The secret to successful hunting is adequate planning and organization. Planning will help you collect everything you will need for the trip, while the organization will help you pack as many items as possible and know their exact location for quick retrieval. You cannot plan and organize without the best pack frame for hunting.
Preparedness is necessary if you plan to hunt a big game to haul back from the forest. An external pack frame can let you haul as much as 100 pounds of meat back. It means the frame should be made of high-quality materials that can withstand the weight of such a game.
If you’ve been looking for the best back frames for hunting, then stay put and continue reading. You will shortly examine our top 10 choices and see if any fits your needs. Later, we provide you with a well-researched buying guide to further refine your decision.
Top 10 Best Back Frames For Hunting
1. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Frame Only
ALPS OutdoorZ is a brand most hunters recognize well because of the quality of their hunting products. ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Frame is well constructed to allow you to haul as much meat as possible without weighing you down or causing unnecessary fatigue on your way from a long outdoor hunting trip.
The frame is crafted from high-quality aluminum alloy with a freighter shelf to support maximum load weight. Of all the materials used in making pack frames, aluminum is preferred because of its great properties. Its lightweight (has a third the weight of steel), corrosion-resistant, rust-free and non-toxic. You do not have to worry about the frame contaminating your meat.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Frame has a unique lashing system to secure the meat for long trips. The system includes three-extension lashing straps for bulkier loads. Padded shoulder straps and waist belts will provide you with ultimate comfort and ergonomics, especially during long hikes. Mesh back panel improves ventilation.
The frame’s torso range affords further comfort. This feature allows you to customize the pack frame to distribute heavy load weight ergonomically for an easy haul. The frame weighs a paltry 5 pounds with a torso range of 17 to 23 inches. Choose this pack frame only if you have or intend to have ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Pack Bag; otherwise, it will not be compatible.
- Strong and unique lashing system
- Strong and food-quality aluminum frame
- Adjustable for comfortable use
- Padded shoulder straps for additional comfort
- Have accessories to hold weapons and other supplies
- Limited compatibility
- It may not be ideal for large-bodied hunters
2. TIDEWE Hunting Backpack 5500cu with frame
You will quickly like the TIDEWE Hunting 5500cu Frame because of its awesome quality and innovative design. This frame comes with a compatible large capacity backpack allowing you to haul tens if not, hundreds of pounds of meat back from a successful hunt.
Like other top-quality pack frames for hunting, the TidWe frame is made from high-quality aluminum, light, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. At the same time, it is extremely strong, being able to haul heavy loads without giving in. The frame supports 5500 cubic units hunting backpack that allows you to organize, load, and organize all your supplies and carry back meat from a successful hunt.
The backpack is attached strongly to the frame with strong lashing systems made of strong Realtree fabric. A reinforced Hypalon at the frame connection to minimize collision noise. The ergonomic design provides pressure reduction with soft and breathable padding, making hikes less strenuous and more comfortable.
The TideWe frame has a curved top design which is suitable for head placement. The design is meant to protect your head from being hit as you walk. In addition, the compact frame is associated with a folding freight shelf that makes hunting trips seamless. Furthermore, the framed hunting allows you to pack two or three litter hydration systems.
- Strong, compact, and lightweight
- Padded shoulder straps and waistbands
- Comfortable design for long hikes
- Premium soundless design enhances stealth
- Premium quality fabrics
- Pretty bulky backpack with frame
- May not fair very well in damp weather
3. Stansport Deluxe Freighter Aluminum Pack Frame
The Stan-sport Deluxe Aluminum Pack Frame is exactly what you need for successful outdoor hunting strips, especially for your hunting field that includes tough terrains. The frame will allow you to haul 75 pounds of game meat at a time. It also provides enough room to carry all the items you need for your time out in the woods.
The frame boasts of padded hip belt featuring multiple points of attachment. It is made of aluminum alloy that is strong, pliable, lightweight, and corrosive resistant. The ergonomic design and many attachment points are meant to provide you with comfort even during long hunting trips in difficult terrains.
The same attachments are also responsible for adjustability when you have to haul heavy loads like a crossbow. The Stansport Deluxe Freighter frame design is innovative, allowing it to distribute weight so that all your weight-bearing parts of the body bear as little weight as possible. In the end, you can haul heavy loads without feeling weighed down.
One of the strongest features of this pack frame is the level of adjustability it provides. All the suspension systems are adjustable, meaning they can fit a large range of users. Even more innovative is the cervical (neck) pad, which further helps with weight distribution.
