Sitka Gear was one of the first companies to come along and make serious expedition-type gear specifically for hunters. Their name is among the most respected in the industry when it comes to quality hunting gear, whether it’s high-end performance clothing or backpacks.
Frame/suspension: Sitka’s tubular Tension frame design is built to provide clearance between the pack and the hunter, providing for excellent ventilation. The pack still maintains a low profile. The bag does not detach from the frame.
While the torso height isn’t adjustable, two sizes (regular and tall) are available.
The hip belt features a lower lumbar bad and reasonable padding, and tightens efficiently with a forward-pull design. Built-in hip pockets are perfect for smaller items like a rangefinder, camera, and wind checkers.
Bag: Made from a combination of polyester, Hypalon, and mesh, with a DWR finish, the main bag fabric is exceptionally quiet. It also has 15 pockets, making it exceptional for gear organization.
The main compartment has access through the top, side zipper, and bottom. It’s topped off by an expandable shroud and detachable three-pocket lid, which is removable. The lid can also serve as a makeshift daypack.
A dedicated padded spotting scope pocket is easily accessible along with a similar pocket nearby for your tripod. Stretchy lower side pockets are perfect for water bottles, longer tripod scabbards and other quick-reach items. Another stretch pocket in front of the spotting scope pockets provides nice quick access for clothing such as rain gear.
An adjustable blaze orange gear shelf can be deployed from the bottom of the bag, either to support the bag load in general, or more specifically, to hold gear between the shelf and bag while the main compartment is used to haul meat.
There is also an integrated quick-release gun/bow holding cable system and supplied rainfly that is housed in the same lower compartment as the gear shelf.
Color/camo options: Optifade Open Country.
Best qualities: Low profile; very quiet; exceptional organization; padded spotting scope pocket; forward-pull waist adjustment.
Could be better: Limited adjustability for wearer; padding in shoulder straps could be thicker/wider; great pack to hunt out of, but not an ideal meat hauler; no versatility with the frame.
Cost: $429. Contact: www.sitkagear.com.
Similar Sitka Gear products to consider: Bivy 30 (3000 c.i., 5.8 bs.) – $349; Flash 32 (3200 c.i., 5.5 lbs.) – $329.