October 30, 2022
There are many differences between western bowhunting and eastern bowhunting, and I’d rank the importance of a quality backpack near the top of the list. Although the comfort and features of dedicated whitetail packs have improved dramatically in recent years, let’s face it: your average deer hunter on the East Coast or in the Midwest can get away with pretty much any pack for a day-long outing. However, when embarking on a multi-day, backcountry hunt out west for elk, mule deer or even mountain sheep, pack selection is anything but an afterthought. In fact, it is one of the most critical pieces of gear you’ll carry afield.
With that in mind, I really can’t say enough about KUIU’s Pro Pack System, a well-designed, high-performance lineup of pack bags and accessories that offers serious bowhunters all the functionality and customization they could want from a pack, whether making an afternoon hike from the trailhead or a two-week wilderness expedition.
The Pro Pack System consists of three main components, starting with KUIU’s Carbon Fiber Frame. Constructed with Spread Tow carbon fiber, this pack frame weighs just 11 ounces yet is capable of supporting packs with loads up to 150 pounds. Available in three sizes to fit bowhunters of all statures, the frame also allows for four inches of shoulder strap height adjustment.
The second main component of the Pro Pack System is KUIU’s redesigned Pro Suspension featuring added padding in the shoulder contact areas for increased comfort and adjustable shoulder take-off angles so you can achieve a perfect fit whether you are tall and slim or burly and broad-chested. Other highlights of the suspension include excellent weight distribution capability and an adjustable, padded waistbelt with lumbar support that is also adjustable to sit in just the right position in the small of your back. Available in two sizes, the Pro Suspension merges with the Carbon Fiber Frame to form a backbone for everything else in the system.
The third main component of the Pro Pack System is the pack bag itself. Available in four sizes — 2,300, 3,600, 6,000 or 7,800 cubic inches — all are interchangeable on the Carbon Frame and Pro Suspension, and KUIU builds them all with durable, 500D Cordura ripstop fabric. Other highlights of the pack bags include side compression straps with reinforced Hypalon attachment yokes, YKK #10 load-bearing zippers, zippered hydration port, K-DWR fabric coating for water resistance and a center-divided rear cargo pocket that allows easy side access to optics, food and other gear without having to remove your bow from the pack. Finally, each pack can be easily transitioned to Load Sling Mode, allowing for an additional 2,500 cubic inches of carrying capacity for packing out meat, hide and horns between the Carbon Frame and bag.
KUIU offers its Pro Hunting Pack System in a kit that comes with your choice of Carbon Frame, Pro Suspension, Pro Bag and set of two Pro Hip Belt Pouches. Components are available in your choice of Ash Phantom (solid green) or Valo, Vias or Verde (pictured) camouflage. It's all covered by a lifetime warranty, and if all that weren’t enough, KUIU offers a host of pack accessories to round out your setup, from bow and rifle carriers to a rain cover, glassing pad, load hauler and more.
I have used the Pro Hunting Pack System with the 3,600 bag on some of my recent hunts and can vouch for its durability, extreme versatility and tremendous comfort. If you’re looking for a proven pack system for your next western adventure, give KUIU a look. In addition to being top-quality gear, the Pro Hunting Pack System is a heck of a value considering what the kit includes for the price. — Editor Christian Berg