Eddie Bauer First Ascent Sorcerer

The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Sorcerer goes from hauler to super-long hauler and can also be stripped down to a day-mission sack. Call it magic.

The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Sorcerer     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

They should have named this pack the Shapeshifter. It quickly expands from 40 to 55 liters without adding top-heavy bulk. Or you can pull out the back support—a foam insert that also serves as a minimalist sleeping pad or emergency splint—and it lightens up to a scant two pounds ten ounces.

Testers found the Sorcerer comfortable and highly functional in all configurations. "I loved the way it cinched down," said one. "Even when I had a lighter load, it didn't feel like overkill."

Constructed from ultrastrong, high-performance polyethlene fiber, this top-loader easily endured squeezes through Utah slot canyons.

Bottom line: A single bag that acts like three—which explains the price. 3.5 lbs 

$499, eddiebauer.com 

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