At the 2015 SHOT Show, Signature Products Group (SPG)—an official licensee of products for Browning—introduced a number of hunting packs. The one that caught my eye: the Browning Billy 1700RT Lumbar Hunting Pack, which boasts 1,700 cubic inches of storage space, handles heavy loads with ease and weighs a mere 2.5 pounds. Here are four things you need to know.
1. This hunting pack has “runnin’ and gunnin’” written all over it. The Billy 1700RT features an industry-first, a Hypo-Sonic closure in place of a traditional, noisy zipper. The closure really is quiet, too. The pack’s woven Baumshell fabric is rated as nearly twice the strength and half the weight of traditional knitted pack fabrics, and is water resistant. Reinforced stitching at all stress points, too.
2. It's decidedly comfortable. The weight you carry sits low on your back—the “lumbar” in the product’s name—which has two advantages I can think of. One, the "Center of Gravity" lumbar design lets you carry heavier loads with less fatigue. The shoulder straps are padded with high-density foam and the webbing connecting the shoulder straps to the pack is attached to the rear of the pack. This results in a more “upright” load in the pack, held tighter to your body, which should make this more comfortable than other lumbar packs I’ve tried.
Second, as I write this my lower back is still sore from a week’s worth of deer and hog hunting in Mississippi, much of it done from the ground. Even with a pad beneath me, and sitting against a tree trunk, my lower back got all twisted and tweaked. What I needed was…the Lumbar Hunting Pack!
3. It's easy on the lower back. The pack is built with a semi-flexible, padded insert that curves up against your lower back. With the waist belt firmly strapped in place, plus the weight and bulk of whatever I am carrying in the pack, my lower back will get much needed support on the ground or even in the narrow, frequently painful seats many ladder stands subject me to.
4. The packs are due in the stores by mid-summer. My lower back has told me: You will have one in time for our fall hunts.