assessed your physical condition and decided how much weight you can carry, be sure to subtract the pack’s weight from this number. Some packs weigh over five pounds which can eat into your load weight more than you think.

All in all, load capacity, durability, and versatility are more critical factors to the buying decision.

Pack weight is an important spec to consider, but don’t let it turn you away from a quality pack that checks off all of your other important needs.

The Best – of the Best


For quality—customer-tested, and customer-approved—we best like the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag for an all-purpose hunting pack for hauling meat. The pack bag has a huge load capacity, and it is detachable so you can use just the frame if need be.

This versatile pack can hold all the creature comforts you could want for an overnight hunt on your property, or it can be stripped down to the frame for you to tie on all the meat from the huge elk you brought down miles from your base camp or vehicle.

My hunting needs vary depending on the game I am after, the terrain I’ll be hiking in, the forecasted weather conditions, and whether or not I will be alone or with someone else.

That’s a lot of variables that can create the need for drastically different pack loads. The ALPS Commander will let a hunter pack for all of those.

The balance of a large compartment with side pockets gives hunters the right amount of versatility and organization. The ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag is a best seller for a good reason. This pack will be your go-to bag for all of your hunting needs.

T

The Best Fishfinder [FOR CATFISH]

Pick Out The Best Fish Finders For Catfish

Anyone that has fished long enough knows that even the most faithful fishing spots will dry up from time to time. That submerged rock formation, weed bed or outcropping that normally always produces fish has inexplicably yielded nothing the last several times you have been there. So what do you do when your favorite fishing spots stop producing? The answer is you better have a good fishfinder on board to help you work way through this dry spell. This even applies if you are fishing for catfish too.

So what is the best fish finder for catfish? Catfish are pretty large so any fish finder with decent resolution should be able to spot them pretty easily.  

Every angler has their own preferences, but when it comes to the my personal choice is RAYMARINE DRAGONFLY 4 PRO if you want to catch that big catfish.  It is an excellent model fishfinder that has good screen resolution, multiple frequencies and the added bonus of having GPS navigation built into it too.

Key Charactiristics Your Best Fishfinder For Catfish Should Have


There are many different models of fishfinders out there in the boating marketplace. Some have fancy buttons and controls, some have nicely colored screens and others have weather radios built into them.

When the dust settles on the dressed up features of all these different fishfinders, there are really two key components that you must focus on in order to get that catfish dinner you have been craving.

#1 Screen Resolution/Size


To put it simply, it does not matter how many objects your fishfinder identifies in the water around your boat if you can’t tell what they are. That is what makes the screen resolution on a fish finder so important.

Lowrance hdi fish finder screenshot

The size of the screen is important too. Even the best resolution on a fishfinder is useless if you have to strain to see the objects on your display because your screen size is too small. A display size that is over 4 inches is highly recommended here.

#2 Multiple Frequencies


We don’t live in a perfect world and sonar frequencies fit the mold nicely here. There is no such thing as a perfect sonar frequency because the waves they emit are impacted by the depth of the water you are in. Multiple frequencies will help you overcome these imperfections.

In general, higher frequencies give the highest resolution and work best in shallow water. Low frequencies are just the opposite. They work best in deeper water but the resolution gets worse the further down you go.

More Readings: Best Catfishing Reels Review.

Reviews of Best Catfish Fish finders


Fishfinders are tricky items to purchase. It’s not like you can take them out and test them before you buy them. That is why we have taken the time to review three model fishfinders that will do a great job of leading you to catfish or any other type of fish you wish to go after.


1.  Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro Fish Finder Review – TOP PICK

Excellent daytime friendly display resolution


To be quite honest, there is not much that we don’t like about this fish finder. We consider it a do-it-all product that will allow you to search for and find many different species of fish.

The screen resolution on its 4.3-inch display is more than acceptable. The display on this unit is also nicely backlit so it can easily be seen under both day and night time fishing conditions. The display information can also be conveniently streamed to your smart device for easier viewing from where you are in the boat.

Its best feature is the dual CHIRP sonar systems it has. One CHIRP sonar system will allow you to spot fish from a distance and the other will give you much higher resolution images of what those fish are once you get close to that area.

The GPS feature on this product is great for way pointing areas you typically find catfish and for use as a navigational safety aid.

Pros:

  • Excellent daytime friendly display resolution.
  • Dual channel ‘CHIRP’ sonar in two configurations.
  • The ability to stream data to a smart device.

