Kuiu Divide 1500 Review: Hunting Essentials

Kuiu Divide 1500

Kuiu is well known for its ultralight hunting gear designed for western backpack hunters. They’re highly regarded as one of the top companies in the hunting industry.

But what about the eastern whitetail hunter. In our review of the Kuiu Divide 1500 we’ll break down why it’s a pack worth considering if you’re a treestand hunter chasing whitetail deer.

Specs and Overview

As the name suggests, the Kuiu Divide 1500 is a 1500 cubic inch day pack that weighs 2 pounds 2.5 ounces. It’s offered in all 3 Kuiu camo patterns – Vias Verde and Valo, as well as hunting solids – Ash, Buckskin, Gunmetal, Stone and Green.

It’s built with 330D cordura material and is hydration compatible up to a 3 liter water reservoir. I don’t always carry a hydration bladder. Not every hunting trip is long enough to carry a lot of water, but it’s nice to have the option available when you want it.

There are two separate storage compartments with a stretchy expansion area between them for storing oversized items. Kuiu advertises this as a place to keep your spotting scope, but as a midwestern whitetail hunter I’ve never had a need for one in the field.

Between the two compartments there are six pockets to store and organize your gear. My favorite feature is the clamshell zipper on the outside pocket. This encircles the perimeter of the compartment in a D shape which really opens up and lets you access everything stored inside.

If you love organization and having an exact spot for each item, the Kuiu Divide 1500 has you covered.

That’s probably enough from me about what the backpack is. Let’s talk about how we can best use it when hunting.

Kuiu Divide 1500
Spacer air mesh and removable waist belt.

Potential Uses For the Kuiu Divide 1500

Where will the Kuiu Divide 1500 shine in your hunting system? As we mentioned earlier Kuiu at its core designs gear for western hunters for extended backcountry hunts. The Divide 1500, however, does not fit into this category. With no external frame or yoke system for load lifters it won’t be hauling any meat.

As exciting as back country hunting sounds, it’s not a scenario that the majority of hunters will find themselves in. While hunting in West Virginia, I rarely find myself that far from civilization. As such, I don’t need to go into the woods as prepared as someone who is gone for an extended period of time.

Climbing Treestand

A climbing treestand is a great way to stay mobile throughout the hunting season. Hunting the same spot too often can burn out an area and lead to decreased deer sightings. The one downfall to a climber is it requires a straight and limbless tree.

On many of the West Virginia public land choices a hunter has, the forest is mature hardwoods. What this means is no shortage of straight limbless trees. A climber will get you elevated on your hunt in a hurry, but how do you bring all the other essentials along on your hunting trip?

Shed Hunting Tips

The Kuiu Divide 1500 is perfect when Shed Hunting


I myself like to strap a backpack to the back of my climbing treestand. It helps me carry and organize everything I’ll need while hunting. Without a backpack strapped to my climber I’d be relegated to relying only on what fits in my pockets.

Since the backpack attached to my climbing treestand isn’t carrying any weight, only holding material, I look for something light in overall weight. A backpack designed for carrying heavy loads will typically weigh more as it’s built to withstand serious abuse.

The Kuiu Divide 1500 tips the scales at 2 pounds and 2.5 ounces. That includes the weight of the removable waist belt. To me, a waist belt on a backpack hauling gear with your climbing treestand is wasted weight.

I love the fact that the waist belt is removable, and in fact, would do that immediately if this was your intended use for the backpack.

After removing the waist belt, I feel the Kuiu Divide 1500 is a great option for anyone hunting with a climbing treestand. It will organize and carry all your gear strapped to the back of your climber without adding too much unnecessary weight. Ounces are pounds and pounds are pain.

Hang And Hunt Mobile Hunters

In areas where straight limbless trees are in short supply, hunters rely on hunting from climbing sticks and a hang on tree stand. Another option would be to replace the tree stand with a saddle platform. Either way, a hunter will be carrying sticks to get to their desired hunting height.

If this describes your style of hunting, you may want to look at other backpacks more suited for carrying your climbing sticks.

The Kuiu Divide 1500 doesn’t have any external lashing straps to connect your climbing sticks to the back of the bag. The backpack has a waist belt, but it has no load lifters to better distribute the additional weight off your shoulders and onto your hips.

If you are using climbing sticks and saddle hunting, there are better options out there for you.

