When conditions were nasty but we needed to go light, we grabbed the Dry Summit Pack. PU-coated, seam-sealed nylon and waterproof pocket zippers make this roll-top pack fully submersible, as one tester discovered when his load tumbled into a not-quite-frozen glacial lake on Oregon’s Mt. Jefferson. It stashes a puffy, bivy sack, and snacks, and it’s comfortable to carry, too. (Stretchy mesh side pockets hold water bottles.) “Many waterproof packs are basically a drybag with shoulder straps,” one tester says. “This has wide, lightly padded straps, and a section of thicker nylon that provided a bit of cushion against my back.” (Some testers placed a foam sit pad inside to keep hard-edged gear from poking into them.) The straps and a webbing hipbelt ably supported 15-pound loads on our tester’s ski tours and climbs around the Alaska Range.
One of the lightest packs we’ve tested in this category, the Dry Summit Pack compresses down to coconut size to fit into your big-load hauler for summit bids from basecamp. It holds ice axes or trekking poles, and attachment points offer options to lash snow pickets or a sleeping pad. Ding: The chest buckle is flimsy; our sample broke during normal use.
“My shoulders didn’t ache when I stuffed the pack full with 23 pounds of gear and climbed Alaska’s Moose’s Tooth,” our tester says.”