Outdoorsman’s New Long Range Hunter Optics Backpack System review

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Outdoorsman’s New Long Range Hunter Optics Backpack System


By Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
High Desert Wild Sheep Guides
www.highdesertwildsheepguides.com


To see the Long Hunter Pack check out the Outdoorsmans website @ http://www.outdoorsmans.com.


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Basic Description:

Specially curved and designed flexible frame pack that provides hunters or avid backpackers the stability of an internal frame pack and the carrying capacity of an external pack. Advanced ergonomics allows for greater airflow around the lower back, keeping you cooler than other pack systems. Designed to be converted into a meat carrying system the Long Hunter also features a V-Notch at top of the frame that can be used as a rifle rest. Weighing in at 7.8 pounds this pack has been built on the success of the Outdoorsmans Optics Pack. With the added dimension of increased carrying capacity the Long Range Hunter can be converted in size by simply unzipping the main bag extension and adjusting the lid straps. This adds 1500 additional cubic inches to the pack’s capacity that is now rated at 7500ci if you utilize the Accessory Pod. There have also been several other innovative improvements such as the load stabilizers that enable this backpack to perform with the best packs on the market. For diehard Mountain Hunters the Outdoorsman Long Ranger Hunter Optics Pack will definitely meet their demands.


The Facts:

The Outdoorsmans Long Range Hunter Optics Pack System was designed for those hardcore backpack hunters or outdoor adventurers who demand a pack that can keep them and their gear out on the mountain for multiple days at a time.
This pack can adequately carry your tripod, spotting scope, large binoculars, rifle, sleeping bag and the “kitchen sink” if needed with its 9100 cubic inch capacity. Please note the following specifications and innovative features that make this backpack an item of gear that Mountain Hunters will love:

• The carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene frame is rigid enough to handle a 200 lb. load, yet has enough flexibility to twist with your body while climbing or twisting through brush and rugged terrain.
• The frame itself only weighs just 2 lbs with the complete pack weighing in at 7.8 lbs.
• 8 different attaching points on the frame allow the suspension system to be fitted to anyone from 5’2″ all the way up to 6’10”.
• A specially designed load carrying system is part of the frame. This feature is ideal for hauling meat, water or food.
• V- notch rifle rest designed in the top of the pack frame allows for a solid shooting rest from the sitting position due to the solid base of the frame/pack itself.
• A rifle carrying system is built right into every pack and will
securely
hold any size rifle, bow, or muzzleloader.
• The Long Range Hunter Pack is the original Outdoorsmans Optics Pack designed to expand by unzipping the main bag extension in vertical growth. This backpack provides you with 1500 additional cubic inches carrying capacity than the optics pack. Adding the Accessory Pod will give you an incredible 7500 cubic inches that makes it conducive to multi-day backpack hunts.
• Can be purchased in traditional Coyote Brown 1000d, Multicam 500 denier and True Timber 420d with quiet pack cloth.
• Rigid belt system allows for easier and more comfortable load stability.
• Enlarged side pockets allow better access to tripods, trekking poles, etc.
• Outstanding versatility.
• Drop down pocket for carrying your rifle or bow centers weight in the middle of the pack.
• Orange caution flag sewn into rifle sleeve that can be used for backpacking safety when carrying antlers.
• Top daisy chain to attach boots or other items to when crossing rivers.
• Side daisy chains that can serve to latch on various gear.
• Added latching straps in the middle of pack lid were designed to secure sheep horns to when packing out a trophy ram!
• Outdoorsman Accessory Pod can be added to pack.
• Vertical and horizontal compression straps keep your large loads tight and under control.
• Removable liners make it easy to clean the inside of your pack.
• Added load stabilizers that attach to frame behind your head.
• Rain cover available
• 9 total pockets for storing gear.



