Brand: Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA)
Now that I’ve reduced my base weight to less than 15 pounds, I can truly appreciate a frameless rucksack like the Exodus. At 60 liters, it’s the perfect size for long weekends, peakbagging, or even longer minimalist trips. And it’s no glorified knapsack.
With surprisingly well-padded hipbelt and shoulder straps, and my folded Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite carefully tucked inside (acting as the frame), the Exodus handled up to 30 pounds (which I reached when fully watered up). The compact load clung to my back, keeping me balanced on a steep scramble up Spider Gap in Glacier Peak Wilderness.
Unlike many UL packs, the Exodus needs no TLC: The gridded Dyneema X fabric rebuffs abrasion, and reinforced stitching and multiple bar tacks on key attachment points enhance durability. $185; 1 lb. 5 oz.; 3 unisex sizes; mountainlaureldesigns.com.