This streamlined pack performed above its weight class on every trip, thanks to durable polyurethane-coated nylon throughout and a suspension—framesheet and aluminum stay—that can handle a heavy load. One tester took a larger version (called the Quest, 4,250 cu in, $175) on a weeklong trek in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains, and it managed a big-pack load—bear canister, two-person tent, foul-weather gear—without sagging like an old-school ultralight. The large panel pocket keeps lunch and layers accessible, and the extendable lid can accommodate overflow. 2.7 lbs, 3,000 cu in; golite.com
Bonus: Compression straps adapt for large items like snowshoes or a snowboard.
Bummer: We found the hipbelt a bit thin for loads over 35 pounds.