A bushcraft backpack is different from other backpacks in their make and usage. They are made of tougher material and can endure the harsh conditions of the wild.
A good bushcraft backpack will have a metal frame that is internal or external. This helps the bag maintain its sturdiness and protects the sharp and heavy tools from slipping out.
With its practicality, Eberlestock Operator Pack ranks as the most suitable backpack for bushcraft missions. We recommend the unit for its durability, versatility, elegant design, and high-quality construction.
Unlike other bushcraft backpacks on this list, Eberlestock comes with better ergonomics that will take your bushcraft experience to another level. And the large capacity will handle all your heavy loads without straining the back. All in all, carrying your bushcraft accessories has never been easier with the Eberlestock Operator Pack!
We researched and tested the best bushcraft backpacks of 2021 on the market so that you can choose one conveniently from the comfort of your couch. This comparison table presents all the critical features of the backpack. You don’t have to do the usual trial and error to get what best suits your needs.
|Image||Product||Capacity (Volume)||Material||Resistance Levels||Colors|
|Eberlestock Operator Pack||4,700 in³||500 denier nylon cordura||Water-resistant construction||Multicam|
|ALPS OutdoorZ Commander||5250 in³||Durable Ripstop fabric||Abrasion-resistant||Coyote Brown|
|TETON Sports||3356 in³||600D Diamond Ripstop||Waterproof||Hunter Green|
|Wisport Raccoon 45L||2746 in³||Durable Cordura Nylon||Water-resistant||Black & Grey|
|REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical||2075 in³||High-density fabric||Water-resistant||Black|
Top 5 Bushcraft Backpack Reviews
One of the most popular bushcraft backpacks in the market, the Eberlestock has been adopted by many military programs all over the world.
This backpack was created for sniper missions and has been appreciated by Mortar Platoons, as well as radiomen. So you better believe that this bag can handle all kinds of bushcraft activities.
This backpack holds up to 77L which is more than enough to hold all kinds of supplies. All of your extra gear and tools can go into the various pockets and loops that are distributed on all sides of the backpack.
It features a foldable scabbard which goes into the bottom of the pack when not used. You can use the remaining space for things as diverse as laptops, clothing, mortar rounds, and radios. It has a rifle holder that can keep your firearm secure in a butt down or muzzle down position.
This backpack has an updated Intex II frame from its previous version featuring aluminum. This makes the frame strong and robust and the material is a nylon Cordura that is known for its quality and durability.
To go over the specifications, the Eberlestock is 27″h x 12″w x 10″d and has two front-loading compartments, many exterior pockets, and a removable Fanny-Top goes bag.
The backpack is water resistant which is a bonus if you camp out on wet areas. To protect the contents of the bag during heavy showers, the backpack includes a full-length rain cover.
The Eberlestock ranks high on comfort because of its padded shoulder straps and waistband that are made of high-quality materials. And the ergonomics of the backpack take the experience to another level.
What I like
- Heavy-duty and well-made
- Well-placed webbing
- Large capacity and can handle heavy loads without straining the back
- Comfortable to wear
What I don’t like
- No clip at the bottom end of the scabbard
The Commander Freighter Frame is heavy duty bushcraft backpack comprising of the Commander Freighter Frame and an 86 liters pack. At 3.32 kg, this is not a super lightweight bag but it has a large storage space and sturdiness that works in its favour.
The CommanderZ has a water sleeve which can hold a 3-5 liter water bladder. This feature is great especially if you tend to be lax with hydration. There is a middle divider inside the bag which is great if you need to store your gear in the main storage compartment.
There is a bottom entry zipper which separates your tools from the upper section. The rifle holder is good for any rifle with a scope and uses a standard pocket system for the butt of your gun. There are a lot of attachments in the bag which means you can carry more stuff on you while bushcrafting.
There is a daisy chain hanging vertically on the front pocket and dual compression straps on the bottom to hold a tent or other items.
On the right side of the backpack is a holder for your rifle. You will find straps along with the shoulder straps where you can attach things. The shoulder straps are amply padded and most reviewers also found the hip belt to be comfortable.
