Whether you hunt whitetails, ducks, wild turkeys, or big game, a hunting day pack is an essential piece of gear. With literally thousands of options on the market, finding the best hunting day pack to meet your needs might seem impossible. Luckily, our gear testers have done the dirty work for you. We’ve spent countless hours in the field to bring you our favorite options for a variety of outdoor pursuits.
- Best Hunting Day Pack on the Market Reviews
- Are You Bow Hunting in the Backcountry?
- Are You Hunting From a Treestand?
- Are You Hunting Waterfowl?
- Are You Taller (or Shorter) Than Average?
- What is Your Budget?
- Our Top Pick for Hunters on a Budget: Fieldline Pro Timberhawk Big Basin Daypack
- Our Favorite All-Around Hunting Daypack: Badlands Superday Hunting Daypack
- What to Put in Your DayPack
- Wrapping It Up
Best Hunting Day Pack on the Market Reviews
Because hunting is such a diverse sport, the type of day pack you need largely depends on your style of hunting and the game you’re pursuing. The needs of an eastern North Carolina deer hunter (who spends most of his days in a treestand) is vastly different from a Colorado bowhunter (who may spend a week in the rugged backcountry toting his camp on his back).
To help you narrow down your options, we’ve broken down what hunters need in a daypack based on how they pursue game.
Are You Bow Hunting in the Backcountry?
Backcountry archery hunts usually begin before dawn and can last well after dark. A hunt can have you sitting and glassing for hours, then moving quickly up steep terrain or stalking slowly and then waiting for a shot opportunity.
A good day pack for backcountry bowhunting will have enough room for a day’s worth of essentials, plus whatever you’ll need for a quick overnight camp. Because you’ll be wearing your pack for the whole hunt, look for lightweight packs made from quiet materials. You also need a model that won’t get in the way of your draw.
Our Top Pick for Bowhunting: SITKA Gear Apex Pack
Streamlined for stealth, SITKA’s Apex Pack is perfect for spot-and-stalk bow hunts. This pack has a low-profile design that prevents snagging on limbs and brush. Weighing in at a scant 36 ounces, the Apex Pack won’t hinder your mobility.
The pack also features a body-hugging waist belt, which provides several pockets for game calls, snacks, and other supplies, without getting in the way of your draw.
The Apex Pack also offers 1800 cubic inches of storage space in the main compartment, so there’s plenty of room to pack all your hunting essentials.
This daypack is made with SITKA’s patented Optifade camo pattern, which is designed using animal vision science. This innovative pattern is guaranteed to keep you hidden from both game animals and humans.
Our favorite feature: the innovative cam cable system, which provides the perfect place to rest your bow while you wait for that wary bull elk to get within shooting range.
Are You Hunting From a Treestand?
If you hunt whitetails from a treestand, you’ll need to haul everything you need for a long sit with you. The problem is treestands have limited space to stow a pack. Plus, digging through a bag while you’re in the stand can spook leery deer.
A small pack is easier to stuff under the seat of your treestand. Daypacks that strap to the tree or treestand rail earn bonus points. A pack with multiple access points also minimizes the need to rummage for goods.
Our Top Pick for the Treestand: Allen Gearfit Pursuit Bruiser Daypack
Perfect for the treestand, the Allen Gearfit Pursuit Bruiser Daypack has plenty of details serious big game hunters will appreciate.
The pocket closures are non-Velcro and designed for ninja-quiet opening and closing.
To keep your pack dry in rainy weather, the Pursuit Bruiser Daypack has a reversible camo/blaze rain-fly.
This daypack has an innovative shoulder-grip design that provides extra cushioning and airflow, to prevent chafing on those extra-long hikes to your favorite stand. It also comes with a removable padded waist belt that comes with extra pockets.
The Pursuit Bruiser also comes with a rifle holder. The convenient drop-down boot allows for easy attachment of almost any bow or long gun.
Our favorite feature: the drop-down workstation, which provides easy access to calls and other accessories while in the treestand.
Are You Hunting Waterfowl?
Duck hunters need to haul a lot of gear, including a slew of decoys. A good daypack can make things a heckuva lot easier.
Waterfowlers need a daypack that is sturdy enough to hold up in the wettest hunting conditions. A pack with plenty of storage space for snacks, coffee, extra shells, and maybe even a decoy or two is a must. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a daypack roomy enough for a half dozen decoys, but one that frees up your hands to carry them is a godsend.
Our Top Pick for Duck Hunting: Drake Waterfowl Swamp Sole Backpack
Drake Waterfowl designed this blind bag with the sole purpose of allowing easy access to important gear. Although the bag has an ample main storage compartment, the real advantage is in the multiple external pouches. It also features a padded case for shooting glasses, a water bottle pocket, a security pocket for your cell phone, wallet, and hunting license, and ten front shell loops to keep extra loads right at your fingertips.
The Swamp Sole Backpack is hydration compatible. Add a hydration bladder, and you’ll never be thirsty in the duck blind.
Built for comfort, this waterfowler daypack has fully adjustable padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a chest strap. It also has built-in air-mesh padding with a central air-flow channel to prevent excessive perspiration while you’re on the way to your favorite hunting location.