- Comfortable and effortless to use
- Fully adjustable for ergonomics
- Build of strong and lightweight aluminum
- Well-built for compatible backpack
- Offers good value for money
- Some users have complained about the quality
- Plastic caps are not durable
4. ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack
The ALPS OutdoorZ Trail Blazer Hunting Pack with frame provides you with another unique choice of a frame that can help you carry and organize your hunting supplies and enable you to haul back loads of meat from a successful hunting trip.
The backpack offers you 41 liters (2500 cubic inches) of storage. Such capacity is enough to enable you to carry hunting supplies enough to last you through long hunting trips. It is divided into several compartments, some of which are zippered to offer the utmost levels of the organization.
Unlike the pack frames we have reviewed so far made from aluminum; the Trail Blazer frame is made of polyethylene (PE). Does this reduce the quality of the frame? Not at all; PE is resistant to chemicals, corrosion, impact, fatigue, and wear. The frame is extremely light yet strong enough to resist the impact and stress associated with weight-bearing. It weighs a paltry 2.56lbs.
The frame has plenty of space for your pistol bow or firearms, clothing, crossbow scope and all the supplies you need to give a hunting trip a successful pat. Front lashing straps as well bar-tacked webbing provide extra storage. There is even a hydration port. Pockets are expandable to accommodate different models of firearms and bows. A carry handle is comfortable and improves the portability of the backpack.
- Strong, impact-resistant PE frame material
- Adjustable for comfort and ergonomics
- Offers multiple attachment points
- Expandable pockets offer optimal storage
- Extremely lightweight
- Interior pockets are desirable but are lacking
- There are questions of durability
5. Outdoor Plus MOLLE Rucksack Hunting Backpack
Are you truly interested in buying a large quantity versatile backpack? Look further and check this hunting/hiking backpack from an outdoor place. It is a large capacity, well designed, and built with high-quality materials that will bear the weight of your supplies and the product of your hunt.
A unique feature that sets this backpack apart is the innovative Molle system. It is a webbing system on the pockets that allow you to hang additional bags if you need to increase the already large capacity of the bag. Zipper chains on both sides of the bag can increase the capacity from 70 to 80 liters simply and conveniently.
The backpack adopts topstitching and invisible stitching yet strong and dependable. Stitched by 3-cord threat at a length of 3 stitches per centimeter. There is a lot of technical jargon there, but it aims to provide you with a smoking gun on the quality of the backpack. It is durable and resistant to tear.
Certain accessories are necessary to maintain the performance of the backpack. The most important of those are the zippers and their chains. Outdoor Plus uses the KAM brand, which is well-known for quality and innovativeness. You can depend on these accessories for their smoothness and longevity. A removable belt will allow you to find the best way to carry the backpack.
- Upward adjustable load capacity
- Innovative Molle system
- Strong and high-quality stitching system
- Sturdy buckles, zippers, and zipper chains
- Very large capacity
- Offers excellent value for money
- Top zippers allow water to leak into the backpack
- Lacks a sturdy frame but still strong and durable
6. Military Rucksack Alice Pack Army Survival Combat Field Backpack with Frame
ALICE Pack system presents you with a high-quality that has been in use by the military personnel since 1974. Such history speaks volumes about the longevity and quality of the pack. ALICE is not someone’s name as it may seem, but it an acronym for All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment.
The system was made and is still optimized for use in all kinds of environments, whether cold-wet, temperate or hot. It can handle even cold-dry arctic environments. All the parts are made of top-quality materials tested over the years and stood the test of time.
An MT ALICE frame serves as the mount of the field bag, whether large or medium size. The frame comes with lots of straps to secure the bag. Made of aluminum, the frame is strong, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion. It is robust enough to support weights of up to 50 liters of supplies equivalent to 3000 cubic inches.
The frame is well-designed and performs well. However, it lacks padding between the metal frame and your back. This can be somewhat uncomfortable, particularly if you have a heavy load to haul. The good thing about it all is that you can buy this item separately, although it is only compatible with the ALICE Pack Universal Size.
- High-quality frame and backpack
- Large capacity with a maximum load of 50 liters
- Made of strong and lightweight aluminum alloy
- Padded and easily adjustable shoulder straps
- Quality assured by years of use
- Tend to squeak loudly when you walk or run
- Shoulder straps are great, but they rub pretty badly
7. Kelty Tioga 5500 Classic External Frame Bag
Kelty Tioga is a trail-tested workhouse. Many hunters and hikers attest to the quality and performance of this classic external frame bag. The frame can haul heavy loads. It boasts convenient access points and adjustability to fit so that many different people can use it comfortably and ergonomically.
