Like it or not, some day you’re going to hike in a storm. Rain covers work ﬁne (many packs include them), but they add weight while hindering access (plus they can blow off in strong wind or get ripped by trailside branches). The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30's solution is far more elegant: Waterproof OutDry laminate (it attaches directly to the inner surface of the pack and seals both the fabric and the seams) transforms the Scrambler from standard to storm-proof. Plus, it adds killer durability to the already-rugged, 400-denier nylon. Over 100 days of testing in the Paciﬁ c Northwest, we never worried about our extra clothes getting wet even in all-day rain. (It’s immune to storms but not submersible.)
The minimalist pack has just enough organization. The toplid pocket holds sunglasses and a hat; two side pockets accommodate water bottles; and a padded, exterior-access sleeve is perfect for a hydration system or a laptop.
The ﬂexible, accordion-style framesheet conforms to your spine while remaining torsionally stiff, providing structure and support for up to 25 pounds. It also breathes well, thanks to all those horizontal air channels. Gripe: We wished for load-lift er straps to help pull heavy loads up and closer to the back.
$130; 1 lb. 11 oz; 30 liters; mountainhardwear.com