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
The smallest of the Naos series, this pack is full of functional features and contains no fluff. Radially formed shoulder straps and hipbelt, in conjunction with the Spacermesh cushioned Monoframe and rotating Load Transfer Disc, create the most comfortable carrying system around.
Fully seam sealed
Hydration bladder pocket
Laminated map pocket
Laminated moulded AC2 Fusion Points Points
Load Transfer Disc
Pigment dyed WaterTight Zippers
Radially formed Binary hipbelt
Radially formed shoulder straps
Removable WaterTight top lid
Side access kangaroo pocket
Four external compression straps