Every backcountry hunter knows that one of the most important pieces of gear is a comfortable and durable backpack. Backpacks are the cornerstone of building a backcountry hunting kit.
Good backpacks are capable of comfortably holding all of the necessities while being able to haul heavy loads of meat and hides out of the mountains. A quality backpack is more than just another piece of gear, it’ll also reduce fatigue and keep your back supported and ready for future hunting adventures.
Over the years we’ve used many different styles and brands of packs and we were able to incorporate many different aspects that we liked into one ultimate backcountry pack, the Akek Climax 5400. Our Climax 5400 pack is what we believe hunters have been looking for.
This pack perfectly fits the bill for backcountry hunters but is more affordable than other high-quality packs and is loaded with important features that help it stand out from the rest. Today, we will go over the ins and outs of our backcountry hunting pack and why you should seriously consider it for your next hunt.
We Recommend One Of These 2 Packs Below
Alpha 3200 For 1-2 Days
CLIMAX 5400 For Multiple Days
Watch The Short Video Featuring This Climax 5400 Pack!
Why Is A Backcountry Hunting Pack Necessary?
If you’ve never gone hunting in the backcountry before you may wonder what all the fuss is about over backcountry packs. It doesn’t take much research online to realize that there are a suite of options and many opinions on which pack is best and for what reason. Backpacks on backcountry hunts are your lifeline. If your pack fails, you will also fail. The pack holds all of your survival gear, food, water, layers, sleeping system, and more.
If you can’t haul your gear then you can’t hunt. The real test for a backcountry pack is how comfortable it is when carrying heavy loads. Most packs work for short trips, but when you’re hauling 100 lb loads of meat miles out of the backcountry, you need a pack that is as tough as you are. Lastly, backcountry packs are specifically designed for hunters and have a lot of seemingly minor differences from other hiking-style pack types that begin to shine once you are out in the field.
These differences include material type, pocket placement, frame design, zipper construction, modularity, and meat-hauling capabilities. We highly suggest that if you want to backcountry hunt, you buy a pack designed for it.
Best Backcountry Hunting Backpack: Climax 5400
We recently released what we believe to be the best backcountry pack on the market. It’s loaded with hunting-specific features and it’s built to last. Our packs which include our smaller Alpha 3200 even comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee! Below are the specifications of our Climax 5400 which was designed for roaming the wilderness.
The Climax 5400 pack comes with all the accessories and features included without extra cost, which includes the frame, pack, hip belt, rain cover, and 4 accessory pockets. Additionally, the pack has 4 locations for water bladder pockets, adjustable lumbar pad thickness, molle attachment points, 4 main locking strap buckles, a quick-release weapon system, and much more! Note that the quick release works for attaching a bow or a rifle.
|Pack Weight||6lb 12oz|
|Internal Capacity||5,400 cu|
|Hip Belt Adjustability||28” – 47”|
|Load Capacity||150 lbs|
The Best Features In A Backcountry Hunting Backpack
There are a fair number of high-quality backcountry packs on the market but one of the ways we believe ours separates itself is with all the included standard features. No other pack on the market comes close. Between the storage space, weight, organization, and quality, you won’t find a better pack for your hunt.
How Big Of A Pack Do You Need?
When it comes to backpacks it’s important to buy one big enough to meet all of your needs. With modern materials, there isn’t a disadvantage to buying a bigger pack than you think you will need. The modern material easily cinches down but when you need the room you’ll have it. For backcountry hunts, we prefer packs over 5,000 cubic inches.
A large pack is capable of carrying bulkier gear like heavy winter jackets, pants, and sleeping bags, much easier than a smaller bag. That’s a good option to have for later-season hunts. Some hunters like to carry quartered meat inside of their packs instead of strapping them to the outside. If you do, then you want to make sure to get a pack big enough to do this. The Climax 5400 is capable of holding all the gear and food you’ll need for a week-long hunt in the backcountry.
If you don’t foresee needing a pack as large as the Climax 5400, then our Alpha 3200 which is 3200 cubic Inches, may be exactly what you are looking for and will hold enough gear for two or three nights.
Does Pack Weight Matter?
