Home » Shooting » Stone Glacier Approach 2800 Hunting Day Pack Review

Stone Glacier Approach 2800 Hunting Day Pack Review

At the tail end of 2023 I decided to shop around for a new backpack for field match use, specifically NRL Hunter matches. I already owned the Eberlestock G2 Gunslinger II, however, I realized how heavy this pack is empty. The Eberlestock G2 Gunslinger II (prior generation with a hard frame) weighs dry and is quite heavy before even adding a gear load.

Eberlestock Gunslinger G2 with external frame

Thus, my search for a backpack began and I honed in on backpacks designed for hunting use.

Stone Glacier is a relatively small company that started out making hunting backpacks and has become a recognized brand in the hunting community for high quality products including tents and clothing. So even though I am not a hunter, the packs made by Stone Glacier are designed in such a manner (lightweight and load bearing) that make them attractive for field match use (e.g., NRL Hunter).

While I was looking at their product line, the Approach 2800 caught my eye and I ended up acquiring one direct from Stone Glacier.

Specifications per Stone Glacier product page:

  • 1 lb. 5 oz. (bag only)
  • 4 lbs. 1.3 oz. on Krux Frame w/ medium belt
  • 4 lbs. 5.3 oz. on Xcurve Frame w/ medium belt
  • 2,800 cubic inches
  • 2,500+ cubic inch expandable load-shelf
  • Spotting scope pocket fits up to 115mm objective
  • Tripod attachment system
  • Full-panel zip
  • Two internal organizational pockets, 200 cubic inches each
  • Open side pocket, left side
  • Tripod foot pocket
  • 150+ pound load rating
  • Cordura 500® and Xpac® fabric
  • Heavy-duty YKK® #10 zipper
  • Heavy-duty, 1” Duraflex® military-approved buckles and webbing
  • Made in the USA

This pack is considered a day pack with a 2800 cubic inch capacity (hence Approach 2800). The Approach 2800 is relatively lightweight. It is a 1lb 5oz pack without the frame and according Stone Glacier’s specifications, it is 4lb 1oz with their Krux frame. When I weighed it using a digital hanging scale it read 4.2 lbs.

It does have a frame and as far as I know, it does require the frame to use. Note that Stone Glacier has the Krux frame (flat) and the Xcurve frame (curved). Stone Glacier has guidance on frame selection and ultimately, it will vary from person to person. However, the Stone Glacier guidance indicated the Krux is more universal fitting, is better fitting for women, and better fitting for those with torsos under 19″. Given that I am short in stature, I went with the Krux.

The two more unique aspects of the Stone Glacier Approach 2800 that separate it from a typical backpack are the spotting scope compartment/pocket and the tripod foot pocket.

The front panel / lid has an external pocket that can fit up to a 115mm objective spotting scope, while the front panel also has a tripod foot pocket denoting where you can keep a tripod secured using two webbing straps.

Legacy Kowa TSN-821M with 27x LER eyepiece for scale.

While I do not expect to carry a spotting scope, the spotting scope pocket can be utilized for other gear. But the design accommodation for a tripod definitely fit my use case (NRL Hunter).

The panel next to the spotting scope pocket/pouch is the tripod pocket where a foot/leg of a tripod can be placed and then the entire unit is held against the pack with two straps with quick release buckles.

Tripod held onto pack using only one of the two available straps.

The main internal compartment is relatively straight forward with two (2) 200 cubic inch pockets on the lid and Xpac material for the rear (body-side) panel to make it waterproof.

There are a pair of tri-glide attachment points for use with swing-out pouches.

Stone Glacier makes a few pouches with different sizes and colors and they can be daisy-chained to keep the pouches in control while in the pack.

The Approach 2800 has comfortable padding on the backside of the pack and the shoulder straps and can be adjusted relatively quickly.

Note that Stone Glacier has videos on YouTube demonstrating fitting a pack to one’s body type.

Stone Glacier video on fitting a pack to you.

I acquired the Approach 2800 in Foliage Green. Foliage Green can look green in certain situations and gray in other situations. The following photo shows the Stone Glacier Foliage Green next to other different color fabrics and provides a decent reference for comparison.

The Stone Glacier Approach 2800 is also available in Tan and Ranger Green.

The price of the Stone Glacier Approach 2800 is $645 USD which is a premium for a day pack. But given that includes the frame, the price is appropriate. The Approach 2800 can be purchased pack-only (without frame) for $246 USD.

Some may be able to forgo a frame pack and go with a less expensive frame-less pack. For me, I appreciate the comfort the frame pack with load lifters provides.

After using the Stone Glacier Approach 2800 in a couple of NRL Hunter matches, I feel that it is a comfortable pack and it does accommodate my needs for a field shooting competition pack.

The hike throughout the course of fire was comfortable, especially when using the hip belt. My load out was not very heavy, but the continuous removing and donning of the pack throughout a two-day match from stage to stage creates stresses on the pack and the body.

The Stone Glacier Approach 2800 easily holds all the gear I need for NRL Hunter, from the tripod to the ammunition to amenities such as snacks, water, first aid, and self-care and equipment-care (e.g., optical glass wipes, hand wipes).

My NRL Hunter pack load out currently consists of:

  • Over-the-ear hearing (Sordin)
  • Cole-Tac Ammo Novel (120 rounds capacity)
  • Two AW Magazines
  • Kydex AW/AICS magazine holster
  • SIG KILO8K-ABS laser range finder (backup)
  • TBAC bipod (backup)
  • Arm board
  • Fix It Sticks kit
  • Fix It Sticks cleaning rod (stuck case removal)
  • Gun oil
  • Gun cleaning cloths
  • Lens Cleaning Wipes
  • Lens Anti-Fog Kit
  • Small towel (e.g. face/head sweat management)
  • General First Aid Items (Bandages, Gauze, etc)
  • Water Flask/Bottle
  • Protein Bars

I have enough room to stuff my outer layer (jacket) and rain pants into this pack along with the above gear. Note that I do keep my primary glassing optic (SWAROVSKI OPTIK EL Range TA 10×42) in a Marsupial Gear bino harness, along with pens, vinyl data cards, and notebook. This stays on my body, but I can also stuff the binocular harness into the pack if needed.

For my specific application, I like having the spotting scope pouch for administrative use where I don’t want to have to open the main compartment. This includes things like storing spent brass from stages, keeping a GoPro camera, a spare bipod, etc.

The Approach 2800 is designed for hunters and does have the 2500 cubic inch load shelf facilitated by the frame. While I am not using this for hunting, I feel it does give me the ability to squeeze in extra gear if needed (e.g., storing an outer layer that had to be removed for increase in temperature).

The tripod pouch placing the tripod on the backside is an interesting design choice and some may opt to place the tripod on either side of the pack as there are side pockets. I feel that the placement of the tripod on the panel does help slightly with balancing the pack on the body.

My one improvement idea for the Approach 2800 would be to put some kind of hard liner on the tripod foot pouch on the external lid face. I do have spiked feet for my RRS tripods that I can swap in (as opposed for the standard OEM rubber feet) and I did put a PVC pipe end cap into the pocket to act as a ‘liner’ for the pocket and hold a spiked-foot tripod. Not sure what type of material would work to prevent the tripod pocket from getting torn by a spiked foot, but perhaps leather or some other synthetic material would work.

Overall I am happy with the Stone Glacier Approach 2800. I do think it is more than adequate for NRL Hunter use. While I could go even smaller like a 2-day or 3-day (military) assault pack, I appreciate the comfort and load displacement offered by a frame pack. I have a great appreciation for the lightweight, (relatively) spacious aspect of the Approach 2800 combined with the streamlined appearance (no MOLLE / PALS webbing).

If you are looking for a 1-day or 2-day pack for field shooting applications, especially one that does not have a tactical/military style of appearance, you should consider the Stone Glacier Approach 2800.

For more information on the Approach 2800, visit the Stone Glacier web site at https://stoneglacier.com.

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