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Don’t let that weight scare you: The name of the game here is customization. It comes with building blocks to put together your ideal pack, including extra straps and removable everything. All included (except extra straps), the pack weighs in at three pounds, eight ounces. Remove the hipbelt (5 oz.), lid (6 oz.), and framesheet and pad (1 lb.) to get down to a scrawny one pound, 13 ounces. With multiple attachment points on the body, testers were able to add straps in a unique configuration for optimal compression when carrying light loads and for maximizing load transfer when carrying heavy loads. A genius internal compression strap positioned low on the inside cinched down and stabilized the weightiest loads. “I could move the outer straps around based on the weight and volume of my pack that day,” one tester said. “This resulted in a perfect carry every time.” This was also due in part to the two-piece suspension system made of a stiff but moldable HDPE framesheet (with aluminum support rod) and a foldable foam pad that doubles as a small bivy pad.
If you want endless options for weight, strap configuration, and what you can carry in or outside of the pack, then this “alpine weekend” WorkSack is right for you. The various Dyneema, nylon, and Cordura materials were the burliest in our test.
$239; 3 lbs., 8 oz.; cilogear.com