Our tester loved the "load and go" simplicity of this single-compartment pack. After a heavily laden overnight on the south slopes of Longs Peak, he reported "no pack-flop at all when I jumped rocks and creeks," and credited the shallow, back-hugging pack shape and suspension, which consists of a dual-density framesheet, twin aluminum stays, and closed-cell foam bivy pad. The framesheet, stays, and pad are all removable, so testers could beef up support or shave ounces, depending on the trip.
The thin, soft-flexing, removable hipbelt did a decent job of transferring weight, but like most climbing packs, the emphasis is on freedom of motion, low bulk, and easy high-stepping. Stripping all frame and hipbelt components trims almost two pounds.
The narrow packbag proved tight for bulkier sleeping bags, but quick-release compression straps and a front bungee net compensate. The top lid extends for high stacking, plus you get the usual gear loops and tool attachments. Bummer: no hipbelt or bottle pockets–although a hydration sleeve located in the top lid makes refilling easy, even with the pack loaded. $249; 3,661 cu. in.; 4 lbs. 4 oz. Arcteryx.com
Our largest Miura is sized for climbers who want all their gear inside the bag. The bottom of this convertible pack is designed to stow our Pali rope bag, and there is plenty of space left over for a double rack of gear, a score of quickdraws and a fistful of shoulder slings, climbing shoes, hydration bladder, lunch and outerwear.
Full-separating front panel • RollTop closure • Dual full-length side zippers with opposing thumb loops • Two internal gear racking loops • Top pocket
• Kangaroo pocket with external and internal access zippers • Two top grab handles • Two modular/removable external load straps with quick release buckles • Hydration bladder clip and hose port • Anatomically shaped hipbelt and shoulder straps
• Spacermesh backpanel • Shoulder straps and hipbelt