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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys...

I know you have beeneagerly waiting on me to do my pictorial review of the new Eberlestock Blue Widow pack. Well..... here it is!:cocktail:

As alot of you know, I did a pretty nice pictorial review of the Eberlestock J-104 pack last year. This was, and still is a fantastic all around hunting pack. I think there were things that could have been improved on it though, and the new, 2008 Blue Widow addresses these issues IMO.

A few of the complaints I had about the J104 was the fact that the shoulder straps were a simple, thick pad with a webbing strap sewn over top of it. This isn't the best design out there, for several reasons, but mainly b/c the webbing strap can slip off the pad and then you have a 1" wide webbing strap digging into your armpit or shoulder. Another beef I had with the J104 was that I am not a gun hunter, nor do I ever see myself becoming one, so why have a pack that's has it's main feature as a gun holster? The backs cabbard,as it's called allows heavy loads in those pack to effectively sag, making them sit lower than they should IMO. The removed backscabbard, the upgraded suspension, the new "shooter's harness" and the over-all upgrades integrated into the Blue Widow make it my pack of choice.

The Blue Widow has the same basic design as the other "Just One" series of packs in that it can take the duffel kits, and all the PALS pouches and accessories that Eberlestock makes for it.

Anyway.... on with the pictures and my commentary.:wink:


The "Blue Widow"...


Front side of the pack...


Back side of the pack....


Side view... unloaded and compacted into it's "day pack" mode...


Another side View...


This is where the hydration bladder(s) go... I guess.



OK...

Next, I'm going to point out some of the nice features of the harness and strap system.


Here you can see the "thin" shoulder straps. Very comfortable, and much more functional IMO.


Exterior of the shoulder strap...


Plastic frame sheet... also note the beefy aluminum stays.:wink: This puppy is made for haulin HEAVY loads in COMFORT!:darkbeer:


This is the adjustable suspension system. Note the velcro style connector strap that connects to the black loops onto the frame. This is VERY secure and holds TIGHT! I needed to move the harness up two loop places to get it "just right" for me.



Alot of you guys have asked to see what the pack look like with a load of meat. Well... it ain't hunting season yet, my 110 lb. yellow lab didn't want to hop in there, so a 40# bag of deer corn will have to suffice.


Pack is "unstrapped" and ready to be unzipped.


Unzipped. You can see the mesh covered "meat sack".


The bag of corn is ready to jump in!:wink:


Corn is in the pack. I could have easily put a 2nd bag of corn in the meat sack, but you guys aren't worth the extra effort.:eek::wink:


Pack cinched up tight and ready to hike down (hopefully) the mountain.:cocktail:


Side view of the pack with the corn loaded up.


Another view with the corn loaded.



Ok.... that should do it for the corn. I also wanted to show you guys how adept the pack was at hauling a bow. In this case my Bowtech Tribute. Note that I also have my Octane quiver stung up "ZA style".:rolleyes::tongue:









Ok guys... have at it. Ask me any questions. I hope this helps some of you guys out.


-ZA
 

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As usual, you have given us a birdseye view of the features and great observations. Thanks!
For the guy on the fence this year on choosing a do all, day hunter/meat hauler pack, this is a superior model. I own a J104 and would consider the brand to be best in class. The blue widow seems to be the cream of the crop. Thanks again ZA
Be sure to bloody it up next month.:darkbeer:
 

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No pics of the beer gut this year? What gives?!?!? :chortle:

Great review... :)
 

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Blue Widow

Thanks for the great review on the pack.

My only question is whether or not you'd use this for as a pack for a 2-3 day hiking/camping expedition?


...oh and what kind of knife is that attached to your waist belt?
 

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No pics of the beer gut this year? What gives?!?!? :chortle:

Great review... :)
I was hoping to at least see it being carried, I wanted to see how that load sagged compared to the j104. Is there an improvement?
Without pics, you just can't tell....:confused:

Come on ZA, post up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great review on the pack.

My only question is whether or not you'd use this for as a pack for a 2-3 day hiking/camping expedition?


...oh and what kind of knife is that attached to your waist belt?
Definately.... It can be as big or as small as you need it. That's the genius of the Just One series of packs. I'm not sure what other sorts of features one might want for a strict hiking/camping pack, but for a backcountry or spike camp pack, this thing is DA BOMB!

The knife is a Crusader Forge "Oberland 02". It's got a 1/4" THICK CPM S30V blade that will shave the hairs off my arm like a razor blade. It's my camp, utility, skull removal, sternum splitter, ivory getter, "Oh chit" knife. I also carry a compact folder for skinning and deboning.:eek:



I was hoping to at least see it being carried, I wanted to see how that load sagged compared to the j104. Is there an improvement?
Without pics, you just can't tell....:confused:

Come on ZA, post up!

I was doing the pictorial by myself with my 13 month old and the dog looking on. I couldn't talk them into taking any pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it. IT HANDLES HEAVY LOADS 100% BETTER THAN THE J104! No sagging nothing going on... no how no way!:cocktail:

-ZA
 

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ZA, do you have the duffel that attaches to the back. Could we get some pics with that if you have it?
 

