Packing out meat from a successful harvest can be a very rewarding emotion. It also can be a nightmare if you are using the wrong frame pack or none at all. Fifty pounds or more of dead weight can put serious strain not only on your shoulders and back, but your entire body. If the weight shifts, you are in for a long, strenuous hike back to your vehicle. Slumberjack makes some very innovative packs for hunters that are venturing out for their first year and also for those well-seasoned veterans who have tested out several packs over their outdoor career.
The Rail Hauler pack form Slumberjack is a versatile frame and roll-top combo pack. The Rail Hauler pack services a day of hunting with an option to pack out your kill comfortably. First, its heavy duty external frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum tubes. An aluminum support shelf system folds up against the frame when carrying the pack in after a kill shot for transport. It also folds down to securely support your load and keep it from bouncing up and down, keeping the load from adding more stress on your shoulders. Four compression panels also help keep the shelf solid under the weight. The frame pack will allow you to pack up to 200 lbs. in one load, if you‘re capable of carrying that kind of weight.
The Rail Hauler has straps for hunters to pack their bow or rifle, along with a drop down weapons pocket. Two large side wrap wings are a welcomed design. Most frame packs leave the pack too open and use a few 1-inch nylon straps to secure your load. Deadweight needs to be secured from top to bottom for a comfortable pack out. The large wings really help to keep the load from shifting horizontally. The top of the frame uses a small wing strap that has a leg hole, which I used for elk quarters to help the load stay centered in the frame.
The roll top pack is 2500 cubic inches and is cleverly designed to be used for your hunting gear after the kill. You can carry your meat on the aluminum frame and attach the roll-top pack to the outside of the frame pack to keep your gear away from the meat. I also like that Slumberjack added shoulder straps and padding to the 2500 cubic inch roll top. The waist belt is removable and can be transferred from the frame pack to the roll-top very fast and easily. This gives some diversity to the Rail Hauler combo for users who want to pack into a hunting location where they might stay overnight or for a few days. The frame can be carried or left at camp and the roll-top will serve as a day pack. I also used the roll-top pack on hunting trips to serve as an extra bag for my gear, providing an extra pack if needed.