They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If that’s the case, we’re certainly flattered by all the game bags on the market today that resemble Caribou Gear Game Bags. And although they look similar, their performance doesn’t even come close. Our patented game bags set us a world apart.
There is simply no other game bag that allows hunters to take better care of their wild game meat. That might sound like a biased statement. But we know it to be unequivocally true. The Caribou Gear proprietary fabric, construction, and game bag design is far superior, resulting in better meat care in the field and subsequently better tasting wild game on the table.
Here are the top three things that make Caribou Gear Game Bags better than the rest:
1. THE FABRIC
It begins and it ends with the fabric. You can have the right design and the right features, but if you’re putting your hard-earned wild game in an inferior fabric, it doesn’t matter. If the fabric doesn’t work, none of it works.
The most important balance in a game bag fabric is the one between breathability and cleanliness. Breathability is paramount. If a game bag doesn’t breathe, you might as well have put the meat in a plastic bag. On the other hand, the fabric must be tight enough to protect the meat from dirt, flies and other contaminants. Pure nylon game bags protect the meat from what’s outside, but they don’t breathe. And cheesecloth style game bags are breathable, but they allow easy access for dirt, sand and insects. Both present critical problems for quality meat care.
The Problem With Pure Nylon Game Bags
Most of the imitative game bags that look like Caribou Gear game bags are made of pure nylon. You can tell by the shiny material that feels slick to the touch. Think of a tent material – that’s nylon. Nylon looks good, it’s lightweight and it keeps dirt off the meat, but it doesn’t breathe. What limited breathability it does have, goes completely out the window as soon as it becomes bloody. This lack of breathability causes a greenhouse effect. In just a short period of time inside a pure nylon game bag, meat becomes slimy. This is a sign of bacterial growth. Pictured here is an imitator's pure nylon game bag:
The Caribou Gear Proprietary Fabric
Caribou Gear game bags are all made with our proprietary fabric. They are the only patented game bags and they offer unparalleled breathability. The fabric wicks moisture away from the meat, allowing the meat to breathe naturally and form a perfect outer rind. When outside temperatures allow, meat can be hung at camp for days inside Caribou Gear Game bags.
When Caribou Gear Founder Ted Ramirez set out to design a better game bag, the right fabric didn’t exist. Existing fabrics either didn’t breathe, weren’t strong enough, couldn’t hold a seam without slipping, were too heavy, didn’t wash properly or even smelled. Ted looked through every fabric he could get his hands on. There simply wasn’t a perfect game bag fabric that was breathable, moisture-wicking, strong and washable. In the end, and nearly a decade later, Ted ended up with a completely unique, proprietary fabric. And that serves as the foundation for Caribou Gear game bags.
All the other look-alike game bags simply purchase existing nylon fabric and sew it into a bag. All of these fabrics have serious flaws – most importantly is the lack of breathability. No other company can compare because none of them employ a fabric that was specifically designed for the purpose of a game bag.
The Problem With Cheesecloth-Style Game Bags
After pure nylon, the other common game bags you’ll find on store shelves are the cheesecloth-style bags. These delicate, one-time-use bags are a waste of money for starters. You’ll be buying a new set for every hunt. But even more importantly, we’ve seen flies, maggots and wasps easily accessing the meat through the mesh holes. Under the weight of the meat, these holes stretch even bigger. Dirt, sand and any other contaminants can come into contact with the meat. Pictured here is a cheesecloth-style game bag:
Even cheesecloth bags that are impregnated with citric acid are a bad idea. In a game bag with large gaps, you’re still subjecting your wild game to all kinds of unnecessary dirt, dust, sand and any number of other contaminants.
We certainly promote the use of citric acid – it helps repel insects and it’s naturally anti-microbial. See our previous blog post on that subject here. We even considered impregnating our own bags with citric acid. But the extra water-weight of a citric acid soaked bag makes them unnecessarily heavy. So we opted to offer a separate and much lighter citric acid solution.