Cons:

  • No battery level monitor.
  • Owner’s manual could use some improvement.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!


2. Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Fish Finder

Affordable quality


Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish...
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need...

 If you are looking for a good mix of reliability and affordability in a fish finder, then you really want to take a closer look at this very good model by Lowrance. It is a nice entry level fish finding product.

It features such things as an excellent resolution 3 inch backlit color display and easy to use controls. It will tell you such important things as the depth of the water you are in and the current water temperature.

It also has an 83 kHz sonar frequency to help spot large schools of fish and a 200 kHz frequency sonar to give you more details about those fish when you get closer to them.

Pros:

  • Affordable quality.
  • Dual Frequency.
  • LED backlit display.

Cons:

  • Some resolution problems at faster speeds.
  • Transducer for this unit is sold separately.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!


3. Garmin Striker 5DV Fish Finder Review

Good resolution 5-inch color display


Garmin Striker 5DV
35 Reviews
Garmin Striker 5DV
  • RUGGED DESIGN - New rugged, outdoor look...
  • HIGH-SENSITIVITY GPS - The built-in GPS receiver...
  • WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily...

Garmin is a proven name when it comes to fish finding equipment and this unit does not disappoint. This model fish finder will help you navigate around any waterway, identify fish from a distance and then give you more detail about them as you are over the top of them.

It has good resolution on its generous sized 5-inch color display and will easily take you to find where the largest concentrations of catfish are near you. It also has multiple channel CHIRP sonar to help you spot and identify catfish or any other species of fish you want to go after that day. The included GPS is a nice feature to have too.

Pros:

  • Good resolution 5-inch color display.
  • Multi-Frequency CHIRP sonar.
  • Added GPS with waypoint indicator.

Cons:

  • No pre-programmed charts for the GPS.
  • Waypoints can be hard to set.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!

A Good Fish finder Is Essential To Enhance Any Catfish Fishing Experience


There is no doubt about it, if you fish for catfish or any other type of fish long enough you will go through periods where you will swear there are no fish in the water. That is when good fishfinders like the ones mentioned above are so valuable; just remember to make sure they have a good display and more than one type of sonar to search for fish with.

You can certainly never go wrong purchasing any of the excellent model fishfinders we reviewed here. Get your fishfinder today so you don’t get shut out on your next fishing trip.

More Readings:  Best Fish Finders For Shallow Water

5 Best Hunting Backpacks For [ELK HUNTS]

Best Hunting Backpacks For Elk Hunts: Hunters’ Guide

Elk hunting is not cheap. By the day of the hunt, you may have already spent several hundred dollars. After worrying about travel expenses, in state (or even worse, out of state) licenses and tags, and range fees to sight in your rifle for the new hunting season, the need for a dependable hunting backpack can slip through the budgeting cracks.

This is a mistake! Some of the best elk hunting pack frames can be had for under three hundred dollars, so don’t let an ill-suited backpack ruin what could otherwise be one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime.

You want a pack that is made for serious hunting, one designed with big game in mind—a pack like the Eberlestock M5 Team Elk Pack. The M5 is big enough for overnight hikes and hauling a serious amount of meat but small enough to be used as a daypack as well.

It’s designed to be comfortable and practical, so things such as the enclosable rifle scabbard make for safer hiking when your hands are free or give you more space for gear if needed. The M5 Team Elk Pack is our top pick, but the other four contenders here are quality packs as well.

Keep reading for the full reviews…

Comparing the Best Hunting Backpacks For Elk Hunts

The Backpack Use Capacity Features
1. Eberlestock M5 Team Elk Pack –  Top Pick   Multiday 51 liters Weapon scabbards convert to enclosed pockets.
2. Horn Hunter Full Curl System Backpack Multiday 82 liters Adjustable torso system.
3. Eberlestock Mainframe Pack Multiday N/A Completely modular.
4. Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack Day 37 liters Quiet, odor resistant materials.
5. SITKA Gear Flash 20 Day 32 liters Toggle harness for bow.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider

How Do I Pick the Right Pack for Me?

After establishing a budget and price range to shop in—let’s say $150 to $300 for a good mid-range pack—you may find that you are still overwhelmed by the large selection of backpacks.

To ensure that you choose the right pack for your hunting style, ask yourself some important questions to make sure your purchase checks off all the correct buying criteria.

How will I use this hunting backpack?

Be honest with yourself about your style of hunting and what you need out of your pack. So you for sure have an elk hunt this season, but do you really need the best pack frame for hauling meat, or would you be better off with the best hunting day pack?

