This back-hugging load monster accompanied one editor to the summit of Mt. McKinley. He came back after 17 days calling it "a superb expedition hauler, very stable when cramponing along the ridgetop, and comfortable enough for day-long carries."
The curved backpanel, well-tailored shoulder harness, and thermo-moldable hipbelt distributed weight so well they made 60-pound loads painless. The deep packbag had more than enough capacity for our bulkiest items, like frozen tents and gallon gas cans. Generous side and front compression straps make it easy to lash on bulky snowshoes, and the stretch bottle pocket on the right has a side port so you can snag energy bars without dislocating your shoulder.
The lack of hipbelt pockets is annoying, but at least the gear loops hold accessory pouches in good position. Our only quibble? The zippered bottle pocket on the left side is awkward to reach and close. $379; 5,300 cu. in.; 6 lbs. 8 oz. Ospreypacks.com
Multi-purpose backpacking design for rugged durability and easy adjustability on weeklong treks.
-GridFit(tm) harness plate for on the fly torso length and shoulder width adjustments to conform to the shoulders.
-Unbound-edge, breathable AirCore(tm) shoulder straps help eliminate rubbing and hot spots for comfortable fit.
-Ventech(tm) lightweight, highly breathable contoured foam pack panel.
-Foamex compression board framesheet with dual aluminum stay for lightweight strength and stability.
-Zippered sleeping bag compartment with drop-down divider
Fabric: 210 Boxcar Dobby/ 420 Denier Velocity Nylon