Rambling Review: Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack

Rambling Review: Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack

Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack
Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack

Why:

One of the most vital pieces of equipment for the western hunter is the hunting pack. An uncomfortable, poorly constructed pack can be the bane of the outdoorsman’s experience. The name “Eberlestock” is well known in the hunting community as a producer of high quality gear. I had the esteemed opportunity to carry their Eberlestock X2 hunting pack on many journeys into the field and on the water over the past several months.

The Eberlestock X2
The Eberlestock X2

First impressions:

Design – The Eberlestock X2 is a top loading pack with a lightweight aluminum frame which makes it capable of comfortably carrying a heavy load in and out of the backcountry. At the same time when it is completely compressed, this pack is a perfect option for a daypack for the bowhunter. When the compression straps are unclipped, the two wings of the pack open up to reveal the main top-loading compartment of the pack. At 1800 cubic inches, I have plenty of room to pack in a sleeping bag and hammock as well as my other necessities for an overnight stay.

The extra long compression straps allow the hunter to utilize the Eberlestock X2’s aluminum frame, and lash a heavy load to the pack in order to get their prize out of the field. I have seen pictures of hunters with a whole elk quarter securely stowed on the X2. Match up the load bearing aluminum frame with a cushy waist belt, and this pack will do some serious hauling.

 

Eberlestock X2
Eberlestock X2 Loaded
Eberlestock X2
First clips loosened. I usually have a seat pad or a warm vest clipped in there
Eberlestock X2
Inside clips released exposing open pocekts big enough for a tripod and my Safari Sneakers on the other side.

Pockets – The Eberlestock X2 an extremely well thought out pocket structure with two easy access pockets on the top roof of the pack. Perfect for storing gear that the outdoorsman needs quickly and quietly. Their are also two roomy pockets on the hip belt which I usually use for my GPS on one side and my digital camera on the other.

The real prize when it comes to pockets are the wing pockets. Unzipping them reveals two hydration compatible pockets complete with hooks to keep the hydration bladder upright and holes to run the hose out and down the shoulder straps. On the inside of these pockets are two open pockets that are plenty big enough to hold a tripod, spotting scope, or, in my case, my safari sneakers. When the compression straps are cinched down, there is no danger of anything tumbling out of these open pockets.

Eberlestock X2
Big side pockets

Water-proof/Quiet – I find it uncommon to find gear that is waterproof and quiet, but Eberlestock builds their packs out of their NT-1 Waterproof Microfleece fabric that is not only waterproof and quiet, but tough as nails.

Javelina Hunting with the Eberlestock X2
Javelina Hunting with the Eberlestock X2

Field Use:

I have carried the X2 on many different occasions: fishing small streams, hunting whitetails back east, javelina hunting in and even a couple of days up scouting for Arizona bison. It always takes a little bit of time to organize a new pack and figure out where your essential gear should go, but I was really pleased with how well the pack carried in the field.

Fishing – I wore this on several small stream trips where I was headed back in a little farther than usual. What I noticed on the uneven bed of the stream was that this pack rode very tight and comfortable on my back. Some of these bigger packs have the tendency to ride very bulky and cumbersome, which can make for a long day

Treestand hunting – I am a bit of an over-packer when it comes to hunting in new locations. My philosophy is that I want to take everything I need to the stand so I can sit as long as possible, instead of getting to the stand, freezing my butt off and having to leave early. So, on the hunt back in P.A., I carried the Eberlestock X2 loaded to the brim to the tree and stayed toasty and well fed on those long cold sits in the windy hardwoods.

Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack
Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack

Western Hunting – The Eberlestock X2 pack was built to hunt the West and, although it is extremely versatile to handle many different outdoor scenarios, the X2 really shines in the big sky country of the West. I have strapped the Eberlestock X2 to my back on a couple of different scouting trips and hunts and have been very happy with the performance of the pack. The number one thing I like about the pack is that it rides very flat across my back instead of like many packs which seem to hang on my shoulders and off my back. Another aspect of comfort that Eberlestock built into this pack is the full mesh backing that is separated from the main pack which creates a large air gap. This is essential to hunters in a hot climate or those who spend a good part of their day hiking mountains to find those elusive animals.

Eberlestock X2
Mesh breathable back and thick padded belt

This was the perfect pack to carry while hunting javelina this past season. Depending on the unit that I am hunting, temperatures can start out in the teens and can end up in the 50s and 60s later in the day. Needless to say, a day pack needs to be able to accommodate for plenty of gear, water, and food for a full days hunt, and I felt the X2 meet those needs. I had the opportunity to put a stalk on a herd of javelina and felt great about how the pack rode on my back.

The one negative thing I did notice about this pack is that it does tend to have the slightest creak if the load is not perfectly balanced. Once I took the pack off and readjusted some of the contents, it carried nice and quiet.

Pros:

Comfortable

Waterproof and Quiet

Durable

Aluminum Frame for Heavy Loads

Roomy, well placed pockets

Accommodates Eberlestock’s Bow Buttbucket or Rifle Scabbord

 

Cons:

Slight creak when not loaded properly

 

Prognosis: If you are looking for a pack to do it all, the Eberlestock X2 should be at the top of your list. A quality product from a quality company.

 

Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The Eberlestock X2 was provided to Arizona Wanderings for the purpose of this review.  Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

9 Responses to “Rambling Review: Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack”

    • azwanderings

      Eberlestock is a great company with some really affordable packs. Definitely worth checking out. Thanks for the kind words.

      Ben

      Reply
  1. Marc Nielsen

    Great review Ben, I’m amazed at the amount of detail and work you put into these reviews, nice job. Also like the new layout, haven’t been able to get on for a few days, but I see the wait is worth it.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Marc. Sorry the site has been on the fritz. Glad you liked the review. This is a great pack and writing the review for quality products is very enjoyable. I’ve been following your duck hunts over on Tonto Ramblings and it looks like you have been having a blast. Take care and have fun.

      Ben

      Reply
  2. Craig Sande

    Thanks for the article on the X2. I have used the pack over the past year and noted an annoying creak develop over time, noted with each step or upon drawing back on my bow – not good for stealth! It seemed to be coming from either the straps or corner pockets that wrap over the lower part of the frame. I wrapped the entire frame with black hockey stick tape and it completely eliminated the creaking sound.

    Craig

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      That’s good info Craig. I might try that tape idea. It’s a great pack with tons of room, but that creaking is a little annoying. Thanks for the insight.

      Ben

      Reply
  3. jeff mangold

    i am a man who weighs about 160 lbs, 5′-9″ max and finding a pac that works for out west for elk and mule deer as well as whitetails that fits me is difficult…i have been using a badlands pack and it performs well but not really happy with the storage set up but the pack fits me well….will the X2 be a pack that will fit those of us who hunt but are not big guys???

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Jeff,

      Great to hear from you. That’s a great question and one that probably is better answered by going and trying the pack on. I wish I could help you more with the fit. I will say that with the aluminum frame in the pack, there is only minimal adjustments (tightening shoulder straps and waist belts) that can be made to the fit. For what it’s worth, I’m 5’11” and 190 and it fits me well. It is a great pack and well worth your consideration. Best of luck in your search.

      Ben

      Reply

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