During a season spent carrying the Peak 45, our testers found that it excelled everywhere from weekend overnights to peakbagging day missions. The pack’s low profile hugs loads to the spine, eliminating sway in alpine terrain, and the padded, removable waist belt kept our hips happy on all-day hikes. “The carrying comfort and all-around-solid feature set has made this pack my go-to in its size,” says one tester, who used the Peak 45 for tagging Colorado Fourteeners. A single central aluminum stay distributes load to the contoured hipbelt, letting us carry up to 35-pound loads with ease. Testers reported no tears or abrasions to either the mesh or the 200-denier nylon fabric, even after a season of hard use. Gripe: “The water reservoir hose hole is way too small. It takes concerted effort to get a mouthpiece through,” one tester says.
$120; 2 lbs. 10 oz.; unisex one size