View Full Version : Blacks Creek and Eberlestock J34

04-17-2012, 10:41 PM
So I'm in the market for a new pack for this coming deer season to replace my blacks creek Jim Horn Signature Alaskan pack. Overall I have not been impressed with the way the Blacks Creek distrubited the load when I have a whole quartered up black tail deer in it. For those that may not be familiry with the older Alaskan, when you unzipped the main bag the entire pack expanded outwards or directly back which made you feel very top heavy and ready to go over backwards when loaded down. Now I was looking at the J34 pack and after unzipping the main bag it seems like the bag would expand more to the sides as opposed to directly back like the blacks creek. Does anyone have any experience with both of these packs or can comment on how the J34 carries weight? I still have my old frame pack that does well but it is a pain to carry while on a spot and stalk type hunt.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-17-2012, 11:12 PM
I have the J34's predecessor, the J104, and it did pretty well. The only problem was the load lifters weren't functional.

If you liked the Alaskan, you might want to check out Tenzing Packs.


04-17-2012, 11:31 PM
I liked the Alaskan as a day pack but the minute I loaded it up with a whole deer it was very uncomfortable and very top heavy.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-18-2012, 06:23 AM
The Eberle Just One packs (like the J34) have the same problems. They are awesome packs with a lot of great features. They are built tremendously well and can take serious abuse. They will carry whatever you can strap to them. However, with a full load of meat, the pack sags back, and the load lifters can't do their job, so your shoulders and lower back get to hurting pretty good.

The Tenzing packs are supposed to be like the Blacks Creek packs, with the meat compartment opening in a similar way, only the frame and suspension designed to maintain functional load lifters.

I still use my eberle as a daypack/horseback pack, and like that I can expand it to take a load of meat with me from the kill site, but for big loads and backpacking trips, the Kuiu Icon 6000 will be accompanying me.

04-18-2012, 07:41 AM
I have been real happy with my Mystery Ranch Crew Cab! It hauls great with a lot of weight!!

Jon Boy
04-18-2012, 02:16 PM
Bitterroot, what do you think about those tenzing packs? I know hanes is running them now and he likes them but havent heard much else. They are in the same price category as the BL 4500 and eberlestock, has me wondering.

04-22-2012, 10:53 AM
The Tenzing packs aren't even available to general public til May! Atleast thats what this pack shop told me. Really want to try one out!!!

Bitterroot Bulls
04-22-2012, 03:49 PM
Jon Boy,

Griz has it. I haven't seen one in person, but they look really good. I had a BC Canadian that I liked, other than the load lifters. The buzz on these is really good, but the specs show they are kind of heavy.

They look like they may be the ticket for those that don't want to shell out $600+ for a Kuiu, Kifaru, or Mystery Ranch.

04-22-2012, 09:38 PM
I really like my J34 and have packed up to 70lbs in it. I'd agree with Bitterroot's review though, I'd take the first load out in the Eberlestock and go back in with only my Alaskan guide frame and a little pack of food/water/emergency gear. I love that I can use my eberlestock for everything though, it truly lives up to it's name. It is much faster to get a rifle into action from than most designs. The Kifaru gun-bearer may be quicker but looks to me like it would be less convenient traveling. I've never tried one. If you are hunting in bear country or have multiple tags you may want a scabbard feature when packing meat also.