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
For multi-day treks, this womens specific pack with Bora thermoformed suspension can handle the load. DWR coated fabric and WaterTight zippers repel water, and handy water bottle pockets along with the built-in hydration bladder pocket make fluid intake simple.
Double layered fabric pack bottom Four external compression straps
Full-length side zip Hose clip Hydration bladder pocket Interchangeable dual density shoulder straps Interchangeable thermoformed hipbelt Kangaroo pocket with drain hole Key clip Removable fanny lid Sleeping bag compartment
Thermoformed back panel Two external daisy chains, ice axe keepers, and wand pockets WaterTight zippers Womens specific design and fit