This year I had the pleasure to use the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 pack, I found that even though it is a super light and simple design this pack has everything a backcountry hunter needs. From the easily adjustable waist band to the titanium frame everything about this pack was built around functionality for the backcountry hunter. I used it like a day pack on my moose hunt in Idaho, then turned around and loaded it down with 100 pounds of meat with ease!
Even with an entire mule deer in the Exo and a days worth of gear I was able to wear the pack comfortably and when my legs couldn’t handle it any more I gave the loaded down pack to my wife, all I had to do was adjust the yoke strap and away we went; that’s not an easy thing to do considering I’m 5’11” and my wife is 5’1″.
This was my first pack out with the Exo and I couldn’t have been more impressed; the first thing I noticed was how evenly the weight sat between my hips and shoulders, with some packs I can never seem to get the waist band tight enough. It was nice not getting pulled in whatever direction the pack wanted to go.
My elk hunt is where I became a true believer! I hunt a rugged area of the Gila Wilderness, the hike in to where I can start elk hunting is close to 6 miles. I loved that I could load down the 3500 with 7 days worth of gear and drop my camp and still use the Exo as a day pack. I find that I often wont take the time to pack up my camp when I have a bulky over sized pack, but with this it was quick and effortless to add the extra weight. Overall there isn’t much I would suggest needs to be changed on this pack, the only thing I had a hard time with was the bottom straps that connect the pack to the frame; when they got soaked in blood and let dry became very difficult to remove. I found that spraying them with a little water or dawn dish soap helped loosen them up.
Exo packs can be found at: ExoMountainGear.com
The word on the street is Steve will have a Multicam pack out in a few months!