Mountain Hardwear Koa 35 – Weekend Backpacks: Reviews

The svelte, 2,150-cubic-inch Koa 35 was ideal for light, fast overnight trips. Testers loved the breezy mesh back panel and the cram-friendly roll-top closure. And although it looks minimalist, the Koa is actually bedecked with a bunch of clever features. There's a stretchy zip-away pocket on the front of the pack (it's designed to carry a helmet, but it fits spare layers just as well) and two hidden pockets on either side of the roll-top closure that are just big enough for snacks or a gadget or two. We were initially skeptical of the small bungee cords, but they proved a smart, streamlined solution for carrying poles or sleeping pads—and they don't clutter the pack when not being used. Note: It also comes in a 3,650-cubic-inch version ($190). 3.4 lbs;

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