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