I do a lot of hunting and hiking in the back country and I wanted a way to safely carry my firearms while allowing for a quick deployment of them. I took a look at Eberlestock backpacks. They have many different models to choose from and I was looking for one that was lightweight, and could hold a day two worth of gear. After careful consideration I chose the X1 model backpack in Coyote Brown.
When it arrived I could already tell the pack was of the highest quality. Excellent quality padding, stitching, and heavy-duty zippers. No expense was spared in the creation of this pack. It weighed about 5 lbs empty. It fit a shotgun, bolt-action rifle, or even an AR with a 5 round magazine and optic/scope in the scabbard. Perfect for a back country excursion where I may be hunting, or need a bear gun for protection.
Taking it out deer scouting pre-hunt in the mountains for a 14 hour on foot excursion I found it gave me full mobility with no restriction of movement. The pack supports make it feel like it wasn’t even there even with a .308 rifle and ammo. This pack simply rocks and was surprisingly comfortable. This is a day pack or overnight pack only, if you are looking for a three or four-day pack I suggest the Skycrane, Dragonfly, or Operator which are larger and hold more gear. Another option is the I really like the Skycrane modular. It goes from day pack to multi-day back and also holds 12 liters of water.
The rifle sits far enough off the body not to hit you and the supports are right where they should be in the small of your back. You can easily sit on an ATV or a rock (anything without a back) and sit comfortably. You can also kneel down with no restrictions. It has MOLLE attachments for extra gear and it also has an insulated hydration storage area that holds 2 liters. I have attached both a bedroll strap, first aid kit, and handgun holster to the pack. The scabbard also easily folds up into the pack when you are not carrying a rifle. You can also purchase a stock cover as well to protect the rifle from inclement weather as well as an extra scabbard to carry a second rifle or shotgun.
Another feature that I really like about the X1 is it doubles as a great shooting rest.
I have done many back country excursions with this pack and the weight is very distributed and it feels very lightweight even with a full pack.I have done 3 hour hikes with full load. In the wind, walking through soft wash sand. I have spent all day, I put over 12 miles with it on over some harsh terrain going from 5000 to 5800 feet and it displaced the weight great, my back didn’t hurt, and it felt normal after the hike. I was out on foot for 14 hours and 9 miles of hard elevation walking. I bashed it through the harsh Arizona brush. it was used as pillow for an afternoon siesta, a rifle stand, a seat. And it worked as advertised. Great quality and my back did not hurt. It weighed in at 57 lbs with the rifle and almost a gallon of water, first aid, clothing for hot and cold, and all electronics, shooting accessories, optics, flashlights, survival gear, book to read when waiting on deer to water while scouting. I will never need another pack.
The MOLLE offers for many different configurations. Such as this configurations for a long day of rabbit hunting with a 10/22. First aid kit to the bottom, canteen holder for extra water to supplement the 2 liter bladder (I live in the desert) to the right, a mag pouch, and flashlight to the left. The mag pouch holds 7 10/22 10 rd mags with the eighth in the rifle.
Eberlestock packs are top-notch. If you are into hunting, or hiking and carry a rifle or shotgun, I highly recommend them. They have been field tested by hunters, hikers, soldiers, and law enforcement. They are proven in the field and worth every penny. I have owned and used this pack for the past five years and I could not be happier with it. More info can be had at the Eberlestock Website.