Slumberjack Carbine 2500
by Glen Stilson
I am always on the hunt for the perfect pack: something that is small enough to carry all day over varied terrain, but large enough to pack all of my gear. It also needs to be lightweight and fully adjustable so that it’s comfortable, but durable enough to take a beating in nasty conditions. From military rucks to day packs to long term expedition packs, I have carried, used, and abused just about everything out there. Recently I had the chance to get my hands on an SJK Carbine 2500, and the day after it arrived at my door, it was loaded with a full day’s worth of gear, supplies, and my rifle, headed for the hills and canyons of northern Arizona.
My first impressions of the Carbine 2500 were that the pockets are very well thought out, especially in regards to hunting gear. Putting a spotting scope or a bipod in the side pockets are a snap since they were specifically designed for that type of equipment. The top flap for the main storage area opens opposite of how most packs open, which means that when a rifle, bow, or other gear is attached, it will not prohibit you from accessing the main compartment. There is also a pocket with cartridge loops, which is conveniently located next to the rifle rest built-in to the pack.
It’s hydration compatible, which is a standard feature in most packs these days but the Carbine 2500 does a good job of giving you a large port to pass the hose through, as well as providing straps on the shoulders to hold the hose in place. And speaking of straps, SJK provides straps that are long enough to allow for a full range of adjustment regardless of your body size or how much gear you may need to strap on, including being able to strap on pelts or even an antlered head following a successful hunt.
The more tactical crowd will really appreciate the PALS webbing on the pack, as well as a built in holster strap on the kidney pads, and the Kryptek pattern is not only the latest and greatest in the camo world, but it is also very effective in most hunting and hiking areas. Being able to carry my rifle (or bow) so that I can keep my hands free for hiking or even carrying or dragging something really helps. It helped me specifically when I used this pack to do some predator hunting and had to pack four gray foxes over a mile back to my truck.
While there are a few things I might change about the pack based on my personal experiences and needs, isn’t that always the case? All in all, this is a perfectly sized pack for a day or two of hunting, and I’m looking forward to getting it out into the field with me again soon. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and built for those hunters that like to get off of the beaten path.
Check out the full stats as well as the manufacturer’s video here: http://www.slumberjack.com/p-633-carbine-2500.aspx.