The 5 Best Women's Packs of Summer 2012

Gregory Sage 45 backpack (Courtesy of Gregory)
Gregory Sage 45 backpack

Gregory Sage 45 Backpack

Testers loved the Sage 45 for its back panel, which perfectly fits the lumbar spine. It felt just as good loaded up or cinched down, so it’s versatile enough for everything from a light overnighter to a long day hike. Features like a discreet rain-cover pocket and a burly outer pocket for stuffing layers are handy without adding too much weight. 3.1 lbs

The North Face Minera 30

The North Face Minera 30
The North Face Minera 30 (Courtesy of The North Face)

This simple daypack fit every tester perfectly, with a widely adjustable chest strap and lightweight hipbelt. Load it up with trekking poles and a hydration bladder (not included) for day hikes, or take advantage of its pared-down design and low-profile back panel for bike commuting. 1.8 lbs

Black Diamond Onyx 75

Black Diamond Onyx 75
Black Diamond Onyx 75 (Courtesy of Black Diamond)

This no-frills long-haul pack is remarkably light (at 4.6 pounds) for its capacity (75 liters). Its primo feature is a ball-joint hipbelt, which allows the pack to move with the torso and makes loads between 35 and 45 pounds feel downright comfortable. (Hint: Take the time to dial the fit. Otherwise, the pack’s movement will throw you off balance.) One caveat: the tiny hydration port makes threading difficult. 4.6 lbs

Mammut Lithia Z 15

Mammut Lithia Z 15
Mammut Lithia Z 15 (Courtesy of Mammut)

This mini pack crams a lot of features into a lightweight package. It comes with side storage, a hipbelt stash for an energy bar, a top pocket for keys, plus hydration ports. Mesh straps help keep you cool, and we love that when the pack is cinched down, it hugs the back well enough not to flop around when you run. 1.3 lbs

Deuter Aircontact 60+10 SL

Deuter Aircontact 60+10 SL
Deuter Aircontact 60+10 SL (Courtesy of Deuter)

The Aircontact 60+10 SL is the Cadillac of multi-day packs, with a cushy hipbelt and shoulder straps and a slew of smart features. Our favorites were the U-shaped zipper that allows easy access to the middle of the pack (no more armpit-deep layer searches), the nifty side pocket that’s perfect for maps, and the built-in rain cover. The durability of the burly ripstop fabric is worth the extra ounces. 6 lbs

More Gear

Holiday Subscription Sale! Save 79% and Get a Free Gift!

Subscribe
Pinterest Icon