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K² 3500 Backpack

Rated 4.92 out of 5 based on 74 customer ratings
(74 customer reviews)

$549.99$574.99

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SKU: exo-3500 Category:

Description

The K² 3500 is the perfect do it all pack, whether you are on short day trips or spending 5 days in the backcountry the 3500 will handle it with ease.

If you can only have one pack this is it.

Updated 2017 Features:

  • NEW- Roll top closure 
    • Eats up excess fabric for day hunting use
    • Compatible with our dry bag waterproof liner (coming summer of 2017)
    • Allows you to run pack without lid if wanting to save weight or have a lower profile pack
  • NEWWater Bladder sleeve
    • Sew to back panel of bag- fits virtually any size bladder
    • Gives an extra pocket inside the bag (perfect for game bags, rope, etc)
    • Give an extra layer of protection to keep gear inside the bag free of blood while packing meat
  • NEW- Zippered access to front stretch pocket
    • Allows easy access to stretch pocket without loosening lid

 

  • Belt sizes (Small 29-33″, Medium 34-36″, Large 37″ +)

 

  • 3500 – 7000 ci  (3500 ci bag and lid, 700 ci exterior pockets, 2500 ci load shelf area)
  • Total of 14 different compression straps to secure items and loads to the pack
  • Floating Lid
  • Stretch external pockets for room when pack is full and keeps items tight and quiet
  • Full Length side pockets (carry rifle, tripod, spotting scope, bladder, tent poles, etc)
  • 7 compartments total for organization (can add up to 3 velcro mesh pockets as well)
  • Angled lower side pockets so you can access while wearing the pack
  • 20″ Side zipper for quick main bag access
  • 20″  Side zipper access to front stretch pocket
  • hydration bladder compatible
  • Velcro strips sewn inside bag zipper and lid to custom fit our Mesh pockets (can add 3 total)
  • 1 water bladder tube port hole
  • 500d Cordura and 420d Diamond Ripstop
  • K² Titanium frame (the heart and soul of the pack!) 25″ tall
  • Frame is vertically rigid but moves with you laterally
  • Modular Interchangeable bags- all Exo Bags will fit on the same frame
  • Non-slip lumbar pad fabric to prevent lumbar pad shifting
  • Micro adjustable torso (16″-21″)
  • Open suspension design for maximum breath-ability
  • Angled compression straps for better load hauling
  • Meat hauling load shelf (extra 2500 cubic inches)
  • Heavy duty 1″ Compression straps and buckles
  • Webbing loops for accessory attachment
  • 3 different sized hipbelts with adjustable lumbar pad foam
  • Belt sizes (Small 29-33″, Medium 34-36″, Large 37″ +)
  • 1.5″ webbing for attachment of holsters, pouches etc on hipbelt
  • Assist pull hipbelt webbing

Explore the Frame

 

More Information:

Fitting | General | Cleaning Bag Sizes

 

 

K² 2000 K² 3500 K² 5500
Weight 4.5lbs 5.1lbs 5.4lbs
Dimensions, Compressed 2" x 11.5" x 25" 3" x 11.5" x 26" 3.5" x 11.5" x 26"
Dimensions, Expanded 6" x 11.5" x 30" 8" x 11.5" x 36" 12" x 11.5" x 42"
Total Volume (cubic inches) 2950 4200 6800
Frame K² Titanium K² Titanium K² Titanium
Dry Bag Compatible Yes Yes Yes
Price $499.99 – $524.99 $549.99 – $574.99 $599.99 – $624.99

Belt sizes:

  • Small, 29-33"
  • Medium, 34-36"
  • Large, 37"+

74 reviews for K² 3500 Backpack

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Bryan (verified owner)

    I have an original 3500 in foliage out of the first run and it’s a great pack. Took me alittle trial and error to get adjusted right but once I did it was awesome. It is easy to pack and get to my gear and I can easily haul meat in between the bag and frame and even toss some grouse in the front pocket. My should harness squeaks alittle but I’m never stalking with the pack on so its not a big deal. Would buy again and am actually thinking about grabbing a 5500 bag for alittle more room for family trips.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Glenn Knutson

    Great pack. Quality and comfort all in one. Its so light and comfortable compared to other “quality” packs that I’ve owned. I would suggest this pack for any hunter who demands the most from the gear they own.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kent Anderson

    Hands down the best pack I have ever used. I have one of the original packs and it goes on every hunt with me. I usually have about 25-30 lbs of gear and it feels a lot less than that. It goes from a day pack to extended stay pack with ease. I can go anywhere from 1-5 days and even 7 if needed and careful with what I put in it. My only issue is the amount of pockets. I would like more organization but I use stuff sacks instead. In my mind this is one of the best packs on the market. And before I forget you can haul as much as your body will handle!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Conner Holbrook (verified owner)

    Wanted to jump into backpack style hunting, tossed around the thought of this pack for a long while mainly due to price and the fact that I am still a college student trying to make ends meet. Pulled the trigger on it, because I figured if it is everything it is supposed to be I will never have to buy a pack again. Glad I did. I picked up this, the meat shelf, a pocket, and the cargo panel; all have come in handy. The pack and the frame are a dream. I’ve had the pack for about 2 months now and have put many brutal miles on it in the Montana hills, never had a malfunction. Tired legs, yes; but nothing outside of fatigue. Got the opportunity to pack out a bear with it, dropped the pack and put on the cargo panel, it felt like it was a part of me with how it moved with me and stayed secure to my back. Moral of the story, if the price is an issue; back surgery certainly isn’t cheaper, worth every penny.

  5. Rated 4 out of 5

    David Beertzer

    I recently used my 3500 on a 9 day elk trip in Colorado. I purchased a coyote brown pack with two hip belt pouches. I was tight on space but it held it all. The stretch pouches are amazing. I was very impressed with just how much this pack will hold.
    Pros, it very comfortable and moves with you. The side pockets are deep and they hold alot. The lower side pockets work well for items you want easy access to like a gps and calls. There is plenty of places to lash to.
    The cons, not much here realy. I don’t like the lack of organization of the pack. Maybe a small mesh organizer would help. It was a little noisy while I was hunting, but not game spooking loud, just annoying.
    Overall I love the pack and would recommend it to anyone.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Chris (verified owner)

    If you’re considering the Exo Mountain 3500 or 5500 you’re probably a western big game hunter and not afraid of traveling off the beaten path to put some distance between you and the road. For that style of hunting, a good pack is the difference between being able to efficiently pack out your harvest and not. If your typical method of game retrieval is via ATV or 4×4, then this review and pack might not be what you’re looking for, but if you plan on hauling quarters then read on.

    Meat hauling packs fall into two basic groups, external frame hauler style (Outdoorsman Pack, Cabela’s Alaskan Outfitter Frame, Alps Commander Freighter, etc.) and backpacking style internal frame packs (Exo Mountain Gear 3500 & 5500, Mystery Ranch Metcalf, Stone Glacier Solo, Kuiu Icon Pro 3200, etc.) with an integrated meat shelf between the bag and frame. External frame packs are generally cheaper, can be varying degrees of comfortable, and generally heavier and bulkier while internal frame backpacking packs with meat shelves are typically lighter, costlier, almost universally more comfortable, and more feature rich.They both have their places; you wouldn’t strap a chainsaw to an Exo 3500 (but you could), and a frame hauler isn’t going to be the best thing to carry around for 7 days in the backcountry (but you could).

    Where the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 shines is that it’s seemingly the intersection of a lot of great ideas from older, more established pack makers. The Exo packs combine lightweight materials reminiscent of Kuiu’s Icon Pro line with 500D ripstop Cordura, an exceptionally light yet strong frame design which in the case of the Exo is a tubular titanium frame design allowing for torsional movement but extreme rigidity under load, and an overall weight under 5 pounds for the full kit. From Mystery Ranch they’ve taken a seemingly bulletproof build quality, ample inclusion of webbing straps to secure loads in a number of manners, and an both top drawstring and side zip access similar to the Metcalf.

    Buying my Exo Mountain Gear 3500 was the culmination of roughly 2 years of waffling back and forth between the Kuiu Icon Pro 3500 and Mystery Ranch Metcalf. I briefly considered Sitka’s Bivy 45, but having already owned a Sitka Flash 20 and feeling that the waist belt and shoulder straps were not designed with someone with my girth in mind it was quickly crossed off the list. What ultimately swayed me to the Exo was that the weight rivaled the Kuiu and the features rivaled the Metcalf. The Exo 3500 exists in a happy medium between the two. I was a bit hesitant given their recent emergence into the industry, but Steve Speck and Lenny Nelson who co-own the company are very active on Rokslide’s forums and elsewhere around the Internet and seemingly stand behind their product and offer exceptional customer service, answering every question that potential buyers could come up with, including in video form with a number of instructional clips (//exomountaingear.com/explore/videos/). With that bit of reassurance I placed my order for a 3500 in Multicam and eagerly awaited delivery.