When it comes to game bag fabric, breathability is king. There is no other game bag that offers better breathability and protection for your wild game. None. There’s a reason Caribou Gear game bags are the first and only game bags to receive a patent in the U.S. and Canada.
2. THE CONSTRUCTION
As we said at the beginning, a great game bag begins and ends with the fabric. Without the right fabric, the rest is irrelevant. So we could end our game bag comparison there. But we have a couple more reasons that Caribou Gear game bags are superior to the competition. Next, is the way they are constructed.
We didn’t simply take our unique fabric and sew it into a bag. Every step and every piece of a Caribou Gear game bag is meticulously considered. That includes the construction, right down to the placement of the seams and the light reflective tabs.
On any game bag, seams are points that limit breathability. Seams on Caribou Gear game bags begin with industrial thread for incredible durability. Then, we use an unconventional method to create the seams that provides superior strength without interfering with the bag’s breathability. We’ve tested the bags by filling them with water to over 400 pounds without ever breaking a seam. A quick look at the seams on a Caribou Gear game bag compared to any competitor’s game bag makes it easy to see the difference.
You may have noticed that in the construction of our bags, we do not use any logos or other features that would inhibit breathability. Many of our competitors print a large logo on the game bags. This is great for branding, but terrible for your game meat. It makes us wonder whether they care more about selling game bags than providing a quality product?
The fact is, anything you put on the bag will cause a decrease in breathability. For some companies it’s a logo. For others it’s a light-reflective ribbon sewn around the bag. In either case, the meat that gets pressed against these points in the bag will not be able to breathe. And just like the saying, ‘one bad apple ruins the bunch,’ any area of the meat that’s accelerating spoilage will affect the entire piece. For that reason, we made the very intentional decision not to print a logo or use any feature that limits breathability.
Caribou Gear Game bags are built with the light-reflective tabs sewn into the existing seams to avoid a decrease in breathability. Likewise, the lock loops and the size tag are also built right into the existing seams. We do everything we can to avoid limiting breathability on our game bags – even at the expense of our own branding. We have placed logos on the full carcass game bags, camp meat bags and the Carnivore Game Bags (for boneless meat). But these are very intentionally located in places where they will not come into contact with the meat inside the bag.
3. THE DESIGN
Finally, Caribou Gear game bags are designed with features, species-specific sizing and packaged systems that set them apart from any look-alike imitators.
All of our bags feature light-reflective tabs making them easy to find at night when you’re returning for that next load of meat. These tabs are strategically placed. One is at the bulge of a front or hind quarter so that the tab sticks out and is easily visible. The other is located on a bottom corner of the bag so that it’s easy to spot from below.
All Caribou Gear game bags are designed with lock-loops that can be secured with a zip-tie and one of our waterproof, tear-proof ID tags. The lock loops are perfect for situations when your meat is hanging in a public walk-in cooler or outfitter’s camp, ensuring your meat doesn’t get swapped out with anyone else’s.
Caribou Gear game bags are designed for a number of species-specific applications. Whether you’re hunting moose, Coues deer or anything in between, we have a game bag system that’s perfect for you. In addition to species-specific sizing, we offer packaged systems to fit any situation. For example, our moose and caribou systems include an extra bag for the rib meat. Because in many places in Alaska, hunters are required to take all meat on the bone, including the ribs. Plus, our Magnum Packs include a dedicated bag for the cape – something that none of our imitators include. And all of our game bag systems include four bags for the main quarters, plus a meat parts bag for the backstraps and loose meat. We designed these systems to provide hunters with everything they need to take all edible portions of meat from the field in the best way possible. All because we care about meat care! Our primary concern is bringing home the best possible wild game meat for your family.
For help picking out the right game bag system for your next hunt, see this guide to selecting game bags.
CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS
If you have questions about our game bags or need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
By Ryan McSparran