Texas Hunting Forum

Looking for a frame pack

Posted By: Whack n stack

Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 11:51 AM

I’m looking to buy a good all around backpack with a frame in case I need to haul out an animal, but not too large as I hunt coyotes, hogs, and deer mostly. Looking to stay in the $300 range. Been looking at the Alps Outdoors Hybrid-x pack. If y’all have any experience or suggestions I’d like to hear it. Thanks.
Posted By: Blank

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 03:07 PM

Eberlestock and MysteryRanch packs are probably the top of the line ones, I like Badlands 'cause they fit me well, and have had excellent luck with both the Sacrifice (large single compartment, but only 3.5#) and the 2200. My one son loves to use his 2800 for everything. The real key is to get something that fits you well. Go to a good store and try on as many as you can, and fit and adjust them. That is key to getting one you'll use correctly all the time. Just ordering one off the computer is NOT the way to go!

We kill and pack many deer and elk every year, and you can put LOTS in your regular pack on the way back to the truck, then use frame packs to go back for the last loads. Even my grand-daughter is good for a quarter of an elk, cause her pack fits her well. Since I'm old now (70), I usually limit my loads to 60-70#, but they routinely go over a 100# on their loads out of the hills!!

As far as frames go, the ALPS Outdoors series is good, as is the Cabelas Alaskan line. We also have the older Stansport and Kelty Freighter Frames. The best is probably the Eberlestock F1, or the Bull-Pac out of Boise, for sheer heavy duty packing. Just needs to be sturdy, preferably a lower shelf, and plenty of places to tie off. Get some good motorcycle straps instead of ropes to hold stuff on. The absolute best straps are NRS river straps!!!

Some packing pics bringing out our kills; you don't have to go with frames all the time tho.

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Posted By: BDB

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 03:15 PM

Whatever size you want get it bigger. A pack can be synched down to make it smaller but it will only be as big as you get it. Me and my son day hunt with Kifaru packs that will hold an elk quarter plus our day hunting gear.
Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 04:20 PM

Originally Posted by Whack n stack
I’m looking to buy a good all around backpack with a frame in case I need to haul out an animal, but not too large as I hunt coyotes, hogs, and deer mostly. Looking to stay in the $300 range. Been looking at the Alps Outdoors Hybrid-x pack. If y’all have any experience or suggestions I’d like to hear it. Thanks.


There are a lot of packs that are stiff enough for a pack out. But not a lot that are that comfortable. The comfortable external frame would be cabelas Alaskan and alps.

I’d also look for a used Exo, Kifaru, or Stone glacier frame first. Those are modular systems built around the frame. Biggest difference in these are comfort with heavy loads and modular ability(different sized bags).

Next option that is a good day pack/haul pack is the Mystery ranch popup. They have them at scheels if are close, to check out

Next choice would be any of the elberstock packs.
Posted By: ElkOne

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 04:33 PM

Blank is right, on the fitting, it's the most important thing with a pack. Lot of good packs, already mentioned, i personally use KUIU, but the key is not the pack but how it fits!
Posted By: txtrophy85

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 05:07 PM

I have a cabelas alaskan II pack.

I like it, light and plenty big. I'm sure there are better ones out there but that one is big, comfortable and holds all my stuff
Posted By: SherpaPhil

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 05:20 PM

I use a Mystery Ranch now and am really happy with it. I also own a Cabelas external that is nice for what it is. I used to use it a lot and it did the job at a good price. For what you are looking for, the Mystery Ranch pop up may be perfect.
Posted By: Whack n stack

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/20/21 11:36 PM

Thank y’all very much for the advice and experience based knowledge. I have a cabelas Alaskan II but need more compartments like a regular backpack and a little smaller than that height wise. I’ll go by scheels soon and check out what they got. Not sure if any other places around (I’m in Plano) that carries quality packs.
Posted By: ducknbass

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/21/21 03:53 AM

I run a mystery ranch I bought off Camofire.com good bag. My hunting buddy runs a kifaru. Different level.
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/21/21 02:15 PM

We have 2 Wilderness Pack Specialties frames, ones they don't make anymore but similar to the Yukon or Cascade frame. No meat shelf but the bag attached does great.

