Backpack Review: Kelty Shadow 4500

Holds a week's worth of three-season supplies--or just enough for a light summit day

On trips up Rainier and San Gorgonio, our tester loaded the Shadow to the gills with food and foul-weather gear. She found that it easily holds a week's worth of three-season supplies, yet is still light enough for summit day. Aluminum stays in the internal frame make it rigid enough for 35 to 40 pounds, but the thin hipbelt left her a bit sore on long days with heavier loads. Large external pockets and a mesh shove-it pouch let her keep extra layers and other items handy. Choose this pack if you want to trim pack weight, but keep enough capacity for occasional trips with bulky gear. Nitpicks: The mesh water bottle pockets are too small for liter bottles, and they're hard to access.

Price: $200

Sizes: 4,500 cu. in.; 1 men's size (16-22" torso); 1 women's size (12-17" torso)

Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.

Contact: (800) 423-2320; www.kelty.com