Best External Frame Backpack For Hunting: 10 Great Choices

best external frame backpack for hunting


When it comes to hunting, a regular cloth pack might not be enough for serious hunters.

External frame backpacks provide full storage capabilities and hold more weight and oftentimes put less pressure on the back than traditional other backpacks.

Moreover, external frame backpacks are known for their durability.

If you take care of this backpack correctly, it will definitely serve you for years.

Below is a list of some of the best external frame backpacks for hunting.

7 Best External Frame Backpack For Hunting

With a wide range of different external frame backpacks, choosing the one for hunting can be nerve-wracking.

Save your nerves and pick one of the following backpacks for hunting and other daily activities.

1. Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2500 Backpack

Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2500 Backpack, Kryptek

Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2500 Backpack features a removable pack and a supportive external frame that allow you to carry heavy loads with little to no pressure and discomfort.

The pack has a lightweight aluminum frame that has a capacity to handle more than 200 pounds, making it an ideal backpack for hunting and camping with lots of materials.

The folding shelf located on the pack’s bottom aids in supporting the weight while the vertical strap system and wrap-around ‘wings’ hold your things in one place.

Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2500 Backpack, Kryptek

You can use a detachable 2500 cubic inch roll-top pack with the frame or without it in two carry modes.

The first mode is called standard and it keeps the pack close to the back.

The second mode is called ‘trophy carry’ and is characterized by a space for hauling gear, such as hunting gear, between the bag and the frame.

Slumberjack Rail Hauler 2500 Backpack also features a versatile weapon carry system that keeps bows or rifles and hides then when you don’t use them.

The multilevel camouflage pattern provides you with the latest in the technologies of concealment.

2. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag, Briar

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander is one of the most popular external frame backpacks, and for a good reason.

This is a high-quality backpack that will take great care of you while you are hunting.

Created for the hunters and hikers, ALPS OutdoorZ Commander has all the needed woodland fixing for hauling game meat and overall hunting.

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander also features a drop-down tray for masking things or extra rounds to stop the prey from noticing you by your scent.

Furthermore, a dedicated compartment of the backpack allows transporting fresh meat while a rifle mount along the right side ensures comfort.

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag, Briar

When it comes to durability, it’s hard to kill ALPS OutdoorZ Commander – no matter how hard you try.

Made from one of the top-quality nylon ripstop fabric, the ALPS OutdoorZ Commander will survive the endless number of extreme hunts.

When empty, ALPS OutdoorZ Commander weighs a bit more than 7 pounds.

A hydration pocket is a small yet significant feature you get when you buy this external frame backpack.

3. ALPS Mountaineering Zion External Frame Pack

ALPS Mountaineering Zion External Frame Pack, 64 Liters, Charcoal

ALSP Mountaineering is well known for their stellar external frame packs. ALPS Mountaineering Zion External Frame Pack features vented lumbar support.

This makes this an extremely comfortable and durable external frame backpack.

When it comes to storage, this external frame backpack features a large number of pockets and a hydration pocket so you can stay hydrated while on your hunt.

ALPS Mountaineering Zion External Frame Pack, 64 Liters, Charcoal

ALPS Mountaineering Zion External Frame Pack features the lycra-covered suspension components for extra convenience and durability.

The backpack has a capacity of the 3,900 cubic square feet of storage space for your hunting gear, a heavy-duty carrying handle, and weighs 4.94lbs, making it a perfect one for hunting.

The backpacker has external pockets for small items and your hunting gadgets.

4. Kelty Tioga External Frame Pack

Kelty Tioga 5500 Classic External Frame Backpack

With a weight of almost 6 pounds, Kelty Tioga External Frame Pack has a carrying capacity of 5,500 cubic inches and features an adjustable suspension system.

Moreover, this backpack is notable for its sleeping bag compartment, padded shoulder straps, and removable waist belt.

Unlike many other backpacks, Kelty Tioga External Frame Pack has an easier adjustable suspension system so you can make any required adjustments on the go to suit your energy levels.

Moreover, the pack has an accessible water bottle pocket that allows you to carry 1.5L bottle of water.

Kelty Tioga 5500 Classic External Frame Backpack

Kelty Tioga External Frame Pack comes with a compression system and internal divider, along with a great exterior pocket for small things like EDC kit, smartphone, and hunting tools.

If you’re going to hunt for several days, you can pack your sleeping bag – the backpack has a special compartment for it.

The backpack’s radial frame will ensure a better balance.

This is another great external frame backpack for hunting and other activities.

5. Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack

Kelty Trekker 65 Backpack, Garnet Red

With an awesome mix of aesthetics and comfort, Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack offers one of the best load capacities out there.

This backpack is designed for high carry and great support, which means your back won’t hurt during your hunting trip.

Even if you’re not going to carry tons of things, Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack won’t be too bulky when half empty.

The padded shoulder straps and stabilizer straps eliminate the pressure of the backpack’s weight.

Kelty Trekker 65 Backpack, Garnet Red

The waist belt that has dual-density foam aids in keeping the center of gravity, without pulling on you or adding extra strain.

The top pocket gives you quick access to the items you often use when hunting.

The Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack is another top-notch external frame backpack.

6. Summit Glory External Frame Backpack

Summit Glory External Frame Hiking Backpacking Camping Travel Climbing Backpack, Rain Cover Included Lt.Green

With the weight of around three pounds, Summit Glory External Frame Backpack is lightweight and perfect for a one-day hunting experience when you don’t need too much to pack.

It features great external frame support, well-sewed seam and is made from top quality water repellent material – nylon and polyester.

Despite being a compact and lightweight, Summit Glory External Frame Backpack has enough storage space.

