If you’re like me, you’re constantly on the lookout for new backpacks. Every time I see a new pack in an outdoor store, I’m immediately thinking about all the ways I could organize my hunting gear in it. At this point, I have so many bags that I would call myself an expert in the backpack world. Today I’m going to be diving into the brand Cabela’s to inspect which of their backpacks are my favorite.
In this article, I’m going to go over what I look for in a good backpack, rank my top Cabela’s backpacks, and list some alternatives to consider. By the end of this article, you’ll have a great idea about which backpack would best suit your needs! Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Bottom Line Up Front
The bottom line here is that if you’re looking for a multi-day pack for hunting, Cabela’s Multi-Day Hunting Pack is perfect for you. It’s got a built-in meat storage compartment, attachments for your rifle/bow, and countless other storage containers. It’s also comfortable and reliable.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a smaller bag to use on hunts that you can be nimble with, I’d recommend the Cabela’s Elite Scout Pack. It’s got built-in MOLLE webbing to help balance your bow, a slick fit, and looks great in the field.
- Cabela’s Multi-Day Hunting Pack — The perfect backpack for multi-day hunting trips. This bag is big enough to store meat, your rifle/bow, and loads of other gear.
- Cabela’s Bow and Rifle Pack — A backpack that’s got loads of organization and is designed to neatly hold your bow/rifle in the back. This bag is great for those whole love complete storage systems in the field.
- Cabela’s Elite Scout Pack — The perfect backpack for those who like to maneuver through the woods quietly, and hold their rifle/bow in hand. It’s lightweight, flexible, and has a remarkable amount of storage for other gear.
- Cabela’s Treestand Pack — The backpack that’s meant for pure internal storage. It’s got nine compartments inside to ensure the inside of your bag is well sorted for whatever adventure you’re going on.
- Bass Pro Shops Eclipse 1.5 L Hydration Pack — The perfect pack if you’re looking to go on a small hike or excursion. This bag comes with a hydration pack that can be refilled.
Criteria for Backpacks
Let’s take a look at my criteria for picking out a solid backpack.
Call me shallow, but for me, the top thing I look for in every backpack is its style. Even if a backpack has the perfect storage compartments, function, and weight, I won’t even consider it if it doesn’t look good with my general attire.
For me, a backpack is almost like an extension of your clothes, so it minds as well work with everything you have. Things I like to look for are backpack color, logo placement, number of outside compartments, and general shoulder straps.
The next priority on my list is the backpack’s general function- not all backpacks are created equal. Some backpacks might be better for hunting, while others are more suited for fishing or long-distance hikes.
I like to own different backpacks for each hobby so that I can really utilize them to their full capacity. For this reason, I generally steer away from “catch-all” backpacks that are for general storage.
The next component I look for in a backpack is its storage space. How many external pockets are on the backpack, and more importantly, how many internal pockets are on the backpack? I love backpacks that have just the right amount of storage.
Too many pockets and it can get overwhelming, while too few pockets and you’re left with gear clanking together in the center.
To make this part of my criteria easier, I’ll usually bring my gear into a store so that I can see if it all fits. Most stores won’t have a problem with this; just be sure to check in with the customer service first.
The final component I look for in a backpack is its weight. No one wants a backpack that is just as heavy as the gear inside of it. Normally this isn’t too much of a problem unless you’re looking at big backpacking backpacks, which is why it’s the lowest on my list.
However, if one backpack is slightly lighter than another, I’ll always prefer that bag, even if it’s a little extra. One more detail I’ve found to be helpful in determining if the backpack itself can pack up small. This is helpful if you’re going on longer camping trips and want to pack a smaller backpack that can fold up.
Best Cabela’s Backpacks
Now that we’ve taken a look at my general sorting criteria for bags let’s take a look at my list of top Cabela’s backpacks. This list is ranked in order of size, with the biggest bags being up-front.
The first backpack I want to highlight is universally the best backpack for multi-day hunts. My favorite thing about this bag is that it has its own expandable internal storage compartment that’s specifically designed for carrying meat from a hunt.
None of these other bags have this capability, and it’s nice to have a specific area designated for meat- namely, because we all know how dirty it can get.
But that isn’t the only feature of this big bag (24″Hx11.5″ Wx6″D, expandable to 9″ D.) It’s also got an external attachment that can be customized to hold your rifle or bow. It’s also got several other outer compartments for miscellaneous gear, a rainfly, and a blaze flag.
Even for smaller adventures, this is usually my go-to bag. Even though it weighs a decent amount (7lbs 15oz), I enjoy all the extra room for snacks, drinks, and supplies.
- Specialized meat storage compartment and water reservoir
- Ideal for multi-day hunts
- External rifle/bow straps
- On the heavier end in terms of weight
The next backpack I’d like to outline is the Cabela’s Bow and Rifle Pack.
This pack is similar to the Multi-Day Hunting Bag, except it is significantly lighter and designed primarily to house your rifle/bow, water, and a few other supplies. It’s a good choice if you’re hunting big game or are planning on packing your meat out via another method that isn’t on your back.
The backpack also comes loaded with other features, including an area designed for a water reservoir, rainfly, and blaze flag.
My only problem with this bag is that it looks a little chunky with all the external storage, so it’s not exactly “slick.” However, if you’re more about the hunt itself than looking good in the woods, this might be the bag for you. The Cabela’s Bow and Rifle pack comes in two camo colors- Kanati or Strata.
- Good medium level backpack
- Carries rifle/bow with ease
- Lots of organizing
- Isn’t ideal for multi-day hikes
- Clunky look
The next pack I’d like to cover is Cabela’s Elite Scout Pack. Similar to the Bow and Rifle Pack, this backpack is a little smaller than the Multi-Day Hunting Pack, also weighing 3lbs and 13oz. My favorite part about this bag is the MOLLE webbing on the side of the pack that’s perfect for balancing your bow.
