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For those looking for the lightest pack with a sleek design that doubles as a follower’s bullet bag, the Trad 35 fits the bill. A flexible aluminum frame is removable to shed a few ounces, and the hipbelt can be taken off to cut a few more. A J-shaped zipper opens the entire front of the pack, making it great as a crossover crag pack and perfect for organizing gear, or it has a standard top-loading option for cramming layers into every last iota of space. “The overall shape of this pack is what makes it shine for climbing,” one tester said. “It’s tapered around the waist so there’s nothing to get in your way while twisting and thrutching.” Testers found it also sits really close to the back, instead of a few inches away like many trekking packs, especially if the frame is removed. Side compression straps add the capability to carry skis and cinch it all the way down. A polyurethane coating on the outside repelled snow and light precipitation, and the integrated Recco SAR1 rescue system increases the chance of rescue when your situation goes south. Small outer gear loops on the hipbelt hold anything that won’t fit inside.
Its lightweight and bare-essentials design is excellent for smash and grab missions, and ounce counters will fall in love with the ability to cut every single gram possible. Plus, it climbed like a pack half its size.
$139; 30 oz.; ortovox.com
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