    Almost immediately upon receiving the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 I put it through its first test and loaded up about 40 pounds of gear for an upcoming trip and threw it on. Living in Illinois has the disadvantage of the biggest hill for hundreds of miles being only 100 feet of vertical ascent, but I had to make due. After going up and down for a total of about a mile and a half I was pleasantly surprised that the extra 40 pounds on my back had seemingly disappeared. The lumbar pad and tall hip belt takes a huge amount of weight off of the shoulders and properly displace it. Combined with the load lifters it’s possible to pack more weight into the pack than your legs may be able to carry.

    The ultimate test and first real field use for this pack came in WY a few weeks ago for the opening of the 2015 pronghorn season. Evidently Kurt and I hunt antelope the wrong way, because our plan is/was to drive into the furthest legally accessible point by truck, set up camp, then hike another 3+ miles in come opening morning so as to remove ourselves from most of the competition. I loaded up the Exo for a fairly light run and gun style hunt for opening morning, just game bags, Havalon, tags, binos, an extra layer, rain jacket, water, food, first aid kit, ammo, and rifle. Total weight was probably around 20 pounds minus water and rifle.

    By 10 am our plan had paid off for myself, and I had a doe and buck down to be quartered up and packed out. After packing two antelope worth of bone-in quarters, backstraps, tenderloins, and skull into the Exo 3500 I took a few minutes to convince myself to stand with probably 100 pounds of pack at this point. I was extremely thankful that I had bought a real pack instead of trying to turn my Sitka Flash 20 into a meat hauling pack, especially with two antelope to pack out.

    In addition to the comfort while carrying a heavy load, the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 has a number of incredibly well thought out pocket designs. These pockets and the meat shelf actually make the total capacity around 7000 cu in (3500 ci bag and lid, 1000 ci exterior pockets, 2500 ci load shelf area). On either side of the pack are two full height pockets that are large enough to fit a full size tripod for a spotting scope or video camera, a spotting scope, or even a scoped rifle. On the face of the pack is a almost full width and full height stretch panel that is perfect for stuffing rain gear, insulation layers, gloves, hats, and other clothing into as conditions in the field change. The main bag compartment features a waterproof coating on the inside to protect your gear from the elements and blood and other fluids from whatever meat you are hauling. There’s also a side zipper to allow for easy access to gear at the bottom of your bag in addition to the top drawstring opening. Inside all of these large pocket areas are a number of anchor points for a hydration bladder to be hung which allows you to choose where you want the bladder to go based on weight distribution and pack contents. For instance, in cold weather I might choose to hang my bladder in one of the side full height pockets to prevent the possibility of any leaks soaking into my dry layers inside the pack. The floating lid pocket also allows for further storage, and generally gets all of my quick access items like a first aid kit, kill kit, snacks, and GPS.

    Though my use so far is limited (still have a turkey hunt, mule deer hunt, and archery deer hunting to go this year), I have only found a handful of flaws, and even then I’m not even sure that they’re really flaws so much as just inconveniences. The first is that being a big guy with a really wide (~50 inch) chest, the shoulder straps tend to dig in a bit under load, and there’s not a whole lot of adjustment left on the sternum strap. It’s still very comfortable compared to any other pack I’ve used, and I can certainly stand to lose some weight so I’m not super concerned about it, but if you are of the same stature as me it’s something to consider. The other issue I have found is that while the waist belt offers convenient webbing that is Velcro backed for attachment of zippered pockets, holsters, and other accessories at least on my pack it doesn’t feel super secure and there’s barely any webbing left on the large sized belt which makes me a little uneasy hanging $500+ of pistol off of it. Perhaps a buckle or otherwise locking webbing attachment point would be a better solution. I’ve doubled the little bit of webbing left back through the loop to hopefully secure it a little better.

    Other than those two issues, the pack is phenomenal and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for someone looking for a backcountry hunting pack. Not only is the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 great as a daypack, but it truly shines as a <5 day excursion pack as you can load your sleeping bag, tent, and other necessities into the pack, load a dry bag of food between the frame and pack, and live out of it for up to 5 days or so depending on your gear selection. If you’ve made it this far through the review and aren’t familiar with the price range of the competitors mentioned (Mystery Ranch Metcalf, Kuiu Icon Pro 3200, etc) then you might be wondering how much this pack costs. If you’re new to western hunting, or have only used Badlands, Alps, or even some true midrange backpacking packs from REI or what have you have a seat. Badlands and Alps have some okay products, but none truly compete with Exo Mountain Gear, Kuiu or Mystery Ranch. Backpacking packs you can find at REI are super lightweight, comfortable, and high tech for sure, but are typically not rated to carry the kind of weight that elk quarters, two antelope or a whole mule deer add to an already filled pack.

    In addition, Exo Mountain Gear has come out with a number of accessories to trick out your pack depending on your needs. They have released a bow/gun carrier, beavertail/load sling, hip pouches, a dedicated meat shelf, and other items that I am sure I will end up purchasing eventually. That’s not to say that the pack needs them though, as it is out of the box, it’s perfectly adequate for just about any situation.

    For the kind of ability that the Exo (and Mystery Ranch, Kuiu, etc) give you, there’s a price to pay, and for the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 in Multicam that’s $524.99 plus $17 for flat rate shipping in the lower 48. Is that a lot of money? Absolutely, that’s a new GLOCK 20 or great binos or a rifle or a new bow, the list goes on. Is it worth it? That’s a tough question. If you are, or aspire to be a backcountry hunter and don’t have a similar pack then you’ll end up contemplating this decision sooner or later, and it’s definitely a buy once cry once situation. Are there cheaper packs? For sure. Are there better packs? Maybe. Is this a great pack with solid, well thought out features that’s comfortable with a huge amount of weight? Absolutely.

    Definitely give the Exo Mountain Gear 3500 and 5500 a look if you’re in the market for a do-everything big game hunting pack.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Justin (verified owner)

    Awesome pack, I did a lot of research and found myself coming back to this pack for its use as a day pack, multi day abilty and its overall design. Love the meat shelf, the way the bag compresses, side pockets big enough for a spotting scope/tripod and how comfortable it was packing out elk and deer. The biggest plus for me is just how well an 80lb load felt and road in this pack compared to packs that I have used in the past, night and day difference. It’s also made in the USA and customer service is great. The 3500 is exactly what I was looking for.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Cliff Miller

    This pack was very well thought out. It can handle a lot of weight comfortably, as much as any pack frame I’ve used, and has great compartments for all of your gear. After a successful deer hunt this fall, it was a really quick process to have the meat securely loaded and ready to pack. Out of the many packs I’ve owned, this is the most versatile and useful. I would recommend buying the weapon holder though. Strapping a rifle or bow to the pack without it can be done, but I think it would be more stable and comfortable with it.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kevin P. (verified owner)

    As a Michigan flatlander, I don’t know a whole lot about heavy duty packs, but after a lot of research and reading through 50 pages of discussion on the Rokslide forum, I decided to go with Exo for my first pack and I’m glad I did.
    Tough, functional, simplistic, comfortable; my 3500 has already been tested hauling stands and gear through the Michigan north woods and soon, it’ll be in the elk woods with me. Great product at a fair cost.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tyrell W. (verified owner)

    I love this pack! I purchased a 3500 hoping it would help force me to pack more prudently and was pleasantly surprised with how much gear I can get it in. I’d have no problem getting everything for a 5 day hunt in it, seven days or more and I’d probably want the 5500 but I figure I can always throw some extra food in a dry bag and put it between the frame and the bag for those situations. This pack is the perfect combination of minimalist design and organization for me. I love the stretchy pocket on back of the bag, that thing swallows up gear (puffy jacket, rain gear, etc.). I like one mesh pocket in the lid and the hip belt pockets as my only added organization items. While the hip belt pockets are far superior to others I’ve tried, they don’t always open one handed as advertised. They are still much easier to open than most and definitely have some structure to them but the zippers sometimes catch. My only other small complaint is more related to my long torso. At 21.5 inches, I’m about at the max torso length for this thing. I’d prefer to have a bit more lift from the load lifters but they still work well even at my torso length. If you have a torso any longer than 22 inches you’d probably be better off with a different pack, but people like that are going to be few and far between.

    This frame really works well. While I didn’t get the opportunity to get it bloody this season (no luck on the elk hunt and no need with where I shot my deer this year) I have definitely loaded it up with some weight and gear multiple times and while 80lbs is still heavy, it’s not uncomfortable with this pack. The frame really does move with you. I’m completely blown away with how well this thing handles heavy loads considering how light the pack itself is. I’ll likely be buying a weapon carrier and a load panel in the near future. Great pack!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott Brown (verified owner)

    The pack is phenomenal! It is so comfortable while wearing it. I have tried several packs and nothing comes close. The setup is amazing as well. I love the main compartment side zipper. I also have a hip pouch on each side and a holster for my pistol and you don’t even know they are there. I will never use anything else. Also I am a big time supporter of made in the USA products and that’s also why I love exo. You definitely get what you pay for.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bloomquist

    I have the 3500 and have used it the past two seasons and have been nothing but impressed with it. The functionality of this pack is second to none and the comfort with heavy loads will make you take one trip out rather than two. Its nice to have one pack that can easily handle a heavy load, be used for a day pack, and can held 5-7 days worth of gear. The durability is great too, mine has packed out 3 deer and 3 elk the last two years and still looks brand new.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jason C.

