Q:

Do any weekend-sized backpacks provide daypack-sized comfort?

I’m looking for a weekend bag that will hold a two-person tent, sleeping bag, and a little food and clothes. I have a Mmut Direct 28 daypack and love the airflow on my back. Is there a weekend backpack with a similar design and comfort level? You're the best. Thanks. Jason Chattanooga, Tennessee

Nov 26, 2007
Outside
Outside Magazine
Gregory Z55 Backpack

Z55 Backpack

A:

These days, a lot of pack makers are trying to design packs that have good air flow across the back. And, given your needs, you’re probably looking at something with around 3,500 cubic inches of capacity. My own choice in that size range is the Osprey Aether 70 ($248; ospreypacks.com). Although it’s a fairly light pack at just under five pounds, the Aether’s suspension works well for loads that bump up against 40 pounds (any more than that, I’ve found, and the suspension does tend to sag a little). But it isn’t really meant for big loads, so that’s to be expected. With typical weekend loads the Aether is comfortable, packs nicely, and has plenty of room for sleeping bag, tent, food, and clothing. And it ventilates well—the back panel is covered in nubby foam that lets plenty of air get to your back. It won’t be as cool as a little daypack, of course, but it’s perfectly fine.

For a little more compact pack, try Gregory’s Z55 ($190; gregorypacks.com). It has about 3,400 cubic inches of space—adequate for an overnighter. And a “floating" lid makes over-packing easy. Like the Osprey pack, the Z55 is best for loads under 40 pounds, and really shines then. Well-ventilated mesh covers the pack panel and helps keep you cool. And it has handy little pockets in the waistbelt for stashing lip balm and that sort of thing. On the trail and when scrambling around, the Z55 actually will feel a lot like your daypack.

It’s true, I am the best.

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Filed To: Overnight packs

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