What Is the Best Backpack for Bow Hunting? 

 November 18, 2022

By  Diane Wuthrich

A successful bow hunting trip relies on bringing all the gear you need for this type of hunting. You should be able to carry your bow, arrows, binoculars, tree stand, release aid, scents, rangefinders, and so much more safely in a backpack. But what else should you look out for in a bow hunting backpack?

Bow hunting requires several moving pieces used together. The right backpack for this sport should offer excellent organization and access, a comfortable fit that supports mobility, and a waist belt for distributing heavy loads.  It should also be durable and spacious enough for your hunting needs.

Read on below to learn more about finding the best backpack for bow hunting.

Best Backpack for Bow Hunting

The success of bow hunting relies largely on having all the tools and gears you need out on the field. Backpacks are the preferred way to carry hunting gear around, but bow hunting backpacks are very different from backpacking packs. Bow hunters have very specific needs, mainly the ability to carry specific gear intended to help them notch that tag.

But what exactly should you be looking for in a bow hunting backpack?

Organization and Access

There’s nothing worse than working hard on stealth while trying to dig for your gear – then losing the shot.

The best bow hunting backpacks have intuitive pockets made precisely for this sport. It should have separate compartments strategically located for you to conveniently (and quickly!) find your gear such as:

  • Bow
  • Arrows
  • Release aid
  • Calls
  • Scents
  • Field dressing kit
  • First-aid kit
  • Map

… and other necessary tools.

Waist belt pockets also come in handy for smaller gear that you will need easy access to.

Comfortable Fit

You may have all the important features in a bow hunting backpack, but they don’t do much if it’s uncomfortable to wear and hinders your movement. When bow hunters are out on the field, you have to stealthily stalk your prey in a close range – then go in for the kill. It will be difficult to concentrate on the shoot if your pack is causing you pain, or your limbs are shaking.

That’s why choosing a comfortable fit with adequate suspension systems is essential for a bow hunting backpack. Look for a pack with the following features:

  • Ventilation: Breathable fabric that encourages air flow behind the backpack will prevent sweat and discomfort. The shoulder straps and back panel should have built-in ventilation. This provides the added benefit of providing cushioning to reduce pressure on heavy weight points such as your shoulders and lower back.
  • Shoulder straps: Thick, wide, and padded straps make your pack comfortable even when you’re carrying heavy loads. It prevents rubbing against your skin and protects your shoulders.

Additionally, shoulder straps are where the load lifters are located. These play a critical role when carrying heavy weights; once tightened, the load lifter pushes against the frame and will raise the shoulder straps up the shoulders, thus distributing more weight into your hips.

  • Waist belt: If you intend to carry over 2,000 cubic inches, an adjustable waist belt is ideal for evenly distributing your weight. In fact, the presence of a hip belt alone can already make your backpack feel lighter than it actually is.

Waist belts should contour to your body. It should never be too flimsy nor should it be too structured.

  • Torso height: Choose a backpack based on your torso height, and consider the load you expect to carry during your bow hunting trip. Keep in mind that the best bow hunting backpacks should help minimize weight from your shoulders and transfer it to your hips – it can’t do that job well if the frame isn’t tall enough.

Light loads will work just fine with a shorter frame. On the other hand, a heavy load will be more comfortable to carry with a tall frame.

Below is a general guide (in inches) which you can use to determine the frame height that can fit most males, based on your expected load:

Torso Height

Up to 30 lbs.

30-50 lbs.

More than 50 lbs.

15-16 (short)




17-19 (average)




20+ (very tall)




How to Measure Your Torso Height

The torso length is the distance from your C7 (the protruding bone at the base of your neck) and the end of your back. You may ask a friend to help you measure for better accuracy.

What You’ll Need:

A soft measuring tape will help you accurately determine your torso length. Recommendations from Amazon are found below (note: we earn a small commission if you decide to purchase any of these):


Have a friend hold the tape starting at the C7. Locate the top of your hip bones, then connect these two points through an imaginary line. The length between the C7 and the top of your hip bones is your own torso length.

Note on fit:

When fitting the pack, the shoulder straps should be in the front enough that you can put the load lifter strap between the collar bone and trap, sitting at a 45-degree angle. Meanwhile, the waist belt should be located in the middle right above the hip bones.


Hunting backpacks are a serious investment. It would be wise to invest in one that will last you many years.

The very nature of bow hunting will expose you to rough terrain, unpredictable weather, and thick forests. It’s extremely important to have a reliable backpack that is built to withstand the environment and the elements. Look for a backpack that is at least water-resistant and made with tear-proof, noise-reducing material.


The best bow hunting backpack should always have the right capacity for your needs. Generally speaking, it’s advised to estimate around 1,500 cubic inches for each day.

It is highly unlikely you would need over 2,000 cubic inches for a day trip. But for 3 to 5 day bow hunting trips, your backpack should be able to accommodate 4,000 to 7,000 cubic inches of storage. These are merely guidelines but at the end of the day, your backpack should be able to fit all your gear comfortably regardless of recommendations.

Our Recommendations

Day Trip

Badlands Diablo Dos Hunting Backpack : If you’re looking for the ideal bow hunting backpack for day trips, look no further than the Badlands Diablo Dos Hunting Pack. It boasts of a superior ventilation system that ensures you have a regular supply of cooling air on your back. The bow boot and batwing straps are designed to keeps your bows securely in place.

You can enjoy peace of mind that this bag won’t just break while you’re out on the field. The backpack is made with KXO-32 fabric which is built for the tough nature of hunting; it’s also waterproof, incredibly quiet, and light.


ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Backpack : The ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Backpack is a top-rated bow hunting backpack, and for good reason. It has numerous strategic features that a modern hunter needs, such as a padded waist belt with pockets, and a ring clip that lets you hang the backpack from a tree as you hunt.

The drop down pocket lets you store your bow, and it also comes with a quiver on the pack sides. It has a spacious main compartment, while the front organizational pockets help you easily access your gear whenever you need it.


Investing in the best bow hunting backpack for your needs is one of the most important decisions you can make. The right pack will make all the difference in a more enjoyable and successful hunting experience.  

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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