Gear Guide 2009: Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 Review

The Vaude Cross Ultralight Comfort 35 is the ideal lightweight bargain pack for dayhikes or weeklong treks.

Killer Deal

Testers think this no-frills top-loader is a strong choice for any ultralight use, from dayhiking to weeklong sections of the PCT, because of its supportive backpanel and cavernous capacity at a feather's weight. And the rock-bottom price is just icing on the cake. Expect no frills here, but plenty of load support from the padded shoulder straps and framesheet-reinforced backpanel. The load lifters and side compression straps are made of lightweight cord, but they lock securely and are strong enough to handle normal use.

The single-compartment bag offers a ton of usable space, with a hydration pocket big enough for the largest waterbags. A single quick-release buckle cinches the top flap down to trail-running size for side hikes or summit dashes. Bummer: The top lid won't extend to wrap around overstuffed loads. $90; 2,135 cu. in.; 1 lb. 13 oz. Vaude.com