Iíd like to add to this thread a question. Iím looking for a day pack as well, but would love to know what you all have done when you have to pack out an animal? I hunted recently in terrain that was very thick. I had my large frame pack on and it was terrible! I had to get on all fours at times to get under trees, etc. really would like a smaller pack but what to do when I pack an animal out a mile or two??
Your best bet is a sub 2500 cu in pack with load self. I would look at EXO, Mystery Ranch and Kuiu. Elberstock only has one pack with a load self and kifaru only has one sub 2000 bag with a load self but I tís designed more for the train to hunt events. If you donít have a load self then you get to stuff your pack with meat. Elberstockís Rifle scabbard patent ends this year, out side of that they are not a comfortable pack compared to the ones I mentioned above.
For reference I did 7 days in Idaho with a 2000pack and a buddy did 5 days with same pack in CO this year.
Beauty of a load self, you can triple pack size with one dry bag. I run mainly the 2000 but on extended hunts Iíll run the 3500. The 3500 does cinch down and compress well but still a different profile then the 2000.
Of my almost 30 days hunting out west this year I used 2000cu in bag majority of the time.
Any specific questions feel free to PM me. Iíve used a lot of packs, including all frames i mentioned in this post