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
Big is beautiful with this woman's specific expedition sized trekker. WaterTight zippers provide quick access to the main and sleeping bag compartments, and the interchangeable thermoformed hipbelts and shoulder straps ensure the perfect fit for long trips with heavy loads. Water bottle and hydration bladder pockets keep critical fluids handy while negotiating mountain passes.
Double layered fabric bottom
Six external compression straps
Full length side zip
Hydration bladder pocket
Interchangeable dual density shoulder straps
Interchangeable thermoformed hipbelt