man hunting

Badlands Gear Guide: Day Packs

man hunting

Day packs, or as we like to think of them, Badlands’ little helpers.

These smaller (not small) packs are godsends when you just don’t need the massive cargo capability of a Vario or 2200. But due to their minimalist stature, they sometimes get overlooked.

Aside from the obvious benefits of making your load lighter, day packs are awesome partners for scouting trips, treestands and even those deep, backcountry hunts as a partner to the larger packs.

They keep you nimble and light on your feet, but still let you carry the essentials (like water).

Confused to which day pack is the right fit for your needs? Here’s the skinny on these lighter-weight packs.


Let’s start with the smallest pack of the… uh… pack, the Scout. At 630 cubic inches of cargo space, the Scout is a great option for those pre-season visits to the field where you may log a ton of miles and don’t really need to be weighed down. At a scant 1 pound, 9 ounces, the Scout is like wearing a cloud on your back. And thanks to the AirTrack™ suspension, it’s a nice fluffy, dry cloud, without all the moisture building up.


The Reactor is one of our favorites to pair with a bigger pack when we go deep into the woods. At 1 pound, 12 ounces, it’s lightweight and takes up little space (896 c.i.) in our Carbon Ox or Vario, yet still has a massive 3-liter hydration bladder. Once we settle in and get our camp set up, we like to leave the big dog at camp and use the lighter Reactor to tote the bare essentials as we pound the mountainsides all day.


We know, we know. You hear the words fanny pack, and you instantly envision a pasty dad in black dress socks and sandals, chasing his kids around a rodent-themed entertainment park known for its aggressive legal department. But the Monster is no ordinary fanny pack. No, this 1,100-cubic inch beast of burden features a Delron® Flex Frame, two fold-down workstation pockets, and adjustable (as well as removable) shoulder straps. Plus, store it in your kid’s closet and you have months of mom or dad jokes at the ready. 


So much research has gone into this day pack, it insists we call it Dr. Tenet. The 1,496-cubic inch (and you thought we rounded these numbers up) Tenet Pack features our Hypervent™ Suspension system. Tired of all the heat and sweat that builds up between you and your pack? So is the Tenet. It’s also the smallest pack to feature our Bino Connect™ System, which allows you to connect your Badlands bino harness directly to the pack’s straps, simplifying your gear loadout.


At an even 1,500 cubic inches, the Pursuit pretty much tells you what it’s all about right there in the name. Built for the run-n-gun hunter, the Pursuit keeps things simple with AirTrack™ suspension to keep you cool, a big bladder pocket to keep you hydrated, and a ton of compression straps to keep your gear secure.


Yes, he was a bratty kid in “The Incredibles”, but this Dash is a trimmed-down beast of (light) burden. The weight of a full 1,940 cubic inches of cargo space is distributed via the built-in flex rods, keeping even the most dense of loads comfortable on your back. A ton of options are built in, from the ability to carry a rifle or bow, a hip-belt pistol holster and the expandable side pockets. So if you think about it, this Dash is like having the speedy kid, the stretchy mom and the super-strong dad from that movie all in one pack. (Invisibility is still in R&D. Sorry, Violet). 


We tried to cook up some pithy superhero references to describe the Superday, but it’s just too much of a workhorse to fool around with. Why is the Superday one of the most popular hunting packs we make? Simple: Performance. It may be a day pack, but it can lug enough gear in its 1,950-cubic inch belly that it performs like a frame pack. Our next-gen venting is paired with a molded, memory foam back suspension to make this one of the most comfortable packs you’ve ever strapped on. There are enough features in this thing to fill a blog of its own, but we’ll just recommend you checkout the Superday pack and take in all the splendor.

Hopefully we’ve helped shed some light on why, sometimes, smaller is better when it comes to packs. Speed, maneuverability, flexibility… all made easier with a day pack.

Just because they’re light, don’t think they aren’t tough. We wouldn’t cover them with our Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee if we didn’t think they were hard as nails.

Give a day pack a chance and we think you’ll see the benefits to a smaller (not small) pack.