Model: Peak 45 Backpack
Sweat-wicking wool on the backpanel “upped the breathability to rival any trampoline-style pack,” said one tester after a four-day trip in Joshua Tree National Park.
The low-profile packbag never feels unwieldy, even with loads up to 40 pounds, and the narrow shape doesn’t interfere with arm swing.
Two ice axe loops on the bottom front secure axes or poles. Three extra webbing straps clip to the side compression for effective ski and snowboard carry.
A 42-inch, J-shaped zipper lets you peel back the entire front. “The pack opens like a book—it’s a great sit pad or emergency bivy,” says one California-based tester who routinely used the big platform for flaking out his rope. There’s also a large, two-pocket fixed lid (with 5 inches of “float”) and a full-length front zipped pocket for a shovel and wands. Two zippered pockets on the outside hold small gear.