Why we like it Ultralight, waterproof, and comfortable—the top-loading Alpha FL 30 hits a rare trifecta. Plus, its shape provides unmatched mobility.
Weatheproofing “I sat on the bag on the summit of Mt. Hood, Oregon, for nearly an hour in wet conditions,” a tester says. “Neither my gear nor my rear got wet.” That’s because the Alpha FL has a burly, 400-denier, urethane-coated and seam-sealed nylon packbag. The 17-inch collar allows for overstuffing and rolls down and clips shut like a dry bag, keeping rain and snow out.
Mobility The streamlined, narrow design hugged our tester’s back and didn’t interfere with his arm swing or stride. That helped one tester crank as he climbed the steep ice field to the summit of Mt. Hood.
Stability The foam-and-plastic backpanel provides enough support for up to 25 pounds. “When correctly loaded—with heavy stuff low—the Alpha was one of the most comfortable and stable daypacks I’ve used,” says a tester who carried the Alpha while skiing and climbing for three weeks in Chamonix.
Bummer We wished for more than one small external pocket. $199; 1 lb. 5 oz.; 30 liters; 1 size; arcteryx.com