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
Ideal for gear laden day trips and overnight forays into the alpine, the Khamsin 50 is a well balanced mid-sized mountaineering pack. Loaded with alpine features and highly strippable, this pack can deliver a payload and then be compressed for a close to the body fit when traveling light to the summit.
Top loading Compressible kangaroo pocket with Hypalon reinforcement and top closure Large removable top lid Full length WaterTight side zipper
Removable dual density framesheet Emergency bivouac insulation pad Twin removable aluminum stays Composite horizontal frame members Two front compression straps Four side compression straps Removable hipbelt with thermoformed hip pods Removable webbing hipbelt with two injection moulded reversible/removable gear loops Laminated shoulder straps Two Axio ice tool holders Two modular ice axe keepers V-frame suspension Glove friendly snow-shedding buckles One compressible side stash pocket Lid hydration bladder pocket and hose port