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
This Soloist pack has been updated from its launch last year and is the perfect lightweight fast pack to get you up the mountain and back with AirCore(tm) shoulder straps and breathable mesh back panel to keep you dry and comfortable.
-Adjustable hip belt
-Dual ice axe loops
-Versatile sleeve designed to fit a 3L hydration system or a 15" laptop sleeve
-This packs' straps adjust to fit any torso length