Many winter trails start off as hardpacked highways—but become fluffier as foot traffic diminishes. Enter the Snowalker: Its removable neoprene snowshoe holder clips across the pack’s front to carry shoes when hiking on firm trails. “It’s faster and more intuitive than making do with compression straps, and it keeps them from bouncing as I hike,” says one tester who used the pack in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Sleeves hold an avalanche probe, shovel, and hydration bladder, with space in the main compartment for snacks and layers, but not much else. Smart: A rigid, foam-padded backpanel kept contents from jabbing testers, delivered excellent load support, and let them sit on the pack in snow and still grab contents through the zippered access. Bonus: big hipbelt pockets. $65; 915 cu. in./15 liters; 2 lbs. 4 oz.; tsloutdoor.com