Model: Elevation 40
Stable and Feature-Rich
Testers loved this featherweight top-loader for heavily laden dayhikes and lightweight overnights. “Surprising usable space,” wrote one. “It holds more than the capacity numbers would suggest, and the flat-and-wide packbag keeps weight close to your back.” Effective hipbelt load transfer manages a whopping 35 pounds, and female testers praised the supportive and comfortable shoulder harness of the 30LD women’s version.
Despite its deceptively simple design, the Elevation has a pull-out raincover, a hipbelt pocket, zip access to the main packbag, plenty of interior pocketing on the lid, and even long wrist loops on the shoulder straps. The latter is a smart feature and a fave among Euro hikers; pulling the loops redistributes pressure on the shoulders, easing aches at the end of long days. Good compression lets you cinch it down for short hikes. Bummer: It could use more back ventilation for the hottest temps. $135; 1,830 cu. in.; 2 lbs. 9 oz. Milletusa.com
Suitcase style opening