Get a lot of pack for a little money with the Manang. "I hauled more than 40 pounds on a 35-mile trip through the Wind River Range," said one tester, "and this top-loader performed way above its price range." How? The Manang's well-padded suspension includes shoulder straps with extra-cushy gel inserts, and the frame is plenty stiff for big loads, thanks to two aluminum stays and a rigid U-shaped tube.
The packbag is easy to load and organize, with a cavernous main compartment that has a vertical access zipper, lid and hipbelt pockets, and plenty of lashing options. Even more impressive: The mix of 840- and 420-denier fabric is bushwhack-durable, yet the pack is reasonably lightweight for the capacity. The catch? No sleeping-bag compartment, and the ladder-style, adjustable harness is not as stable as the best in this category. $180; 5,190 cu. in.; 5 lbs. 2 oz. Lafumausa.com
Designed for comfort and convenience on multi-day backcountry treks, the Briza 62's plush suspension is shaped for the unique contours of the female form. Tough DWR coated fabrics and WaterTight zippers repel water, and a full compliment of organizational features make life on the trail effortless.
Double layered fabric bottom
Four external compression straps
Full length side zip
Hydration bladder pocket
Interchangeable dual density shoulder straps
Interchangeable thermoformed hipbelt
Kangaroo pocket with drain hole
Removable fanny lid
Sleeping bag compartment
Thermoformed back panel
Two external daisy chains, ice axe holders and water bottle pockets
Women's specific design and fit