ALPS OutdoorZ is a brand that specializes in all sorts of outdoors and hunting gear. Still, their most famous line of products is the hunting day packs which bring great practicality at a bargain price. The ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack is one of their best products and caught my eye some time ago, as many of my friends were telling me about it. What made a lot of hunters opt for it is its large capacity, various handy features, and as I mentioned – that low price tag. It is the cheapest day pack with a built-in frame I could find and it was definitely worth it to check it out…
If you are looking for a hunting day pack that can carry more than most models and has many compartments and storage options, then the Pursuit from ALPS OutdoorZ is a solid option. It is fairly reliable, very cheap, and is comfortable on the back thanks to its padding and built-in aluminum frame. The internal volume is quite large and most importantly it is divided into smaller pockets that can each serve an individual purpose when you’re packing your gear for the day. As a whole, this is one of my favorite budget options out there and will be worth every penny of yours. You can click here (Amazon) to check the latest prices…
The first thing that really stands out when you see this backpack being worn by someone is that it really looks premium. But does it also perform on that premium level? You’re about to find out.
At first glance, the Pursuit has a familiar boxy shape like any hunting day pack with a built-in frame, combined with solid shoulder straps and wide waist straps. The back support is made out of padded mesh materials that help with breathability but are nowhere near as good as the ventilated systems present on other day packs such as the Badlands 2200 Meat Hauler. This might prove to be an issue on hot days but from my experience, it does an alright job at keeping your back sweat-free most of the time.
Apart from that obvious difference, this pack has a very traditional approach. It has two mesh semi-transparent side pockets, a lot of lashing, and compression straps that will allow the Pursuit hunting pack to reach its maximum payload of 44 liters in its total of 2700 cubic inches of cargo space.
It comes in two great color options:
- Realtree Edge
- Mossy Oak Country
I am personally a huge fan of the mossy oak country color option, as it fits my local area well during a significant part of the deer hunting season.
The frame here isn’t the most complex one but is also one of the most impressive features since sub-100$ backpacks rarely come with a good frame, especially one that goes through all the back part of the backpack and is made out of aluminum.
It does an okay job at keeping your back from getting tired if the backpack is full but don’t expect it to do miracles if you pack the bag to its limits. As a whole, ALPS OutdoorZ has managed to find a good balance between a spacious design and a rigid body to support the weight. Packing 60-80+ pounds of meat in here won’t be an issue for the structural integrity of the backpack if your back can handle it.
If you are interested in other hunting day packs or want to learn more about them before choosing one, head over to my detailed buyer’s guide where you will find tons of models and all the information you need. Now, let’s go through the compartments in this pack and see if it’s on par with the competition when it comes to practicality.
Compartments & Capacity
The pockets are the strong side of this backpack. It has a lot of them, almost more than any other day pack I’ve reviewed so far. When we count the smaller ones, it has a whopping 11 pockets with two fairly big main compartments. The one at the back of the pack features a shelf-styled design that has a lot of additional internal compartments that help you organize all of your hunting equipment accordingly. Things like additional ammo, rifle bipods for hunting, binoculars, rangefinders, keys, knives, and others will have a pocket for them here. This is what many day packs get wrong or don’t do at all and I really appreciate it as a feature on the Pursuit Hunting Pack.
This day pack also has a quiver holder on each side which is handy for the bow hunters out there. For the more traditional folk, there is a drop-down rifle holder/pocket (which also doubles as a compound bow holder).
There is also a place for a 2-liter hydration pack which is just the cherry on top considering the price of the whole day pack.
All of the pockets on this backpack have a combined volume of 2700 cubic inches (or a little over 44 liters). That is quite a lot and packing it to the maximum will really put a strain on its components, which isn’t great since there are no reinforcing stitches anywhere around this particular model.
Materials & Durability
When it comes to the materials here, I started getting slightly disappointed but it isn’t all that bad, especially when you constantly remind yourself that this isn’t a premium product. It is, in fact, a budget day pack that isn’t geared towards hunters that will push it to the extreme.
