A Velcro mechanism adjusts the torso length from 16 to 22 inches (men’s) or 14 to 20 inches (women’s) in seconds, accommodating just about everyone. The spring steel frame carries up to 30 pounds comfortably.
This wide-opening top-loader has a drawstring closure that’s protected from the elements by a V-shaped flap. Secure it with a metal hook that attaches to a daisy chain. Testers loved this feature for cinching low-volume loads or extending the storm collar to fit an ultralight overnight kit. Bummer: The side pockets’ stiffened rim lets smaller items slip out when we bent over to lace our boots.
Inch-long cutouts in the molded foam of the lumbar pad, shoulder straps, and hipbelt mean cushy comfort without the sweat penalty.