The Best Duck Hunting Backpack for Waterfowlers
My waterfowl hunting journey began with a phone call and invite to hunt around 11pm on the eve of opening day just over 10 years ago. I can say, I had no idea what I was in for.
I grabbed my shotgun, backpack, shells, and some old waders (that ripped while putting them on), and I set them by the door, ready to meet my buddy at the infamous Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Suisun, California, at 3am.
I discovered that day that your gear matters – and so does what you bring it in. Since that chaotic day of trudging through the marsh with ripped waders and a soaking wet backpack (and everything inside of it) on public land, I’ve hunted a variety of different areas and terrains.
With the recent developments in duck hunting backpacks, I thought – there is no better time to share my experiences with some new and older backpacks I’ve used to hunt out of.
Before we dive in, It’s important to note that you don’t have to have a backpack or even a blind bag, but the options you’ll see throughout the article today – sure do make life a lot easier while hunting ducks and geese.
What is the perfect duck hunting backpack?
The perfect duck hunting backpack is one that you can take anywhere, no matter the style of hunting you do – public land rat racing, boat hunting, pit blinds in the rice, or standing in a timber hole; you want it to be able to fit in wherever you go.
The perfect hunting backpack should help you bring essential gear with you and keep it at hand, stay organized, and be protected from the elements. It’s not too much to ask, right?
Let’s check out some of our favorite bags, new & old(er), ranking from our favorite to least favorite.
Favorite Duck Hunting Backpacks
The Unbeatable Tortuga Backpack by Hella dry
This new standout backpack is catching steam in the waterfowl world. Recently, I was able to take a look at and get my hands on one of these Tortuga backpacks, and I can genuinely say – It’s a workhorse. There’s a special place for items built to last in a waterfowler’s arsenal – and the Tortuga fits the bill just right and has become my favorite.
Its waterproof feature is not just a term; it’s a reality that keeps your gear dry no matter what. With a rugged 1680d TPU “SHELL” and waterproof zippers, this 28L backpack is made to keep your gear dry – did I mention it floats?
Whether you’re wading through marshes or hunting the storm that just came in, The Tortuga is my new go-to hunting backpack. It has ample space and well-thought-out compartments that keep my gear organized and easily accessible. If you’re looking for a new duck hunting backpack, you should give the Tortuga a shot.
Waterproof Features: Rugged 1680d TPU “SHELL” and waterproof zippers ensure your gear stays dry.
Storage: Ample 28L storage capacity with well-organized compartments.
The New Kuiu Delta Storm 2200 Submersible Backpack
Next up is the Kuiu Delta Storm 2200 Submersible Backpack. The fact that Kuiu came out and actually advertised the bag as “submersible” is a true testament to this bag’s capabilities. Once you put your hands on this bag, you’ll notice that the backpack is a blend of durability and adaptability, wrapped in Kuiu’s Valo, Coyote Brown, or Stone colorway.
The welded construction and fully submersible air-and-watertight zippers set this backpack apart from the rest; these are weak points on other bags we’ve tried. You’ll notice the rugged, oversized zippers that help keep water out on this blind bag.
Two other cool features we love on this bag are the external lashing and the removable shell pouch inside that keeps things well organized. Truthfully, we have used the lashing or the taken the removal pouch out, but they are excellent to have nonetheless.
It’s definitely on the pricey side, but it’s a worthy investment for any waterfowler who likes to hunt various hunting grounds like I do.
Submersible Features: Durable TPU-coated fabrics and fully submersible air-and-watertight zippers.
Storage: A massive 36L bag with well-designed & removable compartments for organized storage.
The Practical Dry Backpack from Dive Bomb Industries
The Dry Backpack from Dive Bomb Industries is a straightforward, no-nonsense, waterproof backpack for the die-hard duck hunter.
With a carrying capacity of 35L, you can fit just about any valuable and non-water-friendly items into this bag – though there isn’t a ton of organization that can happen in this bag with just a few small internal pockets – it does the trick.
The best part of this bag – the price point, just $135 (It’s a lot, but it’s way cheaper than the bags listed above). The Dry Backpack from Dive Bomb Industries is a classic dry bag with a roll top and snap design. These roll-top designs have been used for years; it’s not my favorite with the new advancements in technology – but there’s a reason why it’re still around – it works.
Simple & Proven Waterproof Design: Keeps contents clean, dry, and protected.
Available Add Ons: Attachable dry grab and dry shell pouches available
The Trusty Drake Walk-In 2.0 Backpack
It’s hard to list worthy duck hunting backpacks without mentioning the renowned brand – Drake. The Drake Walk-In 2.0 is a great walk-in backpack. Its 11 storage pockets are great for when you have a lot of smaller items that you want to keep separate, though you may lose your car keys in there. The Drake walk-in is a great size bag, between the Tortuga and the Kuiu 2200 in size and capacity. It’s lightweight but still durable, a combination that’s hard to come by.
Although this bag is not waterproof, it is made with water-resistant HD2 material. The comfort of the bag is what makes this higher on the list more than anything. Bring this bag if you’ve got a long walk and aren’t planning on getting wet.
Storage: Large compartments and 11 pockets for carrying essential gear.
Comfort: Designed for long treks across rugged terrains.
The Sitka Full Choke Backpack
Last but not least, on our list of favorite duck-hunting backpacks – is the Sitka Full Choke Backpack. With a carrying capacity of 29.5L, TPU-coated 450-Denier Polyester, and YKK Aquaguard Zippers, the Sitka Full Choke Backpack didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It offers water protection, but the storage compartments are a bit restrictive. The design is sleek, and it’s wrapped in the (love it or hate it) optifade marsh camo – but as someone who often carries a variety of gear, I found it lacking in space and ease of access, which was a bit surprising as it lists a 29.5L carrying capacity.
RF-Welded Concealment: Provides water protection and concealment.
Design: Sleek, but could use more or better thought-out storage space.
Duck hunting backpacks are more than just gear carriers; they protect valuables. The right backpack should be comfortable, have a decent carrying capacity, and provide easy access and unwavering protection for your gear.
The Tortuga and Kuiu Delta Storm 2200 are my top picks for their ultra-waterproof features and organized storage. The Drake Walk-In 2.0 and Dry Backpack from Dive Bomb Industries offer a blend of comfort and functionality for different hunting opportunities.
Although the Sitka Full Choke falls short on thought-out storage space when it comes to accessibility, its sleek design and concealment features may appeal to some of you optifade fanatics (I love my Sitka gear, by the way).
Ultimately, choosing the right duck hunting backpack requires a balance between waterproof features, storage, durability, and comfort. While an important factor, the price point should be balanced with the functional benefits that a good backpack brings to your hunt. Choose wisely, and good luck, Hunt Bums!
Not looking for a backpack to hunt with? Check out our list of best blind bags.