Kuiu Divide 1500

Treestand Hunters

If you are carrying a treestand and climbing sticks, you could remove the waist belt and attach the backpack to your stand and sticks just like the climbing treestand as described above.

Many hunters set their treestand location before the beginning of the season. They may have one treestand hung, or multiple hunting spots each with a treestand setup and ready to hunt from.

If your treestand is set and ready, you aren’t carrying a climbing method into the woods with you.

This means that hunting from pre-set locations doesn’t require as much gear as mobile hunting. You can simply hike in, attach your safety harness to your lifeline and climb to your stand.

If this describes your style of hunting, the Kuiu Divide 1500 is an excellent choice, especially in the early season when you don’t need to pack your heavy outer layers to your stand.

Hunting From The Ground

Maybe you primarily hunt from the ground and don’t have to haul a climbing system into the woods with you. Despite the growing popularity of lightweight options for hunting from an elevated position, hunters have been killing deer from the ground for years and years.

It’s up close and exciting, but also a very effective tactic. So if climbing sticks aren’t a part of your hunting system, the Kuiu Divide 1500 is an especially attractive option for you.

Final Thoughts

I think the Kuiu Divide 1500 is an excellent option for a hunting backpack designed for the eastern treestand hunter. Because of it’s inability to strap climbing sticks to it, I feel it’s often overlooked.

That is unfortunate, because for around $100, depending on color, it offers a lot of value in a hunting backpack. It’s made by a top notch, industry leading company that utilizes excellent technology and materials to produce high end gear for hunters.

As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of ways to hunt whitetails in the eastern United States. It’s hard to define one best hunting backpack encompassing them all.

If one of the scenarios describes your typical style of hunting, don’t hesitate. The Kuiu Divide 1500 will check all the boxes and do what you need your backpack to do while hunting.

Kuiu Divide 1200 vs 1500

The Kuiu Divide 1500 is smaller than you’d expect it to be. If you’re looking for a lightweight hunting pack to carry just the essentials, you’ve found it.

On paper, the Kuiu Divide 1200 is very attractive. I am always guilty of carrying too many things and a smaller bag can prevent overpacking.

I myself am guilty of overpacking quite often. Even though I’m rarely a mile from where I parked or the nearest road there’s always something more to bring on a hunt. A smaller bag would prevent this right?

Unfortunately, I firmly believe the Divide 1200 is too small for anything but hiking trips. The Divide 1500 will do everything the 1200 does. It’s still small enough to stop you from bringing the kitchen sink, but you’ll still have room for an extra lightweight layer in your pack before you run out of space.

I’d avoid the Kuiu Divide 1200 and opt for the extra 300 cubic inches. There is such a thing as too big, but in this case there is no drawback to the extra space.

Morel Mushroom Season

Take your Kuiu Divide Morel Mushroom Hunting

Kuiu Divide 1500 vs Venture 1800

A common comparison between Kuiu hunting backpacks is the Divide 1500 and 1800. While similar in size and intended purposes there is one major difference between the two backpacks.

As we mentioned earlier, the Divide 1500 does not present an ideal solution for carrying climbing sticks. While not a concern for everyone, if that is your intended purpose it is best to cross it off your list of potential hunting backpacks.

Enter the Kuiu Venture 1800. With external lashing straps and internal frame made of aluminum and polycarbonate, it fills in the gap before jumping to a full frame pack.

The Kuiu Venture 1800 was great for carrying climbing sticks, an aspect that is lacking with the Divide 1500.

Unfortunately, the Kuiu Venture 1800 is no longer made. It has been replaced by the Venture Divide 200 and 300.

The Venture 1800 was the best daypack offering by Kuiu and possibly one of the top contenders in the category overall.

It did everything well, including carrying sticks as well as a platform if you happened to be a saddle hunter.

Lots of hunters buy and try gear only to resell it later. Keep an eye on your favorite hunting forum’s classified section if you want to purchase a Kuiu Venture 1800. Buying used is the only way you’ll acquire one now.

We hope our Kuiu Divide 1500 pack review helped you make the best choice for your hunting style. If you’re using one, let us know what type of hunting you do and how you like the pack below.

Total Archery Challenge PA Kuiu Tent

Where to buy Kuiu? Kuiu only sells their hunting gear and apparel direct to consumer. This means you can’t buy it at retail stores. However, if you like to see things in person before purchasing they occasionally have vendor booths set up at major events. The Total Archery Challenge, a national 3D archery event is one such event that you can get your hands on Kuiu camo in person.

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