The creation of this pack system revolved around a conversation by a group of hunters who wanted to create a pack that a hunter would want to use – practical, quality, and functional. They desired a pack with the structure and load handling of an external frame but that shifted and rode like an internal. Soon, the Outdoorsmans Pack System was born.
This is a pack that I’ve used extensively on several backcountry hunts. I’ve packed a 7-day camp with it many times and also hauled heavy meat loads and it does the job well.
Frame/suspension: One of the big selling points for this pack is the carbon-fiber reinforced polypropylene frame, which has a good natural give and flex to it. It also has a natural curvature to it that allows it to ride closer to the body and maintain a feel more like an internal frame. It’s one of the few packs in this review that uses a true external frame.
Beyond the structural importance of the frame, there are three key components that I find helpful: 1) there is a v-notch rifle shooting rest at top center; 2) each side has a small post that sticks up about an inch – just enough to hang your rifle sling on so you don’t have to either pack it on your shoulder or lash it to your pack. This little seemingly minor item is in fact so handy and constantly used that I rate it extremely high on my personal wish list in a pack. 3) There is a small solid load shelf incorporated directly into the pack frame, ensuring extra support for your pack bag and better structure for packing awkward meat loads.
The suspension system features an adjustable torso height via shifting the tabs up or down on the grid system of the frame. Padding in the shoulder straps and hip belt is adequate and ventilation is exceptional.
For July 2015, an upgrade will be that you can now separate the bag further from the frame via adjustable-length buckles so that meat can be hauled between the bag and frame. Contact the Outdoorsmans for details.
Bag: The pack bag is constructed of very quiet ballistic cloth and Cordura. The interior of the main compartment is also completely waterproof and washes easily.
The bag has 11 total pockets for good organization, including full-length side pockets for a spotting scope and tripod. It also has a dedicated rifle and bow sling pouch.
Other features include horizontal compression straps, a pull-out blaze orange flap, and locations for two hydration bladders. The bag compresses well and is completely removable if you want to use the frame only for packing meat.
Color/camo options: True Timber, MultiCam, and Coyote Brown.
Best qualities: Quality materials; external frame carries load well and provides great load structure; post for rifle sling is a huge bonus; good organizational capabilities; solid load shelf; rifle/bow holder.
Could be better: shoulder straps could be slightly thicker; compression/cinch straps directly on the frame for use separately without bag would be nice.
Cost: $399. Contact: www.outdoorsmans.com.
Recommended accessories: Accessory Pod (1500 c.i., 7.5-10.5 oz., piggybacks onto main bag) – $79.99; Muley Fanny Pack (1100 c.i.; 2 lbs., 8 oz.; can attach to pack, directly to the external frame, or worn independently) – $149.99.
Similar Outdoorsmans options to consider: Long Range Hunter Pack (7500 c.i.; 7 lbs., 9 oz.) – $499.