Gossamer Gear G4-20 Ultralight 42

Best value ultralight pack

Brand: Gossamer Gear

Model: G4-20 Ultralight 42

The G4-20’s best-in-test price comes from using ROBIC nylon in the packbag instead of more-expensive Dyneema. (ROBIC is less hearty than Dyneema, but more tear-resistant than traditional ripstop nylon.) Testers praised the three-quarter-inch-thick shoulder straps, the chunkiest ones in the test, which help prevent shoulder strain when the minimal suspension is fully loaded. The G4-20’s unusual asymmetrical layout gives you one of everything: Its padded hipbelt has one mesh pouch and one zippered pouch (the latter fits a smartphone), a righthand side pocket is short enough for water bottle access, and the left is tall enough for a tent. We also loved the zippered dorsal pocket for staying organized; it fits a first-aid kit and small essentials or a day’s snacks. Bonus: The G4-20 is the only pack in the test with a removable backpanel you can use as a sit pad (the stiff foam also resists poking from gear). Max load: 25 lbs. $180; 1 lb. 9 oz. (M); unisex S-L; 42 liters

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