Comfort, fit, and function are some of the critical aspects hunters and outdoorsmen alike look for when chasing down a new piece of gear to assist them in the field. Innovative designs and material changes throughout the years have contributed to several product manufactures claiming to have the “next best product” or “the last upgrade you’ll ever need”. I have found it here with the Marsupial Gear Chest Pack.
Growing up, I hunted on small properties with dense, wooded areas. I keep my binoculars stowed in the bottom of my pack because I generally didn’t need them. I quickly discovered the cheap, thin shoulder straps and harnesses that typically came with a new pair compromised my use of them. Constantly readjusting the straps as they shifted on my shoulders became a frustrating burden in addition to the noise they made as I walked through the woods.
A recently renewed passion for bowhunting started me on a hunt to replace and upgrade most of my current kit. As I began practicing at our local 3D archery range, I found myself observing the various binocular chest packs fellow shooters were wearing. It didn’t take me long to start asking questions. Carrying binos, extra field tips for arrows, extra releases and a range finder seemed to be the standard among the varying configurations I saw.
Armed with some recommendations from fellow outdoorsmen, I began my search. I came upon Marsupial Gear and was impressed with their story. This small business got their start in 2015 with a goal to design high quality outdoor gear, solve problems, and build durable products. Since then, Marsupial Gear has launched themselves into being a staple in the industry and archery community. Marsupial offers standard base colors but will occasionally offer small batches with unique color and camo patterns. I made the choice to go with the limited edition Kryptek Altitude pattern because it better suited my camo. Marketing for the limited edition led me to believe the packs and accessory pouches were sold as a complete bundle. Frustration turned to relief as Marsupial Gear explained the mistake in a prompt response to my email, acknowledged the error, and shipped out the additional accessory pouch.
Out of the box, this pack was exactly what I was hoping for. I was very pleased to see the pattern blended well with my hunting wardrobe, particularly my spring turkey gear. The construction quality of this pack impressed me right away, especially with its lightweight design at just 14.5oz. As I began exploring the different side pockets and accessory pouches, I could tell this was built to last. Equipment can endure a beating during the varying conditions in any season. Marsupial offers an unconditional lifetime warranty which sweetens the deal by replacing any of their products no matter the defect.
Mounting the included rangefinder pouch and accessory pouch was very simple. When properly attached, they didn’t move or make any noise when the material rubbed against my clothing and other gear. This is of special importance in the woods. A standout feature on both the binocular pack and rangefinder pouch was magnetic-sealing, forward-opening covers that provide quick and silent access to your favorite tools. The ability to have my binoculars and rangefinder close at hand and not buried under extra gear or shoved into a noisy zippered pocket proved very useful on my first few hunts this spring. Of the few versions of the pack available, I am happy to have chosen the fully enclosed pack. It offers greater protection from the elements such as the spring rain. The extra zippered accessory pouch has proved a perfect fit for extra mouth calls and chalk to freshen up a box call when chasing birds. The medium-sized main body will fit the majority of 12×50 binoculars on the market. Two adjustable leads connect the harness chest straps and binos while holding them securely in place. These straps made me feel much more secure compared to my old set up. I was no longer worried that my binoculars would fall to the ground or make noise when I put them down in a hurry to make that perfect shot. This pack offers multiple adjustable straps that go over the shoulders and around the mid-section, connecting at the base of the pack to build a secure fit.
At first, I was slightly concerned the pack would get in the way of drawing my bow, especially in the various positions I use in in the woods and on a 3D course. The tight and compact design kept the pack close to my chest and angled perfectly to not interfere with my draw. While I am still looking forward to taking this pack out west one day, it has proved a perfect tool in both the turkey woods and in 3D archery here in New York. Some of the smaller targets are often tough to locate — tucked away in brush and bramble. Having a pair of binoculars and a rangefinder close at hand allows the shooter to locate the target’s scoring rings and accurately gauge distance without having to set down their bow and dig through a bulky backpack. The included rangefinder pack has a small loop to attach a tether to your rangefinder of choice with plenty of room left to hook on an arrow puller for fresh stiff 3D targets. A small, zippered pocket on the back side provides a safe, dry spot for 3D scorecards or a cell phone. The tight side pockets were perfectly sized for an extra pen and Allen wrench set. After losing a field tip inside a 3D target, I began keeping an extra set of tips and a spare release in the accessory pouch. I very quickly filled this pack with everything I needed in the woods and at the range.
After testing Marsupial’s pack for several months now, I can honestly say it will be a part of my hunting kit for years to come. Ultimately, I’d like to begin competing in larger 3D archery events with a more challenging terrain. I always pay extra attention to small businesses and was happy to support a 100% American-made product from a small business growing in the outdoor industry and 3D archery arena. While limited runs can be priced differently with differing configurations, the medium-sized fully enclosed chest harness has a $130 MSRP with accessory pouches sold separately for $36 MSRP. Keep an eye out on their social media and website for frequent special offers for an even better price.
Kryptek Fully Enclosed Binocular Harness