Despite its modest weight, this pack has plenty of room: It swallowed a tent, bag, pad, stove, pot, and a week’s worth of food on an eight-day thru-hike of Utah’s Uinta Highline Trail. The narrow, thin shoulder-strap padding felt a little harsh at trip’s beginning with 45 pounds aboard, but it was fine halfway through as the weight dropped below 35 pounds.
The nonslip lumbar pad offered great load support for day-after-day tramping, and the premolded hipbelt wrapped easily and resisted downward sag. Despite record heat on that Utah trek, the trampoline-style mesh backpanel kept tester spines from cooking. Packbag organization is excellent, with large, U-shaped, zippered access to the main compartment, and a huge front pocket with a handy water-resistant slash zipper. The twin mesh hipbelt pockets are big enough for giant energy bars and pocket cameras. Roomy stretch water-bottle/wand pockets are reachable on the go without painful contortions. Three sizes for each gender (women’s is the Jade 60) guarantee you’ll get the perfect fit. $239; 3,966 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 14 oz. Gregorypacks.com