Argali Lightweight Game Bags
By Brad Brooks
Creating the Ultimate Lightweight Backcountry Game Bags
We set out to create the lightest and strongest set of game bags on the market that are made and tested for and by backcountry hunters, without trying to cut corners and costs. We wanted a product that was designed with as much technical attention to detail as any other high-end hunting product. From the thread to the material for the bags, to the stitching and the placement of the reflective logos and cords, we analyzed everything to make what we believe are ideal game bags for big game hunting, and particularly for backcountry hunters.
In it's simplest form, the job of a game bag is to help get food from field to plate. Game bags also need to perform basic functions like allowing your meat to dry and cool quickly so your meat doesn't sour, as well as keeping flies and other dirt and debris off your meat.
We wanted game bags their basic functions and were the lightest bags on the market. We also wanted our game bags to be durable and re-usable and have at least one other function since we are believers that everything in your backpack should serve at least one function, but ideally more.
That seemed like a lot to ask for a set of game bags.
Enter: The High Country Pack
We spent a year testing materials and designs to come up with an ultralight, compact and superior game bag set specifically for backpack and backcountry hunters. The High Country Pack, is the result. At a little over 9 ounces, and capable of holding an entire boned out elk, or deer, sheep, goat or pronghorn with meat on bone, the High Country Pack is ultra light, compact and re-usable.
The end product is something we are incredibly proud of. We figured out how to make the lightest backcountry game bag set on the market, and add in features that helped to solve issues I have encountered over the years when it comes to hanging and getting my meat from the field to table as cleanly as possible.
If you use our bags, we think you will agree that not all game bags are created equally. Just so you can get a sense of how much thought and detail we put into this set of bags, below are some of the features in our bags.
High Country Pack Highlights
- 9 ounces per set (includes 5 game bags and a stuff stack)
- Elk-Will fit an entire boned out elk
- Deer-Will fit any deer, meat on bone or boned out
- Breathable and Protective-Allows your meat to breath, but keeps all flies and fly eggs off your meat to keep it clean
- Reusable and Durable- Made from a wear resistant nylon blend material that is machine washable for use on animal after animal
- Easy Hanging-Can hang contents of the bag by any two of the nylon webbing tabs with a piece of webbing or paracord (ideal for hanging when solo)
- Night Missions- Reflective neon orange paracord and reflective logo makes for easy finding at night
- Closed seams- The interior seems are sewn without any exposed stitching, which keeps the seems in tact from heavy use pulling meat in and out of the bag
- Stuff sack has room for kill kit, including knife, gloves and extra paracord
- Multiple uses-Our game bags in the High Country Pack also make great stuff sacks, gear organizers and even work as a backcountry pillow case, and the paracord in the bags is strong enough to tie down your tent or fix your boot laces with in a pinch.
The Material and Design
We looked at a number of different materials, but settled on a lightweight nylon blend material that you won't find in other game bags. Nylon is a strong material by nature that is very resistant to wear (which is why nylon is so prevalent in outerwear), and it is also substantially lighter than other comparable synthetic materials. Importantly, nylon can also be blended and woven to achieve a looser knit weave to allow breath-ability without sacrificing strength. The material we landed on is breathable enough to allow your meat to cool quickly, and the weave is tight enough to keep all flies off of your meat.
You will also notice that there is no seam on the bottom of Argali game bags. The bottom of the bag is the most common point of failure for many game bags. We put our seams on the side of the bags to reduce failure when the bags are hanging.
Our material is also snag and tear resistant. If you have ever used a cheese-cloth type game bag, you have likely encountered a situation where a piece of meat or bone will "catch" the bag and tear a small hole in it. That hole creates an entry point for flies to lay eggs. Our nylon blend material prevents catching on bones or meat.
Optimal Hanging for Solo Hunters
If you have every had to hang elk quarters by yourself, you know it can be an onerous chore. One of the features we are most excited about is the woven nylon webbing tabs on the bags, which we spent considerable time figuring out how to sew so the contents of the bag could be supported by the two webbing loops. If you are hunting alone, you can use a piece of paracord or a nylon strap to make a handle, which can then be hung on a tree branch stub.
Since it seems like I spend more time than I'd like retrieving meat in the middle of the night, I wanted to make our bags easy to find. So we put a reflective logo on the bags, and we located it on the bottom so if the contents of your bag "ball up" in the bottom, you will still be able to see the reflective logo. We also used reflective paracord in all of the draw strings, which ads a surprising amount of visibility at night.
Durable and Re-usable
Not only are our game bags ultralight, they will last a long time with proper care. We went to extra effort to make sure the thread and seems on the bag are not exposed so meat and bones won't catch the thread when you are pulling meat in and out. We also used a dynamic (stretchy) thread so the bags are less prone to failure on any of the seams.
To re-use, simply wash in a bucket or in your washing machine and you're good to go.
Since we have already been asked multiple times, we do have other game bag sizes and packs in the works for those that like their elk meat with meat-on-bone. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren't already as we will be announcing the details on that product there soon.
And if you have any questions, or suggestions for us on making the best game bags on the planet, leave it in the comments below.