Eberlestock H2 Gunrunner Pack - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Chris Parkin tries out a new hunting rucksack complete with rifle storage and fast access when you need it - the Eberlestock H2 Gunrunner Pack!
Eberelstock H2 Gunrunner Pack - brief overview
PROS: Slim shoulder straps; Deceptively easy to use; Stiffened scabbard mouth
CONS: Bipods and moderators require a little more care during insertion and extraction; Would benefit from stock/rain cover
VERDICT: I was doubtful over the H2 Pack and, although not ideally suited to my needs, it really impressed me with deceptively spacious storage and ease of use with bulky riflee
CONTACT: Edgar Brothers
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Eberlestock’s H2 Gunrunner Pack is another take on the hunting rucksack with rifle storage and fast access for use when hunting. The H2 pack is a lightweight unit (4.1lb/1.8kg) and comes with broad shoulder straps, and chest and waist harnesses to assure security in arduous conditions.
The main feature of the case is the internal rifle scabbard, which has a reinforced rectangular opening at the top keeping it open in all conditions. It measures 7x2.5”/778x64mm, which allows a rifle to be slid in from the top without any additional straps or coverings, which would certainly add security and weather resistance but could compromise fast access to the rifle which can be simply slotted in from the top, dropping 28”/710mm into the compartment.
While opinion seems mixed regarding this pack, it certainly has a lot of plus points. Perhaps most importantly, it offers plentiful additional storage with a main 1,000 cubic inch compartment (16.4 litres) to carry additional kit long with external Molle banding and twin fast access elasticated pockets on either side.
Another more subtle feature of the design was the plentiful, and astonishingly light and well-ventilated, padding on the back with grooves to aid airflow for cooling, combined with similar mesh-surfaced shoulder straps that, unlike many others, never seemed to get in the way of mounting the rifle into your shoulder for a shot.
Obviously, the key USP of the pack is that it allows you to reach over your shoulder and draw the rifle out quickly for a fast shooting opportunity. The scabbard isn’t huge, but its reinforced mouth prevents collapse and subsequent snagging of rifle and scope. I was using it with a moderator and bipod, and although it was a fairly snug fit, it was possible for me to access and re-store the rifle without removing the backpack – although the combined kit did benefit from both hands when reinserting the rifle.
Drawing the rifle without stalling or snagging was reliable and with a slimmer rig (and perhaps a smaller scope) this would have been even easier. There is some noise associated when pulling the rifle free but this can be minimised by being a little slower on the draw.
I was surprised at how well the compact dimensions coped with a bulky rifle. Manufacturing was neat and durable and I found myself liking the pack more than I expected, even though it is perhaps a tad large for my average daily trips. The only thing it lacked was a light raincover and additional (optional) anchoring straps that might be desirable for longer treks where the terrain could potentially cause a fall, at which point a slimmer rifle could quite easily slide free.