Convertible travel packs promise versatility—from train-hopping to trekking—but most fall short when it comes to carrying big loads comfortably. Not this one. Though the entire suspension stashes under a zippered panel, it’s capable of handling up to 50-pound loads on easy terrain.
Other features balance trail and travel convenience: A removable raincover kept gear dry during a Laotian downpour, and handles made for easy grabbing in Italian train stations. Downsides: It’s heavy, and the mesh side pockets are too shallow for water bottles. lowealpine.com Best for
Globetrotters who spend equal amounts of time in the front- and backcountry
Berne Broudy (other tester: Will Chapman-Hale)
Duration Nov. to March
Locales/conditions Laos, Cayman Islands, Italy; rain, dust, and mud; 50°F to 90°F
“The main zipper runs the full perimeter of the pack for super-easy packing and access.”