|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013
A comfortable, all-season pack you'll want to keep on your back.
“This pack carried my epic winter loads like a dream,” reports one editor who hauled 50 pounds up a steep skin track in the Montana backwoods. It has plenty of winter-specific features, such as sled-attachment points on the hipbelt, ice axe loops, a front shovel pouch, and side wand pockets. “But its winter performance isn’t the only reason I loved the versatile Glittertind. Unlike many winter packs, this one is light enough for big summer expeditions, too.”
The pack’s unique suspension is built around a high-carbon, low-alloy steel stay (translation: strong, yet flexible) that’s formed into a double helix pattern like DNA molecules, with less stiffness and more flex at two critical points: the waist and shoulders. The light, strong steel “can bend and twist and return to its shape, allowing the pack to swivel in concert with my body’s movement,” says one tester who hauled the 55-liter version for five days on California’s John Muir Trail. “The Glittertind transferred weight so well, I swear 60 pounds felt more like 40,” reports another tester who shouldered food and gear in the 70-liter version for a four-day family trip into Oregon’s Waldo Lake Wilderness.
Four side compression straps eliminate sway by keeping the load close to the spine and hips. Access points are plentiful: It’s a top-loader (with an 11-inch storm collar for skyscraper loads) with a bottom-entry sleeping bag compartment and a big, U-shaped front zipper. 55: $239; 4 lbs. 10 oz.; 3 sizes. 70: $259; 4 lbs. 14 oz.; 3 sizes; bergans.com