STORY

I was requested to field test the new Outdoorsmans Long Range Hunter Optics Backpack earlier this winter after submitting a few of my personal thoughts to Mike Duplan for his Western Hunter article on backpacks. I was also very familiar with the Outdoorsmans backpack system since I did a thorough review on their innovative Optics Backpack several years ago. The late winter and cold spring weather in southern Utah didn’t keep me off the mountain as I stuck 85 lbs of weighted sand bags into the Long Range Hunter pack and hiked several hours each weekend in the steep hills around my home since March to thoroughly field test the Long Range Hunter. This gave me a good feel for the pack as to how it fit my body and what adjustments needed to be made for it to ride comfortably. I have also use the Long Range Hunter out on the mountain on numerous backpack adventures with the Long Hunter strapped to my back full of gear while scouting for desert sheep in what can only be described as some extremely rugged and tough terrain.

Backpacking in rugged terrain with the Long Range Hunter Optics Pack.

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The Outdoorsmans Long Range Hunter backpack, with its new, larger, thick hip belt, shoulder pads and expanded load capacity of 9100 ci is a definite step up from the smaller Optics pack for those who demand more room.

I did find, that my thin body frame and narrow hips required a few adjustments with the pack so that I could get it to fit correctly. At first, with extremely heavy loads, the bottom corners of the waist belt bit into my glute muscles causing some genuine discomfort. I just don’t have much fatty tissue on my butt or hips for a backpack to ride on. I discovered that I really had to cinch the shoulder pads down and pull the load lift straps as far ahead as possible so I could bring the load in closer against my back. This kept the bottom half of the hip belt from slipping downward and digging into my lower back/glutes when I had 85 lbs or more on my back. To cushion my glutes I also slipped one of my butt pads that I use to sit on while glassing for animals into the area at the base of the small of my back that forced the waist belt to ride the way it should on my hips. The Outdoorsmans also has a lumbar pad that works very well for this purpose.

You can easily adjust this backpack up and down on the flexible frame at various attaching points to help fit your height and build. Overall, the new Long Hunter pack is very capable of standing up under extremely heavy loads.

Included on the Long Range Hunter frame is a pack bag specifically built as a load carrying system. I find this feature very nice for packing meat or caching food and water into an isolated area for those long hunts. However, as I have used this feature I didn’t feel like the meat sack on the frame was big enough to meet my needs of placing an entire deboned animal in. It should be noted that you can easily detach the bag and secure quarters of a big game animal to the fame itself as well as attaching your own meat sacks to the frame.

I absolutely love the expandable capacity of the Long Range Hunter pack. In just a couple of minutes I can unzip the main bag extension at the top of the bag, adjust the lid straps and add close to 1500 cubic inches of hauling capacity to the pack. Adding the Outdoorsmans Accessory Pod onto the front of the pack bag and you have 7,500ci of room for a 10 day backpack hunt out on any mountain!

The larger, outside pockets on the Long Hunter pack are absolutely great and will hold your spotting scope, tripod, walking sticks, and other items so that you can access them quickly and efficiently simply by releasing several buckles. A small strap on each side of these pockets snaps shut to secure your optics/gear within these pockets. This pocket design also keeps twigs, pine needles, leaves, dirt or rain from falling into the pockets while hiking. This is a great and extremely innovative feature/design.

The two small pockets located on each bottom side of the pack can be snapped shut to secure a radio, camera, or other critical gear into that you may need to access. Please note that I have always preferred to carry a Nalgene bottle mixed with electrolytes in the bottom outside pockets on all of my other backpacks. The bottom pockets on the Long Range Hunter weren’t designed for this purpose and are simply not big enough to get a Nalgene bottle into. I can fit a smaller water bottle into these pockets but the compression strap and buckle on the pockets won’t allow me to access a water bottle easily. Granted, there is a hydration system built into the backpack that I really like. With a port hole in the back of the pack to run my drinking tube through it works extremely well. However, I’ve found that if you put electrolyte mix in a hydration bladder you are going to have to clean out the mold that will inevitably grow on the inside of your sip tube. That’s why I like to store a Nalgene bottle in the outside bottom pockets on any backpack for electrolytes.

