Want to see a magic trick? Try filling this 40-liter pack. “It’s deceptively cavernous,” says a tester. “Somehow it seems to hold more than many 50-liter packs I’ve used.” That makes it extremely versatile—streamlined and light enough for a big day, but with the capacity for a multiday hut trip. And it has a suspension to match the bottomless-pit cargo hold: Even when loaded with skis, boots, and cameras, it comfortably carried up to 50 pounds. Credit the variable-density stays, which taper from stiff at the lower back to flexy at the shoulders. That means great load transfer that doesn’t feel too rigid when your upper body is moving.
“It was remarkably stable, even when I was postholing through hip-deep snow in Norway,” reports one tester. On the front, a zippered avy-gear pocket keeps probe and shovel immediately accessible. Torso length adjusts via holes along the backpanel, which prevents yoke-style sway. The cinchable ski straps (on the sides, for an A-frame carry) can handle any width, from skinny to fat. $160; 2,440 cu. in./40 liters; 3 lbs. 3 oz.; mammut.ch