The company that helped bring ounce counters out of the closet has struck a sweet balance between low weight and high value with the Intuition. The key is matching the stiff suspensiona polystyrene framesheet and aluminum dowelsto a lightly padded hipbelt and shoulder straps, providing all-day comfort with a 30-pound load. The pack's durability and features are also a smart compromise: The fabric shaves weight without crossing the line into the tissue-thin zone, and panel and lid pockets rescue it from grocery-sack organization. 2.8 lbs, 3,300 cu in; www.golite.com
Bonus: With pack on, I could reach the full-size water-bottle pockets without dislocating a shoulder.
Bummer: Those mesh water-bottle pockets will be the first thing to surrender when ultralight meets ultra-rough.