Before we start, I’d like to share something. I take my job as the Gear Guy very seriously. I’m very interested in providing our readers with what I know works. I’d like to tell how I came to review the Badlands 4500 pack – I went after Badlands and requested the pack. You see, I’ve been using one of their Monster fanny packs for several years now and LOVE it. I’ve since added Water Straps (an add on hydration system to the Monster).
First Impression of the Badlands 4500
When I opened the box, I thought there was a mistake. It seemed like they had sent the wrong pack. The box was packed full. There was more than one pack in the box, or was there? The 4500 is more of a system of 3 packs than a single pack. Actually, there is the main pack, a removable day pack, and the top lid is removable and turns into a fanny pack.
General Construction and Features
The 4500 uses an internal polycarbonate frame and is hydration system ready. Both the inside and outside pockets have plenty of compression straps, making this pack ideal for large loads. Another feature that makes the 4500 unique is its internal meat shelf, something I have not seen on any other backpack system, additionally, the Badland 2200 has an external meat shelf. . Construction on all their packs is stellar too. Badlands makes their packs out of a waterproof, windproof, quiet material called KX032. If you can imagine a cross between durable fleece, canvas, and GoreTex – then you’re thinking right. All the belts and shoulder straps are padded and pre-curved. All the stress points use a fabric called Hypalon. It’s tough and remains flexible, even in severely cold temperatures.
I’m a backpacker in addition to being a hunter, and it’s apparent that Badlands designers are backpackers and hunters as well. These packs are loaded with features and plenty of forethought. The quality of all Badlands products I’ve used is superb. Stitching is strong and straight. Zipper pulls are quiet, big and easy to grab with heavy gloves. Mountaineers know the necessity of a pack which allows free use of your arms for climbing, and so does Badlands. For a hunter, it’s imperative that we have unobstructed movement of our arms as well. Have you ever tried to draw a bow or bring your rifle up to your shoulder but were unable due to your pack? It won’t be a problem with a Badlands pack.
Have you ever dreamed of a spike camp hunt? A hunt where you follow the elk and camp whereever you happen to be at the days end. Our friends and bowhunting greats Marc Smith of Wilderness Country Outdoors and Danny Farris would never consider elk hunting any other way. For a spike camp, you’ll need a pack that can handle the abuse of hunting in the high country and large enough to carry all your goodies (and meat back out). You’ll need room for a tent, sleeping bag, food, clothes, rain gear, first aid kit, etc…
Badlands is so confident in the quality of their pack systems that they cover their products with an unconditional lifetime warranty as quoted below. I have used and abused my Badlands pack systems every which way I could and have yet to experience a single failure. These packs are built to last!
“Our commitment is an UNCONDITIONAL LIFETIME WARRANTY. We don’t care if you have a receipt or not, if you got it as a gift, or if you bought it at a garage sale. It doesn’t matter if you backed over it with your truck, as long as its repairable, we will fix it for free, forever, no matter who’s at fault and it’s no questions asked.”
Unlike many pieces of gear, here is one that you can buy and NOT have to replace down the road. Are Badlands packs worth the cost? Absolutely!!!
Enjoy your spike camp and I’ll see you on the mountain.