Crooked Horn Outfitters – High Country II Extreme Backpack Review
Basic Description of item:
Large Hunting backpack with tons of usable features and an elegant old-school simplicity.
Just the Facts:
- Crooked Horn Outfitters
- Made in the USA
- Internal frame style
- Large Capacity (4,200 cubic inches)
- Heavy duty carry handle
- Side Zippers
- Sleeping bag compartment
- Hydration compatible
- Built-in Bow/Rifle Pouch
- MSRP: $279.99
I’m an old backpacker (emphasis on old), so I love the mountaineering pack styling and functionality of this backpack. This pack has a large open compartment (with hydration compartment, large side accessible spotting scope pocket, front zipped access sleeve, and one side of the main compartment that has size zipper access), a bottom sleeping bag compartment, and a top cover/compartment. On the front of the pack is a fold down bow/rifle stirrup with straps across the front of the pack to hold weapons or a myriad of other items. All the straps have great attention to detail with sewn fold-overs at the ends for grip and so straps stay in their tightening devices. Most straps even have Velcro keepers to roll the unused part of the strap and keep them from dangling… and we all know about the serious dangling problem we have going on these days (ok, focus and get back to the review).
What this pack doesn’t include is 3,000 techno pockets which greatly reduces the weight and allows me to come home from a trip, quickly unpack, and not find my small Leica binoculars stuffed in some obscure pocket next hunting season after tearing my house apart looking for them for the better part of a year. If you get the feeling that I like the elegant simplicity of this bag, you are on the right track. Crooked Horn has added just the right elements to make this a serious hunting pack, but kept it simple enough that I can use it as a mountaineering pack or to pack large optics and tripods for game spotting or an extended photography trip. I have an addiction to outdoor photography and this bag will even swallow up my Canon 500 F4 with attached camera body with ease with a the perfect place to strap my large Gitzo tripod on the side or front of the bag.
Overall, this is a large, versatile, and durable backpack and I’m happy that a long-time outdoor company like Crooked Horn is putting out such a great product.
What they could do better:
I believe that the padded area of the back support and waistband could be made out of a material that is better at sweat reduction/ventilation and possibly being replaceable instead of being sewn into the pack. I’m also just a bit confused about the hanging point for the hydration system, but this is a pet peeve of mine on many fine backpacks and I can make this work just fine.
Crooked Horn Outfitters High Country Extreme II Back Pack Review
I have used this pack on a few trips now and i love it. It has a lot of padding and is very comfortable on the long hikes that I have been on. It holds my spotting scope and tripod very well and love the side pocket were the scope fits in. I put my bow on the back of the pack and carried that around with me and the straps hold it in place very well. I’ve tried a lot of packs out and most don’t fit me because i am pretty skinny but this one fits perfectly. Great pack for backpacking in the high country for a few days.
Thanks for the great comments. It is a very good pack.
Thanks for the review it was good but you didn’t mention anything about where you would or if one could load game meat in this pack. Where would I put all my gear if I had to haul out game meat and I’m 5 miles from camp?
Thanks for the comment. I also pack in for 3-5 days with a 50-60 pound pack. This allows me to take my gear, and parts of the animal out on the first trip.
It is rare that you can pack all the way in, and get an animal out in 1 load, unless you have more than 1 person with you and only get 1 animal.
Elk, now way to get out in 1 load.
I take in game bags, put the meat in them and then stuff in the pack. I then move lots of gear to the outside of my pack. I have done this MANY times.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the reply. I have never gotten a whole animal out in one trip either while I was on my own. I’ve only ever used externals and just now starting to get into internal frames so I’m still learning about them.