This monster supports big loads without adding to them. Weighing just over five pounds, but capable of comfortably carrying 60 or more, the TFX is great for hauling heavy winter loads over multiple days, like our tester did in Norway. (With airy mesh and quick-dry padding on the backpanel, the Expedition also works for summer.) Its outstanding load support comes from a wishbone-shaped aluminum stave that shunts the weight from the shoulders (where it forks) to the trunk (where it forms a single column that directs the weight onto the hipbelt).
That beefy belt also helps support the load, using a stiff plastic sheet sandwiched between dual-density foam; it feels comfy but doesn’t crumple beneath the payload. Lightweight Dyneema fabric cuts overall weight, as does the lack of any side zippers. (Main access is through the top.) Side straps hold skis for an easy A-frame carry. The torso length adjusts from 17 to 22 inches by flipping up the lumbar panel and cinching a web strap. Nitpicks: The side pockets are too shallow to secure water bottles, and the lack of pockets on the hipbelt made reaching snacks a pack-off affair. $350; 6,000 cu. in./95 liters; 5 lbs. 2 oz.; lowealpine.com