The top pack lid is cleverly angled so that when you cinch it down the lid covers the top of your pack completely. Very nice job Outdoorsmans with this feature! I love the two zippered compartments featured on the pack lid. The larger binocular compartment can easily store my large 15 x 56 Swarovski’s when I’m not using them to glass. Another improvement that Cody and the team at the Outdoorsman added to the top lid of the Long Range Hunter was two additional buckles that are located toward the center of the lid. These buckles will attach to two straps that are different than those that are used to cinch the lid down to the pack itself. These buckles/straps were designed for sheep hunters or other big game enthusiasts so they can lash their horns or antlers onto the pack under the top lid. This feature was well thought out and can be very useful when securing trophy animals to your Long Range Hunter pack.

This backpack has nine total storage pockets for you to utilize and organize gear in. I found this to be a very advantageous feature.

As I stated earlier under “FACTS,” the Outdoorsmans cleverly engineered in the middle portion of the pack a drop down flap to attach your rifle to. I like the fact that this drop down flap with compression buckles will evenly distribute the extra weight of your rifle or bow so that you don’t find your pack with more weight to throw you off balance on one side. If you choose to attach and use the Accessory Pod for additional storage, however, it will take a little more time to get to your rifle out of the drop down flap in a hurry. In other words, it would not be a “one snap” process. Without the Accessory Pod attached, the “drop down flap rifle sling” works very efficiently.

Bear hunting with Outdoorsmans Long Range Hunter Optics Pack. Notice the drop down flap holding my rifle
.

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The V- notch rifle rest built into the top of the frame allows hunters to get a solid rest while shooting from a sitting position. This is due to the solid base of the frame/pack system. I’ve tried this out while target practicing and the V-notch is very handy, secure and keeps your rifle steady for better shooting accuracy. Some hunters believe that with practice, the Long Range Hunter’s V-notch rifle rest is easier, faster, and more efficient than many of the bipods on the market.

On the inside of the pack bag, you will find a hydration bladder compartment, with a small hole designed in the back of the bag that you can slip your sip tube through then secure the tubing across one of your shoulder straps. I would like to see a small clip or Velcro strap to secure the sip tube to your shoulder strap.

The Outdoorsmans has included clips on the waist belt that keep the extra length of the belt from flopping loosely after you have tightened it. These same clips are also featured on the shoulder straps to secure those loose ends. This is a very positive feature.

I’ve found the material on the Outdoorsmans pack to be very tough and durable. Made out of 1000 denier Cordura fabric I can assure you that this pack will hold up to your abuse when lowered over sandstone cliffs, or drug through mud, water and sharp rocks. The zippers are heavy duty and have held up to the punishment of my heavy loads. One thing you can’t put up with when you are out in the field is a zipper blow out! I appreciate that the zippers on the Long Range Hunter are made for extreme use.

Top of the line service and quality materials are always very important factors to me when I make a decision to purchase expensive gear. In the past I have found that the Outdoorsmans has always provided excellent service when I have had to send various items back to them for repair after years of use. You should expect an excellent warranty and that is exactly what you will get with Outdoorsman’s Customer Service.

Priced at $499.00 the Long Hunter Pack is available in True Timber (2 layer 420d & Quiet Pack cloth), Multicam(500d), and Coyote Brown(1000d). This pack is well worth the expense.

One of the best components of the Outdoorsmans Long Range Optic’s Hunter pack design is that once you own a frame you can buy a new pack bag if they come out with a different design and utilize it due to the fact that their pack bags are totally interchangeable. I like the thought process behind the Outdoorsman Long Hunter Backpack System and would recommend it to any serious Mountain Hunter.


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What They Could Do Better

• Design larger bottom side pockets on the pack that are big enough to hold a Nalgene bottle for electrolyte drinks.
• Design a larger meat carrier pocket on the frame.
• I would like to see a more prominent lumbar pad on the waist belt.
• Include a velcro strap on the shoulder harness that you could attach your sip tube to.


1 positive user reviews     0 negative user reviews.

Comments

  1. Sean gorin says:

    You should never have Velcro on hunting gear. Outdoorsman stinks about everything I can’t wait to go to Phoenix and get my hands on one of these. Saw the prototype at the sheep show. This pack is amazing!!!

    2 people found this review helpful.
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