Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing a quality hunting pack is a big decision. Our goal is to make sure that you get the exact pack that will meet your needs. This FAQ includes answers to the most common questions we receive about our company and products. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
In addition to the written FAQ below, Mark and Steve discuss many of the common pack questions on the Hunt Backcountry podcast, which you can listen to here…
Where can I see one of your packs in person?
We sell our products direct to consumers. We do not have retailer or dealer locations where you can try or purchase our products in person. If you happen to be in the Boise area, you are welcome to come by our shop. This direct sales model helps us produce the best product at the best prices. (For more information about that, please see the question about our pricing below.)
We know that purchasing a pack is a big decision, and we want to do everything we can do — both before and after a sale — to make sure you get the pack you need and the performance you are looking for. We offer a 30 No-Risk Guarantee with every pack purchase, so that you can receive the pack, get it fitted to you, load it with some gear and/or weight, and make sure it meets your expectations. If you decide for any reason to return your pack within that 30 days, we will be glad to accept your return and issue a full refund when you ship the pack back to us in “like new” resellable condition.
If you have questions about which pack to choose, please see the following questions, and don’t hesitate to contact us.
Where are your packs made?
We are proud to say that all of our packs are made exclusively and entirely in the USA.
What type of warranty do you offer?
Exo Mountain Gear is proud to offer a Lifetime Limited Warranty on all of our packs. The warranty covers against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product, for the original owner. The warranty does not cover loss/theft, negligence, abuse, misuse, or normal wear that occurs over the life of a product.
Why do Exo Mtn Gear packs cost so much?
We are the only pack on the market utilizing our unique frame material, which is both expensive to source and difficult to work with. We also use the highest quality Cordura fabrics, specialized stretch fabrics, premium-grade YKK zippers and other high quality hardware. All of these high-end source materials are then put in the hands of highly skilled workers and turned into an Exo Mountain Gear pack, and it is all done right here in the USA.
We are only able to produce a pack of this quality at this price because we sell directly to you. In general, the products you see on store shelves and at retailers have a large amount of markup built-in to the price you pay. Because we operate on a direct-to-consumer sales model, we do not have to increase our prices to pay for distribution and profit margin for retailers or dealers. Each step between the producer and the consumer costs money, because each person involved has to make money. Eliminating the middleman allows us to sell directly to you and keep our costs in line.
Do you ever run sales or promotions, or offer any discounts?
We usually run just one sale a year, around Black Friday. The only discounts we regularly offer are for US Military (active and veteran), Law Enforcement, and other "in the field" professional responders, such as Firefighters and EMTs. If you qualify, please create an account and then email any proof of service or employment to firstname.lastname@example.org to get setup with the discount.
We also have a program for licensed hunting guides — apply here if you qualify.
How much does shipping cost?
We ship our gear via USPS and FedEx. You will see a flat-rate option, as well as a specific shipping quote when you enter your shipping address.
Shipping to Canada
We ship our packs to Canada via USPS Priority or FedEx International. If you prefer either shipping carrier, you may request that carrier in the Order Notes section on the checkout page. Regarding duties, fees, and taxes, it should be somewhere around 4-6% of the total purchase price. Many of our Canadian customers have reported a total cost of less than $30 for importing one of our packs.
We ship internationally to many countries. If you have any questions about international shipping please contact us.
What size pack should I choose?
First and foremost, it is important to know that each of our four pack sizes — the 1800, 3200, 4800, and 6400 — share the same K3 Frame system, and each bag can swap on/off the frame with ease. No matter which bag you choose, you’ll have the same load-hauling ability, thanks to the frame system. Bag selection does not determine fit or meat-hauling ability; it determines the volume of storage you have for your gear in the selected bag.
|K3 3200||K3 4800||K3 6400|
|Weight: Bag Only||1lb 12oz||2lb 1oz||2lbs 4oz|
|Weight: Bag + Frame||4lb 10oz||4lb 15oz||5lbs 2oz|
|Weight: Bag + Frame + Lid||5lb 1oz||5lb 6oz||5lbs 9oz|
|Capacity: Bag Only||3290ci||4805ci||6485ci|
|Capacity: Bag + Lid||3690ci||5205ci||6885ci|
|Dimensions: Expanded||7 x 11.5 x 35||9 x 11.5 x 38||12 x 11.5 x 42|
|Dimensions: Compressed||2.5 x 11.5 x 25||3 x 11.5 x 25||3.5 x 11.5 x 25|
A smart and streamlined daypack for carrying essential gear; a capable and comfortable load-hauler with the included K3 Frame — the K3 1800 Pack System is the ultimate hunting day pack.
Efficiently designed for those that like to move fast and light, the K3 3200 is an ideal pack system for ultralight adventures up to 3-4 days.