Like top-quality frames, the Kelty Tioga uses a rigid aluminum frame that provides excellent support and stability. The rigidity is a wonderful feature if you are carrying heavy loads over well-maintained trails and terrains. However, the very same rigidity can hamper or interfere with your flexibility for off-trail scrambling.
The Tioga Classic External Frame bag has many zippered pockets that allow you to separate and organize your gear. This will hand you easy and quick access to the supplies you may need to make your trip a success. Besides, an integrated spindrift collar on the top-loading backpack allows you to haul even more items.
Other great features worth mentioning include an enclosed compartment for a sleeping bag, zippered side pockets, a lid pocket, a mesh water bottle pocket, lash points, a daisy chain attachment system, and an ice-ax loop. The inner side layer of the backpack is lined with an internal sleeve making it a hydration system-compatible (the hydration system is sold separately).
- Sturdy, rugged, and lightweight aluminum frame
- Offers optimal levels of stability and support
- Many zipper pockets offer large capacity
- Offers great value for money
- All-weather compatible
- Somewhat rigid for use in uneven terrains
- It’s pretty costly compared to others in its class
8. Eberlestock Mainframe Pack
Eberlestock Mainframe Pack is doubtlessly one of the best pack frames for hunting. It has gained popularity as one of the most dependable minimalist hunting packs. Built from Eberlestock’s ultra-light yet remarkably tough Intex-2 frame, the backpack possesses unrivaled possibilities.
Armed with it, you can plan for the appropriate gear and obtain it right when you need it. Although top quality and innovative, the brand uses the simplest of solutions to marry the pack with the Mainframe. You can easily build the frame to the F1 by either buckle or zipper when you desire it.
The modular system is compatible with an ever-growing family of Eberlestock add-on accessories. Furthermore, you can use it as an expeditionary backpack, meat haul pack, freight pack, or daypack. A simple transformation will allow you to unlock the versatility.
One beautiful aspect of the Mainframe is the range of packs it is compatible with. The manufacturer is compatible with Transformer, Big top, Little Big Top, Batwing pouch, Spike Camp Duffel, Super Spike Camp Duffel, and J-Pack Dry Bag. If you have any of these, then you can trust the Mainframe to do the job.
The frame is made of sturdy aluminum alloy that is lightweight and resistant to impact and stress. To improve its longevity, the frame is lined with nylon. It is also padded at the shoulder, waist, and neck to feel comfortable even when you have a heavy load to haul.
- A versatile frame that is compatible with up to 7 packs
- Strong, lightweight, and durable
- The frame by itself can be used to haul meat
- Waterproof nylon lining
- Delivers value for money
- A little bit costly but worth every penny
9. Badlands Carbon Ox Frame Pack`
The Badlands Carbon Ox Frame Pack is beautiful and well designed. It maximizes comfort, ergonomics, and hauling capacity. The frame features molded memory foam suspension begins the experience of comfort and proceeds with the harness conforming to your body contours. Such design offers excellent weight distribution and comfort.
You will also love the reverse tightening feature on your waist belt as you pull the ends of the belt inwards. This will give you the leverage you require for proper cinching of the belt for optimal hauling comfort. Even long hunting trips that often tire will seem like regular strolls along with the neighborhoods.
Another unique feature is the material used for the frame. You can recall from our other reviews that the material used is aluminum; Badlands Frame Pack is made from carbon fiber. This material is stable, biologically inert, physically strong, and lightweight. You can depend upon the frame to handle the load without caving into stress or impact.
The carbon fiber frame is lined with Badland’s innovative KXO-32 fabric, which is tough, incredibly quiet, waterproof, and lightweight. The pack features Badland’s C6 DWR (durable water repellent) treatment to provide further resistance to elements, preventing moisture from leaking into the fabric. Approach camo means you will stay invisible by blending perfectly into the woods.
- Offers exceptionally long haul comfort
- Strong, lightweight, and durable carbon fiber frame
- High-quality fabric is long-lasting
- Carefully designed camo
- Large capacity and easy hauling
- Pretty expensive
- Limited compatibility
10. ALICE BackPack Frame
We have come a long way to reviewing many of the pack frames that caught our attention. Last but not least is the ALICE backpack frame. It is well built with rugged aluminum to withstand stress, compact, and wear and tear.
You can use it to haul meat for consumption directly without the need to use a backpack. If you must use a pack, you have only one brand compatible with it – the medium to large ALICE packs. However, there are a few others also that it can work with. Do thorough research first before you buy it to make sure all is well.
The feature may limit its versatility, but it does extremely well with these kinds of parks, allowing you to haul tens of pounds of game meat or other outdoor survival gear. The pack weighs 30 pounds which may feel heavy for some users but is still lighter than most other frame models currently in the market.
