Backpacks

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Pack it in

The 10 Best Backpacks for Every Adventure

From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, a good pack on your back can make carrying a load a joy (relatively speaking), especially if you draw the short straw and have to carry the extra beer on a five day expedition through Zion National Park. The perfect pack is a simple one: it carries everything you need and nothing you don't. In practice, this is much harder than it seems and involves careful planning and design. Beware of the old trap. If you have the space, you'll try to fill it with something. Whether you're throwing gear together for a short hike to your favorite fly fishing spot or taking a month-long stroll down the Continental Divide, less is more. With that in mind, we've picked the best backpacks to put a few miles on this season. Features like load distributing-straps, rainflys and easy access to hydration all made the cut. Heavy materials, unneeded space, and dead weight? Not so much.

Latest

Testing the Cotopaxi Cusco 26L Backpack

A Backpack that Does Good (and Performs Well, Too)

Cotopaxi's Cusco 26L pack is a sturdy lifestyle daypack that lends itself to durable longevity, but still offers relevant technical features often overlooked in “lifestyle” packs.

TWIC
What to see, read and hear

This Week in Culture: August 1, 2014

This Week in Culture: The latest trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, why Arnold Palmer was the king of the polo shirt, the future of ready-to-drink iced coffee and more.

Buying Guide
Embrace your baggage

10 Best Daypacks for Every Adventure

While the lifetime warrantee on your North Face pack from grammar school is meant to be honored, there’s something to be said for retiring before things unravel. Today’s daypacks will haul your climbing gear or your laptop over mountains and through airports. These are our favorites.

Professional grade

Tested: F-Stop Camera Backpacks

F-Stop is a relative newcomer to the camera bag scene, and its St. Louis headquarters is incongruous with its focus on packs for mountain sports photography. But don’t let that fool you. Their packs show a design maturity that could only stem from experience and a smart use of user feedback. We tested both the light-and-fast Kenti ($249) and the sturdier, larger Satori EXP ($379) in conditions as varied as multi-day hikes in New Zealand and peak bagging in New Hampshire.

Buying Guide
Gear for the jungle and the reef

Kit: Underwater and Underground in Belize

Packing for a tropical getaway usually only involves deciding what color swim trunks to pack. But when your plans include jungle hiking, cave exploration and scuba diving, things get a little more complicated. The key is versatility -- you need gear that works underground or underwater just as well as it does topside. For our week in Belize we made sure everything we took did more than just one thing well. This saved space in our luggage and let us be nimble yet well prepared. Here’s a sampling of what we took.

What's old is new

Tested: Topo Designs x Howler Brothers Klettersack

Retro gear is retro for a reason: modern outdoor gear design performs better than its forebears in almost all respects. But we still have a soft spot for the leather, wool, canvas alpine designs of the 1950s and ‘60s -- you know, before things got all sleek and neon. After seeing two Gear Patrol favorite brands, Topo Designs and Howler Brothers, collaborate to design a classic climbing pack, the Klettersack ($189), we decided to go all Reinhold Messner and take it to the mountains to see how a retro style pack works in the environment that inspired it.

Sponsored Post
Pack it in

The 10 Best Backpacks for Every Adventure

From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, a good pack on your back can make carrying a load a joy (relatively speaking), especially if you draw the short straw and have to carry the extra beer on a five day expedition through Zion National Park. The perfect pack is a simple one: it carries everything you need and nothing you don't. In practice, this is much harder than it seems and involves careful planning and design. Beware of the old trap. If you have the space, you'll try to fill it with something. Whether you're throwing gear together for a short hike to your favorite fly fishing spot or taking a month-long stroll down the Continental Divide, less is more. With that in mind, we've picked the best backpacks to put a few miles on this season. Features like load distributing-straps, rainflys and easy access to hydration all made the cut. Heavy materials, unneeded space, and dead weight? Not so much.

Big bucket bag

Marmot Urban Hauler

Backpacks are ubiquitous, and sometimes too many pockets just means... too many pockets. In the case of the Marmot Urban Hauler ($50), less is more. Based on a centuries-old Japanese fishing bag, the Urban Hauler is as simple as a

School bag, adult look

Everlane Backpack

Remember your first day of school? Wet-your-pants excitement in elementary, doldrums in middle and utter jadedness in high school -- but always accompanied by that trustworthy backpack. Those tattered Eastpaks and monogrammed LL Beans may not have exactly exuded street style,

More Military

GoRuck Multicam

We've already waxed eloquently about our love of Goruck's bags -- but the company's newly released Multicam' color option for their entire line makes us wonder if we bought in too early. Hop over to their site and soak in

Dry bag for a wet world

Dakine Cyclone

Whether you’re bike commuting in Seattle, doing a surf photo shoot in Maui or boarding a dive boat in Fiji, you’re going to need to keep your gear dry. The trick is to find a waterproof bag that holds all your

Year of the Ruck

Kit: One Year with the GORUCK GR1

We've written about GORUCK and their tactically inspired gear a number of times. Made in the USA, bomb proof, with a life time guarantee, they're the kind of company we love to support. Enough said. But one of the best

