Lowe Alpine Peak Attack 40
This top-loader is tailor-made for skiers, alpinists, and peakbaggers who want a stable ride and gear attachments to carry tools, pro, ropes, and skis. "It was perfect for technical scrambles around Colorado's Maroon Bells," our tester reported. "All the dragging and squeezing didn't faze it a bit." The backpanel is well-padded for heavy-load comfort and adjusts easily to fine-tune torso length (15-21 inches), while the framesheet, single stay, and hipbelt are all easily removed for stripped-down summit sprints. It has a durable setup for rope-hauling the pack, four reinforced gear loops, and innovative side-compression straps with beefy one-inch cam-lock buckles for securely cinching skis or poles. The single-compartment packbag is larger than its numbers suggest–big enough for an ultralight weekend. Bottom line: This is a steal for a tough, technical mountain pack. $140; 2,400 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 11 oz.