BadLands OX Hunting Pack Review
Basic Description of Item:
External Frame Multi Day Hunting Pack
Just the Facts:
WEIGHT : 9 lbs 3 oz
DIMENSIONS : 27� x 16� x 9�
CAPACITY : 4400 ci
RIFLE : YES
Recently I was asked to test and rate the latest BIG pack from Badlands, the OX. Ultimately, I found that it lives up to its name. The other thing I quickly learned is that you want to bring along a guy in his twenties to operate the thing, not a “has been” in his forties like me…
I used the pack on some family hikes in the desert region of Southern Utah. It was apparent that Badlands had designed this pack for more weight than I was carrying, so my son helped me out on the hikes by adding no less than 20 lbs of rocks to each of our hikes (for his “rock collection”). I carried a variety of loads from 30 to 80 lbs. and the pack made them all feel light.
Bandlands scored an A++ when it came to comfort. Although it is a large external frame pack ( 4400 cu inches), it is more comfortable than many of my smaller daypacks. I am 6’2” tall and about 190lbs with a 34” waist and I used a medium sized pack. I feel it was a perfect fit. I had full range of head and neck motion which came in handy as I was looking up many times in the narrow, steep slot canyons. My arms never felt obstructed as I climbed up and down narrow passages. The length at the bottom of the pack was perfect as well as it allowed me to sit and as I did the bottom of the pack rested on the ground the same time my bottom did.
The pack is equipped with pockets on both sides of the waist belt that are larger than normal. Initially, I was concerned about them getting in the way, but they came in extremely handy and were never noticed in a negative manner. I used them for instant access to my camera, my GPS, a small water bottle and to pick up trash from along the trail.
The OX ventured away from a traditional top loaded design to a back loaded (clamshell) design more similar to a large duffle which concerned me at first as well. I found that it was actually easier to load and will accommodate large loads with more accessibility than a standard top loader.
The OX is designed to allow the cargo area to separate from the frame to create a “meat shelf”. Although I did not need to use that, I experimented with it a bit and can see that it will work really well to put a suicide load on my back. It is also designed to pack a bow or a rifle and based on an experiment only, I can see that it will perform well. Additionally, I look forward to using the spotting scope and tripod pockets on the sides. There is an adjustable strap inside both pockets to secure the scope or tripod, not only protect them but to eliminate a sloppy or loose feeling on my back.
The pack is equipped with bicycle type compression locks that hold the frame together. For me and the type of trips I tested it on, I found that they could catch the rocks and sides of the canyon. In the future I will secure those with a bit of electrical tape. That was the only adjustment that I would make to the pack.
Way to go Badlands! You knocked it out of the park with this one. Thanks for thinking of us in the field and implementing all of our suggestions. You truly raised the bar in the backpack world. For more information go to http://www.vortexoutdoors.com/.
What they Could Better:
Pack is a little on the heavy side
Badlands OX Hunting Pack Review "Editors Choice, External Frame Pack"