I have to admit that I have a bag fetish. I realized this when I bought my third pack. Can't buy another one.
I have a nearly 20-year-old Cabela's pack with two zipper pockets on the sides. Came with the Buddy-lok system, which you can't find anymore. I had a water bottle holder, GPS holder, and some other holder for it. The water bottle holder just recently broke a tooth off of it and I cannot find a replacement. Morale of the story: Don't buy gimmicky add-ons that require some awesome locking system that isn't generic. Eventually it'll go out of style, and your add-ons will all start breaking. However, the bag is freakin' awesome. I put a 50# sack of corn inside it, tie another 25# of feed to the bottom of it, and haul all that crap into the woods.
Here is a sexy photo of me with all of that crap.
What I do like about the bag are the strap holes on the bottom. I usually have a wool blanket rolled up there in the event I get stuck or cold. It's an old, heavy wool military blanket. Comes in handy when the weather gets crappy.
I also bought an ALPS OutdoorZ Pathfinder pack. This is a neat idea for a bag, but the execution could be better. The large compartment can be rolled down and packed into the bag, making it a fanny pack with shoulder straps. The bag rests on your hips, so it doesn't beat the crap out of your back. The hip strap is nice as are the shoulder straps. When the bag is extended, the large compartment clips to the top of the shoulder straps in the back. It doesn't give it much stability, but it works. I wouldn't put anything other than soft gear or food in there, because the shape isn't rigidly part of the bag like other backpacks. However, there are two pieces of material that snap in the back, and the fanny pack has a pouch for the butt of a gun. This is real nice when you want to go on a long trek with a gun and not have to carry it. I've put my crossbow back there too, and it mostly works. I have to tie some paracord to the bow and pack to keep it from moving around, but it works.
The fanny pack is nice, has a ton of pockets that make finding things easy. More for storing gadgets than anything else. There's also a mesh water bottle holder with an adjustable strap. That's handy. You can also get stuff like turkey call holders and binocular holders too. I just got the binocular holders to do some scouting this summer as well at doing more outdoors photography. Not a bad bag, it is my go-to bag for the woods, but I would have designed it differently if I could.
The last bag I have I got more for my motorcycle than hunting. It's one of those knock-off military bags. It was on sale someplace, I probably had a few homebrews in me, and it magically showed up at my door one day. I haven't take it out yet, but it seems fairly well constructed. I didn't get it from Amazon, it was one of those compulsive CamoFire deals. It's pretty big, and you can store a lot of stuff in it, but it's not accessible; meaning it doesn't have convenient pockets near the front to unzip and grab stuff. You'd have to take this pack off to get to some of your stuff. This might be okay, but it's one of the nice things about the ALPS bag. I can keep my phone, binos, bug spray, gum, water, etc. all on the belt for quick access. This pack is designed to move a ton of gear. So putting it on before a long bike ride (I often take the bike out on the weekends in the summer for all-day rides), it makes sense. But there are better hunting bags out there.
https://www.amazon.c...al assault pack
But from now on I've stopped looking at bags. I haven't found the perfect one yet, and I don't need to collect a bunch that aren't perfect. But I'll keep my eyes out for one. It would have to be like the ALPS with a lot of space, accessible pockets, the ability to carry my weapon on the back of it, and with a more rigid structure. If the ALPS didn't roll up and the back compartment was a lot more rigid, it would be close to perfect. It would also need bottom straps like the Cabelas bag so I could put a roll-up underneath it. Oh, I also bought a 3L hydration bladder for the ALPS bag. It has a hole at the top of the large compartment for the hose, and the large compartment has a place for it. That'll come in handy during the summer.