Unlike most packbags, which are cylindrical, this one’s triangular, with soft hip wings that provide killer wrap. “The pack conforms to my bony hips and spine with no deadspace,” says one tester. “It has a forget-about-it fit that I love.”
“The flexible polyethylene framesheet spooned my back with zero bounce,” one tester said after hiking the rough terrain along Oregon’s Rogue River. “The flat, wide-bottomed packbag requires careful packing,” says another tester. “But with the weight distributed along the bottom, the pack felt like it was riveted in place, more of an extension of my back than anything I’ve worn.”
Instead of standard side pockets, the Chilcotin has two pleated, Big Mac-size pockets with easy-to-reach zippers. “I never had to remove the pack to stash my gloves or grab a sandwich,” said one tester after the long ski into Glacier Point, Yosemite. The 18-inch vertical front pocket kept his skins handy with room leftover for lunch.
A 2-liter Source hydration bladder is included, upping the value.
$149; 1 lb. 13 oz.; 20 liters+2 liter hydration bladder; 3 sizes; arcteryx.com