A Review Of The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Hunting Backpack

There are backpacks and then there are backpacks. There's the backpack your kid takes to school and the day pack your Aunt Ruth takes on a two-hour “hike” to hold all her snacks. There are those little packs that hold bladders for water but nothing else. And then there's the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850.

The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is the bag to hold everything you need for trips that last for days and handle everything you and mother nature can throw at it along the way. This bag doesn't come in Precious Pink or Unity Blue. It comes in camouflage, another style of camouflage, and maybe in slate grey if they get that color back in. If you need a pack that can handle days on the trail as well as you can, then the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 should be on your list.

What Is the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Bag?

The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is a leader in the industry when it comes to day packs and is part of the Icon Pro and Ultra pack systems. You can add a frame and suspension systems from either line or use it without a frame. There are endless opportunities to add additional gear even between the frame and bag.


The Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 can be used in four different configurations and offers plenty of pockets inside and out. It's pretty safe to say that this bag can hold as much as you're capable of carrying, yet it doesn't significantly add to your weight burden. The bag itself weighs just a feather over 23 ounces, and even when fully kitted out with everything you can add to it it's just under four pounds, four ounces.

Product Specs 

Capacity

Will the pack you're considering hold everything you need? There's a really good chance the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 can. The bag itself has 1,850 cubic inches of capacity. The amazing part, really, is that the load sling capacity gives you room for another 2,500 cubic meters: perfect if you're packing out some meat after a successful hunt.


You also won't have an issue keeping things separated from each other as you carry them around. There are two pockets on the sides for stuffing things in, four pockets inside, two zippered outer pockets, a large mesh hydration pocket, and two outer mesh pockets that zipper shut.

Durability

It doesn't matter how much a bag can hold if it doesn't hold up itself. This one has been load tested to over 150 pounds, and all the fabric has been DWR coated so you get very good water resistance.


On top of all that, the fabric is 500D Cordura ripstop. Sounds impressive, right? Let's get to what that actually means.


Fabric Strength

Any fabric is only as strong as how well it's woven or spun together, and that weave will depend on how thick the material is that you're weaving together. When it comes to nylon, which the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 is made from, Cordura is the most trusted brand.


However, strength isn't all there is to it. If it was, everything would be made of the same weave, really. The tighter you weave your nylon, the heavier it gets. The tightest possible weaves are found in ballistic armor, which is so strong it can stop some bullets and knives. But ballistic material is very heavy (just ask any policeman).


Best Pack Material

A hunting pack needs a lot of resistance to punctures and tears, but it also has to be light enough to carry around all day. 500D Cordura offers a great compromise between 1000D, which is stronger but heavier, and lesser weaves that won't hold up to much abuse.

Carry Quality

What's it like to carry this around? The best word we can think of to describe it is “comfortable.” You're getting four removable straps for changing things up either internally or externally, and the hook and loop retainers on the ends of all webbing make it easy to hang things out of the way of your torso or legs.


The compression straps evenly distribute the load, the shoulder straps have velcro so they couldn't be easier to adjust, and the padded waist belt makes it easy to get comfortable with the weight just the way you want it. This bag doesn't ride up or down your torso as you walk, either.

Usefulness

We do love how well this pack is designed. The configuration of the pockets could be the best thing about it. Not only do you have the pockets it comes with, but you can add as many pockets or pouches as you can handle to the hip belt and in any size.


There's a spot ready made to hold your bladder and direct the hose to your face for easy access to water, a great vertical pouch perfect for any long items like a scope, and bottle holders that would also hold a rifle conveniently. It would be safe to say that there really is no shape you can't find a convenient place for on this pack, and it's also safe to say that your legs are liable to give out before the capacity of this bag.

Pricing 

All the bags we looked at are made do some seriously hard work, and prices tend to reflect the quality and reliability that makes that possible. The most expensive of the bags we looked at are 300 to 400 dollars depending on where you get it and how fully kitted out the pack is with accessories and frame.


The cheapest we looked at can be had for around 130 dollars. More expensive bags are made for longer trips with meat packed out at the end and are usually more durable for the long haul.

How It Compares 

We wanted to see how the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 held up to some competition, so we compared it with three other popular hunting packs out there.


