Jordan, how does the water badder tab between the frame and bag work for you? Peter
Thanks for the review and videos of the bag. I thought I read it was recommended to not use the meat shelf with a fully loaded (5 days worth of gear) bag. Is this correct? If that is true, can explain why and what you would do 5 miles in with everything you had in your bag minus a bit of food? This is my first year planning on backpack hunting so I'm trying to decide between a few different bags. Thanks.
That is correct. You can definitely do it, but it's not recommended due to comfort. If you have say 5 days of gear all in the bag (45 lbs for example) then put meat between the bag and frame your extending the 45lbs away from your back. So you may have the heaviest weight against your back but your still extending 45 lbs backwards away from your body and it's going to be pulling you backwards and will be super uncomfortable the whole time.
The reckoning is a big bag, so you should still have quite a bit of space left after packing for like 5 days. Coming out with camp and meat I would put all of my lighter/bulkier things stuffed in the bottom of the bag (sleeping bag, pad, extra clothes, etc.) basically get a good platform in the bottom 1/3 of the bag so you can put meat in the top 2/3 of your back section. Then if needed extend the snow collar up and put any extra gear on top of that and/or start stuffing things into the outer pockets and strapping to the back (like tents, tripods, spotters, etc.). Put your meat in a garbage bag or something to keep blood from saturating your other gear and pack as well... I'd put my sleeping bag in a watertight bag for sure. Having everything in the bag that is up against your back and extending up will be much more easier on the body than extending outwards.
Now where the meat shelf does come in super handy is when you don't have very much weight in the main bag, say like 25 lbs or less, equivalent to just day hunting gear. Then your only extending a small amount of weight backwards, plus it won't be stuck out as far as if the bag was full.
I'm gonna need some help figuring out what some of the loops are for on the bag and frame both. Don't think I'll run a guide lid but I will get a belt pouch for the top.
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