As stated by many get a belt and shoulder harness that fits you and the pack frame.


https://www.wildernesspacks.net/hunting-packs-bags
Posted By: Whack n stack

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/21/21 03:29 PM

Thank y’all again, those Wilderness Packs look very nice. As for the mystery ranch packs, what size mystery ranch pop up have y’all used? Is the pop up 28 big enough for all around use?
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/26/21 04:37 PM

Blank , how many times do you all go out for the day's hunt with your large pack and frame on ?
For us, it's almost always a day pack that is small and light for hunting and a pack frame for the hauling.
My smaller day pack will carry a load of boned out meat for the first trip back after gutting or quartering. Then we take the frames or bigger packs for the hauling.

For me western hunting is strenuous, even though I live here. I want a light as possible day pack for the hunt and a good frame for the hauling.
Big pack/frame combos get too heavy throughout the day and can be loud. I like small day pack that fits behind my back so I can slip through the timber and blowdown quietly, well somewhat.

I understand the spike camp use but for just hunting why such a large pack ?
Just asking you all, even my spouse uses either a lumbar pack or small day pack for everyday hunting in the mountains.
Posted By: Blank

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/26/21 05:15 PM

WyTex: You misunderstand me, I do the same as you. I do not go out and hunt with the frame packs on, as they are too big and bulky. We only have them with for retrieving all the loads that are left. If the boys don't have tags, and are strictly along for packing, they will wear the big packs. We always prefer to bone everything anyway, if we can.

I wear my Badlands Sacrifice pack all day/everyday when I leave the truck. Size-wise, it is more like a super daypack, and doesn't get in the way at all. Mine is one of the original ones from about 2016, and the new Sacrifice LS is the same size (about 3400 cu.in.), but has even more benefits and features. Still about 3.5# empty. I love the two top pockets for all the small stuff that you want to get frequently. Is water bladder compatible for 3 liters, and has side pockets for tripod and spotter. Then they don't get lost in the bottom of the big one. I throw in an Alaskan stretchy game bag, and several white trash bags so I can fill the single large compartment with just meat.
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/26/21 05:42 PM

Actually Blank that is what I got from your post.

I was trying to get that dialog started so these guys would see another way to use their packs.

Many times guys are looking for a pack for their first, and subsequent, elk and mule deer hunts and they lean towards a expensive pack for backcountry spike hunts.

I bet I have 6 Badlands pack from when they 1st came out. My go to day pack is a very small Badlands pack they don't make anymore.
Posted By: Blank

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/26/21 06:42 PM

Gotcha! The Badlands just fit me really well. I have one of the Monster Fanny Packs, with shoulder straps, that I use a lot for turkey hunting when we're running and gunning the mountains. These are my two favs, with the Sacrifice on the right, and one of the old old Supers to the left. If I'm just hiking and not planning on killing stuff, it doesn't get much better than that one!!!

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Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/26/21 07:34 PM

Originally Posted by Wytex
Blank , how many times do you all go out for the day's hunt with your large pack and frame on ?
For us, it's almost always a day pack that is small and light for hunting and a pack frame for the hauling.
My smaller day pack will carry a load of boned out meat for the first trip back after gutting or quartering. Then we take the frames or bigger packs for the hauling.

For me western hunting is strenuous, even though I live here. I want a light as possible day pack for the hunt and a good frame for the hauling.
Big pack/frame combos get too heavy throughout the day and can be loud. I like small day pack that fits behind my back so I can slip through the timber and blowdown quietly, well somewhat.

I understand the spike camp use but for just hunting why such a large pack ?
Just asking you all, even my spouse uses either a lumbar pack or small day pack for everyday hunting in the mountains.



What's your bad lands pack weight wytex?


I'm fan of modular system. One frame w/ multiple bags. I'm leaving next week for 7 day backpack bivy elk bear hunt. I use EXO frame with 4800 cubic inch bag. Oct I'm back chasing Mulie deer but I’m truck camping so with switch out bag from 4800 to 1800 cubic inch bag. So on and so on.

exo1800 pack is roughly 4 lbs, 4800 pack is 5lbs

If I really wanted to go ultra light I can just use frame(3lbs) with dry sack and stay under 4lbs.