If you are staying near base camp and have access to an ATV, then you might prefer the Badlands 2200. But, if you have to carry your kill several miles to camp, then you might want the hauling capabilities of the F1 Mainframe.

How much space do I need?

The first question may tell you if you need a multiday or day pack for your hunt, but each of these categories is broad and covers a wide range of packs. Our favorite multiday packs are 51 liters, 82 liters, and anywhere in-between depending on how the F1 Mainframe is configured.

At 51 liters, the M5 Team Elk Pack is closer to an overnight pack. If you will be backpacking for a few days and expect to carry much meat on the hike out, then you will need a much larger pack.

When considering necessary capacity, it is also important to be honest about how much weight you can carry. For example: if you can only safely carry 40 pounds, and your pack and gear already weigh 15 pounds, then after you pack 25 pounds of meat you will have a lot of dead space in an 80 liter pack.

Dead space equals unbalanced loads, which causes discomfort. This can be solved by using foam to space out the gear and meat and balance the load—or you can get a slightly smaller pack.

Is this pack comfortable?

A pack that is big enough and strong enough to carry all your game is no good if you can’t walk more than 100 feet before throwing it down. A hard frame that digs into your body, narrow and thin straps that rub your skin raw, an unbalanced design that puts too much weigh directly onto your shoulder—these are all comfort problems that can ruin an otherwise great pack.

The difficulty is that some packs may be great for one body type but not so great for another. This situation is more often encountered in external frame packs and cheaper backpacks that lack resizing straps.

If you cannot wear the pack before purchasing it, then be sure to read reviews from someone of your height and body type or multiple reviews from people of different body types.

If the pack is adjustable and comfortable for a tall lanky person and a short stocky person, then chances are it will fit someone in between. For external packs, be sure to take note of any rigid, un-movable frame parts that rise about the shoulder straps. Depending on your height, such frames could limit head movement.

Luckily, most reviewers are very conscientious about reviewing hip belts and shoulder straps, so you can usually find out if the pack you really want is notorious for weak seams or a thin hip belt that doesn’t adjust well.

In the end, understand that some comfort may be sacrificed to achieve a cheaper price point, and sometimes the more comfortable packs will weigh more.

Are those special features necessary?

If the hottest new thing in hunting is an isolated pocket for your spotting scope or some other piece of gear, then I guarantee you will find this feature highlighted as a big selling point on some packs. But don’t get sucked into the little things. Instead, focus on the big picture.

The idea of a backpack hasn’t been reinvented. It’s still you carrying a lot of stuff on your back as comfortably and efficiently as possible.

A good arrangement of compartments and features certainly adds a touch more organization to a pack, but make sure you delve further into the specs and check the pack’s weight, load capacity, hip belt thickness, frame adjustability, and customer reviews, because—in the end—you’re walking around with a lot more than just your spotting scope on your back.


Reviews of The Best Hunting Backpacks For Elk Hunts in 2018:

Budgeting is on most of our minds when it comes to shopping for our hunting gear. We want high quality stuff, but we try our best to balance that with the practical realization that this is not an item used every day—at least not by me.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to be a professional hunting guide who gets to grab his backcountry hunting pack every day he wakes up for work, but for the rest of us here are some affordable packs that don’t sacrifice quality.

I began this review by compiling a list of mid-range packs that provide top-notch quality without breaking the bank.

That list was narrowed down to packs designed for big game hunting, and then finally these five packs were chosen for the different purposes or hunting styles that they each represent. For a mid-range budget, these are five of the best hunting backpacks available in 2018.


1. Eberlestock M5 Team Elk Pack Review –  Top Pick 

            Best for overall use


The M5 Team Elk Pack is our top pick for an elk hunting backpack in the mid-price range. It has a lot going for it that makes it one of the best overall backpacks in this category. This thing has a built-in bow carrier, a rifle scabbard, and a water resistant shell with compression straps.

Now, I get weary of packs that boast “best-in-class features,” because that “feature” might be some accessory-specific pocket that only eats into the overall pack size. For instance, if you don’t have a spotting scope, then you better have some small items that can fill up that space.

The M5 has a hydration sleeve and a specific spotting scope pocket, but don’t let these features deter you, because it has plenty of general-use space that will allow you to pack things your way.

