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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear Guide 2009: Wenger Zernez 50L Review

Wenger's Zernez 50L pack has mountains of features including a built-in raincover and clear map flap.

by: Steve Howe

Wenger Zernez 50L (www.sethhughes.com)
Wenger Zernez 50L (www.sethhughes.com)

Gear Guide 2009: More Weekend Packs
Search through our extensive library for more reviews.

Bells and Whistles
If you like luxe features and don't mind carrying extra weight, consider this fully outfitted mountain pack. It has a comfortable, supportive, stay-reinforced backpanel; broad, memory-foam shoulder straps and hipbelt; and an easy, secure torso-length adjustment. (But testers noted you need to bend the aluminum X-stays for a custom fit.)

The packbag has a dizzying array of features, from stiffened mesh bottle holsters to a front pocket organizer and reinforced, quick-release compression straps, all with Velcro strap captures to prevent flapping in high wind. You also get a large shovel pocket, rubberized gear loops, built-in raincover, a small organizer pocket near the pack bottom, a three-compartment top lid with clear vinyl map flap, a fleece-lined MP3 pocket, and Velcro lash-on points for poles and tools. The usable capacity is much higher than the numbers suggest. The tradeoff: It's heavy. $249; 3,000 cu. in.; 5 lbs. 9 oz. Wengerna.com

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