A perfect do-it-all hunting pack. The K3 4800 offers the space you need to pack for a 5-7 day backcountry trip, yet can still compress down to a streamlined profile when only carrying the essentials.
The space you need for expedition-style adventures without the burden of added weight or complexity, the K3 6400 weighs less than 6lbs and can carry 10+ days of gear with ease.
What pack accessories do I need?
We designed our pack systems to be functional and capable, without the need for numerous add-ons. In our opinion, a pack that is purpose-built for hunting shouldn’t require the purchase of accessories to effectively carry meat or a bow, for example. At the same time, we always strive to keep our packs lightweight, streamlined and efficient — not cluttered with excessive pockets or covered in complicated attachments points for every imaginable scenario.
The accessories we do offer are purpose-built to enhance the functionality of the pack but are not required for every person or situation.
How do I know if a pack will fit me?
Our K3 Frame features three size-specific hipbelt sizes, two frame heights, and an adjustable harness to accommodate a variety of body shapes and sizes.
How do I adjust the pack and frame for the best fit?
Before you begin to fit your pack, please make sure that you are not wearing a thick leather belt, or any other items that you wouldn’t wear while hiking or hunting with the pack in normal conditions.
Additionally, it is important to load the pack with 20-30lbs for the fitting process. You’ll also want a mirror handy, so that you can see how the pack is sitting on you, once it is in place.
Begin by loosening all adjustment straps on the pack — the waist belt, shoulder straps, load lifters, and sternum strap. Put on the pack on and proceed through these steps…
- Center the hip belt over the top of your iliac crest and secure the hip belt buckle, and snug, but don’t over-tighten, the hip belt in place.
- Vertically align the sternum strap over your sternum, secure the buckle, and lightly snug it into place, setting the shoulder straps at a comfortable width.
- Begin to tighten shoulder straps until you begin feel the pack pull into your body.
- Snug-up the load lifter straps, removing slack but not pulling past taught.
- Standing tall and straight, evaluate the amount of gap between the shoulder straps and the top of your shoulders toward the rear; you should be able to slide your index and middle fingers between your shoulders and the strap, but should not be able to fit your hand in the gap.
- If necessary, remove the pack and adjust the torso length to achieve the desired gaps. If the pack was riding too high and the shoulder gap was too large, bring the harness down; and vice versa.
- When adjusting the shoulder harness to make torso length adjustments, be sure to re-loosen all straps and repeat the process from the beginning to test the fit of the new setting.
Those are the important steps in making sure that the pack is properly fitted to your body. As you continue to wear the pack and gain experience carrying different loads, you can continue to fine-tune the adjustments to achieve maximum comfort for your body’s shape.
If you have any additional fitting questions, please contact us.
How much weight can an Exo Mtn Gear pack and frame handle?
The short answer that we like to give to this question is, “More than you can.”
In this video you see Exo Mtn Gear co-founder, Steve Speck, testing an Exo Titanium Frame with 250lbs of sand. And, as the video shows, the frame remains structurally stable and functional, even when loaded with a weight that none of us will ever practically need to carry.
Our frame was specifically designed, engineered, and built to haul heavy loads of meat out of the backcountry. Everything — from the Titanium structure, to the fabric, webbing, and buckles on the frame — is built to stand up to heavy loads.
It is also important to know that all of our pack systems can handle the same amount of weight, because each of our packs utilizes this same K3 Frame. No matter if you’re carrying the day’s essentials in a 1800, or 10 days worth of gear in the 6400, you can quickly and easily begin loading meat on the load shelf between the bag and frame and have the ability to haul heavy loads at a moment’s notice.
What is the best way to load gear in an Exo Mtn Gear pack?
The answer to this question is part science, part preference. First, because of the physics of leverage and gravity, there are specific ways you can load your pack to carry the load most efficiently, securely, and comfortably.
For example, you always want to keep the weight centered in the bag (or on the frame), and as close to your back as possible. You also don’t want the bulk of the weight to be sagging toward the bottom of the pack or frame. The concentration of the weight should be loaded in a way that allows it to sit around the height of your shoulder blades. Lighter and bulkier items, such as your sleeping bag, should be placed in the bottom pack, providing support to keep heavier items, such as food, towards the top of the pack.
If you are packing meat, a cape, or a head and antlers, the same rules apply — keep the load “high and tight” on your back.
Now let’s briefly address the second part of the answer to this question — personal preference. One example of preference would be how you answer the question: Should you loosely-pack items (sleeping bag, tent, clothing, etc), or use stuff sacks? We advocate for loosely-packed items, allowing the natural voids in the pack to be filled by expanding sleeping bags, clothing layers, etc. When all of your gear is organized into numerous separate stuff-sacks, you have a lot of “big rocks”, and naturally don’t use the space of the pack as efficiently due to all of the gaps between those items. We can’t say it is “wrong” to use stuff sacks though.