At some point, most backcountry hunters start counting ounces. While some of this may be necessary to cut out unnecessary pack weight, in our opinion, when it comes to packs and comfort, it’s better to have a heavier but more comfortable pack than a lightweight pack that isn’t as comfortable.
Pack comfort will become more noticeable with the more weight you are hauling. In short, we don’t believe the pack is where the weight should be cut, especially when it comes to heavily built packs that are comfortable to carry. That said, the Climax 5400 only weighs 6lbs 12oz.
Some hunters like a lot of organization built into their packs while others would rather use loose pouches inside the main body. No matter your preferences, it is important to have some type of organization for your water bladders and small items like headlamps, spare batteries, battery banks, etc. We’ve also found that the more organized people are while hunting, the more efficient they are. This is why we include 2 dry bags, 2 accessory pockets, a lid, and two long pockets and water bottle pockets built into each side of the Climax 5400.
Meat Hauling Capabilities
Most packs can handle 20 or 30 pound loads or even heavier 50 to 60 pound loads for week-long hunts, but where high-quality packs shine is when you are carrying 80-plus pound loads. Heavily weighed-down packs will never be fun, but some packs make it much more bearable.
We believe our pack easily handles heavy loads over 100 lbs. In fact, it’s rated to haul up to 150 lbs which is more than most people can carry. Our Climax 5400 and Alpha 3200 come with a meat shelf in between the frame that will allow you to haul meat while still carrying your gear. The meat shelf also keeps the meat tight to your back where it will ride best. These packs are the best hunting backpacks with frames you can buy.
Water Bladder Pockets
One of the most popular methods of carrying water in the backcountry is water bladders. Some hunters drink straight out of the bladders with drinking hoses while others use bladders to carry the water and top off their bottles. If you like using bladders then you need a pack with a water bladder pocket.
We’ve used bags without bladder pockets and it can be a pain. Without one, the tops of the bladders pop off or you compress the bladder too much and it leaks. Pockets keep the water bladder from being punctured, support it so it’s not hanging by its lid, and if they do leak, help protect the rest of your gear. The Climax 5400 offers four options for carrying bladders in different spots for ease of access or multiple bladders on those arid hunts. Additionally, the Alpha 3200 has 2 integrated water bladder pockets.
Which Fabric Is Best?
Backcountry packs should be water-resistant or even completely waterproof. It’s common to get caught in rain squalls, sleet, or snow during late-season hunts. One of the last things you want to happen on a trip is all of your gear getting completely soaked. Additionally, the pack needs to be tough enough to push through brush without tearing.
Our favorite material and what our packs are made of is DWR-treated 500D Cordura. This fabric is tough and highly water resistant. It’s a fabric that you can count on to keep your gear dry when caught in quick rain squalls or while hunting in the snow.
When you’re deep in the backcountry you need to be able to count on your gear. One of the most important pieces of gear you’ll be carrying with you is your pack. If your pack fails, then you will likely have to end your hunt early. We take pack durability seriously and all of our packs are designed and constructed with durability in mind. From the 500D Cordura fabric to the 150 lb rated carbon fiber frame and double YKK zippers, you can trust that your pack won’t fail. If it does, let us know and we will make sure you are taken care of.
Modularity: Three Packs in One
The more modular a backpacking bag is, the more applications you will use it for. For example, the Climax 5400 has three different modes, Climax, Regular, and Compact. Climax mode allows you to expand and carry as much gear as possible for those extended hunts and regular mode is the standard that is often used for shorter overnight hunts.
Lastly, the compact mode allows you to detach the main pack but keep the lid attached to the frame to retain meat-hauling capabilities. While in compact mode, you can also add additional pockets beneath the lid if you need more space.
The Last Load
The Climax 5400 is a high-quality pack that you can count on in the backcountry. It’s absolutely loaded with features that no other pack company can compete with and is offered at an affordable price. Most hunters spend hundreds of dollars adding additional pockets, straps, and carrying slings to their pack to get them exactly how they want.
With the Akek 5400, all of this and more comes standard. What’s not to like? If for some reason you don’t like the pack, you can always send it back to us within 30 days for a refund. However, we know that after trying it on you won’t want to. If you’re still unsure, you can watch our in depth overview of the pack here. Good luck in the backcountry this year and if you choose an Akek pack, we know it won’t let you down.