[Editors’ Choice update]
Three years ago, one newlywed staffer carried a Baltoro on a honeymoon hike of Nepal’s 128-mile Annapurna Circuit and deemed it the most comfortable trekking pack he’d ever worn. It passed durability tests in Utah’s nylon-eating slots and stability tests on Rockies ski tours. In this year’s trials, the updated Baltoro earned similarly high marks.
“The shoulder straps and hipbelt each cant to your body’s angles to create a snug fit and direct load transfer,” says one tester after hiking the Appalachian Trail through Virginia. “And after 120 miles, the 210-denier, double-diamond ripstop* nylon looks out-of-the-box new.” A variety of accessory upgrades improve ergonomics: Silicon on the lumbar pad makes that key area stick like glue, and new cordlocks are easier to operate one-handed.
Caveat: The Baltoro is made for big-load comfort and rough-treatment longevity—no apologies—which makes it heavy for the capacity. $270; 5 lbs. 10 oz.; 65 liters