This year, deer hunting locally involved leaning against pine trees as snow fell and temperatures dropped into the teens. Granted, the teens aren’t the coldest it gets in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin but it was still cold. Staying comfortable while waiting on deer has the fantastic side effect of, well, being able to stick around and wait for deer. Fortunately for me, sitting against trees was cool this year despite my admittedly bad back and it was all thanks to the latest pack from ALPS OutdoorZ: the Enforcer Predator Pack.
You’re likely thinking since the pack has the word “predator” in its name it might not be ideal for hunting whitetails. However, for those times you only need a mid-sized pack and either have an ATV or horse to pack out meat or it’s only a short drag distance, you’re golden. The ALPS OutdoorZ Enforcer Predator Pack is great for calling coyotes – I’ve used it for that, too – and works for chasing whatever you’re after that involves hurrying up and waiting.
The pack has a main compartment and two smaller pouches positioned on either side of the wearer’s hips on the hip belt. Taking a cloth measuring tape to the bag gave me the following results: the hip belt itself is 1.75-inches wide and adjustable to approximately fifty-six inches long. The widest part of the lumbar area of the pack body measures seventeen inches across meaning there are around seventy-three inches of circumference to cinch around your hips. A flat, two-inch wide, side-release buckle is used to fasten the hip belt. The main compartment has an internal height of fifteen inches, a width of twelve inches, and a depth of approximately five inches. Both hip belt-mounted side compartments are seven inches wide, nine inches tall, and one-and-one-half inches deep. Those hip belt pockets do not connect directly to the hip belt; the hip belt is inserted through a gap between an exterior, rear-facing zippered pocket and the hip belt pocket itself. Pockets are attached to the pack frame by a pair of adjustable, one-inch thick straps with plastic buckles. The buckles also make it possible to remove the pouches from the pack without affecting the hip belt.
It’s easy to fit the necessities for calling or for a day deer hunt in the main compartment. There’s a pocket at the interior back of the compartment spanning the width and most of the height of the space; I usually stick paracord, hand and foot warmers, and spare socks and gloves in it. It’s laptop-sized but I cannot image toting my computer on a hunt. The pack is large enough for me to put a down jacket, hat, camera, binos, and other items in it. In addition, there’s a trio of narrow Velcro loops hanging from the top of the main storage space.
Each hip belt pocket is zippered and contains differently-sized ammo slots; one side is sized for twelve rifle cartridges and the other is made for six shotgun shells. On my hunts, I’ve used the rifle sleeves for everything from .450 Bushmaster to .22 Nosler but I do have a penchant for 12 gauge so that’s what has always been stored on the shotgun side. The sleeves are open-ended elastic and have not lost their shape. Beneath the ammo sleeves, there is an open-top net pocket spanning the internal width and half the height of the pouch (all internal pockets are open-top; there are no interior zippers). Both pouches also have a nylon pocket opposite the ammo sleeves with a vertically-divided net pouch attached to its face. Because I prefer my blades and miscellaneous items separate I keep my Havalon and a fixed blade Valavian hunting knife, tourniquet, and QuikClot on my left and whatever I’m more likely to need access to immediately on my right (such as a spare battery for my cell phone, Leupold LTO Tracker, and my preferred mouth calls).
Here’s what I really love about this pack: the attached pad and support legs. The pad is three inches thick and has a rubberized bottom so it can make contact with wet surfaces without getting soggy. The uppermost surface and sides are covered in the same heavy material as the pack itself meaning it’s also camouflaged. My pack is patterned in Mossy Oak Brush which is ideal for the terrain here in Wisconsin but Real Tree Edge is also available. The pad is attached to the lower portion of the frame by a pair of 1.75-inch wide straps which are Velcro adjustable and removable; keep in mind the Velcro is not quiet so messing with it at the location you intend to do a set is ill-advised. Flat, heavy-duty side-release buckles attached to adjustable straps hold the pad to the pack at either side. Simply release the buckles and the pad drops into position.
Onto the awesome support legs. There are two legs, one on either side of the frame, that angle away from the pack face to give the hunter amazing back support. Legs are telescopic and can be extended for an additional eight inches of length. Both legs have circular three-inch-wide bases that rotate on ball-and-socket joints so they can be pushed firmly into the ground at a variety of angles. On some hunts, I’ve needed to extend one leg more than the other for solid support on uneven ground and it’s worked perfectly. Not only does it stay put but the entire system is surprisingly solid and provides stellar support.
Of course, there is also fantastic lumbar padding and the back panel has air-channel mesh for breathability. Its internal frame extends up and around the back of the pack for superior back support during a hunt. Speaking as someone who has been told they need back surgery, I will say this pack provided significant comfort and made sitting out against trees and in fields far easier than it would otherwise have been. I have been quite pleased with the pack’s overall performance and this has become my preferred pack for calling coyotes as well as short day hunts for deer.
Other features include adjustable shoulder straps, an adjustable sternum strap, and a hanging loop. There is also a small pouch on the exterior face of the pack with an adjustable strap and side-release buckle at its center.
Kudos to ALPS OutdoorZ for doing an excellent job designing and manufacturing the Enforcer Predator Pack. It’s well-made, durable, and useful; there is no pointless excess space or unnecessary embellishments. The padded seat, sturdy frame, and telescopic legs provide outstanding back support and allow hunters to sit for extended periods of time with minimal discomfort. Personally, I prefer the Mossy Oak Brush pattern on my pack because it blends it impressively in the woods of Wisconsin and also in the fields of Texas. If you’re looking for a mid-sized daypack with a padded seat and above-average support for long sets calling coyotes, check out the ALPS OutdoorZ Enforcer Predator Pack. It just might become your favorite, too.