Why: When you tug on Gregory’s new Wraptor Stabilizer straps, you almost expect to hear a sucking sound-not the painful gasp of your diaphragm collapsing, but a whoosh of air as the pack seals into your lower back. We’ve never worn a snugger, smoother-fitting belt, or enjoyed such good load transfer in a sub-3-pound pack. Said one editor: “After 7 hours of hill-climbing with a 30-pound load, my shoulders and hips felt like they could go another 7 without a break.” Other outstanding features include a deceptively large packbag that held foul-weather gear and food for a weekend; deep mesh pouches; super-simple tool attachments; and snack pockets on the hipbelt. Our only caution: The silicone-impregnated 70-denier fabric is surprisingly strong for its weight-it survived New Zealand bushwhacks and Pennsylvania brambles-but it isn’t meant for scraping through slot canyons.
Who: Any hiker who wants to trim pack weight, but still carry 30 pounds comfortably. It comes in 3 torso lengths.
How much: $139
Weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.
Size: 2,700 cubic inches (regular size)
Contact: (800) 477-3420; www.gregorypacks.com.