BEST FOR: Staying organized.
THE TEST: Often, packs with a lot of pockets (the Steep has five) compromise usable space. Not here. On a frigid day tour in British Columbia’s Coast Range, the 27-liter Steep swallowed all of one tester’s essentials, plus down pants and a second jacket. The oversize zipper pulls are mitten friendly, and a tandem zip on the back panel splays the main pocket for quick interior access. Our only gripes: Big shovel blades won’t fit in the tool pocket. And the hipbelt is a bit wimpy, especially when schlepping a full load.
THE VERDICT: A great deal for a feature-rich pack. 2.4 lbs