Wow! What an awesome year of Archery hunting for this Oregon boy. I have been truly blessed having the opportunity to harvest a great mule deer buck with my kids by my side, an Antelope that grossed B&C and two nice bull elk.
When we all prepare for our hunting seasons which in some ways is year around, we have to depend on our equipment and put those items through rough and rigger tests to make sure that they preform to our expectations. Early this spring, I had the chance to test out the new R7 suspension system that was being designed by the folks at Blacks Creek. It was exciting to be a part of the design phase of the suspension system and put in my two cents on likes and dislikes.
Marcus Flesher wrote a good blog on the website awhile back. He made a comment that hit home and really puts things into perspective for me. He had said in his blog post that he didn’t think there would ever be a pack that he would consider the perfect pack. I have to agree with his statement. Is there a perfect pack? That is going to depend on who you ask. Everyone will have their own thoughts and opinions on what they want. Usually that has to do with the frame work of the person that is going to be using it. I was able to put the new R7 “Solution” with the “Grip” frame to use this year and I would like to share with you my overall thoughts.
The Solution is 4800 cubic inches and has one main cell compartment with a top access and also a center access through the front. It has side pockets for a spotting scope and tripod. The Solution also offers a lid with storage and another cell that can be detached or attached to the outside of the pack. The Solution has many options for organizing your equipment and is a day pack or a back country pack in one. All the buckles on this pack are military grade buckles. This allows you to compress the pack to secure your load without fear of breaking them.
Did I get to pack large loads of meat this year with it? No! I was fortunate enough to harvest my animal near an easy access point and was able to load the animal into a pickup which is usually not my luck. Although I am confident that it would have exceeded my expectations if I had needed it to haul my critters off the mountain. I put 85 pounds on the suspension while testing this product this spring and I know that it would have done just fine.
I work for an outfitter in the state of Oregon and I spend about forty of my hunting season days working for him. I used the Solution while guiding hunters this year. As a guide, you have to make sure you take extra food and fluids for your hunters. The Solution offers a pocket for a water bladder (on the inside of the main cell). I have a 100 ounce bladder that I use but I also pack about 2 gallons of water and other liquids for my hunter and food for a day of hard hunting. You may not think that’s much weight, but it will surprise you if you add that up. I weighed my pack one morning and with all of the items that I needed for a day of hunting it weighed in at 49 pounds. It fit my body so well that I never would have guessed that I was packing that amount of weight. It makes you think about how packs should fit your style of hunting and even more, your body.
The suspension on the Grip Frame adjusts to your body as easy as pie. If you are using the pack with a minimal amount of weight, then you adjust it to ride on your waist line by moving the lumbar support in the center of the pack. If you add more weight to your pack, I have found that you can adjust your lumbar support to a smaller setting which will allow you to keep the weight off of your hips and prevent hip fatigue.
I still sit back and think about what Marcus put on his blog about R7 packs. As I said above, I do agree with his comment. For now, I would have to really look hard to find a pack that tops my R7 Solution.