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Welcome to The Gear List, a semi-regular series where we spotlight the best discounts and deals on tactical gear, outdoor equipment, and everything in between.
The quality of your pack can make or break you in the field. A pack that’s too light will fall apart in the face of sharp branches, heavy rain, and full loads. One that’s too heavy will have your back and knees tapping out a few miles in. There are plenty of high-end packs that are light and strong, but they cost an arm and a leg. Luckily, you can get some of the best packs out there for a reasonable price during Eberlestock’s July 4th sale.
Eberlestock is regarded as one of the best in the business and has earned the confidence of service members and backcountry hunters alike. We took the liberty of combing through the company’s discounted products for you. Some discounts are bigger than others, but they’re all tempting. Whether you’re looking for a high-speed, low-drag day pack, something bigger for long trips into the bush to find out what the hell “recce” means, or an accessory to make your existing pack work better, there’s something here for you.
This sale lasts longer than Independence Day, but it won’t be here forever. At press time, there are seven days remaining and we have to assume that products are selling fast at these prices. Jump on the sale now before all the big prizes and patriotic swag giveaways are gone.
These prices were valid at press time, but prices can change and deals do expire.
Price: was $249, now $125
Think of the Eberlestock Renegade as an assault pack — except, unlike the one you were issued, it doesn’t suck. The features that make this a great pack for single-day hunts are equally useful in more tactical applications. Get quick access to things like binoculars and a canteen you sneakily filled with Red Bull using elastic side pockets. Add MOLLE pouches to the pack’s exterior and hip belts for extra storage and organization. Strap extra gear underneath the pack to keep the center of gravity close to your body. The pack has an overall capacity of 29 liters and weighs 4.4 pounds. All of this is wrapped in versatile Mossy Oak Contour camouflage.
What makes the Renegade a vast improvement over other day packs is the construction you don’t see, but will definitely feel. Inside, a tubular aluminum frame supports the pack’s weight to create a stable package that puts less strain on your back. The suspension system distributes weight across your his and shoulders while maintaining airflow between your back and the main pack. This kind of design is common in premium expedition-sized packs but rarely makes it into smaller day packs and assault packs.
At full price, the advanced Renegade is worth the price of entry. At half-off, it’s got to be one of the best buys out there right now. It would be nice to have more of a selection in terms of camouflage patterns and colors, but Mossy Oak Contour is versatile enough that you can probably make it work — especially with this kind of discount.
Price: was $599, now $449
Want one pack to rule them all? The Eberlestock Skycrane II can be everything you need. This workhorse brings together several components into one package so you can strip down to nothing but a fanny pack or lug the whole enchilada into the furthest corners of the map. This modular setup includes Eberlestock’s J79 main pack, G1 Little Brother, and LP1 MultiLid using the Cam Expansion System. Choose from a range of colors and camouflage patterns to suit your mission or home environment.
Fully assembled, the Skycrane II offers 73 liters of storage and weighs 11.8 pounds. The premium suspension system makes that kind of load manageable, but you can also scale it down into individual components as your mission dictates. We’ve used plenty of military rucks and civilian packs of this size. Some, like the ones forced on you by the military, are unnecessarily heavy and uncomfortable. Others, like the Kuiu Pro 6000 we tested, can’t be scaled down once you establish a basecamp and want to break out on shorter trips. What makes the Skycrane II special is its ability to do everything exceptionally well.
Right now, you can save $150 on an Eberlestock Skycrane II of your own. Match it to your issued gear in Multicam or coyote brown, or build a bug-out bag with whichever color you want. It’s still a serious investment at $450, but you’ll basically be prepared for anything and you can’t put a price on that.
Price: was $35, now $30
Maybe you aren’t able to replace your issued pack; maybe you’ve already found a personal pack you love. But if you can’t keep those packs dry, you’ve got trouble coming if you can’t keep them dry. Rain can destroy your gear and make it impossible to stay warm, even in otherwise mild temperatures. Water is also heavy and you’d be shocked by how quickly pounds add up when your pack is exposed to prolonged rain.
A simple rain cover can make all the difference, and this one from Eberlestock is a quality option. The Featherweight Rain Cover is light, durable, and available in two sizes and three colors. There’s even a winter camouflage pattern available to turn your existing pack into a cold-weather setup without investing in new gear. The savings are small because this is fairly inexpensive, to begin with, but we’ll take what we can get.