With all this said, I wouldn't Invest in a Exo, kifaru, stone glacier, kuiu, mystery ranch, Seekoutside system for one hunt a year, but I think most would be shocked how light and how compressible some of the modular systems are.

Posted By: Okie John

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/27/21 02:10 AM

Originally Posted by Whack n stack
Thank y’all again, those Wilderness Packs look very nice. As for the mystery ranch packs, what size mystery ranch pop up have y’all used? Is the pop up 28 big enough for all around use?

I bought a Pop-Up 38 a couple of months ago for a black bear hunt in Washington state.

I chose a Pop-Up over other MR designs because I can push the frame all the way down and it won't poke me in the back of the head when I lean forward, say when I'm riding a mountain bike. I chose the 38 over the 28 because of the side access zipper. The 28 was probably a smarter size but I hate having to fish for stuff at the bottom of a pack. Build quality is off the charts.


Okie John
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/27/21 02:06 PM

BOBO my everyday pack is an old Badlands Hydration pack and it weights about 1 1/2 lbs empty.
For packing we put a fanny pack on the bottom of the frame for any extras we may need while hauling meat.
I like a small pack that doesn't stick out form behind me and lays close to my back, much quieter in the elk woods.

The bigger packs are great but for day hunts I want something small and lightweight. I have carried a cow elk quarter about 1/2 mile over my shoulder to get back to the pack frames for subsequent trips, not fun but very doable.
Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/27/21 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by Wytex
BOBO my everyday pack is an old Badlands Hydration pack and it weights about 1 1/2 lbs empty.
For packing we put a fanny pack on the bottom of the frame for any extras we may need while hauling meat.
I like a small pack that doesn't stick out form behind me and lays close to my back, much quieter in the elk woods.

The bigger packs are great but for day hunts I want something small and lightweight. I have carried a cow elk quarter about 1/2 mile over my shoulder to get back to the pack frames for subsequent trips, not fun but very doable.


Gotcha, ya I’m not going to carry an elk qtr over my shoulder for 1.5 -2 pounds of pack weight savings personally.

Everyone is different. My pack compressed down to nothing in my opinion but I’m also pretty decent framed guy so in between my shoulders is a little different then yours.

Go time for Hunters we got lots of options
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/27/21 03:03 PM

Oh I get it BOBO.
Usually the first trip is the boned out meat in my little pack.
Spouse has moved to a lumbar pack with a good shoulder harness. He also can carry out a load of boned out meat for the first trip to get frames.

We also are now way more picky on where we shoot an elk, lol.
You all have to go where eth elk are on your limited time hunts, I can see the need for pack frame combo.

Like you said good convo for hunters, it is go time. I'm just putting out there what I and the spouse use for our day type hunts. When we know we might have a little work to get something out, the spouse goes to his bigger Super day pack then to the pack frame.

The newer pack frames are also very light, big improvement over older types. That for many is worth the extra cost and I don't disagree.
Posted By: Whack n stack

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/29/21 11:11 PM

Went to scheels today and tried on a few packs they had. Tried the mystery ranch pop up 38 and 28, one stone glacier pack, and two badlands. Stone glacier was very comfortable but out of my price range, badlands packs just didn’t seem to fit me right, the mystery ranch pop up 28 had a little too small of a bag for my liking, the mystery ranch pop up 38 seemed to be the best for what I’m looking for but they only had it in S/M which I take for small/medium and I needed one size larger since I maxed the back plate height out when fitting. I’m leaning towards the pop up 38 but not dead set quite yet. I may order the large to the store to try the fitting and just return if I don’t like it. The guy that helped me said that would be the best option and he seemed very knowledgeable on the fitting process.
Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 02:04 AM

Originally Posted by Whack n stack
Went to scheels today and tried on a few packs they had. Tried the mystery ranch pop up 38 and 28, one stone glacier pack, and two badlands. Stone glacier was very comfortable but out of my price range, badlands packs just didn’t seem to fit me right, the mystery ranch pop up 28 had a little too small of a bag for my liking, the mystery ranch pop up 38 seemed to be the best for what I’m looking for but they only had it in S/M which I take for small/medium and I needed one size larger since I maxed the back plate height out when fitting. I’m leaning towards the pop up 38 but not dead set quite yet. I may order the large to the store to try the fitting and just return if I don’t like it. The guy that helped me said that would be the best option and he seemed very knowledgeable on the fitting process.


