Friday, July 8, 2016

Product Review: Hunter to Hunter Markhor Wapiti EVO II Backpack

As a hunter and outdoorsman, I am always looking for backpacks that can do specific jobs. For instance, a bag for hiking does not necessarily work as a hunting backpack, and conversely, a hunting backpack will likely not work for an extensive hiking campaign.

Hunter to Hunter offered me the opportunity to test a couple of bags. One bag I chose was something I did not have in my stockpile so to speak. It was unique and I immediately saw the usefulness in the design.

The Markhor Hunting Wapiti Evo II backpack is a single strap design. For a day trip, this would make an ideal hunting companion.

The backpack is designed so the strap can go over either shoulder. The strap is heavily padded for comfort. On the outside of the strap are two loop tags designed to slide the tube from a hydration bladder through to keep the tube from dangling.

Obviously, if the strap is designed as such to hold the tube for a hydration bladder, that means the bag is designed to hold a hydration bladder. Inside the back portion of the bag is an elastic waterproof nylon pouch where the bladder sets. At the peak of the bag is the H2O Velcro port where the tube exits the bag.

The main compartment of the bag is large enough to carry items for a day trip, roughly 25 litres of space. It is accessible from a full length heavy duty zipper that runs along the side of the triangular backpack. This makes it extremely easy to get to what you are looking for. The zipper is super strong and has a nice spot to grab and pull. There are no flaps to worry with when zipping or unzipping. Also located in the main compartment is a small pouch at the top good for holding a wallet, identification and of course your hunting license.

The exterior of the bag has a grab handle located to the side of the peak, making it easy to grab hold of for picking up or sitting down. The handle is solid material and solidly sewn to handle all weight inside the bag.

Located on either side of the bag are two mesh pockets ideal for sliding items that you would like quick access to such as a rangefinder. There is an adjustable strap above each pocket to assist in holding items such as a shooting stick.

A larger pouch is mounted square at the bottom. One entrance has another heavy duty zipper with two smaller compartments inside.  A second entrance is fastened by magnets. Along the waist belt are two other zippered pockets, one on each side.

The back and waist belt support areas are heavily padded and designed to wick away moisture. The fabric of the entire bag is waterproof and has a felt touch to it which reduces noise effectively making it silent when hiking or brushing against trees and bushes.

What advantages do these things offer? For a single day hunt which is what most of our adventures consist of, the bag suits the purpose well. It is large enough to hold the items you need for the one hunt, but small enough where you do not feel awkward bringing it along.

Because of the size, it can also double as a single day hiking bag as well and is extremely comfortable with the single strap design.

As with any backpack, it is important to adjust it properly to your frame and clothing. With the main compartment zipper running the full length of the backpack, it is easy to adjust the items inside in order to balance the bag properly since you do not have to worry about digging through the pack for what you are looking for, something many top entrance backpacks have issues with.

You can see the Wapiti EVO II at