Light and Stable
"Very stable and simple, with the ability to shrink or expand with your load," wrote one tester after carrying this stripped-down pack on Bryce Canyon's 24-mile Under-the-Rim Trail. He found the flexible, no-stay suspension carried up to 35 pounds well (above that, the weight hangs too much off the shoulders).
The single-compartment packbag is sized just right for mountain layers, a down bag, small tent, pad, ministove, and two to five days of supplies. But it's not completely stripped-down; there are quick-release side compression straps, an extendable top lid, deep stretch wand/bottle pockets, and front compression straps. It's a versatile pack that's in its element on any ultralight trip and especially on scrambles where stability is key. Quibbles: The stretch bottle pockets are tough to reach, and we'd love a pair of pockets on the hipbelt. $180; 3,600 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 1 oz. Granitegear.com
Multi-day trips into the backcountry require substantial amounts of food and gear, and the Bora 65's thermoformed suspension system comfortably shoulders the extra load. With a larger volume kangaroo pocket, sleeping bag compartment, and full-length WaterTight side zipper, loading and finding gear is quick and easy.
Hydration bladder pocket
Double layered fabric bottom
Four external compression straps
Full length side zip
Interchangeable dual density shoulder straps
Interchangeable thermoformed hipbelt
Kangaroo pocket with drain hole
Laminated internal pocket
Sleeping bag compartment
Thermoformed back panel
Two external daisy chains, ice axe holders and water bottle pockets