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Backpacker Magazine – May 2006

Backpack Review: 4 Perfect Packs

Midsize internal-frame backpacks that do everything--and do it well

by: Mike Lanza, BACKPACKER Northwest Editor

PAGE 1 2 3 4

©Mitch Mandel

GoLite Perspective
This streamlined go-getter smartly combines our favorite ultralight and traditional pack features.

The Perspective surprised us. It's up to 3 pounds lighter than the other packs in the test, but its suspension handled nearly as much weight--35-plus pounds--in workouts ranging from 16-hour Adirondack days to off-trail scrambles in Washington's Glacier Peak Wilderness. The secret? A bare-bones suspension consisting of a curved plastic framesheet (easily removable for more ounce-shaving) and a wide, thinly padded hipbelt whose waiflike thickness belies its strength. Spacer mesh foam in the back and shoulder harness kept us cool all day.

The pack has more features than many ultralights, including decent compression (it cinches down to daypack size), a removable lid pocket, overlapping front compartments, and easy-to-reach side mesh pockets. On the downside, it didn't swallow as much gear--despite its stated capacity--as the Osprey and Gregory packs did, and its pocket layout isn't as useful. Three of five testers got a satisfactory fit from the unisex sizes, but the suspension doesn't adjust, so fine-tuning is out. It's also the only contender whose durability concerned us: Rough slickrock and Adirondack bushwhacking tore holes in the lightweight fabric, one zipper pull blew out, and the mesh pockets are vulnerable. It's best for trail hiking with 25 to 35 pounds when your priority is minimizing weight.

Price: $200
Size: 4,450 cu. in.
Weight: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Contact: (888) 546-5483;

PAGE 1 2 3 4

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Reader Rating: -


Jun 27, 2012

Would be nice if replies stated the item name they were commenting on. Can't tell which was the worst pack and which packed 65# with ease.

Dec 06, 2011

Because you can see her "review" under the descriptions of all four packs, it's impossible to tell which pack Julie Meadows disliked so much.

julie meadows
Aug 26, 2011

Worst pack I have ever worn. Not packed too full, maybe 40 pounds. I have a small frame. It KILLED my hips and shoulders the whole time. VERY limited adjustability!

Oct 14, 2009

I was wondering about the fore-mentioned heat molding process of the hip belt. Is this actually something that is done in the shop? My focus would be that what if the pack is bought online. Recommendations?

Sep 10, 2009

Great all round pack only used it once (to bad) but love it great for any day huge capacity but hip belt feels funny. Any way great pack very very stable!

Sep 10, 2009

Aug 02, 2009

I have only used this pack on 3 and 4 day trips but it is the most comfortable pack I have ever worn. On three day trips I tend to pack heavy foods; veggies, fruits, cheese. I have the 70 and it handles heavy loads great. To me the 70L looks and feels smaller then it is, I just can't work in the confines of a sub 60L bag, and the suspension in those smaller bags leave a lot to be desired. Go to your local mountaineering shop and try it on. You will be pleased. For smaller loads it packs down nicely. A final not. On my last trip in Yosemite a black bear took off with my pack and got a pack of beef jerky that I missed. He could have easily shredded the pack but he didn't only the small pocket the jerky was in. I got the pack back and now have a story and a pack that survived a bear attack. Hows that for a VOC.

Mar 19, 2009

I've taken this pack on a 24 day trip with 65 pounds and it handled the load with ease, and didn't hurt my back in the process. A great all around pack. The brain turns into a fanny pack which is another neat feature.


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