What's More Important Than Your Rifle Or Bow?

If I could meet the guy who first said, “Bigger is better!” I’d punch him in the chin. Twice. Or the fella who coined the phrase, “Less is more!” He’s an idiot, too.

Is it possible to combine the two phrases above, so you have something that’s smaller yet still have more? Heck, if Obama can get elected —twice—then I’d say just about anything is possible.

From a guy’s perspective, bigger is very rarely better (let’s keep it clear here, gentlemen). For example: diamonds. The bigger the diamond for you lady the bigger the price tag is for you. Unless we're talking about bear hunting, then bigger is definitely better!

And since when is less more? The less days I have afield to hunt, the more fun I have. Or not.

So let’s take this twisted turn of literacy and apply it to something useful to hunters: backpacks. If you stopped reading at that word then this sentence is completely irrelevant, but then you also won’t hear me tell you how foolish you are for not utilizing a daypack on all your pursuits. Yes, I said ALL your pursuits.

From an evening sit in a treestand to a week-long backcountry horseback hunt, I have a daypack with me every step—or trot—of the way. It’s as important to my success as is my rifle or bow. The only thing that changes is the design of the pack based upon the specific style of hunt. But let me be clear: When it comes to daypacks, design is much more important than space.

Signature Products Group revealed the Browning Billy 1700RT Lumbar Hunting Pack, which blew my boots off … literally. And if you’re judging me for getting this excited about a pack, then it’s clear to me that you simply haven’t found your daypack soulmate yet. But I’m not judging: I’m here to help.

The Dire Data
This lumbar pack boasts 1,700 cubic inches of storage space, handles heavy loads with ease and weighs merely 2.5 pounds. Bigger is better, eh?

The Billy 1700RT features a Baumshell fabric as well as the Hypo-Sonic closure in place of a traditional noisy zipper. Woven Baumshell fabric is roughly twice the strength and half the weight of traditional knitted pack fabrics. Additionally, it’s whisper quiet for state-of-the-art sound suppression. Baumshell fabric is water resistant and the pack is constructed with reinforced stitching for years of hunting.

For long days in the field, the Billy 1700RT utilizes the Mountain Crawler system. Included in this system is an asymmetrical waist belt design which permits a larger, more functional waist belt storage pocket allowing for access to critical items while still wearing the pack.

Also part of the Mountain Crawler system, the Center of Gravity lumbar design vastly enhances the ability to carry heavier loads with less fatigue. To do so, shoulder straps are padded with high density foam and the webbing connecting the shoulder straps to the pack is attached to the rear of the pack resulting in a more upright load and drastically more comfortable carriage than the competition's traditional lumbar packs.

The Billy 1700RT is hydration compatible and has low profile lash points for easy external gear attachment. To help keep hunters cool and comfortable, the Billy 1700RT utilizes Tri-Vent three-layer padding. This padding creates a wicking, breathable, comfortable, and cool back panel.


The Browning Billy 1700RT was made for a man, from the "sweat-resistant" design to the ruggedly handsome and utilitarian construction.

What All That Means
Can you tell I “borrowed” a bit of manufacturer’s text there? What can I say … they have the stats down better than I do. But here’s what all that really means and why I’m all aroused over this pack:

The pack is very small—darn near tiny—but has a freakishly large amount of available space. Have you ever looked at a little house from the street, only to go inside and drool over all the available space? Well, that’s exactly what’s going on here. It’s called “utilizing available space.” Very scientific engineering stuff.

That translates into pockets that are right where you need them that are made out of material that’s not going to give you away when those last few hours of dusk when the world is so quiet it’s nearly freaky.

And have you ever tried to quietly close a zipper during dawn or dusk? It seems to echo like an opera hall. Do you go quick and get it over with loud and fast, or do you limp it along and run the risk of being late for dinner? Well, there a zipper for that, too: fast and silent … and I mean silent.

But here’s the pinnacle of perfection. When I learned that I could get a truck with an A/C cooled seat, my world changed. A man doesn’t need a heated seat. A man needs a cooled seat. Well, the Billy 1700RT has what they’re calling Tri-Vent padding, which compliments the “open back” design to help keep you cool. Maybe it’s just me, but I can work up a sweat during a hunt on a 20-degree day (hold the fat comments, please). Problem solved.

Now that I’ve got you all aroused as well over this pack, I have to deflate your balloon just a bit and let you know this pack won’t be available until summer … which still leaves more than enough time for you to have it with you while you live out this fall’s fantasies.


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