Some customers find the pack to be heavy when empty. It is heavier than many 50 liter packs, but not by much. Consider the extra weight to be comfort and durability, because owners love how much meat they can haul with the M5 and how comfortable it is when fully loaded. An extra bonus that delights everyone is the ability to zip the weapon scabbard into an enclosed pocket for gear.

—Why do we recommend this?

The M5 Team Elk Pack is a multiday backpack that works just as well for day hunts. Its construction provides a good number of pockets for excellent organization and a durability well-suited for hauling a lot of elk meat. This pack provides the space, strength, and comfort needed for a big elk hunt.

Eberlestock Team Elk Pack
38 Reviews
Eberlestock Team Elk Pack
  • Built-in bow carrier
  • Has two full-depth spotting scope / hydration...
  • Both the rifle scabbard and bow carrier zip up...

2. Horn Hunter Full Curl System Backpack Review

            Best for multiday hunts


With 82 liters of internal space, you could camp out of the Horn Hunter Full Curl System Backpack for days. Not only that, but once you take down an elk and bag up the meat, you’ll quickly be ready to haul it.

The “System” consists of the base frame—a shelf on the bottom, two “curled” wings on the sides with three compression straps for securing a load—and a large top-load bag. The large bag has a lip that slides over the top of the frame as it sits in the bottom of the shelf, and it buckles to the frame.

The “System” also comes with a daypack that can be strapped to the outside of the large bag, which all together gives you the huge 82 liter capacity. But don’t forget about those wings on the frame: you can still use three compression straps to secure your large back and daypack to your frame!

There is a clear amount of forethought and that went into the design of the Full Curl System as it is incredibly functional at every stage.

Owners of the Full Curl System love the adjustable torso system. Not only do you get the usual shoulder adjustment straps, but you can adjust the torso section of the frame to fit your torso length.

That’s maximum comfort. Perhaps the biggest drawback to this pack is its weight. All that space and adjustable comfort cost over 9 pounds in base weight. However, if you are removing the bags in order to haul a fresh kill to camp, then the frame will be lighter.

—Why do we recommend this?

If you’re going to be in the backcountry for days, you need the Full Curl System—and “system” is the right word, because you get a complete hunting system with this pack: fit base camp in the large bag, load hunting essentials in the daypack, and keep a Horn Hunter Meat Pack bag handy for the fresh kills. The Full Curl System provides a straightforward and convenient way to manage every step of your hunting trip.

Sale
Sportsman's Outdoor Products Horn Hunter Full Curl...
33 Reviews
Sportsman's Outdoor Products Horn Hunter Full Curl...
  • Includes HH12 Full Curl Bag
  • 5000 cubic inches
  • Includes HH13 Hybrid Full Curl Frame

Once you get that fresh kill, you will need to strap it down to the pack frame. The Horn Hunter “Full Curl” Meat Pack Bag is a heavy duty breathable and washable game bag that is made to fit snugly onto your Full Curl frame for a secure and safe load.


3. Eberlestock F1 Mainframe Review

            Best for packing out meat


The M5 Team Elk Pack may be our overall top pick, but if you plan on packing as much meat as you can carry for a long distance then the F1 Mainframe may be the best Eberlestock pack for elk hunting and hauling your spoils.

Elk hunting isn’t just about the kill: You don’t want to drop that big bull and just walk away. You want the experience to be memorable for years to come, and part of that means harvesting those large antlers and as much meat as you can so that the animal doesn’t go to waste and you can remember the hunt when you grill a steak, eat some jerky, or cook some sausage in the months to come.

If your goal is getting that entire elk out of the field, then the F1 Mainframe has the bare frame you need to pack meat to your heart’s content. And at 26 inches tall and 4 lbs 5 oz it is surprisingly compact and lightweight.

Owners of the F1 Mainframe rave about its relatively short height. A shorter pack frame like this will comfortably fit many body types. Users also report that the frame is narrow enough to avoid snagging on brush when not carrying bulky loads.

That’s one less thing to worry about while stalking your game. Lastly, let’s not forget that this is a modular frame. If you have some extra money, then you can create just about any pack configuration you want.

This versatility is loved by hunters, because conditions always change but with the F1 Mainframe the perfect bag is only a couple pouch swaps away.

— Why do we recommend this?

The F1 Mainframe provides nearly limitless carrying capacity. You can strip the F1 down to its bare external frame and load as much meat as you can carry, which makes this one of the best hunting packs for packing out meat. Furthermore, its modular capabilities are amazing and provide a lot of versatility.

