$129 (27L), $169 (36L); thenorthface.com
“I used the 27-liter version for everything: winter gym sessions, ice climbing in Chamonix, bouldering in Joe’s Valley, Utah, and sport climbing throughout the Front Range,” one tester said. “The suspension system is minimalist but a pleasure to wear all day.” This top-loader is not over-designed (read: simple but useful, with specialized features), which makes it the perfect all-around pack for whatever adventure you have in store. Barelythere ice axe loops stayed out of the way, and extra-large hipbelt pockets and stretchy side pockets were great for more carrying space. The North Face’s Opti-Fit system lets you adjust the length between the shoulders and hipbelt, so you can dial in the fit to your exact torso size.