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Field Notes: The Latest Word from Our Testers

The green truth behind bamboo, a hyper-efficient cookpot, and a bargain three-person tent.
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Tech4o Traileader | Under Armour Cold Gear Base 2.0 | Crazy Creek Backpacker Lite AIR | Bridgedale Ventum Light Hiker | Primus EtaPower 1.7L Pot | High Sierra Explorer 55 | ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3 | Green Scene

HIGH SIERRA EXPLORER 55 BACKPACK
Any bargain pack can handle a weekend trip. This one managed three and a half months on the AT, with loads up to 40 pounds, and our tester had no complaints. The top-loading Explorer 55 holds a week’s worth of three-season gear (volume is 3,356 cubic inches), and the pack is loaded with features despite the bare-bones price: hydration sleeve and port, tiny digital camera/accessory pocket that attaches to the shoulder strap, dual mesh bottle holders, and an integrated rain cover. Our tester reported great load transfer from dual aluminum stays and a stiffened hipbelt. And even in 90°F heat, the suspension’s molded channels and mesh-covered back panel kept him from overheating. Demerit: It’s heavy for the capacity. The one size is best for torso lengths of 16 to 18 inches, and fits both men and women well. $110; 5 lbs. 1 oz. (800) 323-9590; highsierrasport.com.

Tech4o Traileader | Under Armour Cold Gear Base 2.0 | Crazy Creek Backpacker Lite AIR | Bridgedale Ventum Light Hiker | Primus EtaPower 1.7L Pot | High Sierra Explorer 55 | ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3 | Green Scene

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