With ice-ax retention you can release with the pack on, gear loops for ’biners and belay devices, and an integrated crampon pocket, the Matrix is purpose-built for ski mountaineering. But you don’t have to rope up to appreciate how light, roomy, and useful the Matrix is.
Think of your pack as a closet on your back. And just as there’s no right way to fold your clothes, there’s no single pack that’s suited to everyone. But allow us to offer some advice.
Think about it this way: your pack is doubly important because (1) it holds almost all your gear, and (2) it’s literally the monkey on your back. There’s been a big-pack renaissance of late, and not only are our favorite big haulers lighter than their predecessors, they also fit and feel better, thanks to smart innovations.
What's the best lightweight gear for a weekend backpacking trip?
I'm a photographer and cinematographer, and I'm looking for a backpack that can double as a photo bag for hiking, skiing, and mountain climbing. I've found that Lowepro bags are too small. What do you recommend?
After competing in more than two dozen adventure races, Stephen Regenold breaks down his go-to outdoor gear
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Sierra Designs Revival 65 pack.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the JanSport Versteeg pack.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Eagle Creek Adero 55 pack.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15 pack.