BEST FOR: Extended missions.
THE TEST: We loaded the Baltoro to the max for a four-day hut trip in the Canadian Rockies. At the hut, we ditched the bottom pocket (just big enough for a sleeping bag) and unclipped the lid, dropping the volume from 42 liters to 28 in seconds. And when it came time to switch from skinning to boot-packing, the randonnée-racing-style loop-and-clasp ski carry allowed us to attach our boards without removing the pack.
THE VERDICT: Some testers wished that the U-shaped back zip was a bit larger, to make it easier to access the bottom of the pack, but we’re really nitpicking here. The Baltoro is an exceptionally well-designed pack from top to bottom. 3.7 lbs