Editors' Choice Snow 2014: JanSport Klamath 55, 65, 75 Backpacks

A bargain pack that doesn't compromise.
Klamath 75
Price $155.00

Specs

Load Control 4.4
Comfort/Fit 5
Durability 4
Adjustable Torso
Materials Nylon
Frame Type internal

 

Load Type top-loading
Fixed Capacity (cubic inches) 55
Sizes Available 1
Smallest Size (Torso Length/Inches) 15
Weight 4 lbs, 9 oz

We’re accustomed to compromises with packs big and durable enough for year-round use. Too heavy. Not enough features. Too expensive. Enter the no-compromise Klamath. Not only does this top-loader deliver unbeatable performance for the price, it also has one of the best adjustment systems we’ve seen. After an expedition to Russia’s Mt. Elbrus, one tester called the Klamath “hands down the best-fitting pack I’ve worn.” The suspension lets you dial in fit by adjusting both torso length and shoulder width. And unlike some adjustment systems, which compromise stability, the Klamath’s plastic grid system (holes allow you to move attachment points) feels rock-solid under a load. “Good back padding makes it very comfortable,” adds one tester. And another, who skied Oregon’s Mt. Thielson, says load transfer is superb, thanks to the stiff framesheet and aluminum stay. The 75-liter model proved plenty big for a 50-pound load of expedition gear on Elbrus, and the 55 was perfect for a shorter trip up the Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier. Features like a sleeping bag compartment, front pocket, side bottle pockets, and zippered access to the main bag keep cold-weather gear organized. Ding: The upper compression straps are effective, but they block side access to the main packbag. $155 to $175; 4 lbs. 9 oz. (65 liters); available in three capacities; jansport.com