    Outstanding pack! I have been packing in and hunting the backcountry for many years and this is by far and away the best pack on the market. I recently got back from a hunt that was 6 miles into the backcountry. My buddies and I stayed in for 6 days. We each had a different brand of pack, and all 3 of my buddies were jealous of my Exo 3500 from the first day we hiked in. It performs flawlessly when you have it loaded down to 70+ pounds to just hunting for the day and tightened up to day-pack size.

    Thank you EXO!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Darrin (verified owner)

    Great pack. Haven’t gotten to hunt with it yet, as its first trip will be in January for Arizona mile deer. As mentioned before, the straps squeak a little, but not really a negative as it will be taken off for a stalk. I’ve only got a couple miles on it, with about 50 lbs of weight, and it carries comfortable and tight to your back. The large lumbar pad is definitely a plus, makes awkward loads comfortable. For the money, I believe this is the best pack out. I would reccommend this pack to anyone

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott B (verified owner)

    By far the best pack I’ve ever used. And I’ve used a lot of packs. Its light weight and compacts well enough to be a day pack, expands well to be a 3-5 day hunt pack and is robust enough to be a load hauler. Love this pack!!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    James F. (verified owner)

    I’ve had a few months to use my pack up here in Northern British Columbia and these are my thoughts:

    This isn’t just a great hunting pack (which it is): this is a great EVERYTHING pack, whether it be a hiking daypack, multi-day backpacking pack, or even for more straightforward ‘bushcraft’ type adventures. The side pockets are great for what they are designed for (rifle, spotting scope, tripod, etc), but they are also really useful if you need to lug around a regular size axe and a bucksaw. Super roomy, extremely adjustable. I have weird torso dimensions, and I was able to get this pack to fit me like a glove without any difficulty.

    I’ve owned some ‘premium’ packs (arc’teryx, etc.), and this one leaves them all in the dust. By far the toughest, lightest pack I’ve owned.

    I can’t see myself needing a pack larger that the 3500 given it’s ability to expand to accommodate gear and/or meat. That said, if I ever do, I will come straight back to exo for the 5500!

    Thanks,

    James

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michael H. (verified owner)

    I wanted to view the pack before deciding to make the purchase. Since I was local, Steve met me at the office where I was able to try on the pack. Just like others have noted, the customer service is outstanding. The design and functionality of this pack is everything I have wanted in a hunting pack. I have used other packs in the past, and none of them could do everything like the Exo-Mountain 3500. Earlier this year, I had packed out an elk using an older pack, and I paid for it physically. My back and hip were sore for about a week. After purchasing the Exo-Mountain pack, I used it to pack out a boned-out mule deer from a mountain ridge. I had about 1500 feet of elevation to climb down from. The pack felt very secure on my hip and back. I never had to adjust the straps during the hike out. I estimated the pack to weigh a little over a hundred pounds. I am 5-08, and weigh about 145 lbs. I state this to illustrate how awesome this pack is. Other than some quad soreness from the pack out, I had no pain or issues with my back or hips. I highly recommend this pack to anyone looking for the ultimate hunting back pack.

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    r.zimmerman

    Like many of the other reviewers, I’m a huge fan of this pack. I had been looking for a “combo” pack and saw a review of this pack on a Elk hunting blog. One of the things I was immediately impressed with were the videos explaining all of the features and how Steve and Lenny started the process to build the “ideal” pack. After calling and talking to Steve I placed my order and wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. Since I have owned it I have had several questions and Steve has been super fast to either respond to an email (my normal means of communicating) or to answer a call. He’s also been great answering other hunting related questions. Bottom line, the information, quality of products and customer service are absolutely the best! I have recommended their products to all of my friends that have been looking for a new pack. I think they have nailed it for a great all around pack. I wouldn’t hesitate to call them, talk to them about the pack and to give it a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jacob L (verified owner)

    I just recently purchased a EXO 3500 and LOVE IT! I had been using two different Eberlestock packs are really liked them. However they just couldn’t cut it for being a serious hunting pack. I started looking around and talking to other local hunters. I decided to get the EXO based upon my friends experiences. The pack is by far my favorite pack ever. I have used it on some scouting/ unsuccessful hinting trips. Also I got to use it to pack meat for the first time this last weekend. Certainly held up to what I expected and more. I would recommend this pack to anyone.

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Brian Baldwin (verified owner)

    What can I say, this pack is incredible. I was pretty hesitant to spend nearly $600 on a pack (with accessories), but after years of chasing the perfect pack, I figured I’d take a chance on the 3500. I do several types of trips during the year. Scouting trips where I’m packing a spotting scope and tripod, overnight trips where I need to be able to put 3-5 days’ worth of gear on my back, and day trips where I’m hiking 3-5 miles in and (hopefully) packing meat back to the truck. The features in this pack made it the perfect choice for me. The two long pockets on the side perfectly fit my 85mm spotting scope and tripod, the smaller “stretchy” pockets on the side are perfect for reaching items like my radio or GPS without taking off my pack, and I’m not sure how I’ve lived without a pack with a side zipper for this long. As far as being able to access anything in my pack without unpacking everything….priceless! This year was my first year with it and I shot a fairly large bull during archery season. We packed him out in three trips, my share was 80lbs, 90lbs, and a final trip of 60lbs that was left until the next morning. I had to crawl and contort several times underneath scrub brush and branches and was amazed how well the titanium frame moved with my body! After all those loads, 3 miles up and down hills, my shoulders didn’t feel a thing. The load lifters work great and the pad on the back of the belt really helps for a guy like me with a fairly “straight” body type, it kept the load perfectly on my hips and off my shoulders. This is the last pack I’ll ever buy.

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    browning_68

    This pack was my first of the higher quality types. I could not be happier with it, and being local is a huge plus. Only thing I dislike about my 3500 is that it’s easy to over load with it being so comfortable. A whole deer and camp was no issue for the pack, the 3miles up and out had my body thinking otherwise. I use it on just about ever outing and looking forward to adding a new 5500. Wish multicam was available in the first run. Take care, Cory.

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Brad Minzey (verified owner)

    Most versatile hunting pack i’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. I have tried many other name brands to try to meet my needs of a day pack, meat hauler, and weekend pack and nothing has came close unlit I got my exo. I’m able to use it for everything I need and it has blown my expectations out of the water. Having the ability to compress my pack down to be a day trip pack and not be bulky and then the next day stuff it full of gear for a weekend trip is what I was searching for. The exo is an amazing hunting pack but it can also hold its weight and it somehow seems to balance itself out on its own. I’ve covered a lot of miles with this pack on my back and can say i’m nothing but impressed with it. It is super comfortable, tough, good looking, and versatile. If you are on edge when It comes to ordering do it and you wont be sorry. Grade A customer service and products.

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Matt Knutson (verified owner)

    Like many of you I waffled for years about what kind of pack I should get. I tried many less expensive packs and a few more expensive ones. I just couldn’t find one that was light enough to be a day pack and still be comfortable with a heavy load.

    I have found it. The exo 3500.

    I hunt archery elk in Wyoming every year as well as antelope and deer. I purchased my exo pack a couple of weeks before my September elk hunt. I couldn’t believe how light it was! I’ve had “day packs” that weighed twice as much. I beat it up all day, every day on my elk hunt. It is is so simple and intuitive. You don’t need 25 different pockets! It’s a waste of material. Everything on the exo is where it needs to be.
    Oh yeah, packing out my biggest bull elk yet was a piece of cake. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a heavy load.

  24. Rated 4 out of 5

    Rob Malone (verified owner)

    Bought the 3500 earlier this year when I was trying to decide on it or another high end pack. Ended up keeping the EXO for several reasons, first it’s comfortable. Second, I don’t much care for a pack that has no access other than through the top – the side zipper in the main bag makes it very convenient to get at what I want to without having to unload other gear. The fact that I can see what I want and remove only that item was a pleasure. Third is carried loads well and was very comfortable over the 100+ moles of himong/training/scouting/huntimg I did this summer and fall.

    I, unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to pack out an amin all yet so the max load I have carried is 62 lbs but in doing so over 12 miles I can say it was unbelievably comfortable.

    I will say there are 2 issues I’d like to address. First, the hip belt could use additional padding on the sides, I found it tended to dig in a bit under heavier loads and second the webbing buckles on the waste belt are difficult to keep tight when carrying my pistol in a holster on the Web ingredients – the buckets slipped no matter what I tried leading to a loose holster.