Sale
Eberlestock Mainframe Pack
44 Reviews
Eberlestock Mainframe Pack
  • The F1 Mainframe feature Eberlestock Intex II...
  • Use the frame by itself when packing out game or...
  • The Mainframe also features 3 built in compression...

Even if you plan on 80 percent of your load being meat, you still have other gear to carry. Check out the Eberlestock Batwing Pouch which fits perfectly on the modular F1 Mainframe. Get one—or two for a balanced daypack setup—and still have enough space to carry tons (not literally, of course) more meat.


4. Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack Review

            Best for day use


Do you almost always have single day hunts? Do you keep ATVs at camp? Are you not able to haul full game loads in one go? If your answer to one or more of these is yes, then a smaller pack like the Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack will suit you well. This is our choice for the best daypack for elk hunting.

Badlands doesn’t skimp on quality just because you’re going on day hunts. The 2200’s pack fabric is water resistant, odor resistant, and stain resistant, which means you can spend less time cleaning your gear after a successful hunt.

The pack material is also made to be quiet, so there should be no “swishing” noises to give away your position. But Badlands doesn’t stop there, either: even though the pack is only 37 liters, it has a good hip belt and excellent pack design that helps balance the load comfortably, which is going to be important once you have a quartered elk strapped to the outside of this pack. The meat shelf on this daypack is truly impressive and can support a lot of weight.

Owners love not only the backpack but the company itself. Badlands backs up their bags with an unconditional lifetime warranty that is transferable to whomever owns the bag. That’s pretty awesome.

The biggest drawbacks to this pack seem to stem from size limitations. Some buyers feel that the different pockets detract too much space from the main compartments, while some other owners decry the lack of a boot for bow carrying.

These are certainly all things to consider in a pack, but when it comes down to it the Badlands 2200 is a daypack that will get the job done and see you through a successful elk hunt.

—Why do we recommend this?

When you want a daypack that has the quality and durability of a much bigger bag, you get the Badlands 2200. Constructed from “quiet” fabric—along with stain, odor, and moisture resistant properties—the 2200 promises to be as stealthy as you are. Its small size hugs your center of gravity, which gives you better balance as you crouch, crawl, or walk around stalking your prey.

Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat...
84 Reviews
Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat...
  • FULLY LOADED - The 2200 covers all the bases with...
  • COMFORTABLE CARRY - ThermoMold Suspension utilizes...
  • DISAPPEARING ACT - Approach FX uses the same...

Grab some Alaska Game Moose, Elk, Caribou Rolled Quarter Bags, 60-inch to securely pack out your elk meat. Bag the quarters to keep them clean as you make your trips to load up the ATV. These bags are durable and machine washable, so you’ll be using them for many hunts to come.


5. SITKA Gear Flash 20 Review

            Best for bow hunts


This daypack is great for hunts close to camp or a vehicle. While the SITKA Gear Flash 20 is a strong and durable pack, it is only 32 liters which means it is not designed to carry half an elk in one load, so you’ll not want to be hauling an elk out across miles of backcountry terrain.

Organize your necessary gear in quick-access side pockets, and have room in the main compartment for emergency rations and shelter or keep it empty for hauling some extra meat. After your hunt, you can easily secure your bow to the front of the pack by employing some cross compression straps and a pull cord that secures the bottom of the bow.

Customers agree that the SITKA Gear Flash 20 works exceptionally well as a daypack. It conveniently and comfortably holds everything you need for a hunt: calls, spotting scope, GPS, and maybe a snack and a drink. Perhaps the biggest drawback to this pack is the bow harness feature.

Some owners complain about the bottom cord not securing their bow. The compression straps secure most bows well enough, but it can be annoying to have a feature that doesn’t work quite as promised.

—Why do we recommend this?

The Gear Flash 20 is an excellent daypack that will carry your essentials from camp or car into the woods for a short-distance hunt. You’ll be able to load up some elk meat, but you will want your ATV or truck nearby, because this is a smaller daypack and not meant to carry very heavy loads. If you’re a bow hunter, make sure this pack is well suited for your hiking distances, and you’ll use it for years to come.

Sale
SITKA Gear Flash 20 Optifade Subalpine One Size...
5 Reviews
SITKA Gear Flash 20 Optifade Subalpine One Size...
  • FLASH 20 PACK - Available as one size fits all....
  • PURPOSE BUILT - Highly technical and suited for...
  • STABILITY AND CONVENIENCE - Bottom, side and front...

