With bigger packs, it’s all about suspension and fit. Testers raved about how easy it was to tailor the Xenith to their bodies: the pack comes in three sizes, and you can choose between four shoulder-harness and heat-moldable-hipbelt options. The result is downright clingy—in a good way. “She held on to my hips and didn’t let go,” raved a lonely) tester. Little details like a removable top lid, to save weight on day jaunts out of camp, were smart and svelte additions, as were side zips for easy access, roomy hipbelt pockets, and an external hydration sleeve, so you don’t have to wrestle a bladder into a crammed pack. Add it all up and it somehow doesn’t balloon quite as much as you’d think: despite the huge capacity and full array of features, the Xenith still weighs a few pounds less than some of its competitors. 5.5 lbs.
HAULING COMFORT: 5