    I loved the twisting ability of the frame. And although you never can really “forget” you’re carrying 40+ lbs, this pack did a nice job of not reminding me all day long.

    All in all a very nice pack.

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    Micah McConkey (verified owner)

    I really don’t mean to blow any smoke but I love this pack. I bought it this year and was able to use it on my 2 week archery elk hunt in western Washington. Sadly I haven’t been able to use the pack to haul out any loads, but my kids love getting strapped into it. The only thing i would prefer would be to have buckles to use the pack for hauling instead of unthreading the webbing from the clips. I bought the pack with one hip belt pouch and immediately bought a second one when the pack arrived. Range finder in one and the Rhino in the other. Also found that a pistol on the waist strap was perfect. I am a 36 waist and bought the Large thinking I’m probably not going to get thinner but it is huge. I works but I have to strap it down almost maxed out. Spend the money i almost forgot I had this pack on.

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jarod Cash

    Before my exo pack I would carry a day pack, if I shot an animal I would make a trip out to the truck to get the ole Sherman tank meat shelf frame and proceed with multiple trips. Now that I utilize the Exo as my day pack and meat hauler I save at least a trip in and out of the woods. When your packing 5 plus miles that saved trip is huge on the legs.
    The only critique is that I have the gray color pack and wish I would’ve got a camo color pack. The gray could look like the same color as an animal.

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jim Rehmeyer

    Great pack, I have used badlands packs for years and there is no comparison under heavy load. Even with 100 lbs loaded the pack is still comfortable with no weight on my shoulders. Really like the long pockets on the sides and the single in the back. Easy access and no squeaks.

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Harlan Sheppard

    EXO 3500 Review,
    Two seasons of use with this pack and fully stoked. We hunt with packs on full of 3-5 days of gear. Weight is key so starting with a light pack helps. The full zip on the side is great for accessing deep items. It moves well with the body and the waiststrap, shoulder straps are easy to adjust and comfortable. Durability has been excellent and water repellency solid. Packing out meat and antlers; Easy and secure to load up the meat tray with the load next to your core. I packed out one elk solo with camp and rack, half of partners elk and mulie last year. Under full load pack is stable and as comfortable as full loads are. The lumbar pad can get abrasive, they may have changed that material? Best gear to compliment heavy load was Black Diamond trekking poles@10ozs. I like the 3500 so you can’t pack too much extra stuff. Made in USA by good folks, worth the price.

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ryan Pauley

    I have been searching for something like this for a long time. I’ve been hunting with a very similar pack designed for ski mountineering and it it just cannot handle the weight of a deer, let along elk. Light weight, good day pack, bad first back out with meat. Broke it this last year on a deer. Pack is a black diamond pack with internal frame similar in design to your and has been PERFECT, except when I get something down on the ground.

    Been searching for a pack like this for years. LOVE IT. Nice work.

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jesse Minish

    This is the pack I always wished someone would make. I love that I can have everything I need for a day hunt or multiple day hunt in my pack and not have to rearrange or take anything out if I harvest an animal and need to pack it out. Great product!!!

  31. Rated 4 out of 5

    Josh Pierce (verified owner)

    I bought this pack just before the start of rifle season here in Montana. Prior to purchasing this pack I used the Sitka Ascent for my day trips and kept a pack frame or game cart in the truck. Like a lot of other people, this meant extra trips out to get something to haul the first load of meat. After a ton of research and convincing my wife I needed another expensive piece of hunting gear, I pulled the trigger on the 3500 in multicam. Right away I noticed how lightweight and durable the pack felt. On long day trips I noticed myself not having to constantly adjust like I did with my old day pack. After the first weekend I returned home and ordered two accessory pockets and a hip belt pouch, both necessities in my opinion. Last weekend my hunting partner shot a mature cow and I was finally able to put this thing to the test. Loaded with everything in my day pack, a hind quarter, and backstraps/tenderloins/neck meat, we made our way four miles back to the truck. I was amazed at how well this pack carried a heavy load. There wasn’t a buckle or strap that moved, even when I slipped on wet sticks and almost went down. Everything about this pack felt solid. I will say that the hip belt eventually gave a couple hot spots, but I think its where the zipper on my jacket sits. I would recommend this pack to anyone from the weekend warrior to the experienced backcountry hunter.

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Fred Roy (verified owner)

    Just got done using this pack on two elk hunts and it performed great.This pack is so adjustable and carries like a dream when you get it adjusted right. I personally do not like a lot of straps and have cut lots off on other packs and thought I might do the same on the 3500 but I think they all get to stay. I carried full sized ground blinds,elk quarters, and my 6pt. bull rack ( for 8 miles) and the pack was great! It did have a squeak but still the best pack I have ever owned.

  33. Rated 5 out of 5

    Robert V. (verified owner)

    Great pack! After a ton of research and talking to Steve I purchased the right pack! Unbeatable quality and made in the USA. This pack is built to exceed all expectations. The quality and craftsmanship speak for itself.

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nate Fiscus

    From my experience, there is not another pack on the market that is as durable, versatile, and lightweight as the 3500. I have used this pack on 5+ back country hunts in Montana in the past year, and this pack does it all! This pack has plenty of straps to compact it into a day pack, but you can easily carry all the gear needed for a 3 day back country hunt. I have already helped pack out 4 bulls with this pack, every time with close to or over a hundred pounds! If you don’t believe me, I have carried a rear and front quarter with the bone in, plus the my daily gear/bow and this pack is rock solid with a heavy load! I absolutely love Kuiu gear and debated buying one of their packs, but I knew I made the right decision when my buddy was carrying the same weight as me with his Kuiu pack and the shoulder strap ripped in half! If you want to buy one pack that does it all and is top quality, I have personally pushed/tested this pack to its limits, and it can carry way more than me. It is still a lot of money, but you get what you pay for.

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jesse Colwell

    I was looking for a hunting pack that was sturdy, light, and comfortable after doing a lot of research I settled on the exomountain pack. It is an awesome pack I love how it rides. Very comfortable even up to 150 pounds! I have done multi day hunts with this pack and it has ample storage and capacity. The ability to expand the pack if you get something is also a nice feature I have hauled two elk and a buck out so far this year with it and have loved how the pack feels. My only negative about the pack is the side pockets not being completely enclosed and having a zipper. I would love for the side pouches to be enclosed rather than just a load through the top and pull shut with a string. Past that awesome pack don’t think I will ever go somewhere else.

  36. Rated 5 out of 5

    Juan Luna (verified owner)

    This pack is Awesome! I have packed a couple of deer with it this year and it is by far the most comfortable pack I have used. For a weekend warrior like myself the 3500 is hard to beat and worth every penny.

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    Terry Zumalt (verified owner)

    5-stars. Great pack. You can see this pack was designed from the ground up. Most companies just redesign packs off of their old ideas. This pack rethinks everything. It does it all and does it efficiently and comfortably. Used mine for a full season of scouting and Muley hunting. I even used it to carry in my tree stands in the whitetail woods. My favorite features our the side pockets. They are perfect for holding my tripod and spotting scope. Slip them in and you forget they are even there. Belt is very comfortable and the load straps do a great job of lifting the load up. I have no complaints.

  38. Rated 5 out of 5

    Phil Evans (verified owner)

    I went on a high country mule deer hunt in Colorado. The 3500 performed flawlessly on the 5 day hunt. I had plenty of room for everything I needed. The side compartments really add a lot of space. Unfortunately I didn’t get to test out it’s meat hauling capabilities but have no doubt it will perform great when I do. I highly recommend this pack to anyone.