Our Top Pack

You want a pack for hunting elk. You know your game, you know the meat it yields, and you know what you need to get the job done. So do we. And with that in mind, we best like the Eberlestock M5 Team Elk Pack. This pack is not too heavy; it’s durable; and it’s comfortable when fully loaded.

The M5 will get you to the hunt and let you neatly pack out your gear and meat. The specific features and pockets are functional and don’t detract from the primary purpose of hauling meat and large hunting gear.

At 51 liters, the M5 Team Elk Pack straddles the multiday and day use categories and functions well in multiple scenarios. It is big enough to do well on an overnight hunt, and it is small enough to be packed for a day hunt without a lot of bulky, dead space left in the pack.

After you use the M5 once, you will find yourself using this backpack again and again—hunt after hunt, year after year.

7 Best Scope for 308 [LONG RANGE]

Best Scope for .308 Long Range: Shooters’ Guide

Picking the best scope for .308 long range use is a tough decision. There are so many scopes that can be had from even under $100 to well over $3000.

Some of the more capable scopes can even reach $10,000+ in price; and for the specific use cases where they make sense, they are worth every penny.

In this article we are exploring a diverse use case group that will attempt to find the best scopes for those who shoot .308 Winchester rifles in various configurations and try to help you find a reasonable candidate amongst a saturated field of scope options that range in price and capability from the very mundane to the shocking.

For the purposes of this article we have limited the price range to under $2750, though most are well under $1500 or even $1000.

The main point here is that a scope for a .308 rifle is a much different scope than those for a .22LR or a 5.56×45 even.

The punishing recoil and longer-range needs for clear glass and excellent build quality means that you will be paying a premium for a scope that is built to handle the jobs a .308 Winchester can throw at it, compared to lesser rifles.

Comparing Our Best Scopes for .308 Long Range

The Scope

 

Power

 

Best for

 

1. Barra FFP Hero 4-16 Budget conscious (yes, it is still pricey) users that actually need the First Focal Plane and other perks of this scope.

 

2. Primary Arms 4-16 Those who need a great scope at a great price for a bigger gun.

 

3. Bushnell 756245B 6-24 Intermediate Fixed Range hunting or target shooting.

 

4. Nikon M-308 4-16 As a General Use scope for multiple guns in .308.

 

5. Hawke HK6426 4-16 Use on .30 cal guns.

 

6. Trijicon VCOG

  Top Pick 

1-6 Legitimate hardcore use where normal scopes will be broken easily.

 

7. Trijicon ACOG 5.5 Hard use and fixed-point targets.

 

 


Buyer’s Criteria: Things To Consider

Why use a 308 instead of another rifle?

The point to choosing a .308 is several-fold. It has long been the de facto standard for the intermediate to long range rifle for the U.S. Military, with only the .300 Win Mag and the .50 (BMG) Caliber genuinely taking any of the shooting spectrum from the cartridge beyond 600 meters or so.

The basic attributes of the .308 and why you would want it over something else for the purposes of intermediate and long-range shooting are as follows:

  • Longer range than other recoil controllable rifles for most shooters.
  • Excellent versatility in the load range and the ballistics of the round.
  • Much better terminal ballistics after the 600-meter range.
  • Good supply of aftermarket options, accessories and a broad range of rifles available in a broad range of configurations.
  • Still a relatively inexpensive cartridge – usually less than a dollar a shot even for high end ammunition.
  • The recoil can be tolerated by most accessories.

What is a .308 Reticle and Does it Actually Make That Big of a Difference?

Similar to a standard bullet drop compensation reticle, a .308 reticle caters to the unique trajectory and ballistics of the .308 Winchester round or the 7.62x51mm (the NATO “equivalent”).

What you gain by using this type of reticle is built-in adjustment that makes on-the-fly decisions in the field easier to make and more accurate when you are looking down range and need a bullet to hit your target.

It does make a big difference for the less experienced shooter – that doesn’t mean only an inexperienced shooter would opt for one – but it isn’t entirely a necessity.

With the right amount of experience any reticle will work and depending on your type of shooting other reticles will be more of a necessity than a .308 reticle.

How Much Power do I Need in a Scope?

You can decide what you prefer, but most shooters can do what they need to do on a routine basis with a 6-power scope and never have difficulty hitting the target even out to the limits of the .308 load.

One of the best scopes on this list uses a fixed 5.5 power (the magnification) to operate. It is more than enough glass for most use cases, and it is specifically built for the sweet spot of the .308 Winchester round.

However, having the extra adjustability of most of the scopes on this list will give you a bit more detail in your viewfinder.

