When Moab's worst rainstorm in years coincided with our weekend plans, the Dryshield prevented a soggy retreat. In conditions that would have soused a lesser pack's contents, the 500-denier, polyurethane-coated packcloth kept our stuff bone dry. Its streamlined features—there's little more than mesh pockets and ax loops on the pack's exterior—and bulletlike shape lean toward alpine duty, but the Dryshield's comfort under moderate (sub-20-pound) loads will please anyone looking for an all-purpose midsize daypack. Caution: It's not a drybag; when we submerged it, a few drops seeped through bottom seams and the lid-pocket zipper. 2.5 lbs, 1,850 cu in; deuterusa.com
Bonus: Because the fabric is both waterproof and unbelievably durable, the Dryshield 30 is perfect for slithering through wet slot canyons.
Bummer: The shortage of organizing pockets will turn off obsessive-compulsive types.