  39. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jason (verified owner)

    Ill try to keep this short. I live in the high country of Montana and live to bivy hunt as an ultra light hunter. Average around 120 days in the mountains. I own or have owned several westerns style mountain hunting packs from all the big names. All have their place, and all great packs. MR, Kuiu, Stone Glacier, Kifaru, etc….. But none without a flaw or two, and that includes the EXO 3500. With that, the EXO still receives 5 STARS. Without going into too much detail on why all other packs are inferior to the EXO, Ill just mention a few reasons its tops the list and what I believe needs work. First is the weight. Pretty much the lightest pack out there second to maybe one other that has a carbon frame. The weight is always the first thing I look at when buying a pack. Unloaded, Its as if your not even wearing one at times. Second is that fact that this pack light or loaded, is by far the most comfortable pack you will own. I can just about guarantee it. Your body built type doesn’t matter. Small guy, or big guy. I used this pack on 13 or 14 back country trips this year and each time I’m absolutely amazing. I’ve spent weeks carrying nothing in this pack and days with it loaded to the max. Seriously wows me at how this pack with the smaller shoulder straps and thin waist belt can handle weight, never have a hot spot, and not once have I felt like this pack was digging into my waist or shoulders. This proves that every other pack I own that have these giant waist belts and shoulder straps are just not needed. Comfort is the name of the game with this pack. That fact that this pack is also waterproof without needing a cover is a big one for me. Silly you would ever have to have a rain cover for a pack. Another feature thats great is the stretch front pocket. It never gets stretched out from over use. Always returns to its normal size and its perfect for items needed in a hurry. The pack also is quiet and the more you use it, the quieter it gets. So many features about this pack sets itself from the others. One more. The side pouches. The fact that they put a plastic back in the back of the pouches make them almost a one hand operation. Try opening side pouches with any other pack. Especially in a hurry. So many great things like the angle of the compression straps, the angle of the stuff it pockets, etc…. The positives go on and on. Now, the items I feel need work or change. There are two very long side pockets on this bag. Excellent locations and size, but one side needs a zipper. If you have them stuffed and need something from the bottom of the pocket, everything needs to be removed from that pocket to get to it. Put a zipper on one please. Next and the biggest issue with me would be the waist belt buckle. Not the actual buckle but the two plastic pieces that allow the straps to loosen. If the waist belt is too tight, you cant just pull the two plastic pieces to the side to let some belt out like most packs, you have to unbuckle the belt, and then you can loosen the straps by releasing the plastic. So, you need to be conscious each time tightening the belt because if you over tighten it, you have to unbuckle it to loosen. My biggest complaint by far. Next minor issue I have would be the the two straps that hold the lid on at the top of the bag. The straps that come off the bag at the top need to be moved down the bag on the sides about 2 inches. This will allow the top of the lid to fit nicely over the top of the frame stakes at the top. With the way the straps are now, the lid does not easily fit over the frame stakes but bunch up and wrinkled over the stakes. A little difficult to describe. Not a big deal but it causes the lid to sit or lean one way or the other on the bag. Next and last would be the load shelf. Ive use the pack hauling a lot of bone in and out quarters. Can be a little difficult to haul a large piece of deboned meat without the load shelf. This pack should come standard with the shelf. Very nice feature that should not be optional. I wont haul meat without it. To sum it up, this is a pack that sets itself from all other packs. There has been more thought put into this pack than just about any other pack. I had so many doubts before buying this pack. Even after receiving this pack, I made a phone call to EXO questioning and doubting them. If your in the market for a pack that is completely different than any pack you’ve owned in every aspect, try the EXO. The 3500 can be used for a day pack and for a 10 day bivy. Plenty of room. Thanks EMG.

  40. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeremy S.

    Super lightweight but still very tough. I had the pack loaded in the back of a mule. And doing what mules do best he decided to not go forward but backed into a hearty manzanita bush instead. I thought for sure the pack would come out with at least a couple tears. Nope. Not one single one. Definitely recommend the pack!

  41. Rated 5 out of 5

    Anders (verified owner)

    I was on the search for a “do it all” daypack, backpack hunt pack, meat hauler for about a year. After much research, I finally settled on an exo3500…except ‘settled’ isn’t the right word because there was no settling for anything here. I believe I got the best pack my money could buy.
    First off the weight..the weight is great for a pack with these capabilities and rivals my normal backpacking backpack (which the exo will now replace for those summer backpacking trips), it is extremely comfortable, and compressed down amazingly for a day pack, with no added bulk. I was able to strap my muzzle loader to this pack with ease when hiking in in the dark, and that was without the gun sling that has recently come out (a product that will find its way to my christmas list).
    Organization:
    I am a HUGE fan of having “modular” organization in one large main compartment, which this pack has. I picked up a few of the mesh pouches that attach via velcro inside both the main pack, along with the lid. These are where I keep smaller items that I need to get to, but not often enough that they find themselves in the hip belt pouch that I also added. The lid is perfect for snacks and accessories while the stretchy pouch is awesome to stuff your rain gear into. The water bottle pouches on the side are great. they fit a variety of bottle sizes, and are deep enough that i did not worry about anything falling out of. I do not carry a spotting scope or tripod much during day hunts (thick timber) but those full length pockets worked great for my kill kit, paracord, rain pants, mountain gold (toilet paper) etc.
    Now down to the real nitty gritty. I was lucky enough to pack out a very large cow elk with this pack and it was AMAZING.
    All of the other guys in my hunting party were worried when I threw a bone in hind quarter against the frame, had all of my normal gear, and also strapped on mine, and a buddies muzzle loader.
    I was sadly without my trekking poles, but even with the heaviest load of the bunch, I was far and away the most comfortable.
    The vertical rigidity of the frame was unreal, and I felt no real added pressure on my shoulders as the waist belt did it’s job, stayed in place, and took the punishment of that heavy load.
    All in all, I could not be happier and do not regret a dime spent on this pack.
    Also as a side note, the customer service was INCREDIBLE. Steve was out on a hunt when I ordered mine, but when I called and talked to a very nice lady on the phone to ask when they would be able to ship and how quick it would get to Washington, she said she would box it immediately and ship within the hour. I hung up, ordered, and within minutes had a tracking number! I received the pack within days, adjusted the sizing to fit (also a breeze) and was ready to rock and roll.
    Thanks again exomountaingear!

  42. Rated 5 out of 5

    Cliff (verified owner)

    I have the 3500 in multi cam, have had several different packs over the years and could not find a pack that would do everything I need it to do well, until now the EXO pack does everything I need it to do and does it well. I took it on a 2 week archery elk hunt and really put it to the test.
    It compresses down really small and tight for a day pack, It expands really well and feels bigger than it is. I spent 3 nights 2 different times spike camping out of the pack and it worked great.
    Killed a bull 10 days in to the hunt and packed 3
    100 + pound loads out with it using the load panel. 100 lbs. sucks no matter how you put it but the EXO pack packed it the most comfortable
    of any pack I have ever used !! I recommend it highly.

  43. Rated 5 out of 5

    Justin B (verified owner)

    This pack is awesome!!! I did my best to wreck the pack during this summer and fall. The pack stood up to all the abuse I could give it. The quality and craftsmanship is top shelf. Im gonna be a customer for a long time. Thanks guys

  44. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jason Sand

    I put a lot of thought into purchasing a new pack and decided to go with the Exo 3500 and I am so glad I did. This pack is a wonderful add to my back country gear. It carried all my hunting gear in the back country of Colorado with no problem. Took a little while to get it adjusted over the summer but once it was everything seemed to fall into place

  45. Rated 5 out of 5

    Justin Wickline

    Pre-ordered the original Exo 3500 after running into some videos on Vimeo. Loved the concept and proposed functionality. All I can say is, it was worth the wait. I have been using the 3500 for 5-8 day back country hunts. Love the versatility of one pack that truly functions as a day pack and meat hauler. Have hauled out 3 bulls and put several hundred miles under it. Flexes when you want it to and rigid when you need it to be. Holds the load high and doesn’t slip when loaded heavy. Do not be fooled by the 3500 size, packs plenty for week long hunts.

  46. Rated 5 out of 5

    Cliff Sallee (verified owner)

    I will keep this short and sweet! I have had 2 shoulder surgery’s and this is the only pack I have been able to use without any pain in or around my shoulder. I told Steve Speck that if there was a program to promote this pack I would do it without hesitation. You get what you pay for and Steve and Lenny hit the nail on the head! Thanks guys!

  47. Rated 5 out of 5

    Cory Thompson (verified owner)

    After researching several packs from other companies over about a year, I ended up going with the 3500. In short, after a full season of hunting in all kinds of conditions and the most miles I’ve personally ever put into hunting, I am extremely happy with the pack. My hold up on buying this pack was that it might be too large for my usual day hunts, which was immediately dismissed as a concern of mine when I received it. However as the description explains; it is easily expandable to afford you plenty of room for overnighters. Except for my firearms this has been my most expensive hunting purchase and I don’t regret a penny of it. To top it off its American made and great customer service.

  48. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jon Helton

    After much research I settled on the Exo 3500 for backcountry elk hunts in Colorado. I went on 3 hunts with this pack, the third resulted in the need to pack out a nice, mature bull I had harvested. I’m not sure how heavy the meat loads were, but I was by myself and made it it out in 2.5 days with four bags of meat, antlers, and my camp (35lbs) in 3 trips (one round trip was 9 miles). Any way you slice it that comes down to heavy loads at a moderate distance climbing up and down mountains. I don’t have much to compare this pack to, but it was comfortable and I was not sore afterward. I’m looking forward to trying the meat shelf next year in hopes that will keep the load a bit higher on my back and also using trekking poles, in addition to being in better shape. All in all, I’m very satisfied with my pack even though it was right at the maximum amount I wanted to spend. Is it worth the money? I would say if you are a backcountry, 3-6 day, living with only what you can carry on your back, hoping to carry meat, type of hunter than absolutely it is worth every penny. When you’re in the backcountry the gear you have becomes extremely important because there is no plan B. There are lots of packs that can get you into the backcountry but far fewer that can help you get out while loaded down after punching a tag. In my experience, the Exo 3500 will probably always outrun my physical ability to carry what I can load it with and that is a true testament to the quality in how it was made.

