A pack is one of the most essential pieces of gear an outdoorsman can have.  It’s probably not as important to the Mid-westerner who hunts a couple hundred acre farm, but for those of you that trek to the west in pursuit of trophies with  millions of acres of public land to wander around in, your pack and its’ contents aren’t just essential, it could just save your life.
Picking the right pack for your own desired style and needs isn’t an easy task and there is no such thing as the perfect pack.  It needs to be the perfect pack for you and the certain situation you are using it in.  Having numerous different packs which cover various needs and times of the year is the only way to go.  Alps Outdoorz has a full line of packs available at Sportsman’s Warehouse to cover your various needs and we’ve been putting them to the test during the last 12 months.

The Big Bear fanny pack/daypack combination is a great pack for those early season trips.  As a fanny pack, it has an 800 cubic inch main pocket which is great for lunches, spotting scopes, radios, knives or anything else you might need.  Outside pockets are ideal for your rangefinder, calls or anything else that you might need easy access to.  It also comes equipped with a mesh water bottle pocket, which will hold most standard Nalgene bottles.  The shoulder harness helps to distribute weight evenly from the waist to the shoulders as you see fit. It can also be removed if you would like to reduce the weight or just want to use it specifically as a fanny pack.  What makes this pack so diverse is its ability to expand.  By simply unzipping the top compartment and expanding the pack, you gain access to an additional 1900 cubic inches, which securely fastens to the shoulder harness with a couple of clips.  This gives you a 2700 cubic inch day pack, coming in at just under 2.5 pounds.  I absolutely love this pack for my early season hunting.

The Pursuit and Matrix daypacks were put to the test as well.  Both are just a hair over four pounds and right at 2700 cubic inches.  Both packs are very similar and were designed to give you the ability to carry your bow, crossbow or rifle attached to the pack.   The Matrix daypack is a new addition to the Alps line and the biggest difference is with the weapon securing system itself.  It is truly one of the best systems on the market for carrying a crossbow on a pack.  It keeps the crossbow tight to the pack with the perfect attachment straps built in.  Covering ground quickly or even running is an option with this setup.  The fluorescent orange built-in rain cover for both packs is a great feature.  Both are hydration compatible and if that isn’t enough, there are mesh water bottle pockets sewn in for additional H2O, if needed.

All of these packs have a complete video product review from our testing, which shows all the details.