BEST FOR: Versatility at a stellar value. THE TEST: Though it isn’t packed with a bunch of fancy features, the 50-liter Odin became our go-to top-loader for everything from back-packing overnights and hut trips to alpine climbs because of its simplicity and no-nonsense hauling capacity. “I stuffed it to the limit—a case of beer, a big tent, a stove, warm clothes,” said one tester, “and it didn’t flinch.” For quicker missions, you can remove the framesheet and the Odin morphs into an impressively tidy daypack. It’s also up for winter jaunts, outfitted as it is with a diagonal ski-carrying strap and loops for ice axes or trekking poles. THE VERDICT: A basic, sturdy backpack that will cover a lot of terrain. 3.5 lbs
HAULING COMFORT: 3.5
In a hurry? Not carrying a heavy load? As with the Alchemist, the Odin’s framesheet is removable, so you can save a few ounces of weight.