  49. Rated 5 out of 5

    Aaron H (verified owner)

    Ultimate Elk/Mule Deer backcountry pack!! I’ve owned both the early 2014 and 2015 EXO 3500’s. Being somewhat of a gearhead, I had to purchase the 15’ model just to see the updated innovations they built into the new pack. I currently own the 3500 in multi cam and love it. I have owned many different packs over the years and found that they were good but just not necessarily the ideal pack for me. I hunted hard this fall with my 3500 with me every step of the way. Day hunts to Multi day trips, the 3500 flat out performed. Packed multiple bulls and bucks out of the mtns with it and continued to ride very well with little adjustments. Thank you EXO!

  50. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ryan (verified owner)

    I purchased a foliage 3500 with a small hipbelt back in August (I’m 6’0″ 170/ athletic build). I am using this pack primarily as a whitetail hunting day pack in WV, and as a recreational hiking camping pack. Many would ask why an eastern whitetail hunter would need an exo for a day pack, but where I hunt and they style of hunting I have found myself doing the last few years lends itself more to western style spot and stock/still hunting albeit on a smaller scale. The exo also allows me to pack into remote areas and camp for a few days (up to five) allowing me to hunt areas void of other hunters. I am an active duty Marine infantryman by trade so humping a heavy (up to 130 lbs) pack is common. However, this is the first “high end” pack I have owned. After years of experience in this activity this is the first pack I have owned that i can load to 85ish lbs and it feels like I am hauling a 30 lb pack. Absolutely amazing in every way. The fit, comfort, load stability, and craftsmanship of this pack is without equal. The ability to load what I need, mount the pack, adjust the belt and shoulder straps and take off without any shifting or readjusting needed, a couple miles into a movement, is awesome. All aspects and features are well thought out and executed, providing you with everything you could ever need and nothing you don’t. An excellent compromise between minimalist and other “whiz bang/doodad laden” offerings on the market. If you are researching this pack for purchase, head the advice found on the web. If you are between belt sizes, err on the smaller end. Watch the various videos offered by exo on sizing and proper fit/adjustment, especially if you are new to hiking. I am looking forward to loading this pack with venison and hauling out this year, and for years to come. Lenny and Steve have really knocked this one out of the park, and I wouldn’t hesitate to part with my hard earned cash for anything they bring to market. Finally it’s made here! ‘MERICA!!!

  51. Rated 4 out of 5

    Jerimiah (verified owner)

    Bought a 2015 3500 in time for late buck and used it as a day pack. Fortunately got to try out its load hauling capacity. The bag as a daypack is amazing. It has all the features I’ve liked about the various backpacks I’ve had and even a few that are new. The versatility of the bag and the lightweight make it awesome to carry all day long.
    The second to last day of the season I got to see how it did with half a deer in it. I packed it out three miles and I can honestly say my only complaint is the bag took zero weight off my legs. 🙂 It did an excellent job of putting the weight on my waist and the weight distribution is perfect with the meat shelf and load lifters. Only reason this isn’t a 5 star review is the belt has minimal padding and I have to make sure to keep my pants waistline in place or it creates hotspots on my hips. This was with a minimal climbing belt and suspenders.
    Definitely my favorite pack so far and would buy it again in a second.

  52. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bones Johnson

    This is my second season with the 3500. Love this thing. It’s the most comfortable and lightest pack I’ve ever owned. I bowhunt the rugged backcountry here at my home in northwest Wyoming with most trips averaging 6 to 8 miles in. This pack will hold everything I need for 3 to 5 day trips. Love being able to put large items between the pack and frame. Rides well and stays tight. The only thing I would like to see is maybe a quieter fabric on the lid. Other than that it’s pretty awesome. Thanks for making a solid product well worth the money!!!

  53. Rated 5 out of 5

    broken arrow

    Great all around pack. Simple, but light and effective. I have used for guiding ibex to hunting elk. Hard the be the things you can do with this pack for the weight.

  54. Rated 5 out of 5

    George (verified owner)

    I was in search of a multi-day pack (5 to 7 days) that could double as a light weight, functional day pack. A pack that was simple, but could haul large loads out of the backcountry when needed. I studied all the players that meet the criteria and chose to purchase the EXO 3500. I have used the pack on multi-day fly fishing/elk scouting trips to a 7 day backcountry archery elk hunt with my daughter, and have been very impressed. The side zipper access to the main compartment is a huge plus and I found myself using the stretch pockets often. I purchased the Hipbelt Pouch as a accessory, when placing the order for my 3500, and it works great for my GPS. Overall I have been very happy with its performance.

  55. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott Warner (verified owner)

    This is the pack I have been searching for years to find. I wanted a pack that can serve as a day pack and also a solid backpacking pack. The 3500 fits the bill on both. This year saw all types of hunting – from backpacking 6 miles in, to over 20 day hunts. I packed out 2 bulls and 1 buck so I put the pack to the test and it came through with flying colors. The 3500 was designed exactly how I would have made a pack.

  56. Rated 5 out of 5

    Ben H.

    Purchased my 3500 in October of 2014, but never was able to really put it to work until earlier this month (11/15) on a mule deer hunt. Pack worked great. Took some getting used to all the straps and how to properly load meat and a rack, but overall I love it. I have the meat shelf, one belt pouch and the new weapon holder. The straps on the bottom of the back seem to have smaller buckles than the newer model, therefore I couldn’t secure the weapon holder the way the instructions lay it out. But, I was able to get it to work a different way. Only change I would have made is waiting until this year to purchase a newer model 3500. I like the idea of the floating top better, mine has a top that is permanently attached to the front of the bag. I’ve recommended this pack to many others.

  57. Rated 5 out of 5

    Austin Legg

    I recently made the switch from Eberlestock X2 to the Exo K2 3500. It was a hard choice to decide to switch, because my X2 had been good to me for so many hunts and for so many years, but it was lacking in a few areas. I just wrapped up a two night, 12 mile trip in the backcountry and can now say that the Exo pack without a doubt is far superior in every way. The lumbar support is incredible. The way the pack fits is exactly how I like it. I like the pack to fit snug on my hips and then high and tight to my body. (Watch the Exo Mountain Gear YouTube video about fitting your pack and you can find the way to fit your pack perfect for your needs.) I was able to easily pack everything I needed for my trip in this pack, and the load felt so light. The suspension system in this pack is remarkable. I got the coyote brown and it doesn’t show dirt, which is nice! The floating lid is great also, because as you need more room in the bag, the lid can expand to still secure the top of the load. I recommend it to everyone, and the other six guys on my trek were all envious of this pack. It is comfortable, light, spacious, and will meet all of your backcountry needs. I promise. I have no regrets from switching and won’t ever go back. Hands down the best pack I have ever owned.

    My only suggestion (very minor) would be to add a clip in the front shoulder strap for your hydration hose. I ran the hose through the black bungee strap on the shoulder strap, but the house was still bouncing around and in the way. It would be nice to have a way to secure the mouthpiece somewhere to the pack.

  58. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott Brown (verified owner)

    This is by far the best pack I have used. I love all the features and all the accessories you can get for it. You can totally customize it the way you want it. It is very comfortable and I love how the weight sits on your hips. I also love how this pack is made in the USA because that is harder and harder to find now days.

  59. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rob Patuto (verified owner)

    I received this pack about a little over a month ago in preparation for a two week trip into the Middle Fork of the Salmon river to assist a couple friends each with Sheep tags. I will preface my review saying I have not had a ton of quality packs on my back, so take this for what it’s worth. I hope that I can edit this when my hunting season is complete as this pack will be put to the test. I have access to a 3.5 mile trail that gains 2200′. 7 mile round trips with 35-45 pounds several times. The trail is in poor condition, washed out and loose footing in many places, what I expect to find on our hunt.
    My first impression of the pack was that it was incredibly light, this was one of the deciding factors when I purchased it. Using an Eberlestock the last several years pack weight was a concern. The upper Torso pads looked a little thinner and softer than I expected, but has not been an issue at all so far. I did adjust for my Torso length and was very simple and breath-ability and comfort have been great. The hip belt seems to be a perfectly designed with the right amount of padding and the packs ability to allow lateral movement is spot on in loose/shifting footing. I really like the width of the bag/frame and way it rides so far.
    A couple notes on what I would have liked to have on this pack, but I do understand this will increase pack weight.
    The accessory strap on the hip belt would serve me much better with a single loop so attachments would not slide the length of the belt, a handle on the top of the pack on the frame side. At 80lbs plus it feels like pack abuse trying to move the pack by one strap. 🙂 Both these are minor issues and I will be putting a strap on there to lift it . The one and only disappointment I have encountered has been only 2 horizontal compression straps on the bags exterior, one more across the middle seems like it would be useful. I would by this pack again.

  60. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gabe Gerrish (verified owner)

    I ordered the Exo 3500 pack after using an Eberlestock for several years. I was very happy with the Eberlestock, but after having a chance to try out the Exo 3500 and feeling the difference in the way it carried heavy loads, I was sold. I also did multiple comparisons between the Exo and my external frame pack, and there was absolutly no comparison in the comfort level….the Exo far out-performed the external frame also. I wanted a pack that is good for both day hunts as well as 3-4 day back country trips, while having the ability to haul meat as well. This pack does that perfectly. I’ve been hiking with heavy loads with this pack now for several months, and have been increasing the weight with it(now up to 110 lbs) and have never had a pack handle that kind of weight as comfortably as the Exo. Yes, hauling 110lbs uphill is hard work, but when your pack is comfortable, it make a huge difference. This pack puts the weight on your hips and off your shoulders, where it’s supposed to be. This reduced shoulder fatigue dramatically. Steve has been great to work with, and has helped get the pack fitted just right. I’ve found the “Crib” load panel to work awesome for those heavy loads….an awesome accessory! I love how lightweight it is (over 3lbs lighter than my old pack), but it’s also super durable. Save your money for one of these packs and you won’t be disappointed! There are a ton of compression straps on this pack, which gives you a ton of flexibility. The trade-off is that all the extra material from those those compression straps hangs down and can get in the way at times when trying to re-buckle you pack(or you have to use a bunch of strap keepers to roll them all up)…takes a little time to get used to(coming from 4 total straps on the Eberlestock). But, I’ll take that any day over not being able to secure the load as well. A+++ for this pack! Absolutely love it and highly recommend it!

  61. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nick A (verified owner)

    Firstly, my hats off to Steve and the gang at Exo Mountain for their fantastic customer service. After placing my orginal order, I requested to change it twice on two separate occasions due to my own ignorance and preferences. Steve handled both changes personally with professionalism and expedience. Unfortunately my order arrived with the wrong size belt (one of my changes, I take blame for that) but the Exo team quickly mailed me the correct size and a return label for the other belt. Well done.

    Now on to the pack itself. In short, this thing just plain WORKS! I spent 6 days living out of this bag on an Elk scouting trip in late Aug. I had over 50lbs loaded up. During the trip I could not get over how comfortable the pack was. There were times I’d forget I was even wearing it.

    I could go on and on about the design, layout, incredible lightweight, etc. about this pack but I won’t. If you’ve gotten to this page and are reading this review, that means you’re in the market for a pack. Well stop here, you won’t find one better than this!

  62. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mark (verified owner)

    Love my Exo 3500. Lighter than the Mystery Ranch Metcalf and better layout. Quality is top notch

  63. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kevin (verified owner)

    I don’t normally leave reviews on gear….but this pack deserves some props. I lugged around an Eberlestock pack for the past few years. It worked OK, but wasn’t very comfortable to wear all day. I was constantly adjusting the straps all day, and my back always just kinda felt fatigued after hard hikes. I packed out some deer and elk with that Eberlestock pack. It wasn’t great at hauling meat; you really felt the weight of the load you were hauling. I decided to upgrade my pack this year, mostly with weight-savings in mind since I’m starting to do more multi-day backpack hunts. I did a lot of research and narrowed down my choices to Exo, Kuiu, and Kifaru packs. You probably would be happy with any of these packs, but I went with the Exo 3500 pack because of the novel titanium frame design, light weight, reasonable cost, and it seemed like a pack that could do it all. I also like the fact that this pack is made in the USA, and the company was started by a couple of regular dudes that love hunting and just wanted to create a better pack. I could feel an immediate difference during my first backpacking trip this summer. Despite packing the same gear that I always take, my load felt considerably lighter; this pack just carries the load far better than my Eberlestock pack. I didn’t get sore spots on my hips. The pack wasn’t always slipping down. I didn’t have to adjust the straps all day. Most notable, I didn’t have any fatigue or soreness in my back after packing in a full camp and fishing gear 10 miles into the backcountry. I knew after the first trip that I was into something good. Since then, I finished a successful Montana archery elk season. I absolutely abused this pack and it is still like new. I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice 5 point bull a couple weeks ago. I was alone, about 3 miles from the truck. I packed out that entire elk myself, with the head, and my spike camp in 4 trips. I’m not saying it was easy, but it was far more manageable with my Exo pack. With this pack, you don’t need to have a pack frame along. This pack does EVERYTHING, and it does EVERYTHING WELL. You can use it as a day pack. I can easily pack a 7 day backpacking hunt with the 3500. You can haul meat. If you are looking to upgrade your pack, stop researching, stop reading blogs, stop asking around. THIS IS THE PACK YOU WANT!!! Period! Couple specific things I would mention:

    1. You want the meat hauler/beavertail accessory. It is light, and can be left attached to the frame at all times. It sandwiches between the bag and the frame so you’re always ready to load up a pile of meat. It’s very helpful for loading and securing awkwardly heavy loads of meat.
    2. I have 1 of the Velcro pocket organizers, it’s pretty nice for the lid.
    3. I bought the pocket accessory for the waist belt, and really like it. Handy for calls, a quick snack, or whatever.
    4. You do NOT need the weapon carrier, at least not for archery. Your bow can be strapped on the back of the pack easily without that accessory, so save your money.
    5. The pack cleans up pretty easy…but I did have a little trouble getting the foam out of the lumbar pad. I had to get it out or it just wouldn’t dry. It was kind of hard to get it reinserted, and the 2 layers of foam did start to separate a bit…Not a big deal, just mentioning for completeness.
    6. Trust the sizing. I’m 6’0”, 180lbs, and generally wear a 32” waist. I was very hesitant to order the small size belt, but I’m glad I did. It fits perfect.
    7. I also bought the slurpy stalker with the optional shoulder straps. I like to have a spot to secure my water bladder in the pack, and it’s a really nice feature for when you decide to ditch the pack and make a move on a critter. Just take it out of the pack and now you’re ready to cover ground in stealth mode. There’s a little pocket that I keep a couple granola bars too.

    I will reiterate one last time. You can stop all the nauseating research. This is the pack you want. End of story. Props to the folks at Exo, you really nailed it.

  64. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gary Frost

    I love this pack. I purchased the 3500 in 2015 and have used it since. I have a Badlands 2200 that I used prior and just needed a larger pack for overnight hunts.
    I haven’t had opportunity to haul a heavy load as yet but the pack just rides nice on the hips and doesn’t have any un-necessary pockets and straps like a lot of the other packs on the market and it’s made right here in USA by an Idaho company that’s a ++ in my book. My only suggestions would be to make the accessory belt straps a little longer(barely long enough) and make the chest strap so that it can ride lower?

    Also I love the video and pod cast episodes that you have all done in regards to what’s in your pack etc. Very helpful!!

  65. Rated 4 out of 5

    Kyle (verified owner)

    The pack works quite well. Just returned from putting this pack through its first real test and I’m digging it. I was able to carry an entire quarter from the moose I harvested in Canada. It was a ton of weight to be hauling but the pack handled it well. All that weight rode on my hips and didn’t feel hardly anything on my shoulders. I think my knees or hips would of gave out before the pack. I purchased the meat sling with my pack to help with these heavy loads. Only thing I would comment about the meat sling would be to increase the width so it wraps the wide loads better. While hauling these heavy loads I really like how easy the bag detaches from the frame so I could just focus on hauling meat. While hunting I also really appreciated all the different straps for tightening the bag up. It’s awesome how small and snug you can make this pack when maneuvering the this bush. No slopping or sliding around on the back or loose material to catch on brush. Also for the belt sizing, I typically wear a size 34. I’m 5’11” and 185 lbs. I ordered a medium belt but had to exchange it for a small after testing it with a little weight and I’m glad I did. Otherwise I would have never been able to crank the belt tight enough for the heavy loads I carried here. I did notice my small belt doesn’t tighten as nice as the medium belt I had at first. For some reason I have to suck in to get it to tighten at buckle otherwise it just slides on the connecting plastic loops in the middle of the belt.

    The reason for the four stars is because of the material used for the large center outer pocket in the middle of the bag is very elastic like and developed a very small hole already. I haven’t put anything in this pocket yet, but I feel if you put something hard in there and it stretches the fabric and catches on something it might tear a bigger hole. That pocket will come in handy for pack in hunts I’m sure, it’s just what do you stuff it with to not jeopardize the longevity of that pocket?

  66. Rated 5 out of 5

    Darius (verified owner)

    I just got the K2-3500 a few weeks ago and finally got it in the field last weekend…opening day of General Elk season here in Idaho. I was fortunately enough to shoot a small raghorn bull about half an hour before dusk. I have been hunting the last several years with an Eberlestock Just One pack. The Eberlestock was a very versatile pack and I love the built-in scabbard. It was a great pack until you put any real weight in it…at which time half or more of the weight went straight to the shoulders. I packed out a dozen+ elk with it and I can tell you it simply was not designed well to carry big loads (no functional load lifters or real frame to speak of).