This bag doesn’t have nearly as many external storage spaces as the Bow and Rifle Pack, but in my opinion, it looks much slicker. It’s also slightly more lightweight and fits my back better. By this, I mean it rides up along my spine more closely, which gives me more dexterity in the field.
I have a very “ninja” style when hunting, and I prefer to move as gracefully as possible. This bag helps with that enormously. The only con that this bag has for me is that it doesn’t have an external strap to hold your rifle/bow. But for me, that’s not a problem because I like to have it ready at all times.
- Flexible and lightweight
- Slicker look
- Built-in rainfly
- Doesn’t have as much storage, doesn’t hold a rifle/bow
The Cabela’s Treestand Pack is, in my opinion, the best backpack for generalized storage. Maybe you’re not even going on a hunt, but simply a long hike. Almost all of the storage in this bag is internal and made to be easily accessible. It has a whopping nine different compartments inside, so if you’re an organized person, this might be your dream.
I enjoy how this backpack supports itself on your back. It’s got a channeled back, which gives the bag a ton of breathability. Weighing in at only 3lbs 9oz, this is the lightest bag so far. It also includes a hip belt which allows you to clip in a holster if you want. The bag only comes in one color, which is the camo Kamati.
- Most comfortable/breathable bag
- Lots of gear organizing spots
- Isn’t super specialized for hunting
The final bag I’d like to list is the Bass Pro Shops Eclipse 1.5L Hydration Pack. It’s a little-known fact that Bass Pro Shops is a parent company to Cabela’s, so you can be assured that the quality of this bag is on par with the above. Since this bag is so small (weighing in at .73lbs), the main purpose of this pack is for water hydration.
It comes with a water reservoir as well, which holds 50oz of BPA-free water. The best part of this hydration pack for me is that it doesn’t have any “taste.” Lots of packs nowadays (looking at your Camelback…) have a certain type of plastic waste, which I’m not a fan of.
One final feature of this bag that’s nice is the reflectors on the bag, which are great for coming back from your hikes late at night. Sometimes I’ll even keep the bag by my tent at night to remind myself where it’s at with its reflectors.
- Rugged material
- Lightweight bag
- Reservoir/hose is convenient
- Only enough room for a water reservoir and maybe a granola bar or two
Alternatives to Consider
These backpacks are a bit more niche, but I figured I’d include them because they can be useful for very specific cases. Once I pick a backpack brand, I like to keep all my additional bags in line with it.
This hauler is perfect for carrying out meat or any other excess items on your back. Its aluminum frame is extremely tough and durable and can be adjusted and removed to fit those strangely cut sizes of meat. I’ve found the hip belt to be useful for distributing the weight more evenly on your back.
The bag comes with four compression straps for securing loads and is compatible with any Cabela’s VersHunt bags. It weighs 5lbs 2oz, and it’s dimensions are 31.35″H x 15″W x 4.7″D. Hip Belt: 36″ – 54″. Torso Range: 18″ – 23.5″.
- Durable, tough, and ready to be used
- Extremely adjustable
- Built-in blaze flag
- Not the most comfortable on the back
The final bag I’d like to review in this article is the Cabela’s Boundary Waters Roll-Top Backpack. The main function of this bag is to be completely waterproof, as the bag is made with 100% waterproof PVC coating. This makes it the ideal choice for boating, rafting, or downpour adventures.
I like to use this bag for camera gear, food, and other important items you wouldn’t want to get wet. It’s also got a slick look to it, and it might be my favorite bag in terms of stylistic design. It seems to be crossing over into Northface/Patagonia territory in terms of looks. However, the bag only comes in one color- tan.
- 100% water-proof
- Stylish design
- Comes in two sizes- 143L and 70L
- Not necessary in many instances
Answer: Generally speaking, yes. Cabela’s is a brand that’s been known for its durable nature. The bag will hold up well against rocks, storms (with an included rainfly), and anything else you can throw at it. With consistent use, I’d say these bags can last 3-5 years.
Answer: Most of the Cabela’s lineup is designed for hunting. This means that most of the backpacks include external storage for your rifle/bow and sometimes even compartments to store/carry meat.
However, the Treestand Pack, Eclipse Hydration Pack, and Boundary Waters Roll-Top Backpack are more generic bags designed for hiking/travel.
Answer: Cabela’s accepts returns on products within 60 days of purchase, as long as it is a manufacturer defect/problem. If you damage part of a product, it will not be eligible for return.
Answer: Yes, most of the backpacks specifically designed for hunting (i.e., the Multi-Day Hunting Pack, Bow and Rifle Pack, and the VersaHunt Alaskan Pack frame) all come with the orange blaze, which can be clipped on or off.
Overall, if you’re looking for your next hunting backpack, look no further than Cabela’s. They have all sorts of bags to fit your specific need- whether it’s for a multi-day excursion or simply for a day out with the boys hunting small game.
My favorite pack of the bunch is Elite Scout Pack, which is just small and lightweight enough for me to bring on hunts, yet still feel comfortable silently navigating the woods. If you’re looking for something bigger, I’d recommend the Multi-Day Hunting Pack, which can store your meat, gun/bow, and additional gear.
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this article that breaks down my favorite components of various Cabela’s backpacks. Happy hunting!
Nicholas is an adventure photographer who’s been traveling North America for the past four years shooting landscapes from Washington all the way down to El Salvador. His passion for photography and the outdoors started in Colorado, where he grew up exploring its vast mountain ranges. Today, he hopes to share his lifelong experience with the outdoors with others and hopes to inspire people to explore more.