Get a lot of pack for a little money with the Manang. "I hauled more than 40 pounds on a 35-mile trip through the Wind River Range," said one tester, "and this top-loader performed way above its price range." How? The Manang's well-padded suspension includes shoulder straps with extra-cushy gel inserts, and the frame is plenty stiff for big loads, thanks to two aluminum stays and a rigid U-shaped tube.
The packbag is easy to load and organize, with a cavernous main compartment that has a vertical access zipper, lid and hipbelt pockets, and plenty of lashing options. Even more impressive: The mix of 840- and 420-denier fabric is bushwhack-durable, yet the pack is reasonably lightweight for the capacity. The catch? No sleeping-bag compartment, and the ladder-style, adjustable harness is not as stable as the best in this category. $180; 5,190 cu. in.; 5 lbs. 2 oz. Lafumausa.com
A fresh take on outdoor style, this dapack is a comfortable fit from campus to trail.
AirCore shoulder straps
Two main compartments for versatile storage
Front utility pocket with organizer keeps essentials handy
Padded sleeve for laptop or hydration bladder
Hydration tube management on shoulder straps
Easy access V-Loft pocket
Dual side water bottle pockets
Side compression straps keep pack close to the body and manage the load
Daisy chain quick clip points
Web haul loop
Breathable back panel stays dry and comfortable
Fabric: 600 Denier Polyester/ 420 Double Diamond Dobby
Laptop Dimensions: 12" x 11" x 1.5"