It has a primary zipper compartment, a front-side zipper compartment, and a front zipper compartment.

Summit Glory External Frame Hiking Backpacking Camping Travel Climbing Backpack, Rain Cover Included Lt.Green

Summit Glory External Frame Backpack is also notable for a compass pull tag, uniformly forced suspension system, and ergonomics-designed air ventilation system.

The backpack also has 5 adjustable buckles along with alpenstock clasp and strings on waist, chest, sideways, and shoulder.

Additionally, it has various features that help make it water repellent, making this a great choice if you expect to be hunting or hiking in wet conditions.

7. Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack

Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack, Blue/Gray

Featuring an ultralight titanium alloy external frame, Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack is another excellent external frame backpack.

Due to great carry comfort and unprecedented load transfer, Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack offers the best from external and internal frame backpacks.

This 50L pack allows holding a variety of gears needed for hunting.

The load lifting compression straps (X-shaped) help to maintain the things tight and high for a more stable and comfortable carry.

Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack, Blue/Gray

The backpack is compatible with various bladder systems and is well ventilated.

The adjustable shoulder harness doesn’t put the pressure on your neck, shoulders, and spine, making Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack extremely comfortable.

The lumbar support plate and titanium alloy frame of Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack gradually transfers all the weight to the hips, reducing the risk of back pain and more.


Best External Frame Backpack Hybrids & Alternatives

Here are a few more options that aren’t traditional external frame backpacks but still have great potential.

Check them out below.

1. TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack

TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly 60L Waterproof Nylon Raincover (Orange)

Equipped with the thick shoulder straps, this 60L volume backpack is waterproof, comfortable to carry, and weighs just 4.4 lb.

The major storehouse of the pack can be loaded with 5L bladder inflatable bag.

The excellent breathability is what makes TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack different from other backpacks on the list.

The back system of the pack features a steel frame resin net combined with 2 breathable and comfortable cushions.

TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly 60L Waterproof Nylon Raincover (Orange)

Made from DuPont nylon material and a thick nylon waterproof material, TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack is perfect for spring and late autumn hunting.

You can separate the zipper from the major barn in the upper area of the backpack.

There’s a shoe bin in the bottom of the pack.

Despite being lightweight, TOFINE External Frame Hiking Backpack is actually highly durable and stable.

2. BLUE CHARM Camping Backpack

Made from handmade tear-resistant and waterproof nylon fabric, BLUE CHARM Camping Backpack is one of the most supportive and durable backpacks.

Thanks to its CR backpack system and ergonomic features, BLUE CHARM Camping Backpack is comfortable and easy to carry regardless of the distance.

The multifunctional external structure allows you to hang a diversity of outdoor equipment.

Plus, the enhanced isolation layer is ideal for better packing of daily necessities, shoes, and clothes.

The wear-resistant and ultra-light nylon fabric, shock-absorbing shoulder straps, comfortable thickening, fine workmanship, and an international sewing technology, make BLUE CHARM Camping Backpack more resistant to wear and tear.

3. Teesar Backpack 100L

Teesar Backpack 100L Black

Made from a heavy duty nylon fabric, Teesar Backpack 100L has a big primary compartment with additional access from the bottom and internal compartment division hood.

It also features an adjustable well-padded hip belt for extra comfort, adjustable padded shoulder straps with air mesh padding and quick-release chest strap, 2 big detachable zipped pockets, as well as an internal pocket for a hydration bladder.

Teesar Backpack 100L Black

Moreover, Teesar Backpack 100L has a rain cover for extra weather protection, a removable aluminum frame for additional support, and a variety of attachments points for more flexibility.

There’s also a small sleeve for the unused hydration bladder tube.

The backpack also features detachable side pockets for extra storage.

With the help of two snow aprons, you can divide the backpack into three separated chambers.

Features To Look For When Choosing A Backpack

1. Size

best external frame backpack for hunting

If you’re slim, you don’t want to choose a bulky backpack.

You should fit into straps and backpack so consider the frame’s dimensions and the pack.

The fitting of an external frame backpack should be midway on the back, reaching the neck level.

Avoid buying too small or too low backpack as well, as it can place pressure on the lower lumbar, causing discomfort and pain.

2. Material

External frame backpacks are made from a various blend of materials and fabric, including cotton and nylon, and oftentimes include aluminum frames.

These materials can have different pros and cons and such as being waterproof and weather resistant, so make sure you are well aware of what type of material you need to be looking for for your own hunting needs.

3. Weight

two hunters in field with backpack

Although external frame backpacks aren’t heavyweight, they might cause discomfort due to the aluminum frame.

The attachments and add-ons play a critical role in the backpack’s weight as well.

Check out the weight of an empty backpack as many external frame backpacks can be quite heavy. Choose the backpack’s weight based on your own weight and body type.

4. Durability

Depending on the material quality, a quality external frame backpacks can last for years.

Check out the warranty information and also consider how often you are going to be hunting.

We recommend getting a quality backpack so you don’t have to keep purchasing a new one year after year.

5. Capacity

best external frame backpack for hunting

Finally, many hunters choose external frame backpacks because of the capacity they have.

There are backpacks that have minimal storage capacity, albeit you can opt for the one with an increased capacity.

Think about exactly how much capacity you need, and make sure you test out your new external frame backpack before you go hunting or camping.


We hope you have enjoyed this round-up of the best external frame backpacks for hunting.

Hopefully, with the use of this guide, you are able to find a great external backpack that will serve you for years to come.

If you have any knowledge or experience with picking up a new backpack, feel free to leave a comment below. Have a fantastic hunting season.