Some of the good parts are the overall fabric and mesh materials. The mesh and padding combination on the surface facing your back, and the shoulder and waist straps are great and don’t tire you out on longer hunts. While it does an okay job at ventilation, it will warm you up significantly more than other backpacks with a raised-up ventilated architecture.
The weakest points are, without a doubt, the tightening straps for your shoulders, as well as the waist ones. They tend to break where they merge with the backpack and that isn’t a good sign. The stitching there is usually the hardest and in the long run, other less reinforced stitches can give way and break. The worst would be the floor of your main compartments breaking but I haven’t noticed any hints of that happening nor have I heard any of my friends complaining about it.
The weapon boot is also attached to the pack with these straps, which are strong on their own but their connection points are the weak link. Another small part that I wished was stronger is the buckles. They click on and off alright but tend to break and have a cheap plastic feel to them which is probably the reason for the breakage.
One of the only reinforced parts is the webbing which is designed to take an extra load by accommodating various clip-style holders. The other part which has extra stitching is the D-ring clip at the top which is used for attaching your pack to a tree when you are hunting from a tree stand, for example.
Size & Weight
For a 44L backpack, the ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit is quite lightweight, weighing only 4 pounds 1 oz. That is partially due to the smaller aluminum frame compared to similar models and to the thinner fabric across the core of the pack.
It is decently sized and has a boxy shape to it which helps with packing larger items in it. Works especially well for meat hauling, although you shouldn’t depend entirely on the fabric for being waterproof (or blood proof).
It measures 22 inches tall and 14 inches wide which is quite small for a similar caliber day pack and that allows you to navigate through denser forests easier. While that is going to lower your footprint and noise while moving, it will certainly affect practicality and your carrying capacity. The materials aren’t the quietest, though, so stealth will still be a questionable affair.
In terms of extra features, the Pursuit is quite generous. You are getting the following here:
- A blaze-orange rain cover that is integrated into the backpack
- A rifle/bow boot for your weapon (also works for handguns)
- Built-in quiver holders on both sides
- D-ring clip at the top of your backpack which allows you to easily hang it on a nearby tree
The built-in rain cover nicely covers the fact that this pack doesn’t have any official waterproof rating but if they put one in the pack for free I won’t complain about that. Be careful with putting moisture-sensitive items in it, though.
With the bow/rifle boot and the quiver holders, you get the idea that the backpack is somewhat targeted toward bowhunters and that is partially true especially since some of the founders of the company are avid bowhunters themselves. The D-ring also helps with hanging the bag on your tree when you are hunting from a tree stand.
Now, let’s see how this day pack matches a similar (but slightly more expensive) competitor…
ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Vs Tenzing 2220 Daypack
The Tenzing 2220 Daypack offers a similar amount of volume as well as an equally good internal organization. It has 11 compartments with 8 additional organization pockets. Both these backpacks have a built-in rain cover but then again both lack water or dirtproof ratings.
The similarities continue with Tenzing’s gun-carrying boot which is also fit for a bow. While the Pursuit has 2 horizontal straps, the 2220 Daypack only has 1 longer one. The overall material quality, buckles, and straps on the Tenzing pack are superior, though, and are part of the reason it is significantly more expensive than the ALPS OutdoorZ pack.
Both daypacks are hydration-pack compatible although both come without one. The whole features list is quite similar in both cases, although the 2220 Daypack has superior materials and a better overall structure. Does that justify it being three times the more expensive model, though? Well, that depends entirely on your budget. In my opinion, the Pursuit is the better bang for your buck but if you want to get something that will surely outlast it, opt for the Tenzing backpack.
You can check the latest deals on the Tenzing 2220 by clicking here.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very cheap
- Fairly lightweight compared to its size
- A large amount of cargo volume (44L)
- Has quiver holders and rifle/bow boot
- Large main compartment with secondary drop-down pocket
- Hydration-pack compatible
- Decently comfortable
- Straps and buckles tend to break
- Has no back-ventilation
- Almost no stitch-reinforcing
Conclusion & Rating
As a whole, the ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack really fits the needs of someone who is interested in deer or hog hunting as it is spacious, fairly durable, has many compartments, decent back support, and comes at a good price. Reliability is also on par with other models within this price class, although the material quality fails to rise to the same level as some more expensive day packs.