This pack manages what politicians can only aspire to: It really is all things to all people. Numerous testers praised the AT 55 for apparently conflicting benefits, but they were all correct. It carries comfortably even when overpacked for a long weekend yet is compact and light enough to deploy as a catch-all daypack; it boasts a simple design yet an abundance of features. The stiff frame is complemented by a perfectly padded hipbelt, which wraps snugly for a no-slip fit and rotates slightly to match your stride. Only a suitcase has easier packing: A panel zip accesses the AT 55's main compartment; four stretchy sleeves hold water bottles, layers, and fuel; and hipbelt pockets stow snacks and sunscreen. 4.1 lbs, 2,838 cu in; www.mountainsmith.comBonus: A white internal coating makes it easier to fish through contents in low light.Bummer: Mesh on the hipbelt shredded easily.
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.Contribute to Outside →