Testers absolutely loved the comfort and stability of this completely waterproof pack on soggy trips in Washington’s North Cascades and Colorado’s Front Range (its cousin, the Naos 55, won an Editors’ Choice Award in 2006). Adjustability is mindlessly easy, thanks to the peg-and-slot harness that lets you fine-tune torso length and shoulder width independently. “Despite a 50-pound load, it carried the weight very comfortably even in heinous terrain,” wrote one tester. He credited the reinforced, padded hipbelt, cushy shoulder straps, and a pivot mechanism on the hipbelt that kept the pack from shifting side to side during high leg lifts.
Another tester called the pack “like part of my body.” The roll-top packbag has decent access and organization, thanks to a waterproof side zipper on the main compartment. There’s also a streamlined front pocket big enough for a wind jacket and snacks. The waterproof fabric has proven supertough, showing no scars after five months of trail-testing and bushwhacking. The downside? There’s the price (ouch), and the simple streamlined design means there’s no place to stow gear for on-the-go access. $499; 4,993 cu. in.; 5 lbs. 2 oz. Arcteryx.com