  • ALPS OutdoorZ Commander +
  • Badlands Diablo Dos Approach Hunting Pack
  • Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler

Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 Bag

BLACKHAWK! Ultra Light 3-Day Assault Pack - Multi Cam
  • Constructed with lightweight 210/330 denier and 210 denier high tenacity rip Stop Nylon
  • Easy access main compartment with front pocket and map pocket
  • S.Make thisr.I.K.Fitted webbing over entire pack
  • Four exterior compression straps
  • Padded shoulder straps with D-rings

Ease of Use

We really can't get enough of how easy this is to use. For something so substantial, and with so many features, you would think it would be as complicated as launching a missile just to get ready for a week in the woods. About the only complaint we have is that the strap for holding the cam of your bow didn't work right with certain models.

Design Quality

No complaints here. The design sits on your back and hips just the way it should. This thing is so sturdy that after the apocalypse gets you, that crazy neighbor who was expecting it all along will come by to steal your Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 so he can move on in search of survivors.

Warranty

Kuiu is pretty confident in their product. They offer a limited lifetime warranty on your pack for anything that isn't caused by normal wear and tear or misuse. The warranty can't be transferred from the original owner, though.

Pros

  • Can carry a lot of weight
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Easy to adjust as circumstances change

Cons

  • When loaded, height makes it hard to move through low trees
  • Can't hold certain shapes of bows

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander +

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander + Pack Bag, Briar
  • Made of durable nylon rip stop fabric, giving you a long lasting Use in the Harshest weather environments
  • Organize your gear in one of the many pockets: two side accessory hinged pockets, Main, front and spotting scope pocket
  • Keep your essentials close with accommodation for clip-style holster, drop-down rifle pocket and hydration pocket and port
  • Detach your bag and use The frame to haul out meat with a unique, Secure lashing System
  • Total weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz. , bag weight: 2 lbs. 3 oz. , size: 5250³

This is another serious pack for the serious hunter or backpacker. It has almost more compartments than you can count with special places for your spotting scope and rifle. It's lightweight at just about two pounds without the frame.


The bag itself has 5,250 cubic inches of space, which is, frankly, astounding. And while it doesn't transfer weight quite well as the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850, it makes up for this with extraordinarily comfortable padding on the shoulder, waist, and back.


Detach the backpack and use the frame alone and you have the perfect way to carry meat from one place to another. The frame includes webbing loops to help you do this, and the frame is highly adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.

Ease of Use

We really can't get enough of how easy this is to use. For something so substantial, and with so many features, you would think it would be as complicated as launching a missile just to get ready for a week in the woods. About the only complaint we have is that the strap for holding the cam of your bow didn't work right with certain models.

Design Quality

No complaints here. The design sits on your back and hips just the way it should. This thing is so sturdy that after the apocalypse gets you, that crazy neighbor who was expecting it all along will come by to steal your Kuiu Icon Pro 1850 so he can move on in search of survivors.

Warranty

Kuiu is pretty confident in their product. They offer a limited lifetime warranty on your pack for anything that isn't caused by normal wear and tear or misuse. The warranty can't be transferred from the original owner, though.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Organization is good
  • Durable quality
  • Carries meat easily

Cons

  • No suspension makes large loads uncomfortable
  • Too noisy to work well for stealth
  • No water bottle pocket

Badlands Diablo Dos Approach Hunting Pack

Badlands Diablo Dos Camouflage Hunting Pack - Bow and Rifle Compatible, Approach FX
  • ULTRALIGHT STRENGTH - At just 4 lbs 4 oz, the Diablo Dos has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any hunting pack; With lots of cargo room, plus fabric that resists moisture, dirt, and blood, we won't blame you if you never use any other backpack
  • CARRY COMPATIBLE - When you're on the move and you need free hands, the Diablo Dos has you covered; It comes with an integrated rifle boot, which also fits many bows, and 3 back compression straps to give you lots of options for gear attachment; Specifically designed bow boot, sold separately, can be easily attached in place of the stock rifle boot; Compatible with 3-liter hydration systems
  • HYPERVENT SUSPENSION - With back suspension that allows cool air to pass freely between you and your pack and a load-transferring internal frame, the Diablo Dos eliminates shoulder fatigue and overheating so you can hike to hell and back
  • WATERPROOF & RUGGED - KXO-32 fabric that is the strongest, quietest, most waterproof material in the hunting world; Armatid bartacking reinforces all high-stress points, making this pack virtually indestructible
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Any damage, Badlands will replace it for free, forever; Weighs 4 lb 4 oz (1.9 kg) and measures 23 x 13 x 12 inches; Main compartment has a volume of 1700 cubic inches (27.9 L); Total volume is 2100 cubic inches (34.4 L); 7 pockets

This internal frame backpack is meant to take all the abuse you can possibly throw at it. In fact, the manufacturers encourage it. The pack is made of a proprietary fabric that is quiet, waterproof, and strong. That combined with the camouflage makes it possible to be very stealthy while wearing this pack.


