Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet DCF 48

Best all-around

Brand: Mountain Laurel Designs

Model: Prophet DCF 48



1lbs. 1oz.

At the cutting edge of ultralight packs, it’s tough to keep shaving weight without also paring down comfort. The frameless Prophet DCF hits the balance perfectly: EVA padding on the shoulder straps and hipbelt keep it feeling good, even at max capacity, and the wide hipbelt wings transfer weight comfortably to the hips. We appreciated the extra-durable, waterproof Dyneema bottom, backpanel, and side pockets. (They’re made of 5-ounce Dyneema as opposed to the thinner 3-ounce version on the rest of the packbag.) Those sections deflected thick spruce branches and shed moisture in Yellowstone National Park, and even the wide mesh shove-it pouch evaded rips. Miss: The pack’s side pockets can each fit a two-liter Platypus, but are tough to reach while hiking.Max load: 20 lbs$285; 1 lb. 1 oz. (M) ; unisex S-L ; 48 liters