    Loading the Exo for the first time (in the dark and rain) took me a couple minutes to figure out, but in the end is quite easy. Once I got the pack on my back I was very pleasantly surprised as to how secure the load was and how it sat on my hips and not shoulders. Despite the fact that I was carrying a smidge over 100lbs, it felt much lighter and easier to manage. The load sat much higher and closer to my back than with my old Eberlestock. This made the overall comfort level much better, and the load didn’t shift nearly as much. The frame makes a huge difference.

    The only accessory I have is the weapon carrier. I’ve rigged it to hang from the hip belt and I attach the forearm to the shoulder strap in the front so it is effectively like the Kifaru Gun Bearer. That set-up works great and is a reasonably good substitute for the lack of a scabbard.

    The pack got very wet, muddy, and bloody that first day out. I have disassembled the pack and washed it last night. I’ll be putting it back together and taking it out deer hunting tomorrow. So far I’m very pleased. The pockets and pack features worked for me as advertised so there’s not much to elaborate on that front.

    Things I would change:
    1. Put a water bladder sleeve in the main compartment like the 2000
    2. Add accessory straps to have the weapon carrier function like the Kifaru Gun Bearer
    3. Use stiffer webbing on the area of the hip belt where you can hang pouches, holsters and the like.

    So far those are the only suggestions I have.

  67. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gregg

    I thought I would submit a review after using this pack for a while, and I’ve been using the first generation Exo 3500 since the Fall of 2014. Through three hunting seasons and many, many more training/hiking miles, I am very pleased! I like the comfort, load carrying ability, design and layout of the pockets, functionality of the straps, ability to compress down to a smaller daypack-type size, and generous size of the lid pouch for quicker access and organization of smaller items. Also, the Hipbelt pouches are very handy for storing frequently used items. Eventually I may pick up a 5500 bag to swap out on the existing frame for backpack trips more than five/six days. Overall very satisfied with the pack and the excellent customer service at Exo Mountain Gear.

  68. Rated 5 out of 5

    Matt Wilson (verified owner)

    Just got my 3500 and can tell right out the box this pack is amazing! The design and materials are top notch! The care that Steve and Lenny put into building a quality pack is evident. I’ve used tenzing, eberlestock, and badlands and this is by far a better pack. Can’t wait to load it down with Elk in September! Field testing it this week and so far A+ on all areas (comfort, design, quality, materials, ease of use)
    No negatives from me. Will update once I’ve put some more miles on it. Steve was super nice and offered great advice to my many questions leading up to pulling the trigger on the pack.
    Thanks guys!

  69. Rated 5 out of 5

    Brad Goecks

    Been using the 3500 for about 2 months now. Even though I’m a flatlander I know a good product when I see one. Material, craftsmanship, simplicity, and design are top notch. Having the titanium rods for the pack from is a big plus, there is no load shift to speak of. the strength and comfort of this pack is amazing, ( I wish this pack existed when I was in the Marines). First trip I through a tube a sand on the meat shelf(60lbs). the pack felt great, honestly felt like maybe 30-40 lbs. I was able to move around without a shift, or hitting the back of my head on the frame. Next the pack feels slim on your back. There’s nothing worse then a pack that feels too wide for you.

    I only have praise for this pack and the company. American made and top quality customer service( you talk to the owner) keep up the great work.

  70. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joseph Calhoun (verified owner)

    After 2 season’s I’m finally able to properly review my Exo 3500. I was fortunate enough to use my Exo to pack out an Eastern WA Cow Elk and let me tell you the pack worked awesome! The first load with the pack and meat shelf accessory was heavy at 82# on my scale but it wasn’t as bad of a burden as it would have been with a lesser pack. The 2nd and final load (my dad was with me and we got her out in 2 trips) was a breeze after dumping the bag at the truck and swapping it out for the beaver tail attachment. What a great pack. Buy one, you won’t be disappointed.

  71. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kris Thomassian

    I’ve hiked many miles on the PCT with my so called hiking “backpack”. Even though there is weight, the carrying of elk is very different. When I put a quarter of bone in Elk on the EXO pack, the pack hugged my spine like no other back pack I have ever experienced. In fact, it was as if my spine and backpack we’re all connected together working as one unit, reducing the risk of major injury. I can’t emphasize the importance of reducing injury. In fact, I had to leave elk camp early and I left my pack for one of my buddies just so that if they did get an elk, the pack out would be smooth without injury. They too were glad that I left the pack.
    I walked 3 miles with about 75lbs with no issues what so ever in nasty terrain. Great job EXO. Great product. I will buy your new k2 series soon!

  72. Rated 5 out of 5

    Nathan Benner (verified owner)

    Great pack! Excellent customer service… Finally settled on the exo 3500 after using a couple other brands of packs the last two seasons and never being happy with them. Im extremely picky with pack due to some past hip and lower back injuries, and was able to pull off a 6 mile 5.5 hour pack out (1/2 of camp, 2 Muley quarters, backstraps, cape and rack) in total comfort. Thank you to exo for a quality product! Would gladly purchase again and will be in the market for the 5500 for next elk season.

  73. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tim Semadeni (verified owner)

    I was reluctant to purchase another pack. I already have a mystery ranch metcalf and a Kuiu 7200, both of which I love for different reasons and uses. I was skeptical when I stopped by the exo booth when they were in Salt Lake City this past Feb. I finally drew a limited entry bull tag (22 years to draw it) and at the last few weeks before the hunt decided to try the exo pack, after all I could always return it. I was excited to put the weight in this pack when it finally arrived. I loaded 80 lbs into each of my packs for comparison. The kuiu was the least comfortable, it seems to top out at 50 lbs for comfort, the mystery ranch was really good, the exo was awesome! I couldn’t believe the difference. I walked 1-1.5 miles around my neighborhood for a week trying the exo with the load carrier. It was plan awesome! the belt and lumbar pad were so comfortable. I never got a sore back. I decided to keep the exo pack. Used it on my elk hunt. Great for carrying a tripod and bugle. The floating top was really nice. I LOVE the one handed side pouches, they actually work one handed and that was so nice. I missed some of the compartments and the organizational abilities that the kuiu pack. I was grateful for the light weight compared to the mystery ranch. When it came time to haul out my elk, I was amazed at how nice it was to load and carry. I actually packed out the meat while riding on a motorcycle on a very rough trail. Carrying a front shoulder and the head of a 351 bull was not easy but the pack allowed me to compress things close to my back, the load carrier allowed it to be positioned off my butt and made the whole ordeal as good as it could be. I definitely would recommend the load carrier as an accessory for this pack. Long story shortened, I was reluctant to fork out the $600 for 2 years BUT now that I have the pack and have used it, it was worth every penny! It is the most comfortable hunting pack I have ever used! I am glad I listened to Steve and got the 3500, it was way big and the 5500 bag would have been too big for the every day needs. The customer service was excellent. Wish I could attach a photo!

  74. Rated 5 out of 5

    Brandon Johnson (verified owner)

    After being unsure of which pack to purchase and being shy of the price of this pack I called Steve to talk it over with him. He is pleasant, and explained all the reasons their pack costs what it costs and why it’s a good value. In the end I decided to take his word for it and I have been very pleased. Now to the unfortunate/fortunate part of my story…..I purchased the 3500 last spring and due to some supply chain issues Steve and his team had to overnight it to me in order for me to use it on our family backpacking adventure. I was surprised and happy they were able to go above and beyond to make sure I had a pack, the one I wanted, to go on our trip. It worked awesome and I was very pleased with everything. Fast forward to my first “REAL” trip with the pack, Elk hunting (rifle) with my Dad for a week in CO. I trained all summer. The load sling with weights in it 2 – 3 mornings per week up my driveway 50 times ending the week before we left with 90 pounds…..all awesome. On our way out we stayed overnight in Brighton, CO at a hotel right next to I-76 and a hospital. At 2:15 a.m. in the morning some evil intentioned individual busted the window of my new pick up truck, stole our 4 guns, and all our gear (including my AWESOME EXO pack). We were able to replace the necessary things, get the window fixed and continue on with our hunt…….MINUS the pack. When I told Steve about the issue after returning he was way more than fair and helped me add the pack back to my necessary gear. I’m supposed to receive my new pack (the same as what I had….maybe a little less sweat on it) on Monday and I can’t wait. Even though the season is over I may just put weights in the sling anyway just because! I did end up shooting my very first (4th time is a charm) public land unguided bull elk so I was happy I did at least purchase a large store frame pack. It worked so I shouldn’t complain. I just had envisioned punishing the EXO! There’s time for that in the future I guess. THANKS STEVE AND TEAM EXO! Seriously 73 FIVE STAR reviews! – when have you seen that before?! There’s a reason for it! The pack is awesome and it’s matched by the service!

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Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 18 x 4 x 4 in
Color

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Belt Size

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