TAKE IT ANYWHERE
Small enough for short jaunts, cool enough for the heat of the desert, and tough enough for the mountains. The Direct 28 does it all, and for a sweet price. The abrasion-resistant 210-denier nylon body—and doubly reinforced bottom—is made for alpine abuse, while an aggressively arched frame keeps your back air-conditioned in the heat. Smart features include an integrated rain cover, trekking-pole attachments, and a compartmentalized interior that keeps your lunch from getting scrunched. 3.2 lbs, 1,700 cu in; mammut.ch
Bonus: Don't worry about overloading this pack. Its overbuilt frame can handle any extras you lash onto it.
Bummer: It's a little overweight for the capacity. And the deeply arched suspension cuts into the pack's interior (trading space for that back-cooling breeze).