Hunting Essentials

How to Choose a Light Hunting Pack

Light Hunting Pack is a crucial piece of gear. It needs to be comfortable, durable, and big enough to haul standard loads as well as heavy loads of meat.

Hunting Pack

Fortunately, today’s top-tier backpacks are not only great for hiking and camping but also for hunting. These packs are lightweight, nimble, and quiet.

When a hunter heads into the mountains to chase big game it’s all about the gear. It needs to be lightweight and rugged enough to haul the heavy loads of food and camping gear. It needs to be versatile enough to cover a range of hunting styles, from mountain goat and sheep hunts to high-country deer hunts. It also needs to be comfortable enough for a week or more at a time.

This is where a quality backpack comes in. One that’s designed with the internal frame design and is light enough to be comfortable under a full load. This type of pack is usually built with more pockets, different types of storage and features than a traditional external frame pack.

The capacity of a hunting pack is another important factor. The more stuff you have to carry the heavier it will be and the more likely your back is to suffer from fatigue and injury. The general rule of thumb is that your backpack should not exceed 15% of your body weight. It may take some time to learn how much you can fit in a pack but with some careful planning and self discipline it’s possible to stay within the guidelines.

For day or overnight trips a small to medium hunting pack is ideal. This size will allow you to fit a day’s worth of food, water, sleeping bag, tent and any other necessary equipment for your trip. Larger hunting packs are more suitable for multi-day or even week long trips. These types of packs will accommodate a sleeping bag, bivvy kit and all of your food and supplies for a week in the mountains.

When choosing a pack, remember that you’ll be wearing it all day while hiking and hunting so comfort is extremely important. Look for a pack with padded straps and back panel for extra support to avoid rubbing or pinching. Look for a pack that has an adjustable shoulder strap design and features an ergonomic waist belt backed with articulating EVA foam. It’s also a good idea to purchase a warranty with your pack just in case of any damage or defects.


A lightweight hunting pack is important to the overall experience of a backcountry hunt. A light pack helps you maintain the mobility needed to navigate tough terrain off trail and to glass, ethically process, and harvest your game. It also enables you to carry enough food, water and gear for the length of your trip. In addition, a lightweight pack can help you gain elevation more quickly and endure longer backpacking treks.

When choosing a hunting backpack, the first thing to consider is storage capacity. A day pack that holds 1000-2000 cubic inches is ideal for carrying a day of water, extra clothing, and other essentials. For a multi-day hunt, look for a pack that carries 3000-4000 cubic inches. This size can fit your shelter, cooking gear, and a few days of food.

The next thing to consider is the weight of a hunting pack. A lightweight hunting pack should weigh less than 4 lbs unpacked and no more than 20% of your body weight when fully packed. Keep in mind that the frame of a pack accounts for about 75% of the total weight, while the bag contributes the remaining 25%.

It is also important to choose a hunting pack that has a breathable suspension system. This will distribute the weight of your load evenly, preventing you from pulling a muscle or injuring your hips. Moreover, a breathable suspension system will reduce sweating on your back, allowing you to remain cool and comfortable while hiking.

Lastly, a high-quality hunting pack should be durable and made of a rugged fabric. Some of the best options include cordura nylon, nylon packcloth, fleece or microfleece, and more advanced fabrics such as X-Pac laminate or Spectra X-Grid. If you’re planning a long trek in harsh environments, choose a durable pack with a waterproof coating that protects your belongings from moisture and snow.

At Stone Glacier, we specialize in ultralight mountain hunting packs. Our pack designers build these packs by hand, balancing technical performance, lightweight packability, and durability for demanding backcountry pursuits. Our cutting-edge ULTRA fabric blend combines ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which is 15x stronger than steel per unit of weight, with high-tenacity polyester and then laminated to a waterproof film.


Once you’ve cut out the extras and figured out how much weight your pack should carry, it’s important to organize your gear efficiently. Keeping your most used items at the top of the bag and less-used things near the bottom can make a big difference in how comfortable and easy it is to access the gear you need during the hunt. It’s also a good idea to include emergency shelter items like a lightweight tarp or space blanket in your hunting backpack so that you’ll be prepared for unexpected backcountry conditions.

For added convenience and customization, look for a pack that has pockets and pouches designed to fit specific gear. Some packs even feature modular designs that allow you to attach a day pack for overnight trips or other uses.


When you’re carrying a heavy load for long distances, the suspension system on your backpack is critical to your comfort. A good suspension design distributes weight evenly to keep you from overworking your back and shoulders. It also allows you to carry more gear without feeling weighed down.

A well-designed suspension system features padded shoulder straps and a waist belt. The waist belt typically includes a buckle and Velcro straps to secure gear and accessories without removing the pack. This lets you add ammo holsters, water bottle holsters, bear spray holsters, and other accessories without taking up valuable pack space.

Durability is another important factor to consider when choosing a hunting pack. Whether you’re looking for a pack made from industry-standard 500D Cordura or an ultralight model, look for quality components like high-end YKK zippers, advanced stitching techniques, and welded seams. These details help you get more use out of your pack and keep it looking great.

Most hunters will need a versatile, rugged pack for hiking and backpacking in the mountains. It should be light enough to be comfortable with a full load, yet large enough to accommodate a sleeping bag and other essentials. Look for packs with a removable frame and modular compartments to make it easier to fit your ideal setup.

Some hunting packs also include a built-in meat carrier or load shelf for easy meat hauling. This feature helps you minimize the time spent on trailside preparation and makes it easier to pack out your game. Some of these packs have a zippered pocket on the side for quick access to your food and cooking supplies.

If Goldilocks was a diehard big-game hunter, she’d probably prefer a pack that’s “just right.” Overnight backpacks are suitable for one or two-night hunting trips and provide moderate storage capacity. They also usually have sleeping bag compartments and additional pockets for easy organization of hunting equipment. For example, the Kifaru Shape Charge is a lightweight overnight pack that also includes a load shelf for carrying animal quarters.