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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander External Frame Backpack
ALPS OutdoorZ
Commander External Frame Backpack
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Expert-Recommended
Bottom Line

A strong, cavernous backpack with great organizational features and a fair price.

Pros

This durable bag is made from Ripstop fabric and features an impressive volume of 86 liters. Includes a main pocket, a front pocket, 2 accessory side pockets, a rifle pocket, and a dedicated slot for spotting scopes. Accommodates clip-style holsters and hydration systems. Frame can be detached to haul meat.

Cons

Pack bag has no carry straps of its own. Some users had issues with stitching.

Best Bang for the Buck
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Lite External Frame Backpack
ALPS OutdoorZ
Commander Lite External Frame Backpack
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Best Deal
Bottom Line

Small and lightweight, this backpack is excellent for day trips, hunting, or solo camping.

Pros

Weighs just 4 lbs, 11 oz. Features 47 liters of carry capacity. Main compartment utilizes a full-length zipper for easy access. Equipped with 3 extension lashing straps, a mesh back band, an adjustable shoulder harness, and organizational wing pockets. Padded waist belt accommodates holsters. Detachable frame is great for hauling meat.

Cons

Reduced carrying capacity compared to other models.

Kelty Tioga 5500 Classic External Frame Backpack
Kelty
Tioga 5500 Classic External Frame Backpack
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Highest Capacity
Bottom Line

This versatile pack boasts a huge carrying capacity and tons of adjustment options for all body types.

Pros

Boasts a massive carrying capacity of 90 liters, but weighs only 5 lbs, 13 oz thanks to a lightweight aluminum frame. Internal pockets have specific functions to aid organization. Adjustable vertically and horizontally. Compatible with the Tioga 5500 internal hydration system.

Cons

Large frame can be cumbersome. Some argue this bag should be waterproof for the price.

Kelty Trekker External Frame Hiking Backpack
Kelty
Trekker External Frame Hiking Backpack
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Solid Mid-Tier Pick
Bottom Line

A capable, well-made, and fairly-priced backpack with clever suspension features that take the load off your back.

Pros

An attractive mid-tier pick in terms of volume, features, and price. Features 65 liters of carry capacity with adjustable suspension, a foam waist belt, padded shoulder straps, and a sternum strap. Wears a top-loading lid pocket, zippered side pockets, a front pocket, and a pouch for hydration systems.

Cons

Users often found it difficult to attach gear to the sides of this pack. Water bottle pocket is hard to reach when the pack is worn.

FashionOutdoor External Frame Survival Backpack
FashionOutdoor
External Frame Survival Backpack
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Feature-Packed
Bottom Line

Abundant organizational features make this ALICE-style bag a standout pick for survivalists.

Pros

This pack equips several compartments for specific tools. Utility pockets use snap fasteners for quick access. Tough 1000D fabric is fully waterproof. Able to carry about 50 lbs of gear. Shoulder straps are padded and easily adjustable. Quick-release buckle allows you to drop the entire pack in case of an emergency.

Cons

Not a true ALICE pack.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
20
Hours
Researched
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