AN ELEGANT BRUISER
Imagine the offspring of a Ferrari Testarossa and a Toyota Land Cruiser: precise handling, hard-duty construction. That's the essence of the Alpine Pack 50. It's a no-nonsense, climber-oriented pack with zero bells and whistles to create weak points. The 420-denier nylon—reinforced with 1,000-denier fabric on the bottom—should handle years of abuse. Go ahead and take it off-trail: The molded back panel is incredibly stable, the narrow profile keeps the load centered and balanced, and the superclean design won't hang you up. 3.9 lbs, 3,051 cu in; montbell.com
Bonus: The removable lid converts to a lumbar pack.
Bummer: Chronic organizers will lament the lack of external and sleeping-bag pockets; even the wand pockets are too small for one-liter bottles.