There's not a lot of fussy webbing or unnecessary tool attachments on the Columbia Trail Pursuit 30L. The clean, functional design has universal features like a big, stretchy front panel that works equally well at holding a helmet, extra layers, climbing skins, or a couple of magazines.
With a dozen pockets throughout, the Pursuit is awesome for everything-in-its-place packers. We loved the two front pockets with opposing semicircle zippers (they provide bigger openings than straight ones). The lower pocket has a deep organizational panel with a mesh pouch big enough for a passport, wallet, and phone. Gripe: The shallow mesh side pockets are big enough for an extra layer, but bottles fall out.
The suspension is beefy for a daypack; it easily handled 25-pound loads on a dozen hikes in New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park.
$119; 2 lbs. 2 oz; 30 liters; columbia.com