BackCountry Elk Pack

D2JLKING

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
3
Looking for some opinions! Hi guys! I'm new to HuntTalk and just wanted to start by asking some questions.
I am in the process of shopping/purchasing gear for some backcountry elk hunting. I thought I had my pack
narrowed down to the EberleStock Dragonfly. Today I came across the SlumberJack Bounty 2.0

Does anyone have experience with either pack? Would love any knowledge.


-D2JLKING
 

LMD423

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
122
Location
Montana
I don't know anything on the bounty pack but we have a skj rail hauler frame for packing elk quarters and it is a great frame fits a broad range of people. My wife uses it most of the time to pack with. I usually get stuck with a Kelly cache hauler frame which I also like. I am also a fan of eberlestock packs.
 

Digital10

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Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
63
Location
The High Plains, Colorado
The rail hauler is on sale over at Camofire right now....

I used an Eberlestock X2 for about four years. In the end it was too heavy, dug into my shoulders, and held no weight on the hips. I've switched to Kifaru, and well, that is the end of my complaints.
I would make sure that the pack held the weight on a well padded hip belt....first. Then make sure it isn't pulling down on your shoulders.
 

Hatchie Dawg

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Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
533
Location
West TN
Lot of threads out there on this. You can do a search. You will get a lot of opinions. Seek Outside is my favorite. Light, strong, waterproof fabric, made in America by good people.
HD
 

Millsworks

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
589
After using Eberlestock F-1 frame I can't go back to military surplus.
Wish I had a pack this comfy in the Army.
Eberlestock is the only and last pack I'll ever buy.
 

Millsworks

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
589
I am using the transformer pack with the F-1 mainframe.
I find it to be just the right size. Very versatile design.
 

beagle001

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
360
Location
Central WI
I have the SJK Rail Hauler and my buddy has the Bounty 4500. We're both pleased with how they fit and feel. There are probably better packs out there, but SJK are hard to beat for the pricepoint.
 

Elkdog

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
190
Location
Nevada
I have used a friends Dragonfly on several occasions and liked it but it is heavy. I have the SJK Rail Hauler frame with Bounty 4500 bag and really like them. Found both on EBay at good prices. Comfortable, well made and priced well.
 

utahminer

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
472
Location
Colorado
Originally (circa 2009 or earlier) I thought the Dragonfly looked like a good idea because I could carry my rifle in a way that would protect it while giving me a good amount of storage capacity, then I started doing a bunch of research. I HIGHLY recommend becoming a member of bowsite and looking at a bunch of backpack threads in the 2009 to 2010 time frame where ElkReaper (Aaron Synder now with Kifaru) walks through backpack theory and demos a ton of packs. It really helped me understand what I wanted in a pack. The four things that turned me off of the Dragonfly were:

1st- the load lifters are too low and will place most of the weight on your shoulders. I dont know where you are from or if you have packed an elk out of the backcountry, but traveling even a couple miles with the weight of an elk quarter on your shoulders is a pretty miserable experience. You want the best to place almost all the weight on your hips allowing the shoulder and chest straps to keep the pack in place. This ultimately killed the pack for me. Here is a great link where REI explains backpack fitting. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-adjusting-fit.html

2nd - By placing the gun scabbard against your back you are basically not allowing the pack to flex with your movement. As you are climbing and leaning forward you are going to be fighting the gun the whole time. Plus trying to remove the gun in a pinch is impossible. If you want a great way to carry your rifle check out the Kifaru Gun Bearer. https://store.kifaru.net/gun-bearers-p30.aspx I sounds like Mystery Ranch and a few others are making or have made something similar, but I am not as familiar with them. I first noticed the gun bearer on Fresh Tracks because I liked how it kept Randy's gun our of his way while hiking but allowed it to be accessible. I can't say enough good things about it.

3rd - The pack is pretty heavy at 9lbs 6 ozs for only 4,500-cu.-in, in my opinion. This is not a deal killer if the pack is super comfortable (e.g. Mystery Ranch), but with the two items above you are going to have a heavy and uncomfortable pack. To give you a comparison the Mystery Ranch (once again known for very comfortable pack but a little heavy) is Volume: 4333 cu-in and only weighs 6.1 lbs.

4th - I dont believe there is meat shelf leaving you to put meat in the pack with your gear. I know that some people dont mind this, but I personally really like having a meat shelf that opens up between my back and the pack. It keeps my gear and my pack cleaner and also lets the meat breathe a little better.

I personally dont find it very helpful when I ask about a product and a forum member chimes in a simple answer that I should look at product "x" because it is the best with little to no explanation of why. Also, perhaps I am sick in the head, I appreciate and am happier when I have researched a product and know that it is the one that I want. I tried to look up few of the threads from that 2009 & 2010 timeframe that helped me (I know it seems like a lot of info, but they are easy reads and have a ton of info - I was actually pretty pumped to look them up again). There are a huge number of new packs that have come on the market since then, but there are also a number of packs that he tested that are still very popular today. Sorry to be long winded, but this is topic I really enjoy and think it makes a BIG difference in the field.

