This back-hugging load monster accompanied one editor to the summit of Mt. McKinley. He came back after 17 days calling it “a superb expedition hauler, very stable when cramponing along the ridgetop, and comfortable enough for day-long carries.”
The curved backpanel, well-tailored shoulder harness, and thermo-moldable hipbelt distributed weight so well they made 60-pound loads painless. The deep packbag had more than enough capacity for our bulkiest items, like frozen tents and gallon gas cans. Generous side and front compression straps make it easy to lash on bulky snowshoes, and the stretch bottle pocket on the right has a side port so you can snag energy bars without dislocating your shoulder.
The lack of hipbelt pockets is annoying, but at least the gear loops hold accessory pouches in good position. Our only quibble? The zippered bottle pocket on the left side is awkward to reach and close. $379; 5,300 cu. in.; 6 lbs. 8 oz. Ospreypacks.com
This Ascent has the same key features of the JanSport Tahoma but in a smaller format for fast and light alpine ascents.
-Available in 2 sizes: Regular and Tall
-Dual Side compression straps
-Foamex compression board framesheet with single aluminum stay for lightweight strangth and stability
-Dual side compression straps to eliminate hot spots and rubbing for a comfortable fit.
-Compression straps can be run over the pocket to secure contents or underneath for easier access to side pocket.
-Drop zone pocket with front compression for quick access and easy storage.
-Dual ice axe holders with bungee retention.
-Wrapped edge padded hipbelt
-Top loading extendable hood with 4-point compression