I am proud to be an outdoor junky and gear geek. Hunting equipment has changed drastically since I shot my first deer. Rifles, cartridges, optics, bows, arrows, clothing, and boots have changed radically with substantial technological advancements. Furthermore, essentials to carry everything into the field and get it back home continue to get better every year.
ALPS OutdoorZ has an impressive line of packs. The new ALPS Impulse pack is like having a cupboard with you in the tree or blind, and with a square bottom, it can stand on its own. Soft material and silent opening and closing make it an excellent option for day trips for everything from turkey to deer.
The Commander X frame and pack system have been a favorite for years and has been instrumental in bringing deer and elk out of the hard-to-reach country. The meat-hauling frame and shelf have been a game-changer for loading meat, capes, and antlers or horns. All the gear carried in on a hunt comes out in the same pack, reattached to the frame after loading it. It’s brilliant, saving time, effort and ensuring the winter meat gets out quickly and efficiently for proper care and handling.
January 8, 2022, was the release date for the latest and greatest pack that hunters, campers, backpackers, and adventure seekers will want to check out. ALPS OutddorZ and its research and development team are always trying to build the proverbial “better mousetrap,” which in its case is packs and frames. The Elite Series Ultralight Hunting Packs take a proven design and make it lighter, stronger, adjustable, versatile, with options to meet varying demands and levels of adventure.
The new Elite packs are based on the design of the Commander X frame. However, with new and innovative materials, is 30% lighter and 30% stronger. The Elite Frame has removal waist belt pouches and weighs 3 lbs. 10 oz. The meat shelf and pack material are 500 D Nylon CORDURA, PU coated, and highly water-resistant. The quick-dry material will impress those who venture out under any conditions.
Anyone who has packed significant weight will appreciate the contoured lumbar support, referred to as Elite-Level support and comfort. Quiet, breathable 3D air mesh is used on the lumbar and support straps to ensure comfort. An anti-slip pad on the lumbar support keeps the loaded frame from shifting when walking on uneven ground.
The shoulder straps ensure personal fit and comfort, with six-position torso adjustment to accommodate a small to an extremely large user. The straps are removable for adjustment and cleaning. The pack incorporates load lifters and anti-sway waist belt straps, meaning the pack feels like it is part of you while in use. Two extension lashing straps allow you to add more to the load or serve as extra securement and stability. A pack that does not shift or throw the user off balance is critical when venturing in challenging terrain and for those not used to packing heavy loads.
Two sizes of pack bags are available with the Elite system. The Elite 1800 pack bag is 1 lb., 12 oz. with the included rain cover and drop-down weapon pocket. This compact pack is ideal for maintaining a lightweight pack and facing short trips where less equipment is required. For multi-day backcountry trips, the Elite 3800 pack bag has everything covered. The 3800 cubic-inch capacity weighs 2 lbs., 7 oz with the rain cover, drop-down pocket, and spotting scope pocket on the exterior of the pack bag.
The Elite 1800 and the Elite 3800 pack bags were designed to access any gear, with storage for adventure gear easily. The Elite 3800 is ideal for long-haul trips where more gear and food are required. Both sizes of bags feature a zippered top compartment for storing quick-access items and three exterior stretch fabric pockets with buckle adjustment straps for securing larger, more cumbersome items. The main compartment features zippers along both sides of the pack so that the compartment can be fully exposed to access items anywhere in the bag without having to unload items to find what you need. Inside the main compartment are five mesh pockets to keep smaller items organized and accessible. Integrated into the bottom of the packs are a quick-deploy rain cover and a drop-down pocket that lets the hunter secure a bow, crossbow, or rifle for hands-free walking and climbing.
The bags have six attachment points to stay firmly on the pack frame. The bags are easy to remove or attach to add to the adjustability and use of the system. Remove the bag, secure meat on the shelf, and reattach the bag to head out of the backcountry. The system is intuitive, easy to use. It offers security to ensure that whatever needs to be packed is secure and stable. The ALPS team has built insurance into the pack to prevent failure.
The first time you pick up an Elite Ultralight frame or pack, it will become apparent how ALPS has gone into new territory to reduce overall weight. The Elite frame and pack bags credit their lightweight and “ready-for-adventure” sturdiness to the 500D Cordura fabric. This lightweight material is exceptionally strong and abrasion-resistant. It is PU coated to make it highly water-resistant and fast to dry.
The Elite system is available in the following configurations:
- Elite Frame MSRP: $299.99
- Elite 1800 Pack Bag MSRP: $149.99
- Elite 3800 Pack Bag MSRP: $199.99
- Elite Frame + 1800 Pack Bag MSRP: $449.99
- Elite Frame + 3800 Pack Bag MSRP: $499.99
For more information about the new Elite frame and pack bag system or other innovative hunting solutions from ALPS OutdoorZ, visit http://www.alpsoutdoorz.com/.