Relax, I'm a professional

Nargear Backcountry Ski Civilian Backpacks

It’s a pretty safe bet that a backpack designed to haul 45 pounds of gear into debris-spewing, quadruple-digit infernos can also handle muling a shovel, miscellaneous clothes and tools up a sleepy peak. That’s the way Nargear figures, anyway. The

A match made for messengers

Incase Range Collection

Incase continues their love affair with cyclists with the release of their new collection, Range. Created with two-wheeled travelers in mind, the Range series figures that if it can stand up to the beating of a bike messenger whipping through New

A shovel that could save your life

K2 Rescue Shovel Plus

Your average snow shovel works great for cleaning out the driveway or dispatching amateur crooks pestering a prepubsecent Macaulay Culkin. K2's Rescue Shovel Plus ($60) is the snow shovel of the future. Thanks to a unique modular design, the handle

Jack of all grades

Marquette Backcountry Ski

Admittedly, it’s been a pretty wimpy winter everywhere from Colorado to the Alps, causing renewed grumblings about global warming from skiers, both Alpine and Nordic. Getting out on the boards anywhere but in the high country has required either the

Snow Might

Atlas Aspect Snowshoe

With enough bite to make a Yeti white with jealousy, Atlas Snowshoe has outdone themselves with the Aspect ($269). Built around an all-new traction system called ReactiV-Trac, the Aspect' offers up tons of grip thanks to an angry saw-toothed perimeter.

An accessory for your accessories

JanSport Pleasanton Pack

One of the drawbacks to being a modern, on-the-go guy is carrying around all that gear and gadgets. Streamlining your accessories into one portable pack is the JanSport Pleasanton ($250), a waxed cotton twill and leather bag with dedicated

Pack ten

HEX Fleet Sonic Backpack

At CES, we eyeballed an expansion on the HEX bag we wrote about a few months ago. They have introduced a neat new line of carry gear for the urban man with a subtle nautical touch. We love the streamlined

Style Pick: Rivendell for H R Mariposa Summit Pack

Larry Horton’s fine day and a half design from 1977 embodies uncluttered simplicity and streamlined functionality. Dragon Fire orange with navy base 11oz Cordura cotton. Capacity: 2040 cu.in. Weight: 1lb 7.2oz. 9 leather and nylon tie-on points and dual ice

Conquer More

MTN Approach Backcountry Snowboard System

Pure. Uncut. Powder. We're not discussing Whitney Houston's daydreams here people. We're talking about the stuff that transforms passionate snowboarders into giddy Catholic school girls. Sure, if you can commandeer a chopper on a whim, accessing the stuff in the prime

Home-Grown Quality

TOPO Designs Klettersack

One would expect intelligent design and exceptional function from a group of unsatisfied American outdoorsmen who previously scattered across the world to purchase premium alfresco gear. The only logical action was to take matters in their own hands and create an

Q Would be Proud

Timbuk2 Q Laptop Backpack

Sometimes less is more, and backpack design is no exception. Try finding one for your laptop that holds plenty of gear while not looking like part of an intergalactic space suit with enough straps and pockets to confuse Stephen Hawking. Introducing

A Heritage Bag From a Modern Day

Archival Clothing Rucksack

Reading Gear Patrol and seeing all the bags we feature, you might think we live by the motto "the measure of a man is how many bags he owns." Well, here's some more proof to that theory - our newest luggage

A Pack With An Identity Crisis

Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Sack

Outdoor Research calls the DryComp Ridge Sack a perfect pack for peak bagging and summit pushes. Well, living in Minnesota, there aren't a lot of peaks to be bagged but we have a few thousand lakes and countless rivers, so I'm re-positioning

Old Ruck Come Anew

Altadena 802 Daypack

altadena-802-daypack

The Altadena 802 Rucksack ($275) is a new backpack that looks old, and that's a good thing because it looks damn good doing it. It's a top loading tube shaped ruck, with a zip open pocket on the top flap.

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet, Nor Hail...

SealLine Urban Backpack

sealline-urban-backpack-water-gear-patrol

The urban commute can be a harrowing and dirty business, even when the weather's nice. When inclement weather comes a calling though, it's a challenge to keep yourself dry, even more so your beloved gear. The SealLine Urban Backpack is

Not Just for Tri Geeks

Blueseventy Nero Bag

blueseventy-nero-backpackTriathletes are, by nature, gear hounds. Carbon fiber bikes and helmets, tri-specific cycling and running shoes, caps, glasses, water bottles, slippery wetsuits and goggles - the list goes on. So it stands to reason that a bag designed for hauling

The Right Bag For Pow Pow

Dakine Ski & Snowboard Baker Backpack

dakine_team_baker_pack1Ski and Snowboarding season is coming, and we know you've been waiting. Your mental preparations may be complete, but before you hit the slopes this year, consider upgrading your pack with the DAKINE Team Baker pack. Affordable and functional, this

Voltaic Backpack

Charged Up, Eco-Style

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You can’t exactly plug your iPod into the nearest tree.

Ahhh, the great outdoors. There’s nothing like the fresh air and open spaces that Mother Nature provides. The GP crew

Osprey Stratos 18

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The Osprey Stratos 18 is a daypack perfect for quick hikes, mountain bike rides or cross country skis runs. It's also perfect just to toss some gear into and take to the gym - doing double duty as a daypack and an extension