Looking for opinions please. Lightweight backpack


Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2023
Renton, Washington
Good morning y'all!

Looking at re-tooling my entire hunting set up this year. A little background on me. Been hunting Wa State since I was 5 years old with my dad. Mainly on the east side. (That was in the mid 80's). Through the years amassed quite the collection of stuff.

Now, I am in process of working out and loosing weight so I'd like to get everything lighter as much as possible without sacrificing comfort. I have hunts planned in Montana this year so it's time to get it done!

I currently run an eberlestock x1. I like the rifle scabbard as this is why I got one. I also have an eberlestock gunslinger II for long hikes. Looking for a good day pack with a rifle scabbard or a way to carry one on the pack. Budget isn't an issue and am willing to look at all y'all suggest.

Thank you in advance and I apologize for the short story. Hope this gives the members here a little more insight on what I am asking and hoping to find a few that were in my same boat!

I tried exo, kuiu, mystery ranch. I liked the kuiu best and they frequently have sales. Easy to swap out bags. I run a 4000 and use it for hike in and daypack. With waist pockets and rifle carrier 6lb 6oz. Look at the zipper design and nylon on kuiu. I don't like a stuff sack style. They offer two nylon types and there is a weight difference.
I started with an Eberlestock J107 Dragonfly love the scabbard. Then I bought a kuiu 5200 icon pro and 3200 icon pro. Kuiu is waaay lighter but I really don't like the rifle carry set up. Specifically with my carbon barrels. My pack is over 5 years old maybe they changed the wrap the strap around the barrel design. Rifle was always flopping around. I day hunt with the kuiu When packing meat out I still take the Eberlestock. Like Reelsmin said the waist pockets are nice. Added an ammo wallet to mine. Handy.
I really like the light weight of my Kuiu 4000 Icon Pro LT pack but I agree with the comments about their rifle carrier. Their latest carrier works okay if you can put your barrel through the small loop that is sewn into the upper strap, but if you run a larger brake or a suppressor, then it won't fit and it flops around. I will probably pick up a Kifaru Gun Bearer for carrying my rifle for my next hunt.
I'm a mystery ranch fan. Been running them for years at work. They have a new Bridger 55 liter pack that I really like for hiking. I'm also a huge fan of the eberlestock x1 as well.

Bought my first kuiu pack last year (1800 day pack) and so far I've been happy. No issues to report at this point.
Man! This is why I joined for sure! Thank you for all the input! Looking at some now! I really like my X1 as well just don't want the weight. Maybe as I continue to get into shape it will make a difference though,…. Being pleasantly plump has its disadvantages,….. 😜

Anyone have experience with Badlands Super day? They claim weight to be less than 4lbs. Seems to have good enough capacity for my day items. That Vorn Ev30 is a great looking pack though!!
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Seek Outside, their Flight 2 is 3700ci and 2.4lbs.

Even their full-on external frame packs, like their Goshawk 6300, listed at 3lbs 14oz.

I have the Goshawk 6300, I also have their spectra merlin on the back of it, in between that main bag and that merlin I have an Eberkestock scabbard, though I'll likely move that to the side.
Anyways, I also have the attachable side pockets, and the Kifaru xpac lid.

So, 6300ci for the main bag, 1200ci each for the closeable side pockets and the top lid, for another 3600ci total. 1400ci for the Merlin.

I've got 11,300ci that weights only 6.04lbs. Not including the scabbard in weight nor in space, that also doesn't include the main bag side pockets for space, though they are included in weight.

Not that this is a day pack, just as an example, well, my personal example.

83.5lbs is the most I've carried in it, I have it loaded to about 50lbs and that is how I keep it for exercise, go up and down the stairs, do 2 stairs at a time, stuff like that a few days a week.
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I had a badlands pack for years and it was well designed for keeping your back cool. WOW was it not comfortable. Killed a bear and dragged it out myself and made a solemn vow to never be so dumb again!! Bought EXO never looked back. I did buy a smaller KUIU 1800 well made but jeez the bag is wicked noisy!! Not great for whitetail hunting.

EXO are 25-30% larger than others measure too!
X2 for mystery ranch. That said, they aren't light packs. They are however strong packs, with simplicity.
I use a pop up 38? For light weight day runs. I use to use the mystery ranch Pintler bag, but got sick of switching the frames so, now I need to remember to put the bag up for sale. However it was a good bag for day use. All of them are good for hauling meat.

That said, I carry my rifle in my hands often. (Yes for miles) unless the terrain is dangerous. In which case mystery ranch has a pack sling that works pretty good. The price is a turn off for most. I personally use the kifuru gun bearer sling which is another universal option. I personally out of trained habit like to see muzzle in front of me.
Another kuiu fan here. I run a 7200? LT bag on mine. Compress it down to nothing if going light, expand our for multi day hikes. Have thought about buying a smaller bag for day hunts but honestly I don't think it really would be much different than compressing down the big one.

The pack fits my body well, very comfortable. I had a badlands 4500 once and it was never comfortable for me, but might just be a person to person thing?
Just ditched my Eberlestock M5 for a Kuiu Pro LT 5500 set up. Plenty of capacity for multiple days but at 3.7 lbs it's still 3.1 lbs lighter than my Eberlestock which was 2500 cu/in. Only used it once so far packing out a hind quarter of my buddies cow. The sling load capability is a fantastic upgrade over the old fashioned meat shelf of the Eberlestock. The nice part about the Kuiu is you can select from multiple bags to put on your frame to match it to your needs.