Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SOG FastHawk

SOG FastHawk Review

So I've been out shed hunting and decided I would test out some of the gear that I have gotten the past few months. I know that the SOG Tactical FastHawk isn't made for splitting wood, but if this was your only means of making a fire out in the woods this would come in pretty handy. The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was the weight. I was surprised to find out that it is only 19 oz which was ideal for packing without taking up too much space or added weight. Let me get the specifications out there for you all to read from the SOG Knives website.

SOG FastHawk
SOG FastHawk with Nylon Sheath
  • Blade Length:2" x .26"
  • Overall Length:12.5"
  • Weight: 19 oz.
  • Edge:Straight Steel 420
  • HRC: 51-53
  • Handle:Fiberglass/Nylon
  • Finish:Hardcased Black
  • Sheath:Nylon

I took this out with me while shed hunting and figured I would practice my wonderful tomahawk skills. I was surprised how easy it was to throw and how light weight it was. Now the only problem is... I need more practice. I had fun throwing the FastHawk and occasionally it would stick in one of the trees I was aiming at. The other good thing about throwing this around and occasionally hitting my target was testing the durability. As I threw it and it was glancing off of some of my targets, I never once was worried about the handle breaking or the head coming loose. While on my wonderful shed hunting trip it took a pretty good beating and it held up.

I haven't gotten to test it out yet but the head of the FastHawk has the checker pattern which is made to help hammer things. I haven't tried hammering a nail or stake yet but for how light it is I figure it wouldn't be that hard to accomplish. Another feature is the pick which would come in handy in multiple uses like helping dig and breaking up the ground, helping crack into something, prying, and also helps while throwing and sticking into the target (at least for me).

SOG tactical FastHawk Tomahawk

Overall I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with this tool. My only complaint is with the nylon sheath, one of the snaps on mine isn't staying snapped very well but other than that this is a quality product. I plan on packing this with me when I go on my overnight hunting trips to help obtain some firewood and pound in my tent stakes. Is this a necessity in my pack? I could do, and have done, without the FastHawk in my pack but I am glad that it has made a comfortable home in my pack for various types of trips.

Disclaimer: This review is solely my honest opinion.  I received no monetary compensation in exchange for this or any other review found on Idaho Bone CollectorI am not sponsored by or associated with SOG Specialty Knives & Tools and am receiving nothing in exchange for this review except for the pure gratification of writing the review.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Eberlestock X2 Pack

I have never had a "top of the line" pack and have always hunted with one of the packs that I would pick up from a local department store for around $30. I would always make it last and they would last me for a while. In fact, the last one I bought I have had it for almost 5 years. It worked great and lasted for a long time. But over the holidays I received the Eberlestock X2 Pack. I have heard many great things about the Eberlestock line of packs mainly because they are located in Boise Idaho, but also because my dad has the same pack and he has had nothing but good things to say.

Eberlestock Hunting Pack
Eberlestock X2 Hunting Pack

The biggest thing that was hard for me to get use to and is always upon getting a new pack is where to put the stuff from your old pack. The Eberlestock pack has plenty of storage pocket space with 1800 cubic inches. Some of the features of the pack are as follows:
  • Light weight tubular aluminum frame
  • Generous pockets on the waist belt
  • Big side pockets large enough for spotting scopes
  • Dual Hydration compartments
  • Ability to add the ARCG ButtBucketTM for the ability to carry your bow
  • Ability to add the A1SS or A2SS Side Scabbards to carry a rifle or shotgun
  • Padlock webbing to tie up gear to the pack
  • Weight is about 4.5 lbs.
These are just some of the features that this pack offers and I have yet to give them all a shot. My dad used this pack as we hiked in to spike camp and was able to carry a pretty hefty load. Now my last pack could carry a hefty load but I knew it was hefty and it was very uncomfortable. I have taken this pack out on a couple shed hunting trips and I packed it down with a pretty big load just to see how it felt. I never weighed the actual pack but I packed a bunch of random things to help weight it down like 5 different knives, 4 flashlights, etc. The pack exceeded my expectations. It was very comfortable to wear and pack the load.

Hunting Pack Features Eberlestock
Ventilation on the X2 Pack

My previous pack also would sit tight against my back and even in cooler temperatures it would cause me to sweat. This was a big concern for me because every hunter wants to conceal his scent and sweating isn't going to help with that. The one feature that I thoroughly enjoy is the full mesh back that has padding in the right spots and is separated from the pack to allow airflow between your back and the pack. With my pack weighed down I was able to walk through some cooler early temperatures as well as some warmer temperatures with a significant decrease in how hot I use to get with my old pack. This was such a relief for me.

Hunting Pack Boise Idaho
X2 Pack With Wings Open

All around this has been a pack that I am very well pleased with. The pack also has side wings that open up to unveil even more pockets that are perfect for a spotting scope or whatever you see fit. The wings are where the zippered hydration storage. Here you can see that I have them open but have nothing in the pockets. There are a lot of uses for this pack and it is very adaptable to whatever situation you may be hunting.  This is considered a day pack but is easily used as a spike camp pack with the many different pockets and ability to secure extra gear on the pack. There is the main compartment which you can see at the top of the pack that is a big open tube shape. There is the zipper pocket just below the main pocket and above the elastic that is a smaller yet good sized pocket. This is a very versatile pack that can carry a heavy load in or out. But I like living up to the Eberlestock saying "Go in light, Come out heavy" and this is one pack that can do just that.

I think the best part about this pack is how comfortable it is no matter the size of the load. It is very balanced and easily adjustable. With all the storage space, the ventilation, versatility, and comfort of this pack I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a universal hunting pack for almost any situation. I am looking forward to adding some of the accessories like the ButtBucketTM for my bow or a scabbard for my rifle/shotgun. The MSRP for the pack is around $189 which doesn't put it on the cheap end but there is a reason. You are getting what you pay for, which is a high quality product that will last you a long time. Eberlestock has a lifetime warranty on their products which is basically like it sounds. If anything breaks or tears under normal use they will repair it.

Also check out this video by S&S Archery out in Boise about the Eberlestock X2 Pack.

Disclaimer: This review is solely my honest opinion.  I received no monetary compensation in exchange for this or any other review found on Idaho Bone CollectorI am not sponsored by or associated with Eberlestock and am receiving nothing in exchange for this review except for the pure gratification of writing the review.