Our favorite feature: the tough PVC waterproof hard bottom. You could sit this bag in two inches of mud and your stuff will still stay dry all day.
Will You Be Hauling Out Meat?
When a day trip ends successfully, you may need to pack out heavy loads of meat. When that happens, a flimsy daypack just isn’t going to cut it. A pack with a meat shelf will help you handle those hefty hindquarters.
Our Top Pick for Hauling Meat: Badlands 2200 Hunting Backpack
The Badlands 2200 is one of the top-rated hunting-specific packs on the market. This heavy-duty pack is made from tough KXO-32 fabric. Not only is this fabric insanely durable, but it’s also super lightweight, incredibly quiet, and thoroughly waterproof. Plus, the seams on this bag are reinforced for extra durability.
The Badlands 2200 has a frame crafted from sturdy magnesium alloy (which is both lighter and stronger than the standard T6 aircraft-grade aluminum) and features a built-in meat shelf.
This bag is jam-packed with features, including a detachable rifle/bow boot, a two-liter hydration reservoir, a hip belt pistol holster, and an integrated spotting scope pocket.
Our favorite feature: the molded memory foam suspension. The harness conforms to your body for maximum comfort, even when hauling heavy loads.
Are You Taller (or Shorter) Than Average?
Finding a well-fitting daypack can be difficult, especially for guys whose measurements don’t fall within the “average” range. If you’re taller (or shorter) than the average Joe, a standard, run-of-the-mill daypack can turn the typical hunt into a virtual nightmare. You’ll need a bag with dimensions that match up to your body proportions.
Our Top Pick for Tall Hunters: Kifaru Antero
With a strong military background, Kifaru makes durable, top-of-the-line bags for a variety of tactical and outdoor pursuits. One of the best things about this company’s bags is that they are made to order. You provide very specific measurements and Kifaru makes an individualized frame built specifically for your body, even if you’re 6’8”!
And because the Antero is fully customized, it’s also a smart choice for hunters with short torsos.
The Kifaru Antero is one tough daypack. Built for harsh conditions and rough use, the Antero is made from 500 D Cordura lined with 400 D Packcloth. And it features durable YKK zippers that are tough enough to stand up to rough use and harsh environments.
With plenty of interior and exterior compartments, the Antero lets you organize your hunting gear exactly the way you like it. The pack even has four rows of Pals webbing, so you can add extra storage bags to the exterior of the pack.
Our favorite feature: The Kifaru Antero has two deep water bottle pockets and an interior hydration sleeve. If you’re heading into a hot, dry, or demanding environment, this pack holds plenty of water to keep you well hydrated.
What is Your Budget?
While quality never comes cheap, we realize not everyone has a ton of cash to drop on a daypack. Fortunately, there are several high-quality bags for hunters on a shoestring budget.
However, cheap bags typically lack the features, comfort, and durability that more expensive options provide. If you have the money, we highly recommend springing for a high-quality daypack that will last through several hunting seasons.
Our Top Pick for Hunters on a Budget: Fieldline Pro Timberhawk Big Basin Daypack
If you just need a basic day bag without a bunch of extra features, this is it. The Fieldline Pro Timberhawk Big Basin Daypack features a spacious main compartment and four handy accessory pockets.
It also includes a Hawkeye Bingo strap system, which keeps your binos right at your fingertips. The Timberhawk Big Basin also comes with a left- and right-side bottle pouches and webbed accessory loops. For longer treks, the bag is also hydration compatible. All you need is a water reservoir, and you’re good to go.
The bag is made with noise-reducing Quiet Cloth, which allows you to slip silently through the woods to your favorite hunting location.
Our favorite feature: the price. The Timberhawk Big Basin isn’t a flashy, top-tier daypack. However, with a price tag well under $100, this bag provides the best value for your buck.
Our Favorite All-Around Hunting Daypack: Badlands Superday Hunting Daypack
The Superday hunting pack from Badlands has everything you want in a daypack – comfort, storage space, durability, plus a few extra bells and whistles.
Made from innovative KXO-50 fabric, the Superday is super tough, whisper-quiet, and completely waterproof. The material is also treated with Badlands’ exclusive C6 Durable Water Repellent (DWR), which allows water to bead and roll right off the pack.
The Superday is also jam-packed with extra trappings hunters will love. It comes with easy-access belt pockets, bedroll straps, a pistol holster, and a detachable rifle/bow boot.
The Badlands Superday Hunting Pack is truly a do-it-all daypack suitable for a wide range of hunting endeavors.
Our favorite feature: Badlands calls it “Long Haul Comfort.” This lightweight pack performs like a frame pack, even though it doesn’t have one. Instead, it features a memory foam suspension and an easy-cinch contoured waistbelt. The belt tightens inward to provide extra leverage to take some of the weight burden off your shoulders. The design allows you to carry more weight for longer periods of time without feeling the pain.
What to Put in Your DayPack
The specific gear you pack in your daypack will depend on where, what, and how you’re hunting. However, there are a few things that every hunter should carry with them into the field, including:
- First aid kit
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Lighter or fire starter
- Toilet paper
- Hunting license
Wrapping It Up
This definitely isn’t an exhaustive list. There are plenty of high-quality options available to the modern hunter. However, any of the options on our list of best hunting day pack should serve you well in the field.