Does Scope Durability Matter on the .308?

Yes. Durability is particularly important for the .30 caliber and larger loads. The .308 is right on the cusp of where you can start to punish a scope too much.

The recoil profile of the gun is moderate, but the sensitive internal working of a glass optic can be seriously damaged if it is not properly built at this range and above when it comes to power.

Most .308 scopes are built MUCH heavier duty than comparative lower caliber scopes. You must be careful of the durability of builds, hence our chosen price point for this range of scopes.

The best scope for .308 long range rifle use will be a robust, over-engineered scope capable of a lifetime of use on a .308 or larger gun and will be able to easily maintain zero without internal changes.

The .308 even though many consider it on the low end of the power spectrum for the bigger cartridges, still packs quite a bit of recoil when you are talking about items that are sensitive to recoil, like optics.

You will want to use thread adhesive to ensure the best scope zero over long-term usage. Most consider the Blue 242 or 243 Thread locker by LocTite to be the best there is because it offers good dampening for recoil abuse but still allows hand tool removal of screws.

Durability is a major factor in the price and choice of these options for the best scopes for your long range .308 shooting needs. You’ll see that as a trend as you look over the following reviews on the best scope candidates below.


Reviews of The Best Scope for .308 Long Range Rifles in 2018:

The range of pricing will open up a bit compared to lesser caliber scopes for a few reasons, mostly because the internal designs and materials have to adhere to a higher threshold of capability in a gun that can transfer so much recoil power to an accessory (despite most shooters not having a problem with the recoil profile of a .308).

The following scopes represent what we believe to be a diverse set of use cases and offer best in class performance while also spanning a realistic price range.

 


1. Barra Hero MP 4-16×50 Rifle Scope First Focal Plane Review [Made in Japan]

Best for: Budget conscious (yes, it is still pricey) users that actually need the First Focal Plane and other perks of this scope


For a dedicated first focal plane scope this is actually quite a good deal. The quality Japanese components and the impressive build quality for the money means you are getting a scope that competes with others that are twice the price very easily.

— Why do we recommend this?

For a first focal plane scope that can handle .308 recoil, there is not a better option, certainly not from the bigger names in the industry. This is a steal!

Rifle Scope, Barra Hero MP 4-16x50 FFP First Focal...
2 Reviews
Rifle Scope, Barra Hero MP 4-16x50 FFP First Focal...
  • Solidly constructed one-piece 30 mm tube made of...
  • Oxygen purged, nitrogen filled and sealed for...
  • Fully multi-coated lenses features high light...

 


2. Primary Arms 4-16X44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope Review

Best for: Those who need a great scope at a great price for a bigger gun


It is simple and straightforward and doesn’t require a trained sniper to operate the scope. This is a great choice for those that need a great scope but can’t justify spending more than their rifle cost. Primary Arms has excellent customer service; surprisingly good build quality for the price point and they are emerging as a legitimate optic manufacturer.

— Why do we recommend this?

It just works and doesn’t take a ballistic scientist to adjust and use.

Primary Arms 4-16 X 44 Rifle Scope with...
113 Reviews
Primary Arms 4-16 X 44 Rifle Scope with...
  • 4-16X MAGNIFICATION: The second focal plane design...
  • MIL-DOT RETICLE: The illuminated mil-dot reticle...
  • ILLUMINATION: The partial red illumination is...

 


3. Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50 Scope DOA LR800 Reticle Review

Best for: Intermediate Fixed Range hunting or target shooting


Bushnell, despite having a few items in their overall product portfolio that fall flat, is still a well known and quality producer of optics. This is no exception to that statement.

The price point is far less than the feature set dictates it should be. The coated lenses are fantastic and truly show what economies of scale can do for pricing when a big manufacturer can produce enough units to improve on the cost point.

— Why do we recommend this?

It’s relatively tough, relatively inexpensive and will move well from gun to gun without being too finicky.

Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Scope...
73 Reviews
Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Scope...
  • Magnification x objective: 6-24x 50mm
  • Dao Lr800 reticle. ¼ MOA fingertip windage and...
  • Provides 30mm tube

 


4. Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope Bdc 800 Reticle, Matte 16463 Review

Best for: As a General Use scope for multiple guns in .308


It’s affordable and made for the general use cases of a .308 rifle. It can be as tactical as you need it to be, or it can shoot big game. It can be a target rifle scope, or it can be used for competition. At the price there are few other competitors, and none that can actually best the feature set.

