[versatile hydration pack]
Why we like it Use this streamlined chameleon as a stand-alone hydration daypack (it comes with a 2-liter reservoir) or slip it into the sleeve of your big pack and use it for day jaunts or summit sprints from basecamp.
Comfort “Most rollable and foldable packs are too flimsy to carry much weight,” says one tester who used the Arete, which packs to cantaloupe size, on several South African safaris. “But this one was perfect for long days. The padded shoulder straps support loads up to about 15 pounds—water, snacks, layers, binoculars, and camera.”
Stability Wing-shaped compression panels cinch firmly across the bladder. “It kept the water snug against my back, no sloshing,” said a tester after a speedy ascent of Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
Durability Despite its low weight, the 70-denier ripstop nylon proved durable on our tester’s 23-day trip to Africa. After a particularly brambly side-country scramble through Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, he reported, “I was constantly bushwhacking to get better views, but the packbag never suffered.”
Ding The fixed lid limits overstuffing. $65; 10 oz.; 16 liters; 1 size; camelbak.com