Perhaps our biggest gripe, however, would be how high the frame is. All of our bags are made from high quality, premium materials that are made to last and designed with your daily needs in mind. While it’s not a dealbreaker, I prefer bags that use YKK zippers. It’s a durable frame backpack but it is less durable than classic-style external frame backpacks like the Kelty Trekker. Here is where you’ll start to fit larger objects like camera gear, extra clothing and multiple large books. The hipbelt, while it could use a little more padding, is comfortable and well-engineered with two adjustment points to customize the fit. One of the selling points of the Prospector is its unique Hoist Compression system which pulls the pack’s weight inward and upward for a more balanced pack weight. The anatomically shaped carrying system employed in the design makes it easier to reach upwards, so this pack won’t hold you back in any way while working your way up a cliff face or down a chute. The roll-top system seals with a Velcro closure and fastens to the pack’s sides with buckles. The beefy, perforated shoulder straps and seamless, layered mesh hip belt contribute to the pack’s comfortable, breathable feel.
Offering an extremely well-built, breathable design, the Exos is packed with thoughtful features, but still manages to keep the pack’s overall weight surprisingly low. Coming in at almost half the weight of many traditional backpacking bags, and approaching the weight of some frameless, ultralight models, the Exos delivers supreme comfort in a lightweight, simple package. The streamlined and simple Deuter Aircontact Ultra ($250) delivers exceptional carrying comfort with a surprisingly lightweight and thoughtfully featured design. The back panel contains a sleeve for securely sliding your net handle, and the padded outer pocket is ideal for carrying anything from a water bladder to a laptop. Apart from a simple hydration bladder sleeve, there are no internal zippered pockets or organizational features. A simple and highly affordable backpack, this option by ZOMAKE will ensure you’re covered on the trail. The new Exos addresses a couple of complaints users had with the older model, adding a simple torso adjustment system, and bringing back the cherished hip belt pockets. Osprey’s Exos 58L ($260) pack has been a top lightweight pick for long-distance backpackers and weekend hikers for years, and its newest iteration doesn’t disappoint.
Osprey recently released their Exos Pro, which is nearly a pound lighter than this cult classic. On the hunt for an even lighter option for fast-paced ultralight missions? Even with a full load, this pack is quite enjoyable to hike with. This pack is catered towards the thru-hiking crowd who may want a similar weight to ultralight packs, but are still looking for the comfort and support of traditional backpacking bags. Osprey has engineered this small black backpack to support hikers with a smaller gear load but has maintained many of the awesome features included in their full-size, full-feature packs. Although Hyperlite makes similar packs with larger capacities, many users prefer the 40L size of the 2400 Southwest Pack, which weighs in at a featherlight 1 pound, 14 ounces. Most ultralight backpacks simply are not as stable or comfortable as heavier packs. Like most ultralight gear, this pack is minimalist and basic in its tube-like design. It carries loads well, but unless the pack is totally filled it sticks up high on the back which looks and feels somewhat awkward. True to their reputation, Gregory carries on the Baltoro’s legacy with the newest iteration of this crowd-favorite beast. It carries loads as comfortably and evenly as the best of them.
Backpacks with wheels can be convenient, especially for kids with heavy loads. The Radial backpack has a built-in high visibility rain cover, ensuring your gear will stay dry during even heavy rains. This is due to their heavy total weight, thanks in part to the beefy backpack frame. The hipbelt pockets are removable, which is nice if you are trying to pair down on weight, but they are consequently quite loose fitting and bounce around a little while walking. Beyond that weight, it may feel less comfortable and capable. Let’s face it ladies, we all own a very different bag for every single event that we may encounter and our sustainable products are more than helpful when it comes to getting new bags. When the zipper is closed, the bag can be used as a chest or shoulder bag. While not quite as ventilated as some of the other models in its weight category, the channels in the back panel regulate sweat buildup adequately and the contoured shoulder straps and generous padding on the back make for a super comfortable carry.