Bowsite Pack Review Part 1
http://forums.bowsite.com/TF/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=379652&forum=5

Bowsite Pack Review Part 2
http://forums.bowsite.com/TF/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=381371&forum=5

Bowsite Pack Review Part 3
http://forums.bowsite.com/TF/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=382025&messages=58&forum=5

Bowsite Pack Review Part 4
http://forums.bowsite.com/TF/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=382873&forum=5

Bowsite Backpack questions
http://mobile.bowsite.com/forums/thread.cfm?threadid=388619&messages=115&forum=5&sortorder=ASC

let me know if you have any more questions.
 
Last edited:

elkhnter

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
250
Location
Somewhere in the camper!
So, what pack did you end up going with and why? I'm looking for another pack now. I have a J107 that's OK. Bought a Hard Core Hunt Pack a few years ago. There are things I like about both and I feel the best of both are in the EXO 3500.
 

utahminer

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
472
Location
Colorado
So, what pack did you end up going with and why? I'm looking for another pack now. I have a J107 that's OK. Bought a Hard Core Hunt Pack a few years ago. There are things I like about both and I feel the best of both are in the EXO 3500.
Around the time that I was doing all my research in 2009 & 2010 my brother became Badlands dealer and I could get anything at dealer cost. From 2010 - 2012 I tried the Badlands Ox (my favorite of their packs, but heavy), Sacrifice, 2200 and 4500 along with a handful of non-hunting packs. All were heavy, but had some nice features, but I found it disappointing that I had to completely switch packs if I wanted to go from a day pack to a long haul. In 2013 (I believe) the first Kuiu Icon was available and I couldn't wait to get my hands on one at the hunting expo. I was impressed that they were super lite, modular, great load lifters, very adjustable, and packed weight well that I ordered one on the spot and sold all my badlands packs. Since that time I have let a handful of friends use it, when needed, and they have all bought one shortly after.


I know that this forum had a number of people that are anti Kuiu, and I understand why, but I have been pretty impressed. They have since updated the Icon with a couple models of the Icon Pro, but my pack has served me well for the last 5 years. I do wish the belt was a little more comfortable and that the belt pockets were further forward, but those are pretty minor complaints. I have hauled out 3 or 4 elk and a handful of deer during that time and I haven't had any problems (couple of years ago my brother talked me into carrying out two boned out hindquarters from a cow elk and the pack performed better than I did). I would like to try both Mystery Ranch and Kifaru packs, but I have a hard time justifying money on new pack while the Kuiu works well and I am in the process of updating other gear (rifle, tent, sleeping bag...).


I just spent a few minutes looking at the EXO 3500 and its scary how similar it is to my Kuiu pack, except for the frame. The EXO places a titanium rod in a cover and pulls on the cover where the Kuiu has a carbon fiber frame and everything attaches directly to it. I personally like the idea of things being attached to the frame, but I can see an argument against. If your current bag only loads from the top you will love the front zipper that lets you access the main compartment quickly. The weight is reasonable for the size. Personally, I find the 3500 - 4000 size range to be a little odd. They are bigger than needed for a day pack (you end up carrying more than you need because you have space) and too small for long trips. I see the appeal, because it lets you do a little of both, but I like to have a smaller bag for day trips and a larger bag for longer trips. I currently have a 1800 and a 7200. The 7200 might seem a little overkill, but I never need more space and it can be cinched down to a much smaller size. There are plenty of people on this forum that are much more "bad ass" than I am and have lived out of a backpack for long periods of time, so I can see others arguing against my bag size preference.
 

elkhnter

Active member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
250
Location
Somewhere in the camper!
Good information. Now I'm rethinking the whole thing, starting with pack size. I day hunt with a X2 and do pack more stuff than I need. The older I get, the less I want to carry. The Pro 1850 looks interesting.
 

Baerman

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Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
1,348
Location
Boy-see
I've had the Sitka 2000(ish) ci bag, Mystery Ranch Longbow, and currently have the Exo 3500 gen 1. My wife has the Stone Glacier solo if I recall correctly, it's about 3000 ci. I really like both the Stone Glacier and the exo for comfort but prefer the Exo becuase it has more pockets for organizing and packing gear like spotters, tripods, jackets, etc. Exo has a newer generation out now that is even better but I'll probably wear my gen 1 for another year or two as it does the job really well already.

I know guys that are gear geeks and go in for 5 days or longer on with their 3500 ci bags. I'm not quite the gear geek but I have gone in three days with tent, bag, stove, pad, food, etc and could have gone an extra day probably with the gear I have and longer with a smaller, lighter sleeping bag. I was able to then pack out half a deer and all my gear on the way out. I also wear mine every single hunt weather it's a one hour hike, all day or multi-day. these bags pack down to nothing and are light enough, you are crazy not to take something to pack an animal with.

Definitely, look for a bag that separates from a fame and allows you to compress your meat between the bag and frame. It's the best thing since sliced bread! Good luck and fill us in on what you get. There are a lot of options out there and few of them are horrible.
 

Elkdog

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Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
190
Location
Nevada
Well I can't figure out how to get the blue originally posted quote box to come up. This is the only ...blog? Whatever it's called I have every subscribed to. I'd much rather be out doing something than sitting in front of a screen. Although I really do enjoy this site! I don't watch TV either to the extreme embarrassment and confusion of my kids (one reason I dont!!! LOL). Anyway...." Definitely, look for a bag that separates from a fame and allows you to compress your meat between the bag and frame. It's the best thing since sliced bread! Good luck and fill us in on what you get. There are a lot of options out there and few of them are horrible."....THIS!
 
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