SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

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

If you're new to backpacking or on a tight budget, you're in luck. Unlike gas and groceries, packs seem to be getting cheaper. We scoured the market for comfortable, durable packs that hold a long weekend's worth of gear and cost less than $150. Our testers hit the wilds from Vermont to California and narrowed a field of 20 contenders down to these top six.

Most Comfortable
Vaude Astra 55+10
Every tester achieved a perfect fit with the Astra, thanks to six inches of torso adjustability. And dense padding in the hips, lumbar, and shoulder areas minimized typical long-day soreness. Two contoured aluminum stays transfer weight efficiently to the cushy hipbelt, and the suspension flexes laterally with your stride, which helps reduce rubbing. Testers carried up to 45 pounds without complaint. The back panel vented well, even in Costa Rica's tropical humidity. On a rain-drenched hike in Washington's San Juan Islands, one tester deployed the built-in raincover and said, "Without even taking the pack off, I could unzip the cover and pull it up." Expandable side pockets are big enough for liter bottles (though tight if the pack is stuffed). The top lid converts to a lumbar pack, with a fabric panel that holds gear tightly in place for maximum stability. The packbag's polyurethane-coated Cordura is exceptionally durable. Minor complaint: The top lid zipper is too short. Reader Service #101

> Capacity 3,960 cu. in.
> Sizes 2 unisex
> Weight 4 lbs. 9 oz.
> Price $150
> Info libertymountain.com

The Astra's built-in raincover deploys like a pop-up umbrella

Overall = 4.4
Comfort = 4.4 Loading = 4.4 Stability = 4.6 Durability = 4.6


PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

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


ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 Shot Down
Posted On: Jul 22, 2014
Submitted By: High_Sierra_Fan
Gear
Gear you once poo-pooed but now love?
Posted On: Jul 22, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World


Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions