Granite Gear Blaze 60
This lightweight hauler just keeps getting better.
Brand: Granite Gear
Model: Blaze 60
Since its debut in 2011, this is the backpack we’ve recommended to friends more than any other. First, despite its light weight, the Blaze carries like a porter. You never really feel the pounds, even with north of 40 on board. The rigid support comes from the plastic framesheet—updated this year to be even more supportive—and the hipbelt foam is the exact right amounts of structure and cush. It’s also easy to get the perfect fit without relying on Velcro or webbing (just pick the right slot in the framesheet). “I tweaked the torso length on a one-minute break in Catalonia,” says one editor. The inside is just one large compartment with seemingly no bottom—we call it “the black hole.” Outside, the pack’s exterior retains one top-to-bottom stuff-it pocket (great for wet raingear or tent flys), new side pockets keep water bottles at hand, and the entire thing is made of lighter-and-tougher nylon material. This version also trades the P-cord compression straps (seriously fiddly) for half-inch webbing, adds hipbelt pockets, and the toplid is now included in the price. With those upgrades in place, we expect to be recommending this pack for years to come.