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OK.... now i know what i said earlier but.

1. why in the hell would you buy a $100+ quiver just to strap it on your pack:confused:??

2. where is the sight on your bow??

3. have you tried hauling the sack of corn or two??

4. have you adjusted the stays to better fit you??
 

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OK.... now i know what i said earlier but.

1. why in the hell would you buy a $100+ quiver just to strap it on your pack:confused:?? Because he's PAT!:tongue:
2. where is the sight on your bow?? He can't afford one right now, he spent all his money on the quiver!:zip:
3. have you tried hauling the sack of corn or two?? That's too much work for someone who is sick all the time!:zip:
4. have you adjusted the stays to better fit you?? Of course not!:confused:
Why even ask....:zip:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK.... now i know what i said earlier but.

1. why in the hell would you buy a $100+ quiver just to strap it on your pack:confused:??

2. where is the sight on your bow??

3. have you tried hauling the sack of corn or two??

4. have you adjusted the stays to better fit you??

#1 - Why would I buy a $100 quiver just to strap it to my bow?:eek::wink: Actually, the Octane serves a distinct purpose. The magnets in the hood allow me to go with only one set of "grippers" for the arrow shafts. I hate hoods with foam in them, so that mean no foam = two sets of grippers. Two sets of grippers = PITA to get the arrow back in the quiver properly while it's on your side.

#2 - I'm switching to shooting instinctual like Ted Nugent.:wink: (new G5 XR sight isn't here yet knucklehead :rolleyes:)

#3 - One sack only. I will put two in there before I'm done. You really seem concerned about my sack.:embara:

#4 - No, I haven't adjusted the stays yet, as I haven't even messed with it much before this evening, let alone hiked with heavy loads in it to determine wether it needs adjustment.


-ZA
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ZA, do you have the duffel that attaches to the back. Could we get some pics with that if you have it?
Pictures are from my previous review of the J104, but it's the same duffel and it attaches the exact same way.

-ZA








Here is the really nice 3 Liter hydro bladder from Eberlestock, in case anyone wanted to see it.






-ZA
 

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#1 - Why would I buy a $100 quiver just to strap it to my bow?:eek::wink: Actually, the Octane serves a distinct purpose. The magnets in the hood allow me to go with only one set of "grippers" for the arrow shafts. I hate hoods with foam in them, so that mean no foam = two sets of grippers. Two sets of grippers = PITA to get the arrow back in the quiver properly while it's on your side.

#2 - I'm switching to shooting instinctual like Ted Nugent.:wink: (new G5 XR sight isn't here yet knucklehead :rolleyes:)

#3 - One sack only. I will put two in there before I'm done. You really seem concerned about my sack.:embara:

#4 - No, I haven't adjusted the stays yet, as I haven't even messed with it much before this evening, let alone hiked with heavy loads in it to determine wether it needs adjustment.


-ZA
#1- never had that problem....must be a wrong handed east coast dillhole problem. :noidea:

#2- i was wondering cause it looked like the compression strap went right where your sight SHOULD have been. didn't know if you took it off for the pic or what the hell you did. :noidea:

#3- just curious if you tried to haul much weight in it yet.....(we know how much of a sissy you are)

#4- was more of a #3b question to see if you needed to make adjustments for comfort.
 

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Great review Za, thanks for taking the time. Can you tell me how big is the pack compared to the J-107, J-104. Bigger or smaller? That flap on the bottom is it just for carrying a bow or could you put meat on it?

B-man
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great review Za, thanks for taking the time. Can you tell me how big is the pack compared to the J-107, J-104. Bigger or smaller? That flap on the bottom is it just for carrying a bow or could you put meat on it?

B-man
It's the same size as the J104/J107. The frame and the suspension is the same that's on the J107, but the back scabbard has been removed and it now has the new flap design.

The new flap design is just a better design for securing the meat/load that you put in the mesh meat sack. The flap supports and compresses the load that's in the pack. When used with a bow, the flap cradels the bow limb/cam directly.

Look up in the pictures above where the bag of corn is placed in the meat sack.... the flap never touches the bag of corn (meat), it just compresses it against the pack frame.

-ZA
 

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are all the extra little pouchs and water bladder extra? do you carry a side arm for backup.. curious if you could use the belt on the back to put a pancake holster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
are all the extra little pouchs and water bladder extra? do you carry a side arm for backup.. curious if you could use the belt on the back to put a pancake holster.
Yes, the pouches, the hydro bladder and the spike camp duffels are all extras. You buy what you want. They have different sizes of all of them so that you can custom tailor it to your budget and needs.

Yes, I do carry a S&W M&P 45. It will be attached to the bip belt on my right side and it will ride right behind the coyote colored small pouch. I didn't bother putting it on for the pictures b/c I didn't want the holster/pistol messing up the pictures of it sitting on the ground (they don't allow the hip belt to sit upright by itself like in the pictures).

I use a simple, inexpensive cordura holster that has a metal belt clip and a thumb snap to retention. The metal belt clip slips nicely into the PALS webbing on the exterior of the hip belts.

-ZA
 
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