Brand: Six Moon Designs
Our take The 34-liter Daybreaker boasts best-in-test load capacity and superior carrying comfort, so it’s a smart pick for high-mileage hikers who like the option to carry more. The wide, EVA-padded shoulder straps help distribute loads up to 20 pounds, which one Colorado tester appreciated on the 14.8-mile High Lonesome Loop in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. “The pack felt stable, even at maximum capacity and while I descended loose talus and steep downhills,” he says. Credit that stability to an EVA backpanel—cushiest in the test—which also boosts comfort by keeping the pack from buckling when loads are light. Bonus: It doubles as a removable sit-pad.
The details Pockets are sparse, but well-placed. There’s one cinchable pouch on each shoulder strap that can fit a couple granola bars or a smartphone, a dorsal shove-it sleeve, and a zippered toplid pocket big enough for snacks. Two tall side pockets each fit a 1-liter Nalgene. The Daybreaker also sports beefy 210-denier ROBIC nylon. It proved to be the toughest material in the test—one tester took it canyoneering outside Moab, Utah, and reported small tears in the mesh side pockets but not a scratch on the main panels. Ding: The tiny buckles on the toplid closure took some fiddling.
$120; 1 lb. 4 oz.; one size