— Why do we recommend this?

It is purpose built for the .308, and that is not just a gimmick to sell a few additional scopes. They took legitimate time and effort to make something that can go cross platform and get the best out of all your .308’s.

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle,...
114 Reviews
Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle,...
  • Fully multicoated lenses enhance light...
  • Designed for use with Nikon's Spot On Ballistic...
  • Waterproof/Fogproof/Shockproof.

 


5. Hawke Sport Optics HK6426 Endurance 30 Side Focus 4-16 223/308 IR Scope Review

Best for: Use on .30 cal guns


A great, Euro-specific build style that favors certain sport shooting attributes over other scopes. This is a very adjustable and capable scope that can easily be used on any of your .30 caliber rifles. It has excellent versatility.

— Why do we recommend this?

A few of the features seem like a novelty, but they are actually usable, as you learn why they were built in. The parallax adjustment is once such feature and it is impressive, especially given the modest price point for the quality of the glass.

Hawke Sport Optics HK6426 Endurance 30 Side Focus...
10 Reviews
Hawke Sport Optics HK6426 Endurance 30 Side Focus...
  • 4-16 223/308 IR
  • Glass etched Red Illuminated Reticle
  • Infinitely adjustable stepless side rheostat

 


6. Trijicon VCOG 1-6×24 Riflescope Ballistic Reticle Review –  Top Pick 

Best for: Legitimate hardcore use where normal scopes will be broken easily


No question, this is the best scope on the list, and for what it can do and for how durable it is, there is nothing like it on the market – a true unicorn, this rifle scope is the absolute pinnacle of the tactical riflescopes for the .308.

— Why do we recommend this?

Mostly it was the First Focal Plane build and the inherent durability, but more than anything from a consumer perspective is the legacy of the brand and the way they have consistently outperformed across their own line and the broader market. You buy a Trijicon once. Until you need a second scope – then you buy another Trijicon. They will outlive you generally.

Trijicon VCOG 1-6x24 Rifle Scope with Green...
40 Reviews
Trijicon VCOG 1-6x24 Rifle Scope with Green...
  • Green horseshoe reticle matched with 175-grain 308...
  • First focal plane allowing the Ballistic reticle...
  • 700 continuous hours of runtime at setting 4 or 6...

 


7. Trijicon TA55A ACOG 5.5 X 50 Red Chevron BAC Flattop .308 Reticle Review

Best for: Hard use and fixed-point targets


Another no-brainer for the Trijicon scopes. This is the de facto poster child for tactical warfighting optics for the venerable .308 in a fixed power deliverable. It is battle proven, built to withstand the nuclear holocaust and still relatively decently priced. Yes, you give up a little in adjustability, in return you get unmatched durability and dead on precision for the specific use case of this tool.

— Why do we recommend this?

Because Trijicon. If you have owned any Trijicon items, you know what that means. If you haven’t, do yourself the favor.

Trijicon TA55A ACOG 5.5 X 50 Red Chevron BAC...
6 Reviews
Trijicon TA55A ACOG 5.5 X 50 Red Chevron BAC...
  • ACOG 5.5x50 Red Chevron BAC Flattop.308 Reticle...
  • The chevron reticle is designed to be zeroed using...
  • Includes 1 Flattop Mount (TA51) 1 5.5x50...

Why did you pick two best scopes for the .308 over long ranges?

We picked a mid-ranged scope for the obvious build quality for a traditional glass optic and for the dedicated build that focused on the .308 cartridge. The Nikon M-308 is a no brainer for the moderate price tag and full featured specifications.

We also picked the toughest, most capable scope on the list for the other choice, not because it was super expensive, but because nothing else on this list or within the price range of most normal shooters would even compete on the same playing field as it.

In fact: to get the quality of this scope replicated you’re going to be in the $3000-3500 range all day every day. To get the toughness? No, you cannot. The Trijicon’s toughness cannot be duplicated at even a thousand or two thousand dollars more in price.

If we had tried to pick a single scope, we would have been leaving out half the market. For the .308 you either need a rough and tumble optic, like the Trijicon is, or you need something that can deliver great performance for not a ton of money, like the Nikon can.

As versatile as the .308 is, many use cases come up for the rifle, and we think those two ends of the spectrum give you enough to find a fantastic field of options to choose the best rifle scope for .308 long range rifles. We feel confident in our choices of the finest scopes you can buy for the .308 for long range usage.

We would love to hear your feedback on our choices.