Best Hunting Day Packs of 2021 [Elk, Bow Hunting, & Best for the Money]

| Last Updated June 2, 2021

When you go hunting, you need a great pack to carry your gear. Easy access to your essentials can ensure your hunting success.

The length of your hunting trip determines the best type for your needs. For day trips, there are specific models that will serve you best.

Comparison of the Best Hunting Day Packs

  • Abundance of storage space
  • Earthy print blends in with surroundings
  • Best Overall Hunting Day Pack: comfortable and durable
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  • Best pack for bow hunting: specially designed for bow hunters
  • Bow hunting features: dropdown bow holder and quiver holders
  • Main compartment and additional pockets: perfect space for a day trip
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  • Made for comfort: adjustable, padded straps, and waist belt
  • Best day pack for elk hunting: great design caters to elk hunters
  • Unique two-in-one pack design: extends from fanny pack to day pack
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  • Tough, camo-print material: best camo day pack for hunters
  • Multiple attachment points: easy to carry anything and everything
  • Abundance of storage space: nearly twenty spacious compartments
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  • Quiet fabric: designed to help you stay silent in the woods
  • “Best for the Money”: more affordable than most day packs
  • Adaptable: easily adjusts to comfortably fit almost every body shape
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What is a Day Pack?

Day packs are the sweet spot between small waist packs and larger hunting backpacks. They are designed to carry all of the essentials, without the bulk of a bigger option. This helps you remain light and mobile while being adequately prepared to hunt.

How to Choose a Day Pack

When choosing one, there are a few important considerations to make. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of hunter are you?
  • How much gear do you like to bring on day trips?

Your answers to these questions inform the type and size you will need. Different models are designed for specific types of hunting: bow hunting, elk hunting, etc. You will need a pack that corresponds with your personal hunting methods.

You will also need one that fits all of your day trip gear. Consider how light vs. heavy you tend to pack for day trips, and then pay attention to the size of various options. Having plenty of space ensures you can carry your essentials with ease.

Additionally, the most popular day packs for hunting have high reviews in qualities like:

  • Comfort
  • Durability


Popular choices are generally designed to feel comfortable on the body. Features like padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt ensure comfort while carrying. Some packs have adjustable sternum straps to relieve your back of some weight.


Day packs must be durable to be effective. Resistance to wear and tear is essential for a reliable model. Strong material can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your gear safe.

Review of the Best Hunting Day Packs

Time to take a closer look at each option:

Best Overall:
ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber


  • Stay hydrated: hydration port and pockets great for carrying water
  • Designed for comfort: padding on compression straps and waist belt
  • Multiple compartments and pockets: optimizes storage space to fit all your hunting gear


  • Adjustable straps not long enough for larger builds
  • Pocket size: large compartments are not ideal for easy access to smaller items

The ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber ranks “Best Overall” for its popularity among customers. Hunters love this for day trips because its spacious compartments are practical, making essential gear easily accessible.

The straps of this are designed for compression, alleviating the feeling of a heavy pack on your back. These straps are also adjustable and feature padding. Additionally, the waist belt is padded for maximum comfort. Some customers wish that in addition to having large pockets, the pack had some smaller ones.

Since staying hydrated is a must when hunting, the hydration port and side mesh pockets of this pack are ideal for carrying water. Customers appreciate the durable material and its “Mossy Oak Country” print keeps you perfectly camouflaged as you hunt.

Reviews report that this one is most comfortable on small/medium body builds. Weighing just over 2 lbs, the ALPS OutdoorZ is lightweight and easy on the body even with all your gear inside.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is the best pack for hunting day trips. Made of durable material, the ALPS OutdoorZ offers plenty of room for your crucial gear. Built-in padding keeps you comfortable as you hunt, and the hydration port ensures easy transportation of water.

Blend into your surroundings with this pack’s earthy print. You can count on a more successful hunting day with the ALPS OutdoorZ Dark Timber pack on your back.

