Light and Stable
"Very stable and simple, with the ability to shrink or expand with your load," wrote one tester after carrying this stripped-down pack on Bryce Canyon's 24-mile Under-the-Rim Trail. He found the flexible, no-stay suspension carried up to 35 pounds well (above that, the weight hangs too much off the shoulders).
The single-compartment packbag is sized just right for mountain layers, a down bag, small tent, pad, ministove, and two to five days of supplies. But it's not completely stripped-down; there are quick-release side compression straps, an extendable top lid, deep stretch wand/bottle pockets, and front compression straps. It's a versatile pack that's in its element on any ultralight trip and especially on scrambles where stability is key. Quibbles: The stretch bottle pockets are tough to reach, and we'd love a pair of pockets on the hipbelt. $180; 3,600 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 1 oz. Granitegear.com
This high volume ski pack holds enough gear for a weekend tour, and a full-length WaterTight side zip makes sorting through it easy. With a generous top pocket, front shovel pocket, and deep tool sleeve all the snow study gear has a home. A large RollTop closure reveals a deep main compartment with a light reflecting lining for visibility.
RollTop lid closure Full-length side access zipper WaterTight zippers
Faux lid pocket Front shovel pocket Side tool sleeve Hydration bladder pocket and hose clip Improved Wrap System Two ice axe loops and Velcro® axe keepers Laminated shoulder straps Thermoformed back panel V-Frame suspension
Thermoformed hipbelt with Squash Pods Top handle Front haul loop Key clip Adjustable metal sternum strap