The new Cargo Box by Sitka Gear is the ultimate “carry everything you need and more” pack for whitetail season. Like the Tool Belt and Tool Bucket, the Cargo Box features a top load “bucket style” gear access. With 2200 cubic inches in capacity one thing is for sure, if you can’t carry it in this pack, you most likely don’t need it on your hunt!
The biggest pack in the whitetail line, the Cargo box was built from the ground up with storage and gear management in mind. This pack has all of the bells and whistles you would expect for anyone who is planning to film their hunts or do all days sits. The main compartment of the pack is very similar to that of the Tool Bucket only slightly larger.
On either side of the main compartment, you’ll find large batwing pockets designed to hold longer gear items such as a retractable pole saw or even a compact camera arm. Between the batwing pockets and the main compartment, you’ll also find 2 straps which aid in carrying larger items such as a set of climbing sticks. These straps are fully adjustable and feel very secure even with a heavy gear load.
Due to its capacity, the Cargo Box has been equipped with a generous amount of padding where the pack rests against your back. Sitka has also built vented space in between the padding sections to allow air flow so that you do not become overheated when transitioning from your vehicle to your favorite hunting spot.
Last but not least, similar to the Tool Belt, you’ll find two oversized water bottle holders and a comfortable waist belt with pockets and a dedicated wind indicator pocket.
The exterior lid allows the Tool Bucket to be hung from your tree and quickly access all of your gear without digging through the pack. Two large OPTIFADE™ mesh viewing windows on the interior side of the lid allow you to store smaller items such as a release or grunt call, while still allowing you to see what you have in your pack. Half zips on the front of the pack fold over revealing another large mesh viewing window and the main compartment. This is great improvement over the previous version of the Tool Bucket by making gear access much more efficient.
Inside the main compartment of the pack you will find a pockets on either sides of the pack. These side pockets are perfect for storing longer items such as a hand saw or limb snips. Four more pockets line the back interior of the pack. While the previous Tool Bucket model also had pockets in this location, the renewed version of this pack now has smaller individualized pockets to help segregate and organize your gear. Last but not least, the large interior compartment has a mesh divider and is perfect for storing extra clothes, snacks or whatever you might need to take in the woods with you.
Tree stand Transportation System
If you used the 2019 version Tool Bucket you may already be familiar with the ability to carry your tree stand between the frame of the pack and the cargo compartment. For the new 2020 Cargo Box, this system has been completely reimagined and is a vast improvement over the original design.
When not carrying your stand, Sitka has incorporated slots in the pack to store your straps similar to the stow away gear straps found on all their whitetail packs. In addition, the method of connecting the main pack to the frame is no longer managed with zippers. A large sleeve on the top of the pack slides over a rigid support, and two large clips carry the majority of the weight, while snaps on the side keep the cargo box from becoming dislodged.
When carrying your stand, everything just feels more secure. I personally found it most comfortable to carry my LWCG D’Acquisto stand on the pack and I carried my climbing sticks in the straps between the batwings and the Cargo Box. When doing so, I was able to get my stand very tight and I had zero noise from extra straps or buckles making contact with my stand. Overall, this is great system and is definitely something any public land hunter should check out.
Stow Away Gear Straps
Just like with the Sitka Gear Tool Bucket, the Cargo Box comes equipped with stow away straps featured on the bottom of the pack. Hidden ports allow a set of straps to secure gear such as a rolled jacket or tripod, while being hidden away when not in use. Likewise, a load bearing strap at the top of the pack can be used to secure a bow or firearm to the pack when necessary. In both cases, the ability to hide away the straps reduces the likelihood of getting them caught on brush while walking through the woods or making unwanted noise.
Pull-up Rope Compartment
Keeping up with the idea of better gear management, Sitka has also introduced a new and improved gear rope pocket on the top of the Cargo Box. This little improvement keeps your rope untangled and allows it to pull free as you climb into your stand. Once you are done pulling up or lowering your pack, the pocket has a half circle zip which opens providing easy access to quickly store your pull rope.
Initial Impressions and Use Cases
The new Cargo Box definitely fits the bill for the hunter who has a lot of gear to carry. I see this being a pack that is very useful to the run-n-gun style hunter, or anyone who is planning to carry in a new stand mid-season in a newly found hot spot. Whatever the case, Sitka Gear has made sure the Cargo Box checks all the boxes when it comes to gear storage and gear management. This is definitely a beefy pack, but once loaded up and strapped to your body, I found it to be extremely comfortable and the weight was offset due to the way the pack rides.
Visit sitkagear.com today for more information on the all new Cargo Box and other whitetail packs by Sitka Gear.
Cargo Box Specs:
- MRSP – $399
- Size – 2200 Cubic Inches
- 23 Storage Compartments
- Weight – 120.6 ounces
- Color – GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II