Best Bow Hunting Day Pack:
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit

ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit, Realtree Edge


  • Durable: tough pack material is resistant to wear and tear
  • Spacious but compact: fits all the essentials without the bulk
  • Practical: features like hydration port and rain cover are convenient for day use


  • 4 lb weight: some hunters prefer lighter options
  • Stitching quality: some reports of stitching unraveling after some use

For bow hunting, the ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is the best backpack. Bow hunters love how easy it is to stay organized on a day trip. Its drop-down bow holder pocket is designed to protect your bow as you carry it through the woods. Side quiver holders are another practical feature perfect for bow hunting.

The padded waist belt includes two pockets for maximum space, and the webbing on the belt is ideal for attaching clip-style holsters. Additional compartments inside provide an abundance of space without the bulk of a larger option. Reviews of this pack appreciate its durability, as its material is tough and resistant to wear.

It is easy to stay hydrated with the built-in hydration port. You can also stay dry in the rain with the blaze-orange rain cover. Weighing 4 lbs, this is on the heavier side. Some users wish it were lighter, but its weight also reflects its durability. The ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is available in two earthy camouflage patterns.

Bottom Line

The ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is an excellent choice for bow hunters. Easily fit your bow and other gear into this durable pack. Designed for comfort on the body, it’s easy to carry if you don’t mind a few extra pounds. Stay hydrated and protected from weather conditions with the built-in hydration port and rain cover, and choose from two nature-inspired prints. There is no better pack for bow hunters than the ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit.

Best Elk Hunting Day Pack:
ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear

ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear Hunting Day Pack, Realtree Edge , 2700 Cubic'


  • Lightweight and easy to carry at 2.5 lbs
  • Versatility: designed for easy extension from fanny pack into day pack
  • Great fit: adjustable, padded shoulder harness and waist belt for optimal comfort


  • No hydration port: lacks built-in water storage
  • Material durability: some reports of easy wear and tear

The ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear is the best backpack for elk hunters. This day pack has special features to optimize your elk hunting success, like its unique two-in-one bag quality.

The fanny pack attached to strong, padded shoulder straps transforms into a day pack for ultimate versatility. The shoulder harness is both adjustable and removable for your comfort. The waist belt also features padding and two pockets for extra storage space.

Customers love this for elk hunting, with lots of space and a comfortable fit. At 2.5 lbs, this pack is fairly lightweight. Some users wish the pack material was tougher for ideal resistance to wear and tear. This pack does not include a hydration port.

Bottom Line

The adaptability of the ALPS OutdoorZ Big Bear makes it perfect for elk hunters. This pack can be either a fanny pack or day pack to fit all of your essentials. Feel at ease with this padded, comfortable model on your back as you hunt. Adjust the straps to your liking and maintain mobility with this lightweight day pack.

Best Camo Day Pack:
5.11 RUSH12

5.11 Tactical Military Backpack - RUSH12 - Molle Bag Rucksack Pack, 24 Liter Small, Style 56892, Multicam


  • Military molle design: perfect camo option for hunters
  • Created for comfort: adjustable shoulder and sternum straps
  • Easy organization: so many compartments to fit essential gear


  • Loose stitching: some reports of strap stitching unraveling
  • Difficulty moving strap buckles: may be hard to adjust straps

The Rush12 Tactical Military Assault is the best camo choice for hunters. Made of tough, waterproof nylon material, this military molle pack is optimized for organization. 16 separate compartments easily fit all your gear and customers love how the main compartment is remarkably spacious.

Reviews also praise the Rush12’s excellent quality of design, with multiple attachment points located on the molle pack’s exterior. Stay hydrated with its hydration port and feel comfortable with adjustable compression straps. While the straps are adjustable, some reviews report difficulty sliding the strap buckles.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Rush12 is an excellent choice for hunters who want camo. Its spacious, durable design allows you to carry all the gear you need and then some. Its tactical toughness may require your additional strength in making adjustments. You are guaranteed to blend right into your outdoor surroundings with this durable camo day pack.

Best for the Money:
Allen Pagosa Daypack

Allen Company 19098 Pagosa Daypack, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, 1800 Cubic Inches


  • Affordable: impressive quality and space for the price
  • Stay hydrated: complete with hydration port for carrying water
  • Made for comfort: padding on shoulders and back with adjustable features


  • Weak zippers: some reports of zippers breaking after short use
  • Distinct smell: many reviews mention the pack emits a strong scent of plastic

The Allen Pagosa ranks “Best for the Money” as an impressive blend of quality and affordability. It is significantly more affordable than many of its competitors, while still offering spacious compartments for carrying your gear. Customers praise it as the best pack for day hunts.

