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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Bargain Load Haulers: Weekend Pack Review

High performance and low cost? These 6 weekend packs deliver.

by: Berne Broudy

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6
The Astra's build-in raincover deploys like a pop-up umbrella
The Astra's build-in raincover deploys like a pop-up umbrella
The North Face Terra 40
The North Face Terra 40
Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10
Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10
Extra-large webbing loops on the shoulder straps add versatility
Extra-large webbing loops on the shoulder straps add versatility
L.L. Bean White Mountain
L.L. Bean White Mountain
Coleman Exponent Tatarian X55
Coleman Exponent Tatarian X55

Ratings scale: 5 = Perfect gear, 1 = Save your money

The Organizer
L.L. Bean White Mountain
This feature-rich, pocket-festooned pack is the answer for hikers who like a place for everything. The shoulder strap has a GPS/cell phone pocket and the hipbelt has two more, each big enough for a point-and-shoot camera or energy bars. Mesh water-bottle pockets are angled for easy access, and side pockets swallow snacks, sunglasses, and more. It's a top-loader, but there are two additional ways to access the main compartment: through a horseshoe-shaped zipper hidden behind three front pockets, and through a lower sleeping-bag compartment, which has an internal divider. The harness has three inches of torso adjustability concealed under a zippered back panel. The penalty for so many bells and whistles? Weight. The White Mountain is the heaviest pack in our review by more than a pound. But if your hikes tend to be on the shorter side, the extra ounces shouldn't be a deal breaker. The suspension is comfortable with up to 30 pounds on board–a bit less than we'd like–but testers praised the dramatically contoured shoulder straps and ultra-padded hipbelt, which wrapped hips evenly. A spindrift collar extends capacity by more than 800 cubic inches, but overloading this pack can tax the suspension and make the whole thing wobbly. Beginner bonus: Sewn-in tip sheets include packing checklists, plus tips on loading a pack and choosing a campsite.

> Capacity 4,500 cu. in.
> Sizes 2 men's, 1 women's
> Weight 6 lbs. 3 oz.
> Price $149
> Info llbean.com

Overall 3.5
Comfort 3.0
Loading 3.8
Stability 3.3
Durability 3.6


PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

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READERS COMMENTS

Adam
Nov 15, 2011

Just bought this pack from the Coleman outlet for $75 incl. shipping. Haven't used it yet, but it seems well-built with good features for the money.

Adam
Nov 15, 2011

Just bought this pack from the Coleman outlet for $75 incl. shipping. Haven't used it yet, but it seems well-built with good features for the money.

Will
Mar 02, 2009

The Terra 40 is an excellent pack and they can be had now for really good prices. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good pack with mid-sized room that won't break the bank.

Normand
Sep 15, 2008

I got the Cerro Torre ,model Gecko 45, for weekend
trip and more .Good comfort et partic pockets and a rain sheild it's include , many adjustements . I used for one week
trip in summer time in Quebec Chalevoix , i'm very
satisfy .
Good Quality/price

Chad
Sep 11, 2008

I got the Terra 40 (Terry) for weekend trips in the Colorado back country. So far it has provided me with plenty of space and comfort for long or short hikes.

Great price, great pack


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