With straps, loops, and holders designed specifically to carry skis, snowshoes, a helmet, ropes, ice axes, and trekking poles, the 40-liter, ski-mountaineering Spindrift is without a doubt the most versatile pack we tested this year. Even more impressive is how intuitive it is to affix all of the above andwith its front pocket (for snow-safety tools) and a side zipper on the main compartmentaccess everything. Plus, with aluminum stays and well-padded shoulder straps that are torso-length adjustable, it always fits right. "Even when it's fully loaded, it's the most comfortable pack I've ever used," wrote one of our ski-guide testers. A floating top lid allows you to really overload the expandable main compartment, as our team did on Alberta's famous multi-day Wapta Traverse. 3.5 lbs;
EASE OF USE: 4.8
BonusThe hipbelt, lid, and many of the straps are removable.