Made of special materials, this is designed to help you stay quiet as you hunt in the woods. It is also designed for your ultimate comfort, featuring padded shoulder straps, back panels, and adjustable sternum and waist straps. Hunters love how easy it is to adjust and how gentle it is on the body.

Additionally, the zippers are lined with bright colors for optimal visibility if you are out before sunrise or after sunset. Carry your water in the hydration port and keep your tiny essentials easily accessible in the waist belt pockets. This is available in two earthy prints.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an affordable option, the Allen Pagosa pack is the best one for your needs. It maintains the same quality and great features as its more expensive competitors. With multiple pockets, silent material, thorough padding, and a hydration port, this is the perfect affordable pick for day trips.

What Do You Put in a Hunting Day Pack?

When packing for a single day of hunting, bringing the right gear is vital to your success. However, knowing what gear to bring can be unclear without some guidance. It is important to be prepared without carrying unnecessary, extra weight. You may find the following items:

  • Water/Food
  • Knife
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hunting License
  • Game Bags


Staying hydrated is essential to survival, especially when you are active. Carrying food and water with you on a day trip could save your life in an unexpected emergency situation. Always carry water and snacks in your day bag for a successful hunting trip.


Packing a knife for the backcountry is a common move. Whether you carry a pocket knife or a survival knife, having a knife with you is a helpful tool. You never know when it could come in handy.

First Aid Kit

Safety should be a priority during outdoor activities like hunting. Keeping a small first aid kit with you is a great idea, just in case.

Hunting License

Always pack your hunting license. Being responsible in this way ensures you will not run into trouble with any officials and can enjoy your hunting day according to regulations.

Game Bags

Carrying game bags in your hunting day pack is always smart. Having these bags easily accessible can keep your game cool and clean, and they are easy to transport inside your larger day pack.

Types of Hunting Day Packs

When choosing the best hunting day pack for your needs, it is important to consider the types on the market. There are many product variations between packs, and we have reviewed a few specific variations in this article. Having a deeper understanding of them will help you make your purchase.

  • Bow Hunting Day Packs
  • Elk Hunting Day Packs
  • Military Molle Day Packs

Bow Hunting Day Packs

Bow hunting day models are specifically designed to carry your bow. Many of these feature drop-down pockets for your weapon to keep it protected more than the average, non-specialized design.

Elk Hunting Day Packs

Elk hunting options are often designed with a two-in-one quality. The most effective ones are incredibly versatile and can transform from a fanny pack into something else. Staying prepared with an adaptable bag can ensure your elk hunting success.

Military Molle Day Packs

Military molles are the most tactical of hunting day packs. They are a great choice for the tough, organized hunter. Their classic design caters to your efficiency.

Benefits of Investing in a Great Day Pack

Choosing a great model may feel like a big investment. However, purchasing a nice day pack is definitely worth it in the long run; there are many features and qualities that cheaper models do not provide. A few benefits of investing in a great day pack are:

  • Comfortable design
  • Durable pack material
  • Sufficient storage space

Comfortable Design

Typically, great choices are more expensive due to the high quality of their design. The best pack designs ensure your comfort as the pack carrier. Features like thorough padding and adjustable straps may be absent from cheaper models.

Durable Pack Material

Day packs have to be durable to effectively carry all your gear. The best day packs are resistant to wear and tear, whereas cheaper models have less resilience. If you are going to buy any at all, it may as well be one that will last through more than one hunting trip.

Sufficient Storage Space

Great ones have enough space for all your gear without the bulk of a larger pack. High-quality pack designs are efficient, as they keep your supplies easily accessible with features for optimal organization.


Choosing an excellent model can be an essential investment in your hunting success. Being a prepared hunter requires that you carry all the important gear in the most efficient way possible. These are the perfect medium between fanny packs and larger bags.

Remain light and mobile when you choose one that fits your hunting style. Feel comfortable in your durable day pack and feel reassured that all your gear is safe and accessible. As a hunter, these quite literally have your back.

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.