The top-loading Jade is like a compartmentalized closet for the backcountry. A cinching shove-it pocket was handy for stowing peeled layers on a 20-mile hike on Vermont's Long Trail; a U-shaped zippered pocket stores shades, sunscreen, and snacks; and expanding side pouches hold a water bottle or other instant-access items. Even with all the organizing options, the Jade is still light for its long-weekend capacity, and the ride is stable and comfortable even with a heavy load. 3.1 lbs, 3,050 cu in; gregorypacks.comBonus: The perforated framesheet and moisture-wicking foam in the harness and hipbelt vent sweat and save ounces.Bummer: Bulky lumbar padding requires break-in time.
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING