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
This fast access RollTop pack is large enough for gear intensive day tours. I ts V-Frame suspension is integral with the frame sheet for additional support. Tool specific pockets keep shovel and probes handy, and the 3D-thermoformed hip belt padding is removable, leaving a streamlined webbing belt.
RollTop lid closure
Faux lid pocket
Front shovel pocket
One side tool sleeve
Hydration bladder pocket and hose clip
Improved Wrap System
Two ice axe loops and Velcro® axe keepers
Laminated shoulder straps
Thermoformed back panel
Removable thermoformed hipbelt pods
Front haul loop
Adjustable metal sternum strap