En route to climb in Boulder Canyon, I arrived at a Tyrolean traverse only to realize my harness was at the pack bottom. But Aha! I carried the DEUTER GUIDE 30+ SL ($139, deuterusa.com), which has a side-access zipper. Problem solved! This sophisticated yet tough Ballistics-nylon pack (3lbs 8oz; 1,850 to 2,200 cubic inches) sports a comfy, women’s-specific fit along with ice-axe loops, ski slots, and rope straps making it superb for ice climbing, backcountry skiing, alpine climbing . . . take your pick. It also comes with a fabric flower girth-hitched to the front, an elegant flourish to this surefire performer.