What is the best way to carry a bow or rifle with an Exo pack?
There are several ways to carry a rifle or bow on our pack without any additional accessories or hardware. The primary method will be using the horizontal compression straps to secure the weapon. There is a set of horizontal compression straps on the rear of the pack, which we use all of the time when carrying a bow on our packs. For rifles, there are also additional sets of compression straps on each side of the pack. When using these side compression straps with a rifle, the buttstock of the rifle can be dropped into the side stretch pockets on the pack. Additionally, the 3200, 4800, and 6400 bags feature full-length side pockets that can be used to carry a rifle.
We also offer our Rifle Carrier and Bow Carrier accessories that are purpose-built to carry those weapon platforms.
How do you carry a pistol with an Exo pack?
Our K3 hip belt features 2” webbing, which can accommodate a wide variety of holster types and sizes for many pistols. Most holsters that can fit on a 2” belt will work great on our hip belt. Both inside-the-waistband (IWB) and outside-the-waistband (OWB) styles can be used.
While many holsters can work, there are no holsters optimized for use with our packs, except one — The Ivory Holsters EMG. We worked direction with custom kydex holster manufacturer, Ivory Holster,s to develop the EMG and an ideal holster for pack use. You can see the EMG Holster at the link above, or learn more about the development and features of this holster on Episode MM 22 of our podcast.
Should I clean my pack? What is the best way to clean it?
We recommend cleaning your pack after each time you pack out an animal, or at the very least after each hunting season. It is also wise to clean your pack before hunting starts — especially if you have been using your pack for physical training or scouting trips leading up to opening day. Thankfully, the cleaning process is quick and easy, and you already have everything you need to get the job done.
Can an Exo pack be used as a carry-on for commercial flights?
Each airline defines their own policy for carry-on luggage, including size restrictions. Our packs do not technically fit within the size guidelines for most airlines. However, we have flown countless times — both domestically and internationally — with our packs and have not had issues using our packs as carry-on luggage.
We do recommend keeping the pack looking as streamlined as possible by packing efficiently, keeping loose material managed, straps secured, etc.
Be sure to check both airline and TSA regulations to ensure that the contents of your pack meet all security guidelines and do not contain restricted items. Be sure that you thoroughly clear your pack of restricted items, such as hunting knives, fuel canisters, etc.
Can you use an Exo pack to carry a treestand and climbing gear?
Carrying a treestand with our packs is very easy. You can quickly separate the bag from the frame, secure the treestand directly to the frame, and then re-attach the bag over the treestand. By utilizing this technique you are keeping the weight of the treestand close to your back and secure to the frame for the best load-carrying performance. Additionally, this technique leaves you with the full volume of the pack bag and complete access to the pack’s pockets for gear storage and access.
For a detailed example and step-by-step instructions, please see this post…
Are your packs waterproof? Do you offer a rain cover?
Unfortunately, “waterproof” is a term that is used too often. If something is truly waterproof, it is impermeable. The term that most products should use is “water-resistant”, which is what our packs are. The fabrics we use do a great job of shedding water, but they do have a saturation point. We do not worry about the contents of our packs when used during passing showers, some exposure to snow, etc.
If, however, you are using our packs in very wet conditions and climates with prolonged exposure to moisture, then some additional protection for sensitive items might be necessary.
The common approach to adding a water barrier to a pack is to use a rain cover. However, rain covers have numerous drawbacks — they are typically loud, they easily get hung-up or torn off when hunting in thick terrain, they completely limit the functionality of your pack by completely covering all pockets and access points, and many times they simply redirect water to certain areas that get wet anyway.
Instead of putting protection over our bags, we decided to put protection in our bags with our K3 Dry Bag Liners. These bags are size-specific for our three pack models, and integrate directly with the roll-top enclosure on those bags.
By putting K3 Dry Bag inside the pack, external pockets and access points on the pack are still completely functional. You can divide your gear so that some of it is stored within the K3 Dry Bag, while other less-sensitive items are still stored within the main pack bag and fully accessible via the zip-access to the main bag. With this approach you can fully protect things like your sleeping bag and clothing, while still keeping other items, such as your food, readily accessible.
The K3 Dry Bag can easily be removed from the pack, which is a great option if you are packing into a “backcountry basecamp” and want to leave some gear at camp, while carrying other essential gear with you each day. The K3 Dry Bag can also be run in the load shelf between the pack and frame, extending the gear-hauling capacity of any of our pack systems.
Best of all, the K3 Dry Bags are truly waterproof, offering ultimate protection when it matters most.