I just had an opportunity to take out and test a new pack for Eberlestock which will be called the Warhammer J51. This pack is based off of Eberlestock’s extremely popular J79 Skycrane II tactical pack but is a stripped down version designed with lots of versatility in mind. I took the backpack on a solo two day backpacking trip after some High country Mulies.
At first glance the Warhammer looks beefy and tough much likes it’s name implies. The design concept isn’t much different than Eberlestock’s other packs like the JP9 Blue Widow and J107 Dragonfly, able to go in light and come out heavy. The biggest difference is the lack of a mesh compartment that the other packs have. While this seems like a limitation it actually enables the pack to essentially haul any load you can strap into the pack no matter how big. In today’s hunting market there aren’t too many packs that will be able to handle all of the tasks this pack can.
The backbone and frame on the Warhammer pack is the extremely popular ALICE frame that has become the Military standard for backpacks. The ALICE is a compact frame that is built like a tank. One of the problems with a lot of today’s internal frame packs is that the frame will bend and flex under heavy loads. This WON’T be a problem with this pack, no matter how much weight you throw on it the frame will keep it’s integrity which will in turn transfer into more comfort for the user.
The pack just like the other “J” Series packs unzips in the middle which allows the two outer pockets of the pack to roll out and exposes the middle of the pack. Inside of each wing there are two pockets (4 total) one larger one and one smaller. The larger of the two pockets on each side is designed to hold a water bladder. About my only complaint with this pack is that these pockets are too small. You would be able to fit a 2l Bladder in there but not if it was completely full. Once the pack is expanded the sky is the limit or more appropriately how much weight your legs can carry. You will also notice an internal zipper when the pack is expanded. This is designed to accept Eberlestock’s spike duffel, super spike duffel or the G1 Little Brother Pack. You also purchase separately the L1 removeable fanny pack to put on the top lid for more storage options and flexiblity.
As with all of Eberlestock packs there is a multitude of MOLLE webbing on the pack which will accept just about all of the accessories Eberlestock makes. On my hunt I had an A1SP pouch attached to the right hipbelt and the ARCG Butt Bucket attached on the lower flap of the pack for carrying my bow.
In conclusion I am extremely happy with this pack. It bridges the gap between the newer style internal frame packs and the traditional external frame packs that most hunters would agree can’t be beat for hauling heavy loads. While I wish it wasn’t 8.5lbs it does an exceptional job at carrying weight and at the same time is very comfortable to wear all day long on day trips. In the end with the goal all hunters share hopefully we have meat on the ground and this is when the J51 Warhammer will outperform just about any hunting pack on the market. Unfortunately on my hunt I wasn’t lucky enough to take advantage of this feature, one small pine tree prevented me from taking a nice 4×4 Muley.