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
The super-sized Bora 95 is designed for monster loads and grand ambitions. Urethane coated fabric and WaterTight zippers help keep expedition supplies dry. Well-ordered gear space and our plushest thermoformed suspension saves both strength and sanity.
Double layered fabric pack bottom Six external compression straps
Full-length side zip Hose clip Interchangeable unisex dual density shoulder straps Interchangeable unisex thermoformed hipbelt Key clip Kangaroo pocket with drain hole Occipital cavity Sleeping bag compartment Thermoformed back panel Two external daisy chains, ice axe keepers, and water bottle pockets WaterTight zippers