Our take This pack looks different because it is different. The Scree’s Y-shaped zipper (it has three zipper heads) opens like an old-fashioned doctor’s kit, allowing us to find exactly what we were looking for quickly and easily. (You can also load gear in from the top.) “I filled it with baby gear when my husband and I took our infant for a stroll in Washington’s Goat Rocks Wilderness, and flaying the entire thing open made it easy to grab diapers and wet wipes in a jiffy,” one tester reports.
The details The Scree has a plastic framesheet that allowed us to easily schlep 30 pounds, and it kept sharp objects from poking our backs. Two cylindrical dividers inside the packbag are handy for organizing layers, and dual hipbelt pockets hold a phone and snacks. Two mesh side pockets each fit a 1-liter Nalgene.
Trail cred “The pack’s soft-but-pronounced lumbar pad nestled around my spine like an inflatable airplane pillow,” our Washington tester says.