Our take It’s not easy to make a pack out of sustainable materials. Durability and water resistance pose significant challenges. But Fjällräven succeeds where others have failed. The packbag is made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester and coated with a wax finish that’s waterproof and free of toxic PFCs. Burly, 500-denier nylon at the base of the pack never leaked, even when one tester set the pack in a wet marsh while she tracked a pileated woodpecker in Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Capacity is ideal for weekends—even long ones for efficient packers. Check fit: Our largest tester found the shoulder straps were too close together.
The details Access is best-of-class, thanks to a panel zip that opens wide (see the cover of this issue). An hourglass-shaped aluminum perimeter wire supports a mesh trampoline backpanel to maintain a full half inch of airspace between it and your back. Testers reported noticeable airflow when hauling 30 pounds in temps above 90°F. “After a 2-mile uphill trek, my T-shirt was damp, but not wringing-out-wet like my fellow hikers’ shirts,” said a tester after hiking up Oregon’s Black Butte Trail. The hard, dual-density foam hipbelt wings have raindrop-shaped cutouts that also kept testers’ hips from overheating, while a half inch of cushioning made for a comfy ride.
Trail cred “The front panel opening and hipbelt pockets gave me quick access to my lenses and extra camera batteries,” says one Northwest-based outdoor photographer.