The waist belt suits most people within the 26 – 40 inches. The frame is made of aluminum which is not too heavy for its size with a powder coat. The frame is adjustable upwards or downwards to adjust to your body.
To add to its stability, the frame has horizontal bars that can be used without the bag. To bring breathability to the rucksack, there is a mesh in the center of the frame.
This brings space between your back and the backpack that allows air circulation. Seeing as this backpack is large, added breathability is definitely a bonus
What I like
- Large storage space
- A supportive frame that is durable
- Extra features like the clip-style holster, drop-down rifle pocket, and hydration pocket
What I don’t like
- It does not come with a rain cover
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 is a unisex bushcraft backpack for those who want something light but sturdy enough to provide storage for short trips. With dimensions of 30″ x 17″ x 12 and a capacity of 55 liters, this bushcraft pack is best suited for beginners, shorter or thinner people.
Going from the top to the bottom load lifters, webbings and plastic D rings are present in each strap with a sternum strap connecting them. However, the Scout 3400 can only be accessed from the top as it is a top-loading design.
There are 1 external and 1 internal pockets in the top lid that offer medium space. The top lid is attached to the pack with buckles. And the good part it cannot be slid upwards to overloading the bag unsafely.
The backpack is made of 600D Diamond Ripstop material which is quite long-lasting and waterproof. Adding to its weatherproof quality is a rain cover tucked into velcro pocket under the pack.
It can be used due to bad weather or when you’re checking your pack into your flight, definitely great to have. There is a hydration pouch inside the main compartment connected to the rear surface.
It’s large enough to fit a 3L water bladder though the bladder isn’t included. When it comes to storage, there are a few options. There is a mesh pouch is on the front which those extra items like socks when your pack is full. There are external side pockets that can store your torches or water bottles.
There are shock cords in the front which compensate for the loss of zippered front pockets and improve the carrying capacity.
Unlike other bushcraft backpacks, compression straps can be found in the bottom front. The vertical buckles can provide some compression but aren’t as compact as compression straps. There are 6 gear loops with an adjustable trekking pole and ax loops in the front.
What I Like
- Adjustable for different torso lengths
- Large capacity
- Durable as it is made of a tough nylon
- Compatible with different hydration systems
What I Don’t Like
- There are no zippered front pockets or hip belt pockets
- Average ventilation
A military-style backpack, the Wisport Raccoon rucksack is feature-rich that makes it great for bushcraft. With a capacity of 4.5, the MOLLE compatible backpack has dimensions of 20″x13″x11″ and has a moderate weight of 2400g.
WISPORT uses a quick carrying system called the FAS (Full Adjustable System) and consists of shoulder straps falling vertically with webbing and buckles to adjust to your length.
The padded waist belt is removable which means you can use them with other webbing systems, or even with plate carriers and vests. The shoulder straps are made of a quality Fastex buckles and the chest strap has bladder-hose clips that can be adjusted.
The entire system allows enough adjustment to be able to accommodate different kinds of users. There are two compartments inside the backpack with a large compartment separated by a diaphragm.
The bottom section can be opened via a zip on the outside. You can find a zipped storage pocket that can easily store a head torch and FAK. Like most other bushcraft backpacks on this list, you can find an elasticated pouch to store a hydration bladder.
There are 2 zip lid pockets and 2 side pockets that completes the storage options. There is a fabric snow gaiter under the lid that keeps the internal area clean, with double drawstrings and a strap and clip for more storage. Like most good backpacks, the WISPORt features a waterproof cover in a separate pouch.
What I Like
- Well made and Elegant look
- Good features/design
What I don’t like
- It is a bit heavy
The Reebow Gear Military Assault backpack is a military-grade bag with a compact 34-liter capacity which is enough for an overnight bushcraft trip. With heavy-duty zippers and double-stitched fabric, this backpack is made to last.
It has a 2.5-liter hydration bladder system but you will need to purchase a separate bladder. With dimensions of 11″x18’x12″, a customer reported having enough room to store food, clothing, and water for 3 days.
