Go in Light and Come out Heavy - Which Pack?


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2008
So I'm looking for a pack to go in light and come out heavy. I'm not sure which pack will do what I'm after though. I'm looking to pack Elk quarters mostly.

I've looked into the Mystery Ranch Crew Cab, Eberlestock's various Packs, Badlands, etc, etc. I want something with load hauling designed into it and that has useable load lifters in the shoulder straps (I'm 5'10" with a 19.5" torso).

Which pack would you suggest and why?

Thanks and God bless you all!

I think Mystery Ranch has the best suspension/frame system, with Eberle coming in a close second. The rest of them are trying to cut weight to sell a nice lite pack, well that is all good with 40 lbs. But hauling heavy loads lighter built packs FAIL. Which Mystery Ranch or Eberle is up to you, just make sure which ever you choose that it has their best suspension/frame system (which will be a 8-10 lb. pack empty) and you wont regret it when the meat is on your back.
I use a Eberlestock J107 Dragonfly, and like it. It has an adjustable suspension system, so you can tailor it to your torso size and comfort. Like Idaho Sawyer mentioned, a pack that will hold up to a heavy load isn't going to be ultra light unloaded in the first place. I have hauled out elk quarters and heads with no issues other than being exhausted from the hike afterwards.
Eberlestock's motto is "Go in light, come out heavy" While this pack is good for that, I often joke with my buddy that I "go in heavy, and come out heavier" when using my back for backpack hunts. In other words, there is lots of room to pack stuff, some gear that isn't even really necessary :rolleyes:. The detachable fanny pack is nice for ditching your gear and just taking the essentials when going on a stalk.The only thing I wish the 107 had was some internal organizational pockets for smaller items such as knives, gps, calls etc.
Kifaru duplex frame and pack system. The best period. Know a guy who packed out a 210lb man who had broke his ankle 4 miles back in a wilderness area. Pack was fine but his legs were not. Weekend before last a guy on another site packed put a full moose cape ( whole hide with hoves ) , 173lbs no problems.
Any thoughts on the Eberlestock Warhammer or Blue Widow? Both are in a better price range for me over the others suggested but seem like they may fit the bill. . .
"They" say the eberlstocks start to break down about 75lbs + . Belts start to fold and give hot spots. I'm too tall for them anyway so I will never gey to see for myself. I'm looking at a new pack by Stone Glacier. They are not shipping yet but see to be the ticket for me. Waiting to see their spotter pocket and a few field reports before I jump off as I don't have to have it for this season. The new Kiui packs are suposed to have cured their frame issues but are not light enough for me to jump from kifaru.
Does the Badlands 2800 do any better with these heavy loads?

Really would like to step up into the Kifaru or MR class but $500+ is hard to come up with. Those in the $300 range would be more attainable.
Don't know about tje badlands. A good place to ask would be rokslide forum. It is all about diy backpack hunting.
How tall are you? The 2200 is a better bag for packing or will give shoulder lift. The thing about Badlands is they break alot. Even with Kifaru packs which I feel are well worth the money I use my Horn Hunter Full Curl alot. USA made, lifetime warranty, and better than Eberlestock and Badlands (Vietnam made) packs. Find one that fits you well! Your trips will be much more comftorble.
The Eberlestock packs can swap out the hip belts. You can buy standard length, and large length hip belts with extra padding. Have a large, extra padded belt on my J107 to fit over my cold weather clothes. Running 60 lbs in my J107 on training hikes (approx 3 miles, 2x per week) with zero issues.

Hopefully will prove/disprove any issues over 75 lbs in about 4 weeks... :)
I've been using Eberlestock Dragonfly and Blue Widow. Then I saw this pack. It's on my list of "new gear for 13' ".

Stone Glacier Ultralight Backpacks

The guy that designed them knows a few things about extreme lightweight hunting "go in light come out heavy".

I've pushed the limits on Eberlestock packs hiking out with Moose hind quarters pushing 100 lb. plus. I've started testing packs by using 25 lb. sand bags and progressing to 100 lb. to see where the comfort levels of the packs are and the weight limits of the packs.

Think about if you ever do a solo hunt and have to carry everything with you that you'll need then carry out a boned out animal. Or possibly a time where you will hike Moose or Caribou quarters over several miles or a large Brown Bear hide. Find a pack you like and see if you can borrow the model your looking at buying or see if the manufacturer will loan a pack out to test.
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