Hunting Bag Comparison
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Hunting Bag Buying Guide
Hunting Bag Features
Hunting bags may look a little bit like hiking bags but hunting bags have different characteristics and features due to the unique accessories and gear that hunters carry. Some bags even have the ability for meat and small carcasses to be attached for easy transport. Make sure that when you start searching for the right pack, you take the following bag characteristics into consideration.
- Durable and rugged - Hunting is oftentimes done over heavy or rugged terrain. You can be walking through heavy brush and exposed to all kinds of weather from rain to snow to extreme heat. For this reason, you want a bag that is able to stand up to the harshest conditions without falling apart at the seams. Look for tear-resistant material, reinforced stitching and materials that are designed to resist UV damage. UV rays can degrade hunting bags that are exposed to the sun for any length of time. UV resistant material will minimize this damage.
- Water resistant - When you are in the woods hunting it is inevitable that you will get caught in the rain at some point. Getting caught in a storm can mean wet clothing and ruined equipment. Having a waterproof hunting bag will keep the contents dry and away from the elements. This is handy in case you ever do get stuck in the rain since the bag can carry a change of clothing.
- Materials - Hunting bags are made from a variety of materials including nylon, canvas, suede, and leather. Each type of material has different characteristics that make each unique and suited to specific kinds of use. Full-grain leather is the most durable and doesn’t make noise while you are in the woods. It is the most expensive kind yet many hunters feel the cost is worth it since it can last for decades. Nylon can be treated to be made waterproof but it tends to make noise when anything brushes against it which can scare off game.
- Color - You don’t want to carry a bag through the woods that can be seen from miles away. For this reason, most hunting bags are made with a camouflaged design. This design allows hunters and their gear to blend into the background so animals do not see them. Solid colors are not a good idea since they are much more identifiable, even solid, nature-like colors. Look for patterns that blend with your hunting environment.
- Noise – Nylon is a super strong material but its drawback is that it makes a lot of noise when items brush against it. This noise can be counterproductive when trying to stalk prey. There are some bags that have fleece coverings to minimize the noise made when twigs or branches brush against it but the problem with this “solution” is that burrs and sticks and other items often get stuck in the fleece. Velcro is a poor choice since it makes a lot of noise when pulled apart. The quietest closures are buttons, toggles or elastic pulls. You want a pack that is easily and quietly removable.
- Comfort – One of the most important features a hunting bag should have is comfort. Since you will be carrying it through the woods, you want it to be as comfortable as possible. Features that increase comfort include padded hip and shoulder belts, strap belts that help distribute the weight, materials that wick away any moisture and sweat, and backpacks with mesh along body contact points to keep air flow good.
- Weight – Be sure to look at the weight of the bag without any gear when you are considering different hunting bags. You want to find the lightest possible bag when it is empty because the gear you carry will add weight. Even a bag that weighs 1-2 pounds can feel a lot heavier than one that weighs just a few ounces when loaded down with gear. Some hunting bags come with internal or external frames that help support the weight of the bag. The drawback to framed bags is that they are much heavier than frameless bags. The main idea is to not have a bag so heavy when loaded that it becomes a detriment to your hunting success.
- Zippers – Zippers can be a great feature but also one that can be very frustrating if they are of poor quality. You want to make sure that the zippers on your hunting bag are top-quality, durable, sturdy, and easy to open and close without much noise. Some zippers have rubber ends that minimize noise. Many hunters prefer to use buttons and toggles since they are much quieter but are not necessarily faster.
With the many different styles and types of hunting bags on the market it can be quite a challenge to decide which one is right for your needs. The decision will be easy if you first consider how much gear you will carrying, how long your hunting trips will be, what kind of hunting you will be doing, the budget you have set for a hunting bag, and personal preferences on materials.
The three hunting bags reviewed in this guide are all excellent-quality bags that are adaptable to many different hunting scenarios. The information in this guide is designed to help you sort through the many choices available including the three, top-rated hunting bags featured above. With this knowledge, you can now have a much better understanding of hunting bags and their additional features.
The above information will also help your research be faster, easier, and less stressful since you will know exactly what you are looking for. The right knowledge will enable you to make an informed decision that will meet your hunting needs.
Since we all want you to have the best hunting experience possible, make sure you choose a hunting bag that has plenty of room for all your gear. Remember, too, that it is better for your bag to be a larger than you need than not large enough. Good luck with your choice and Happy Hunting!
- ALPS - http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/
- Badlands - http://www.badlandspacks.com/
- OAGear - http://www.outdooractivegear.com/