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Bargain Load Haulers: Weekend Pack Review

High performance and low cost? These 6 weekend packs deliver.

Coleman Exponent Tatarian X55

After speed hiking a 15-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail in California, one tester praised this pack for its balanced combination of weight (low), durability (high), and features (plenty). A framesheet and two aluminum stays provide solid support, but relatively thin padding on the hipbelt and shoulder strap make it best for loads below 30 pounds. Despite the sub-four-pound weight, the pack is both spacious and easy to load. “The squared-off bottom keeps the pack from tipping over and the oversized O-ring zipper pulls make pockets quickly accessible,” said one tester. Mesh side sleeves and pockets hold a sleeping pad or tent poles, a stretchy front pouch keeps extra layers accessible, and the top lid converts to a lumbar pack. The silicone-treated nylon packbag is lightweight, highly water repellent, and impressively durable: After the PCT trek, we loaded it with 38 pounds of climbing gear, checked it on a cross-continent flight, and it still showed no signs of wear. (With that much weight, you’ll experience some shoulder fatigue.) Torso length adjusts via Velcro. Gripes: The hipbelt pocket is small, and the shoulder straps are scratchy on bare skin.

> Capacity 3,455 cu. in.
> Sizes 1 men’s, 1 women’s
> Weight 3 lbs. 13 oz.
> Price $150
> Info

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