The Reebow also features a side and front-load compression system which helps tighten the load inside. There are 4 sections in this back including a large compartment area with an elastic strap and a 10×5 zipper slot for small items.
Although heavy-duty, the Reebow backpack has padded and adjustable shoulder and waist straps. The chest strap between them allows you to adjust the placement of the backpack on your shoulders.
It does its bit to allow airflow by having a mesh at the back.. Like most military backpacks, the Reebow also has a MOLLE system.
This webbing system allows you to attach additional tactical pouches or gear. For its price, we ultimately think this is a good backpack for beginners and periodic use.
What I Like
- Very affordable
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Multi-purpose in usage and can be used for bushcraft, bug-outs, hiking, camping, etc
What I Don’t Like
- Not sturdy enough to hold heavy items for long durations.
What to Look for in a Bushcraft Backpack
According to my research and experience, these are the key points you need to think about before buying the right bushcraft backpack for you:
If you plan to bushcraft with a lot of heavy tools, you wouldn’t want your backpack to add on to the weight. Choose a lightweight but strong backpack that won’t curb your energy before your adventures.
Covered top opening
Having a waterproof or resistant backpack is a good idea as you wouldn’t want to let water ruin your supplies. The backpack should also be made of waterproof material to prevent water damage.
Although backpacks with a metal frame are pricier than ordinary ones, it does add structure and support to the bag.
Choose a bushcraft backpack with amply padded shoulder straps as you will be carrying it in the wild for a long time. It will prevent your shoulders from getting sore and prevent backaches.
Backpacks with hip belts are important as they can add to the suspension, balance, and comfort of carrying the load.
The 4 common types of bushcraft backpacks
increase the strength of the bag and give more support to it. These bags can carry a heavier load which is distributed more evenly than frameless ones.
are the basic backpacks for ordinary use. They are more of a style statement and do not have enforced straps.
External Frame Packs
are able to support heavy loads (>20 kg). Most external frames are made of an alloy of aluminum or titanium or carbon fiber which are pricier. The back of the backpack is usually covered with a solid barrier, most probably made of some synthetic material to protect the back of the wearer.
Internal Frame Packs
are a new phenomenon that allows for an evener distribution of weight and less strain to the back. The internal frame is usually made of aluminum or titanium alloys and has the compartments attached to them.
These frames can be configured in many forms to change the size of the compartment. The only drawback to these packs is the necessity to strap them tightly to the wearers back.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How big of a backpack do I need for 2 days?
A: A bag with a total volume between 2135 – 3052 in³ will be suitable for a 2-day bushcraft adventure. For instance, a bushcraft weekend would need a standard 2440.95 in³ to carry a small tent, extra clothing, sleeping bag, and pad.
Q: How do you pack a backpack for a day hike?
A: The key to packing for comfort is considering the bag’s weight distribution. To ensure weight is distributed evenly, pack heavier items in the bottom half of the bag while sitting them as close to the pack’s back as possible.
Q: How do you distribute weight in a hiking backpack?
A: For maximum stability, load your backpack, so the heaviest equipment is next to your back and centered in the pack. Medium-weight gear should be carried toward the top and outside portion of the pack, and lightweight gear, like your sleeping bag, should be packed in the bottom.
Q: Can you use a regular backpack for hiking?
A: Technically, anything with shoulder straps can be considered a backpack. Therefore, a hiking daypack IS a type of backpack. But not all backpacks are daypacks.
Q: What is the average weight of a backpack for hiking?
A: Most beginners will carry around 30 – 35 pounds for their first few trips (including the pack itself). As you gain more experience and upgrade gear, your weight will likely decrease to around 30 to 32 pounds. Some backpackers stay around the 30-pound mark while others strive to get their weight as low as possible.
Q: How much should your backpack weigh when hiking?
A: A loaded backpacking pack should not weigh more than about 20% of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, your bag should not exceed 30 pounds for backpacking). A loaded day hiking pack should not weigh more than about 10% of your body weight.
All the best in your purchase!
Choosing the right backpack for bushcrafting can be very challenging and I hope this article helped you choose the best quality that will last longer and be handy on your wilderness survival journey