Best Hunting Day Pack
Once I am preparing for shorter day searches, I’m not seeking to pack my entire inventory of equipment. Rather than trying to pack for every conceivable scenario, my intentions have evolved to be a versatile and adaptable hunter, while taking the minimum amount of equipment. I am constantly working from a record that’s been refined through the years to include just the equipment I want to be successful.
The best hunting day package will let me be light and fast, for maximum stealth and freedom. Day packs occupy the sweet spot between smaller waist packs, and full size hunting back. When you’re taking a look at day packs, it is important to keep in mind that you’ll be really hunting in them! It needs to be practical, and match with your style of hunting.
Qualities of a Best Day Pack
Versatility and endurance are the most important qualities I look for in a day pack, and there are a couple of special characteristics I check for when reviewing a new day pack.
- Expandable Storage — Great for the inevitable last minute addition to the package, and for space to hold layers of clothes for those warmer afternoons.
- Great Pocket Installation — I need multiple sized pockets on the inside and outside, for fast gear recovery, and to keep things secure and quiet.
- Sturdy Strap Design — A fantastic package strap keeps the pack tight to your body, leaving little space for slipping and side to side motion. The better your package fits you, the more stealthily it is possible to move through the forests. The straps should also have tons of loops to take carabineers, D-rings, and compression straps.
- Toughness — Your deer hunting day pack will take all types of abuse, from rain, cold, dirt, blood, stones, and much more. You ought to select a package made from a durable material.
Day Bundle Comparisons
My two favorite brands of day packs, no wonder, are Badlands and Tenzing. I understand that you get better quality materials and a greater overall pack for your money together. I am not saying you can not get a fantastic cheap day pack for searching from a brand like ALPS or Redhead, however you’ll get more life and better use out of the best brands, in addition to a better warranty. Here’s a comparison chart, and reviews of my Top 4 options.
|1. Tenzing TZ 1200||1,211 cu-in||2lb 0oz||8||–||–||$$||4.8 from 5|
|2. Badlands Diablo||1,900 cu-in||3lb 1oz||8||Yes||–||$$$||4.8 from 5|
|3. Badlands Pursuit||1,500 cu-in||1lb 14oz||5||–||–||$$||4.6 from 5|
|4. Tenzing TZ 2220||2,228 cu-in||4lb 0oz||11||Yes||Yes||$$$$||4.6 from 5|
The TZ 1200 is the smallest capacity package from my top 4 selections, but it’s super light weighing only 2 pounds, and it’s a shape that blends well into your chest. After wearing this pack a couple of times, you won’t even feel that it is there, and that is really important once you’re bushwhacking or climbing trees.
The low profile shape and form fitting design of the TZ1200 makes it a terrific day pack for bow hunters. As soon as it’s form fitting, it is not likely to make you hot, due to its breathable mesh design on the back padding and padded hip belt.
For an ultralight day package, there are loads of storage choices. On the exterior, there are two pockets, expandable bungee webbing, and two compression straps to tie additional products. Inside, you’ll discover a two liter hydration bladder compartment, multiple small item pockets, for your laser rangefinder, knives, and additional pieces of gear. As though that was not enough, the main compartment itself is expandable, effectively doubling the maximum storage capacity.
Like the Tenzing, the Badlands Pursuit is a versatile ultralight day package that will fit virtually every hunter nicely, particularly bow hunters. This package weighs much less, at 1 pound and 14 ounces, while using a larger storage capacity of 1,500 cubic inches.
Where the Pursuit package differs however, is in its own shape. It’s designed more like a traditional backpack versus the low profile design of the Tenzing, and I am not saying that is always a bad thing. For those who have a few bulkier things that would struggle to match in the TZ1200, then this package would suit you better. If you want your package to be firmly secured to your body, you should be aware that the Pursuit doesn’t have a waist belt and might be more vulnerable to side to side motion.
For storage, the Badlands Pursuit includes two large zippered side pouches, two webbed pockets for water bottles, and a pair of bedroll loops in the bottom. On the inside, you’ll see a roomy main compartment, with a water bladder divider, in addition to several pockets for smaller equipment items.
The Pursuit day package is constructed of an extremely challenging fabric, but in case you have an issue, Badlands has a terrific fix it or replace it guarantee.
The Badlands Diablo day package is a step up from the Pursuit. It has a massive storage capacity of 1,900 cubic inches, which necessitates an aluminum inner frame, and a full sized hip belt, yet it only weighs 2-1/2 lbs.
Badlands claims the Diablo will easily hold 40 pounds of equipment. That’s lots of weight to carry on a day search, but it is wonderful to know the capability is there if you need it. That kind of capability will make this a excellent elk hunting day pack.
The “Hypervent” mesh back and suspension frame system keeps the pack straight off your own back, so you won’t get overheated while carrying this pack daily. After reading through a great deal of customer reviews, it is apparent that this is one of the favorite features of this package.
Like the Pursuit, the Diablo day pack has two water bottle holders on the sides, but rather than side pockets. It’s one big compartment on its backside, and one directly beneath the primary compartment. On the inside are numerous storage pockets ideal for a mobile phone, rangefinder, binoculars, or a handheld GPS.
Eventually we come to the Tenzing TZ 2220, my personal favorite, and perhaps. The Best Hunting Day Pack I’ve ever seen. The 2220 has an inner aluminum frame and a channeled back support to keep the air flowing and your back cool. The hip belt is padded and has several modest pockets for gear you have to have quick access to.
The pack is made of super tough tricot cloth, with Dyneema reinforcement panels. The exterior has 4 compression straps on the sides, and two on the bottom. On the inside are 6 more technical zipper pockets and a water bladder divider. Which will hold up to a three liter hydration pack.
The extras such as the roll out rain cover at the bottom. Fold out rifle and bow boot, and decent hip belt service, are what set this pack above the rest for me.
The TZ2220 holds way more gear than should be possible in a day pack. Yet maintains the sleek, body-hugging form of the smaller TZ1200. For shorter hunts, I would still go with the TZ1200. But for the ultimate in flexibility, and having one package which does it all, it’s going to be difficult to outdo the TZ2220.