BEST FOR: Gear-intensive adventures.
THE TEST: You could carry the kitchen sink, the blender, and even the microwave in this (relatively light) 85-liter beast of burden. Aluminum stays bolstered by a foam back and pivoting hipbelt carried the load with the aplomb of a frame pack, even when crammed to capacity. And the Altra can take a beating: silicone treatment on the ripstop-nylon fabric and straps shed rain and snow like a champ.
THE VERDICT: Expensive but also extremely well built and absolutely humongous. If you can’t fit everything you need in the Altra, you have serious gear issues. 5.7 lbs.
HAULING COMFORT: 4