Following the path paved by its predecessor, the Diablo Dos Hunting Pack by Badlands is still one of the safest choices out there for anyone who wants a durable well-designed day pack that checks all the boxes. Even if there are just a few significant improvements, the backpack retains the title of one of the strongest models out there with enough features to make it the centerpiece of your hunting gear. In this review, we will go through some of the main features of the Diablo Dos, see where it stands compared to its competition, and also point out where it might fall behind.
If you aren’t on a really tight budget, I suggest putting the Diablo Dos on your buying shortlist. It is super rigid, very lightweight, has a decent amount of storage to it, and provides a lot of comfort and breathability for your back. The built-in frame does a good job at distributing the weight across your back and not adding any strain but then again this isn’t a bag you can pack full to a point where you won’t be able to carry it.
That is possibly one of its downsides, no matter the fact that it can pack quite a lot compared to its size, some hunters will find it small for their gear or meat carrying needs. If you want to check the latest deals, click here (Amazon)…
If you want to read more about hunting day packs and check out other top models and their features, head over to my full guide on the topic. Now, let’s get into this review!
There are many features here that can all be the focal point of the Diablo Dos. Still, the very first thing I really want to talk about here is the overall design of this backpack…
From the three compression straps on the back, through the spacious side pockets, all the way to the internal frame, everything here is focused on comfort and performance. The non-chafing, seamless straps are quite comfortable. Combined with the Hypervent suspension system, they provide a sweat-free experience. And that’s even when hunting in warmer and humid environments. Even though it looks kind of small on the outside, this pack can easily hold 60 lbs of meat and thanks to its huge main pocket.
It comes in these colors options:
- Approach FX
- Basic Approach
- Realtree EDGE
- Realtree AP Extra
The Approach color is actually one of my favorites out there since it does an excellent job of blending in with a variety of surroundings. It was replaced by the Approach FX this year and that added to the flexibility of the camouflage but it also made it a bit darker, which isn’t exactly by my taste. You can still get the regular Approach in many places, though, so don’t worry.
This particular model has an internal frame that works great in combination with the waist straps and shoulder straps. It features their patented Hypervent suspension system. That system keeps your back cool all the time by pulling the pack away from your body. That allows for air to freely flow between you and the bag. The points where your body actually comes in contact with the bag are plated with special ventilated foam and mesh fabric which will reduce the amount of sweating in those regions.
As a whole, this frame does two things especially well – keeping you cool, and transferring the weight of the pack across your whole back and waist. If you constantly pack a lot of meat after a hunt and want something that will be easy to carry around all day, put this on your shortlist.
Materials & Durability
In terms of materials, the Diablo Dos exceeded my expectations by a long shot. The fabric used across the whole backpack is Badland’s KXO-32 which is waterproof, tough, and quite lightweight. One more crucial feature of this fabric is that it is dead quiet. You can ask any deer hunter what the most important features are in any hunting day pack and you will get a unanimous answer of those being quietness and rigidity.
The fabric is additionally coated with the C6 durable water repellent. This keeps moisture away from the internal parts of the backpack. Blood and dirt will also have a hard time getting in (or out). That also makes the pack extremely easy to wash after a messy hunt.
The weak points that are under more stress have bartack stitches reinforced with aramid fibers. This is a type of fiber used in ballistic protection similar to Kevlar. So, if you’re wondering why this backpack is so expensive, that might be part of the reason. It is also almost indestructible so you won’t have to deal with emergency tears during a hunt. The fibers cannot be dyed so they remain yellow and you can see them throughout the whole backpack at the most vital spots.
All the plastic click-on buckles as well as the compression straps are super durable. You also have rubber heavy-duty zipper holders that are really rigid and won’t break even under heavy usage. The zippers themselves are also reinforced. However, they seem to let moisture in if you get the bag soaking wet. Additionally, the compression straps give a lot of attachment options but I will get to that later. Lastly, the carrying strap is also reinforced in order to withstand longer one-handed carrying.
Compartments & Capacity
Compartments are probably the biggest downside of this backpack. Even though it has 7 of them, it still falls behind other models which typically have around 10. The more doesn’t always equal the better in this case but some hunters just prefer having more options to separately store their gear.
In my opinion, 7 pockets are more than enough, especially since the main compartment here packs more than 70% of the total volume. It is clear that the backpack is geared towards meat carrying and larger items you can put in a single space. Still, for smaller items of your gear, you can use the spacious side pockets.
They can double as places for longer items like shooting sticks for hunting if you use the two compression straps above them. Lastly, the side pockets are small but provide enough room for you to put a knife, flashlight, or extra batteries for your night vision scope.
The compartment for the hydration pack can fit a hydration pack of 3 liters (or 0.8 gallons). However, it will be a tight squeeze if you want to go for the maximum amount possible. The whole backpack carries a total volume of 2100 cubic inches (34.4 liters) spread across 7 pockets. The single main compartment packs most of this volume at 1700 cubic inches. That’s big enough for most items you could bring along, as well as meat packs.
If you are looking for a day pack with more compartments that also has a slightly bigger volume, I suggest checking out my Alps OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack Review.
Size & Weight
The overall footprint of this backpack is one of its strongest features since it doesn’t have too much bulk to it but it packs more than you initially thought it’d fit.
It weighs 4.25 pounds making it one of the lighter models out there. That’s considering the fact that it has a whole frame core inside. Moreover, it measures 23 by 13 by 12 inches in size which is quite compact. This allows it to be a handy gear bag for those thick brush hunts. It also straps nicely to your body and almost feels like a continuation of your back when you’ve tightened the two straps.
The last thing we will talk about is the extra features here, even though there aren’t many.
One of the standout extra features is the rifle boot which comes with your hunting pack. It also fits many bows, although if you want a separate specially designed bow boot, you will have to buy it separately. That, unfortunately, will bulk up the price even higher. Add to that a badlands rain cover and you are already into the 300-400 dollar range, where there are much bigger hunting backpacks.
Other than that, you don’t get much else with this pack. All the additional features seem to be focused on the backpack itself by giving it extra compression straps, reinforced stitches, and a waterproof coating.
One feature that gets often overlooked is the fact that all Badlands day packs come with an unlimited warranty. That is quite rare to see on a piece of gear that is constantly exposed to the elements. While that raises the price, I think it is well worth the money, since it will easily outlast most other day packs you can get.
Now, let’s take a look at how the Diablo Dos stands against its competition…
Badlands Diablo Dos Vs Horn Hunter Full Curl System Backpack
The main advantage other day packs have over the Diablo Dos is that they are usually going to be priced lower. Therefore, they will look like a better option to most people looking for a proper day pack. However, that isn’t necessarily the case, since the Badlands model has features other brands haven’t even started using yet. The reinforced stitches, patented waterproof coating, and great frame design are just the beginning of that list.
The tubular frame design of the Horn Hunter backpack is great at supporting a lot of packed weight but isn’t as comfortable as the frame system in the Diablo. It also won’t ventilate your back anywhere near as good as the Diablo will. Lastly, it has no stitching reinforcement which is always an issue when you’re outdoors.
The Horn Hunter pack does have more storage capacity and storage options, however. That makes it appealing for people looking for a roomier pack on a budget.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Extremely durable
- Fairly lightweight
- The build-in frame distributes the weight well
- Accessible pockets
- Reinforced materials
- Blood, dirt, and waterproof
- Breathable fabrics and ventilated structure
- Very expensive
- Won’t have enough storage for some hunters
- Some people prefer having two main equally sized compartments
Conclusion & Rating
Whether it is for deer hunting or just scouting, this backpack is more than capable of fitting your gear. It does an excellent job of keeping your back well-ventilated and distributes the weight well across all the contact points. The shoulder and waist straps are nicely padded and are lined with breathable mesh in order to keep you cool. The Badlands Diablo Dos Camouflage Hunting Pack can do a little better in terms of compartments but other than that it remains one of the most well-rounded models on the market. If you aren’t on a tight budget, I highly recommend this model!