As a hunter I cover a lot of ground every year. From the mountains of eastern Oregon in pursuit of a bull elk, to the plains and timbered draws of Oklahoma searching for an elusive white-tailed deer, I’m always on the move. I’ve even scaled rocky peaks and the rainy hillsides of south-central and southeast Alaska hunting bears and Sitka blacktail deer. Over the years I’ve carried the same pack. Not because it was a top of the line pack, but rather because it was bought for me by my father when I was 15. After 17 years carrying this pack, I guess you could say I outgrew it and it was time to pass it on.
In 2016, I started my search. I was quickly overwhelmed by the prices of most packs. I ended up settling on one from a large outdoor manufacturer and loaded it up for my November elk hunt in eastern Oregon. Before darkness fell on the first day I was ready to toss it. Completely unhappy, I decided I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. This spring would be my time to find the right pack for the job, leaving me to focus on my hunt. When the chance came to test the 3V Gear Paratus 3 Day Operator's Pack, I jumped. This resembled the one I trusted while in the military for 8 years, and why I never thought to look at a pack like this for hunting I will never know.
The first outing with the pack was a simple shed hunting hike, followed by some shooting at a favorite spot. After some quick adjustments, I was happy with its fit, and loaded it down. The molded EVA foam back helped with comfort and staying cool. Temperatures approached 85 degrees so being compatible with a hydration pack was a detail that I’m glad was not overlooked. Another feature I enjoyed was the mil-spec MOLLE. As a prior service member I have lots of different pouches, so compatibility with these increased my ability to further customize the pack to meet my own needs. I was able to load up all the gear I needed for my range time and my hike with plenty of room to spare, thanks to the over 2,400 cubic inches of capacity.
An option not found on many of these types of packs is the rapid deployment pack. I was skeptical at first because I have seen this type of option appear flimsy and unable to carry anything of much weight. This pack however, exceeded my expectations in this area. I loaded it up with 400 rounds of .223, and other small shooting accessories with no problem. The straps allowed extra equipment to be secured to the outside. It maintained its integrity and stayed tight to the main pack. It was equally easy to separate when the time came.
Now, after multiple trips with my 3V Gear Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack I have to say I am pleased with its ability to serve in a multitude of rolls. I’ve taken it on hunts, hikes, and even as my flight bag while working on my commercial pilot’s license. I will say at this price point it will be hard to find a pack that allows a user as much freedom to customize and serve in a variety of roles. Look for me in November with a hind quarter strapped to it coming up the mountain!
About: Ross has a passion to share with others his stories and love for all things outdoors. He is a former wildland firefighter and member of the US Coast Guard, and has spent the last 15 years finding ways to hunt, fish, and serve in some of the most extreme places in the country. He is also a published author, having been featured in publications like Oregon Hunter Magazine. In 2016 Ross, along with his brother-in-law, Rowdy, launched 2RC Outdoors as a way to continue spreading their love of the outdoors through the written word.