Popup is probably the best all round day pack on the market.

Since it has a load self you can put a lot of stuff in a dry bag, and triple your capacity if need be.
Posted By: BOBO the Clown

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by Wytex
Oh I get it BOBO.
Usually the first trip is the boned out meat in my little pack.
Spouse has moved to a lumbar pack with a good shoulder harness. He also can carry out a load of boned out meat for the first trip to get frames.

We also are now way more picky on where we shoot an elk, lol.
You all have to go where eth elk are on your limited time hunts, I can see the need for pack frame combo.

Like you said good convo for hunters, it is go time. I'm just putting out there what I and the spouse use for our day type hunts. When we know we might have a little work to get something out, the spouse goes to his bigger Super day pack then to the pack frame.

The newer pack frames are also very light, big improvement over older types. That for many is worth the extra cost and I don't disagree.


I leave Wednesday night, and I think I’m ready!! Lol

Good luck and I luck forward to the pictures. I hope you out do your husband with a big stud bull!!! cheers
Posted By: Gringo Bling

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 01:59 PM

I need a new day pack and ordered a Mystery Ranch Sawtooth 45 last Thursday. The price is typically more than your $300 budget and the Subalpine camo pattern costs more because MR has to pay Sitka royalties to use that pattern...but, right now you can get it for $360 from goHunt. That's total price including free shipping. That same pack would be $515 with tax at Scheel's. This is a superior pack to the Pop Up 38 and is less money than if you were looking to buy the Pop Up 38 from Scheel's.
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 03:20 PM

I bet you'll like that pack Gringo, make sure to wear it round and listen for what might make it squeak or make some noise when drawing or moving through the timber.


Good luck BOBO !

We're hoping for a good bull moose on Sept 19-25 but have time to go back in Oct .
Posted By: Gringo Bling

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 04:03 PM

Originally Posted by Wytex
I bet you'll like that pack Gringo, make sure to wear it round and listen for what might make it squeak or make some noise when drawing or moving through the timber.


Thanks, it looks like a great pack overall. I don't personally know anyone who has it, but it has everything I am looking for. I definitely plan on keeping the tags on to test it out before I actually take it in the field.
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 05:03 PM

One thing that can lead to squeals and noises is dust. It gets between the layers and starts a little noise. Might need washing or hosing down if you take it out on the ATV or side by side.
Posted By: Whack n stack

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 08/30/21 10:45 PM

Heck of a deal gringo bling, hope the pack works out great for you. I just ordered the pop up 38 off gohunt for $280 free shipping. Seemed to have all that I was looking for. Thanks everyone for your input and knowledge.
Posted By: Mickey Moose

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 09/02/21 12:24 AM

Pack bags are like gun safes. I've never wanted a smaller one. I have one large bag for all use cases. But that's me. Of course, my approach may not align with others. For example, one who day hunts only wouldn't want to go my route. Conversely, one who only does 10-day backpack hunts needs more than a day pack size. Fit is most important. The best bag sucks if the system doesn't fit well. There seems to be near endless options for frames and bags anymore. I like Made in USA.
Posted By: Whack n stack

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 09/02/21 11:23 AM

My order on the mystery ranch pop up 38 got canceled due to being out of stock, talked with mystery ranch for a bit and ended up ordering a sawtooth 45. I did get fitted at scheels on both packs. I’m excited to have a quality pack, Been using a $20 fieldline for a long time and lucky it’s held up this long, but it’s lacking in lots of areas.
Posted By: DonPablo

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 09/04/21 04:08 AM

Badlands is having a sale:

https://www.badlandsgear.com/collections/specials
Posted By: Reata

Re: Looking for a frame pack - 09/05/21 04:22 PM

Have an old Mystery Ranch Crew Cab but recently switched to the Popup 38 and gave the old one to my youngest. Good luck Bobo and Wytex!
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