Model: Arch 65
This cavernous, 100-liter top-loader manages monster loads without any superfluous weight. It easily swallowed all of my gear and food for a 12-day gig on the PCT, and stability proved top-notch, even when I was scrambling and bushwhacking.
Credit the plastic framesheet with aluminum perimeter rod and center stay, which attaches firmly to the stiffened hipbelt and provides excellent load transfer, even when I schlepped 65 pounds—more than half my body weight! And after a few days, the hipbelt’s memory-foam padding molded to my curves for customlike comfort.
Thick shoulder straps held the load snug to my torso without rubbing or pinching. Nice touch: Plastic tubing on the zipper pulls is easy to grab with gloves on. $340; 5 lbs. 6 oz.(S); 3 unisex sizes; mountainhardwear.com.
Easy adjust AeroBeam suspension fits a range of torso lengths.
Mesh backpanel keeps the pack off the wearer’s back, allowing air to circulate freely.
Large stretch front pocket.
Stretch, waterproof side pockets.
Volume reducing secondary low profile hood.
Ice axe loops.
Breathable waistbelt and shoulder straps.
Zippered waistbelt pockets.