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Daypacks

Matador Beast18

The most packable backpack of 2021.

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A stuffable summit pack with a real-deal suspension, the Beast18 earned top marks from globetrotters and peakbaggers alike. Its metamorphosis is impressive: In just seconds, the Beast18 springs from its honeydew-size compression sack to a fully-featured daypack. The key is a heat-treated ribbon of steel inside the backpanel. The flat wire gives the frame enough vertical rigidity to support 15-pound loads—and enough torsional flex to coil up in a figure-eight shape for easy stowing. That same flex came in handy on the trail. During scrambles along the Granite Tors trail near Fairbanks, Alaska, the Beast18 moved with us and never swayed or inhibited motion. A PU coating offers both water- and tear-resistance (though the pack isn’t seam-taped) along with the 210-denier nylon fabric, which is about twice the strength of many other stowable packs in this class. Tradeoff: It’s more expensive, too.

unisex one size

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