I have several different sizes of Daypacks ranging from 800 cubic inches to 2200 cubic inches. The "CamelBak Ranger XT" mid sized pack at 1648 cubic inches is just the right size for a good solid day of roving the woods or Arizona desert.
The main compartment is roomy enough to pack plenty of supplys and the organizational pockets in the rear pouch are great for knives, flashlights, hunting tags and accessories. The compression pod is perfect for carrying jackets and layering clothing that are shed as the hills become steeper and the day time temperatures warm up.
The 100 ounce hydration resevoir is a plus . Having the extra 30 ounces beyond the standard 70 ounce capacity that come in many hydration packs will be appreciated on a hard day of spot and stalk hunting. On a shorter day hunt , one can always opt not to fill the bladder to capacity if weight savings is an issue.
I have not tested the pack in wet weather as of yet . It is advertised to be water resistant. I believe that the flaps that cover the zippers could be a little wider . I have noticed that the zippers can be exposed slighty unless you take the time to adjust the flaps.
Overall the Ranger XT is a good buy for the price and is very comfortable even when loaded to capacity.
I used this pack extensively this past season, though, admittedly I did not yet use the hydration bladder. The pack itself is of excellent quality and has all the features that I like in a pack for hunting. A nice touch is a hidden blaze orange flap which can be buckled into place covering up most of the external pocket, for safety during gun season or perhaps a signal for S&R.
This is a great pack, plenty of carrying capacity, and feels good on your back. The hydration system is very nice, has its own pouch in very back, and insulated drinking tube that pops up thru top of pack and then into right shoulder strap which has a zipper to keep it in place nicly. The fabric is extremly nice, and fairly quiet. I would suggest this pack to anyone out hunting or even just backpack camping.
This pack is well made. It sits well on the back. I hiked with it the first day for about 8 hours and it was very well balanced. No pressure on the shoulders, waist or chest strap. They all seem to take a part so it balanced. Very nice. The big compartment is good, the smaller one has 2 velcro pockets, a hook, and a mesh zip pocket inside. I also store stuff in the orange flag compartment also. The binoculars pocket is good for tech stuff like cell phone.
I got the pack, took it out of the box, took it outside and washed it by dunking it in a bucket with unscented detergent. I needed to do that because I was going to use it to do some archery elk hunting and scent matters. You can't tell me that the way I washed this was abusive or anything. My last CamelBak pack lasted 10 years, 4 of which was very heavy (USMC infantry) use. I can't believe one hand washing caused this damage.
I like this pack though. I can't carry everything I own in it, just enough to get me through a full day of hunting and back up gear if I end up needing to spend the night. 100 oz of water is plenty, and it really is comfortable to wear. Also, I'm tubby and the waist belt still fits, which is pretty cool. I really like this pack... I already said that, but I just don't want to make you shy away. I'm ticked that the liner between the reservoir and my back ripped along the seam (the part that holds the padding), and I wish there was a better way to deal (if I'd bought this at the local sporting goods store, I'd have taken it back, but it was 20 bucks more there) with the issue, but I can just live with it.