Eberlestock Destroyer Review

cmeier117

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Salem, OR
A lot of people have been asking about the Eberlestock packs and I thought I would post a review I did of the Destroyer. I now have a Kifaru T2 and so I didn't have that to compare to when I had this pack so take that into consideration when I give this pack praise and such.

Basic Description of Item:
The pack is 3660 cu inches that expands to over 4000+ cu inches with snow collar. Has top and front panel loading, with 4 interior pockets and 2 pockets in the top lid, exterior side pockets and molle webbing to add accessories and add volume. Capable of hauling 100 pounds with relative comfort, I know because I have done it!

Just the Facts:
Rocky Veil camo
7lbs 9 oz with hunting NT7 fabric
25” stays
3660 cu inches, 4000+ cu inches with snow collar extended
Adjustable torso length
Molle webbing to add accessories like their Butt Bucket, for carrying a gun or bow
Compression straps for a synching up the load or carrying things externally

Story:
The V69 Destroyer is a conventional backpacking/mountaineering hunting pack. It is 60 Liters (Yes I was wondering why they didn’t call it the V60 Destroyer. I had several emails with them to verify this.) or 3660 Cu inches. This is however without the extended snow collar I came to find out. I would guess with the snow collar extended you’re looking at a conservative 4000+ inches. The Destroyer comes with Eberlestocks new NT7 hunting fabric. This is basically an improvement from their prior hunting pack fabric. I have put close to 50 miles on this pack and it carries weight extremely well. I have done a few 3+ mile hikes with 100+ pounds and the pack held up and kept the weight off my shoulders.
The aluminum stays and suspension system adjust beautifully and can fit a variety of torso lengths; my torso length is 18.5″ and it is right in the middle of track system. The aluminum stays are just less than 25″ and offer a good amount of lift with the load lifters. If you are going to buy a pack with the intention of carrying big loads of 80+ pounds there are two important things your pack must have. It must have a rigid frame or rigid stays and it must have functional load lifters!! I think it is funny when I see guys carrying out an elk quarter or boned out deer and the pack is sagging down, and the lifter straps have turned into load stabilizers at best. The key to load lifters is to “lift” the shoulder straps off of your shoulders and put the weight of your pack onto your hips. This gives you freedom to move your arms, shoot a bow or rifle, and fatigues your shoulders and upper body at a much slower pace. Let your legs do the work as they are much stronger than your shoulders and back. I even prefer to have load lifters when I am using it in day hunting mode (20-30 lbs) the pack feels like I am not wearing it.
Now back to the destroyer; it is a top loader as well as being a panel loader through the top and bottom panel. It has a lower compartment for a sleeping bag and a couple of internal pockets for a water bladder. The outside of the pack has compression straps everywhere and the pack synchs down to a small day pack with ease. There is Molle webbing on the bottom, back, top, and waste belt of the pack to mount on accessories and pockets for additional storage and organization. There are two water bottle pouches on the bottom side of the pack and two mesh pockets up a little higher on the sides to store wet gear while hunting and allow them to dry. There are also two slot pockets on the side, underneath the mesh pockets to hold a water bladder. This is also one of my issues with the pack that I will address later.
All in all this is a great pack for the price of $350 that is extremely functional with the pockets and top and front access to the pack. I would recommend to anyone looking for a 3-5 backpacking hunting pack, or wants a versatile day pack with load hauling capabilities.

What they could do better?:
I love this pack but it isn’t perfect. I think it has the potential to be a great load hauler and back country pack if they took some time to improve on a few things.
1.) The aluminum stays are not rigid enough. They provide enough rigidity for 80 lbs or less, but when you get up around 100 lbs they start to bend and the pack starts to sag and you lose your load lifter angle.
2.) The two slot pockets for hanging a water bladder are great if you have a skinny 10 oz water bladder. The pockets are not dimensional and have no volume when pack has a small load in it, let alone when the pack is full. I could not fit a 2 liter water bladder in them with the pack empty. Eberlestock needs to add some more fabric and make the pocket useful, or do without it.
3.) I wish the waist belt was a forward pulling waist belt. It cost no more money to do this and aids greatly in tightening the belt around your hips which is a key in hauling heavy loads.
4.) The pack has a great wide wrap around waist belt and lumbar pad which helps keep the weight where it belongs, on your hips; but the lumbar pads padding needs to be denser. After wearing the pack for awhile and taking it off the lumbar pack is so compressed, it’s as if there isn’t one there anymore.
A few of my complaints are rather picky and I realize this. Eberlestock has a great pack here and I honestly feel these issues could be addressed and they would have a near perfect pack.
 

Ryan Avery

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So now that you have the T2. How do they compare? I have a buddy that is looking hard at the Destroyer. He has used my T2, but never seen a destroyer.
 
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cmeier117

cmeier117

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Feb 24, 2012
Messages
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Location
Salem, OR
So now that you have the T2. How do they compare? I have a buddy that is looking hard at the Destroyer. He has used my T2, but never seen a destroyer.
They really don't compare and if someone had $600 to drop on a Kifaru I would tell them go that route every time. But... If you have $300 to spend (I got mine on sale from Steve Speck over at S&S Archery) The Destroyer is one of the best options in that price range IMHO. I think up to 70 pounds the comfort difference is very little between the T2 and Destroyer, past that and Kifaru wins noticeably. I do like the layout of the destroyer although after having the T2 the destroyer has some useless features like the vertical slot pockets and little mesh pockets on the outside. If someone has $300-350 to spend I recommend the destroyer every time! It is hard to compare to Kifaru but the next step below that I would say the destroyer. I would have happily used the pack and still would, but I wanted the best and got the T2. I honestly don't understand why guys get a blue widow when this is an options, It has functional load lifters, more comfortable suspension, Compresses down really small for day hunting etc... I don't think it can be beat for the price.
 
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cmeier117

cmeier117

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Feb 24, 2012
Messages
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Location
Salem, OR
Yes I did. Only on one scale but that is what mine weighed. The military version is suppose to weigh 7-8 oz less.
 
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