Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Backpacks

Gear Review: GoLite Quest Backpack

Light, comfortable, and endlessly packable–this pack really does it all.


june 2010 gear golite 445x260

GoLite Quest (www.sethhughes.com)

june 2010 gear golite 445x260

Unique compression straps prevent slumping (www.sethhughes.com)

[best all-around]

The top performer hits an elusive trifecta: It’s light, has weeklong-load comfort (up to 40 pounds), and a packbag that can shrink, expand, compress, and redistribute loads. “It works for everything from an AT thru-hike to an ambitious day trip,” says a tester who carried it through Escalante canyons and Zion slots in Utah, and up technical snow climbs in Colorado’s San Juans.

Designers nailed this sweet spot by stripping away nonessentials and putting materials where they count: the suspension, plus a few key features. A tapered plastic framesheet (bolstered by dual aluminum stays) provides rigid support, which is enhanced by shoulder straps and a hipbelt that are precisely contoured—delivering comfort without bulk.

The packbag is clean yet uncommonly versatile: Quick-release compression straps switch from side (for poles, rods, skis) to front wraparound (for shovels, snowboards, snowshoes). Bummer: The stretchy bottle pockets are hard to reach. Bonus: Like most new GoLite packs, the Quest is made with recycled nylon (Editors’ Choice Green Award, 4/10).

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.