Gear Review: ALPS OutdoorZ Monarch X

Gear Review: ALPS OutdoorZ Monarch X

Whether you're spotting and stalking on a western hunt or logging miles during a daylong off-season hike, a quality backpack that can comfortably carry your gear and supplies is a necessity. But as a smaller-framed female, I find most of the options on the market are too large and hang too low on me, even when I max out the adjustable straps.

The dedicated options for women are limited, and the packs I've tried in the past just didn't provide the same quality and toughness available in men's designs. But then I shouldered the Monarch X. After some quick adjustments to the shoulder straps and waist belt, it fit me like a glove. Developed with the help of female hunters at ALPS OutdoorZ, the Monarch X uniquely fits a woman's frame.


Dual aluminum stays evenly distribute weight, and contoured Lycra shoulder straps with built-in load lifters provide a comfortable fit. A shorter torso length is complemented by a molded foam waistbelt with anti-sway straps, trimmed for the female figure. The easy-to-adjust waistbelt also features quick-access pockets on either side and accommodates clip-style holsters. The large main pocket provides plenty of space for gear, and a front organizer pocket keeps small items zipped in place. The Monarch X also includes two fleece-lined side wing pockets — ideal for safely transporting optics — and a stow-away meat shelf.

In addition, the design incorporates a hydration pocket and port, plus a rain cover to keep gear dry. A secure drop-down bow pocket — which can also accommodate a rifle — allows for hands-free travel on tough terrain. Featuring 1680D nylon ballistic fabric throughout and built-in Hypalon at stress points and extra lashing points, the Monarch X offers the strength and durability I've been looking for in a pack.

I sported the Monarch X throughout a full day of hiking, and the comfortable 5 pound, 4 ounce-pack didn't slow me down. If you're in the market for a new woman's pack, check out this latest addition to ALPS Extreme line. — Emily Kantner

MSRP: $199.99

Contact: ALPS OutdoorZ, 800-344-2577

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