Another thing you need to be clear is that the ALICE backpack frame is not compatible with the original military bag and is not the same as the military models. The frame marries backpacks via straps that may not be as strong.
- Can haul appreciable capacity of load
- The aluminum frame is sturdy and corrosion resistant
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Straps work but aren’t durable
- Limited in versatility
Buying Guide for the Best Pack Frames for Hunting
It would be crazy for me to convince you that we have reviewed all the pack frames for hunting currently in the market because there are still hundreds if not thousands of other great models.
Besides, we all differ in taste and preferences. So, it would make a lot of sense if you did not find what you are looking for. This buying guide will help you to explore further and possibly widen your web so that you can find the most appropriate pack frame for hunting.
Here are the factors to consider:
The Load Capacity
The best frames for hunting packs should be capable of carrying as much load as possible. Such consideration is vital if you are a big-game hunter. The average weight of the meat you will haul can be more than 100 pounds.
Any ordinary pack frame you will find in the market may not hold such a load. Besides, some brands make claims that are not exactly true. For instance, you can find the description saying the frame can hold up to 90lbs, but the frame will give in if you try carrying such weight. Therefore, take your time and read user reviews to have full knowledge before you settle.
Fittings and Adjustability
Hunting fields are usually far from our residential areas. It then means you will have to haul your gear, the meat, or both. These can be heavy, and the pack is very uncomfortable. Also, if the frame does not fit you snugly, you will feel tired fast, and the weight distribution will be poor. The result will be unequal weight in different parts of your body, leading to injury, spray, and fatigue.
The best pack frames for hunting should fit you like hand gloves. They come in various sizes but may also allow a varying range of adjustability, especially in torso length. Regardless of the mechanism of fitting, make sure the frame you buy fits you perfectly.
The available space for carrying other items is an important factor when buying a pack frame for hunting. It is different from load capacity. All the items you will carry to the field to help you with your business will have to fit into the bag and in an organized manner.
Whatever you carry also depends on where you are going to hunt and for how long. If you intend to indulge deep into the woods, then you may need a hunting bag with a frame that can help you carry things like a hunting jacket, sleeping bag, blanket, tent, and cook gear.
The standard hunting gear you must carry to any trip includes headlamps, water bottle(s), food, snacks, knives, weapons, extra clothing, and game bags. A good gamble would be to buy modular systems that allow smaller and larger packs on a single frame.
Where does the noise come in? Any hunting gear should maintain two things – it should be quiet and camouflaged. The latter is easy to manage because it depends on the fabric color and pattern adopted for the backpack and frame.
Quietness is more difficult to achieve because the zippers and buckles are often made of materials that produce noise when they shudder. The zippers should operate smoothly and quietly. The same applies to buckles that should not produce loud sounds when they snap shut or pop open.
You can only buy something if you can afford it. But even if you do, you must buy something that will take care of your needs. High-quality pack frames for hunting are often expensive. However, not all expensive products are top-quality. Do not go for the cheap frame but an affordable one.
Spend considerable time researching and comparing prices versus quality. You can also take advantage of discount coupons and other promotional offers available through retailers. This way, you can find a good quality pack frame for hunting at an affordable price.
Pack Frames FAQs
What is the best backpack frame for hunting deer?
You can use any good-quality framed backpack for hunting deer, provided it has a capacity of up to 100 pounds. It should fit you well and must feel comfortable even when fully loaded. Any of the models we reviewed fit this description.
Can I use a pack frame without a backpack?
Yes, you can do that. Only a few models are capable of hauling meat without a bag. Such frames are always fitted with straps that can fasten the meat. The material used to engineer the frame should also be food great to ensure the meat is not contaminated.
How do I know a particular pack frame is compatible with my bag?
This question is important but very difficult to solve because the answer lies with you. Study your bag and know its model. Use the information as you shop so that you can match the bag to a compatible hunting pack. You are encouraged to ask if you are not sure.
How Often Should I Clean My Pack Frame?
It goes without question that a successful hunt will require you to haul the meat back. The blood from the meat will stain the frame and pack and must be cleaned off as soon as possible. The dried blood can be difficult to remove. A good trick is to use pressured water sprayer and then soak it in ice-cold tab water for about half an hour. Finally, please give it a thorough hand wash, rinse and allow to dry.
We are confident that you have found helpful in this article and that you can now successfully buy the best pack frame for hunting. The important features that you should base your choice on include load capacity, organizational space, weight, adjustability, and compatibility. Based on our research findings, the models we have reviewed are some of the best, and they fit the criteria used to choose the best. Alternatively, you can use the buying guide to settle on your own choice that suits your needs.