Im hiking Kilimanjaro next August, and I need a lightweight and highly functional daypack (for a woman). Porters will carry everything else. Whats your pick? J.C. Palo Alto, California
Many good daypacks out there can handle 2025 pounds comfortably and carry all the stuff you need for that final push up Kilimanjaro. Guides typically recommend packs in the 2035 liter range (about 1,2002,200 cubic inches), which gives you enough room for water, camera, warm clothing and rainwear, lunch, snacks, and other stuff you might want to lug along.
Osprey Kestrel 28
A pack thats smack in the middle of that range is Ospreys brand-new Kestrel 28 ($119; ospreypacks.com). Its a cleanly designed top-loading pack with 1,700 cubic inches of space, which should be just about perfect. It has a stow space for trekking poles, side and top pockets, and can take most any hydration bladder. And its suspension is more than adequate for even a stuffed-full load. Gregorys Iris ($149; gregorypacks.com) offers the same capacity in a womens specific pack, meaning its shoulder straps are a little closer together and its waist belt is shaped to accommodate wider hips. Its also a top-loader and has outside attachment points for gear as well as internal provision for hydration. Nice pack.
For something a little larger but still well priced, I like REIs womens-specific Pinnacle Pack ($99; rei.com). It will let you squeeze in almost 2,200 cubic inches of stuff, yet will pack down nicely when youre traveling with the rest of your gear. The simple but effective suspension has aluminum stays to help support the load and a padded, shaped hip belt.
Have a great trip!
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