If you've kept up with the podcast, or followed me on Instagram, you're well aware that I am a brand new hunter. Last year having been my first year actively chasing animals and spending time in the backcountry with the intent to harvest.
In the same vein, many of you are likely aware that Eberlestock has been a supporter of mine in some way shape or form for many years - stemming back to my time in Competition Shooting, through working on Photography, and now into the Podcast and website world.
That being said, and full transparency, I was not asked to write this and I have no real experience with other packs to compare this against. My goal is to data dump some thoughts, uses and hopefully get you guys and gals thinking about your gear.
Let's kill it.
I picked up the Eberlestock Vapor 2500 a few weeks ago in Military Green and was super stoked. In store and online, Eberelestock offers a full lineup of their patterns in all three models. That being said there are three models to choose from - 2500ci, 5000ci, 7500ci.
Online weights are as follows 1.3lbs, 2lbs, 2.3lbs respectively. Important to note that in order to use this pack you do need either an F1 or M1 Frame from Eberlestock. (www.eberlestock.com)
Specifically to the 2500... the pack comes in its own non-waterproof, mesh stuff sack that is a little bit smaller than a laptop but the PERFECT size to pack in a few Mountain Houses and small stove, spoon, bowl, and fuel. Weird, but super convenient if you're spending a full day out on the mountain and need grub. Saves money on buying more stuff sacks.
There are three external pockets. Two stretchy side pockets on either side that my 64oz Hydroflask or 64oz Nalgene fits into without issue. On the front of the pack is a zippered pocket with the front section being the stretchy material that would be a great spot for snacks, electronics, lamps, etc. Internally, there are two pockets that look to be designed to hold two bladders, as they have lashes above the pockets for clipping in a bladder. I have consistently used one 2 liter bladder and it seems to be a little 'cramped' in the pocket, but haven't had any issues with the hose kinking or getting blocked in a way that prevents use. There are two ports at the top corners of the bag for the hose to protrude. Otherwise, thats it as far as pockets, there are a few loops sewn in to lash things in and organize however this thing was designed to be super lightweight so beyond the two pockets the pack opens up very similar to a duffle bag with one large open compartment for storage.
Buckles, Zippers, and
Moving back to the outside of the pack there are six buckles total. Three up and down on each side, I believe the intent of these buckles is to supplement the zippers when attaching to either frames (F1/M1). However to date I have used the buckles that come with the frame to stretch across the bag to cinch down the bag to keep it from flopping around, then when needed maybe using the packs buckles to hold my walking sticks.
Now - worth noting is that when time comes to carry meat out, the buckles from the pack will provide the length needed to put meat between the frame and the pack, then to compress.
There are two external zippers with large d-loops to help grab a hold and open with gloves. One thing that is interesting is there is a block sewn at the top of the opening, this prevents the zippers from crossing over but ultimately helps the user open the pack easier - keeps you from having to find zippers and allows you to grab the top and pull down to open the pack.
At the very bottom of the pack there is one plastic D-Ring sewn in and four fabric loops sewn in for additional lashing points. There is also a hidden D-Ring at the top of the pack under neath the flap by the zippers.
My thoughts and uses to date:
I love this pack, in my opinion its a great hunt-from-camp pack and if you plan on doing anything where you're taking any more than 1-2days of food in with a sleep system, tent, and layers you're going to be pushing it. If you do anything beyond day hunts / hunt from a base camp - I would STRONGLY encourage getting at least the Vapor 5000.
To date, my buddy and I have spent quite a bit of time doing some backcountry hunting or scouting - carrying tents and sleeping gear in. To the point above, my pack looks like its bursting at the seams, but also knowing that if I plan to do more hunts like this, I should upgrade.
For me, this pack will be ideal to carry: layers, tripod, water, coffee, snacks, small/extra gear, game bags, and a kill kit. I am an organized individual, so at the time of this writing I have a few zippered-quart sized bags on the way that once everything is set up I will throw up online.
But those are my thoughts! First every gear review in the books. Drop a comment below!