I’m a critic of several things and packs are on the top of that list. I’ve hunted the west my entire life and have never been perfectly satisfied with just one design. I think it’s the old issue of wanting my cake and eating it too that ruins it for me. To be fair, I’m not positive that I will ever be completely satisfied with any one design and I believe that’s the exact trait that we all share here at Blacks Creek. This trait keeps us moving forward and doing our best to make our products perform better than the competition.
This year we took a step in the right direction and chose to go back to our roots. These roots are firmly griped into the Idaho soil where the word backcountry is used quit frequently. It’s a word not used lightly and worn like a badge of honor for serious outdoorsmen and hunters. They understand how serious this country can be and how rugged their gear must be to endure the elements that the backcountry provides. It’s these very roots that make us aware of the importance of durability and functionality in our product designs. The “Solution“ backpack was designed specifically with the word backcountry in mind.
I would like to take a moment to describe to you in detail the features and functionality of the “Solution“ backpack.
The “Solution“ is what most backcountry style hunters are looking for in a pack. It’s large enough to haul several days of gear and tough enough to handle to harsh elements.
The first feature I will cover is the main compartment. It measures in at roughly 2,000 ci and includes and additional 500 ci when the top drawstring collar is expanded upwards. This is plenty of storage space for several days of gear such as clothing or even food. You can gain access to this compartment from two points. The first is a zipper that runs vertically on the face and the other is through the top. On the face of this compartment you will see two flat pockets. These pockets are great for storing items you may need to access quickly such as knives, saws, shooting sticks, maps or your GPS. Overall the compartment is easy to access from either point and large enough to haul the bulky items you will have on your trip.
The second feature is the sleeping bag compartment. It’s large enough to carry most of the backpacking style mummy bags on the market today at around 400 ci. I use the Montbell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger zero degree bag and it fits nicely with room to spare. The compartment has an interior stuff sack that has been sewn into place. It’s there for a few reasons. First to protected your sleeping bag from any zipper snagging and to add a second moisture barrier. The second reason is for smaller loose gear. By compressing the sack, the gear will ride better and have less tendency to rattle or shift if the compartment is not completely full. On the outside bottom of the compartment you will find two compression straps. These are perfect for synching down extra gear that you don’t mind riding on the outside of the pack. This is where I synch down my Thermarest accordion pad. We may call it a sleeping bag compartment, but that not all it will carry.
The third feature to cover is the optics pockets. There are two and they are located on either side of the pack. Each one is approximately 500 ci in size when expanded. These are very important now that every backcountry hunter including myself is packing a spotting scope on the mountain. We spent countless hours debating on how to design these little gems. Finally we agreed on the design you see on the pack today. They were designed this way for several reasons, they must be easy to access, large enough to carry the larger 85mm spotters, long enough to pack tripods, and tuck away neatly when not in use. These are my favorite feature on the pack. I love the way they’re hard to even notice when they’re not in use, thus keeping the pack trim and sleek. They are very easy to expand with one vertical zipper. Once the pocket is expanded it reveals a second vertical zipper that gains access to the compartment. This is fantastic for quickly accessing your spotter. The top of the pocket includes a drawstring collar. This allows you to insert longer items such as walking sticks or tripods and let them stick out the top of the pocket. Once again this compartment may have a specific name such as the optics pocket but it will carry anything you wish.
The forth feature is the detachable outside bag. This bag is very easy to remove from the pack by unclipping the two bottom and two top buckles. Its approximately 600 ci and includes one main compartment and two flat pockets on the back. Once it’s detached, the straps can be buckled to themselves to create shoulder straps. This way it can be used as a small backpack. It allows you to leave the main pack behind at your spike camp and hunt with the detachable bag.
The fifth feature is the lid. It will adjust up and down to accommodate various load configurations and has two compartments, one main on top and one flat pocket underneath. The total storage space is roughly 400 ci. Large enough to store items such as headlamps, knives, gloves, GPS, radios, or food.
The last feature is the gun and bow boot. It can be detached from the pack when not in use and store away in one of the pockets. Most stocks and most parallel limb bow designs fit inside the boot. Its fully adjustable to accommodate different lengths of guns or bows.
Overall the “Solution” weighs in at 8.5 lbs and has a total storage space of over 4,800 cubic inches. It attaches to the “Grip” frame that adds to its total storage capacity and allows it to haul massive amounts of meat. It’s constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura that is arguably the toughest fabric on the market and very weatherproof. All the heavy stress areas are reinforced with extra stitching to insure added strength and durability. I strongly recommend you look into the Remedy 7 “Solution” if your looking for a backcountry style backpack that can do it all and then some.
Written by Marcus Flesher