The hyper vent suspension system is made to allow lots of air to flow between your back and the bag, keeping you cool for the long haul. The straps come with load lifters that make it easy to haul a lot, and the waist belt gives you access to all your immediate necessities.


The pack can accommodate either a bow or a rifle. Inside you'll find 2,100 cubic inches of storage space, a pocket for a 3 L hydration bladder, and seven pockets total. The bag is a bit heavy at just over four pounds, but it's made for hard work in hot weather.

Ease of Use

This bag is really easy to use and, in some ways, we liked it better than any of the others. The size and pocket number limits make it harder to lose your stuff. Though they do limit how much you can organize. How you like it will depend on your preferences.

Design Quality

Wow, is this bag a nice design. You can carry seriously heavy loads comfortably, it's genuinely waterproof (not just resistant), and once you hold it in your hand you wonder if even a tank shell would be capable of destroying it. Our only complaint is that you won't be hauling out a lot of meat with this.

Warranty

Badlands' warranty is the best in the business. No matter what's wrong with your bag, even if you did it, they'll fix it for free. You don't have to have the original receipt, either, as the warranty transfers to anyone who owns the bag.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Excellent warranty
  • Tough and durable
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger game packing
  • A full water bladder only just fits the pocket

Badlands 2200 Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler

Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Backpack - Meat Hauler - Rifle, Bow, and Pistol Compatible and Hydration Compatible
  • FULLY LOADED - The 2200 covers all the bases with a built-in meat shelf, internal scope and tripod pockets, and a zippered rear entry panel for quick access to your gear; DWR-treated, waterproof fabric offers scent suppression and resists moisture, dirt, and blood
  • COMFORTABLE CARRY - ThermoMold Suspension utilizes molded foam so ergonomically advanced that it virtually matches every contour of the human form; T-6 Aircraft Aluminum internal frame and load lifter straps transfer weight to your hips to reduce fatigue
  • APPROACH CAMO - Tested across the globe in varying terrains, Approach camo has a neutral color palette, meticulous patterning, and multi-layered design that's proven to confuse the eye; Hunters are rendered virtually invisible in varying surroundings and light conditions
  • RIFLE & PISTOL COMPATIBLE - 2200 features an integrated rifle boot and built-in hipbelt pistol holders; Compression straps give you loads of options for gear attachment; Compatible with 2-liter hydration systems and the Badlands Bow Boot (sold separately) to attach in place of rifle boot
  • UNCONDITIONAL LIFETIME WARRANTY - Our packs are built to withstand the toughest conditions hunters might endure; If your pack ever gets damaged, Badlands will fix it for free, forever, no matter who's at fault; Contact Badlands for more details; Weight: 5 lb 15 oz; Dimensions: 19 x 17 x 9 inches; Main compartment volume: 1980 CI (32.4 L); Total volume: 2250 CI (36.9 L); 8 pockets

This is a pricier pack that's much the same as the one we just reviewed, only larger. This one also has scent suppressing fabric, integrated rifle boot and hip belt pistol holders, a rear entry access point, and a built-in meat shelf. It's meant to carry more, but it doesn't have the hypervent system of its lighter sibling.


It can handle all kinds of useful attachments; but these are all extra, including the 2-liter hydration attachment, the Bow Boot, and many others.

Ease of Use

This is really just a strap and go. The only complication comes if you get a lot of attachments.

Design Quality

You can't ask for anything tougher than this pack, and that's saying a lot. The main downside to it is the lack of pockets. That won't bother everyone, but for some, it'll be an annoyance. Also, the taller you are the better this pack fits. If you're under six feet, you might not find it as comfortable.

Warranty

Badlands' is best. This has the same warranty as the pack we previously reviewed: for life, no questions asked, and endlessly transferrable.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Plenty of room to pack out meat
  • Good size for trips
  • Very comfortable to carry

Cons

  • May not fit shorter people
  • Could have more pockets

Conclusion

man wearing a hunting bag

Image via Unsplash

We love all the bags we looked at and wouldn't mind having any one of them. As for the Kuiu Icon Pro 1850; having worked with it, looked at all the details, and compared it to other packs in the line, we have to give it 4 out of 5 stars. This is a great bag that will serve you well, and one you'll be proud to call your own.

Featured Image by Daniel Balaure via Unsplash.com