Backpack Reviews

Jansport Katahdin 50L Backpack Review

Jansport Katahdin 50 Backpack Review

The Jansport Katahdin 50 is an adjustable-length and rugged backpack with a top lid, padded hip-belt and dual side pockets that is well-sized for kids and short-statured adults. Weighing slightly more than 2 lbs, it’s roomy and durably made, making it a good low-cost option for new backpackers who want …

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Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack Review

Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack Review

The Osprey Daylite Plus is a 20-liter multisport daypack that’s great for hiking, cycling, travel or campus. It has lots of interior and exterior pockets, including a laptop sleeve, to keep you organized but it’s light enough that it won’t slow you down. The Daylite Plus is 50% larger in …

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Seek Outside Unaweep 4800 Backpack Review

Paradox Packs Unaweep 4800 on Mt Washington in Winter

I bought a Unaweep 4800 backpack a few months ago from Seek Outside after using testing a loaner Unaweep 3900 over the summer (see my Unaweep 3900 review). The Unaweep packs are external frame backpacks with a roll-top pack bag. Both the 3900 and the 4800 packs are made with an …

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Deuter Speed Lite 32 Backpack Review

Deuter Speed Lite 32 Backpack Review

The Deuter Speed Lite 32 is a do-everything backpack that can be used for hiking, peakbagging, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and even fast and light overnight trips. Weighing 32 ounces, it’s got a minimalist vibe with scaled back padding and a lightweight frame. But a host of technical features and the …

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Deuter Trail 30 Backpack Review

Deuter Trail 30 Backpack Review

The Deuter Trail 30 is a lightweight and durable backpack designed for day hiking, climbing, and skiing. The Trail 30 is a panel loader with a U-shaped front zipper that opens the main compartment for easy access, in addition to drawstring access under a top lid. A combination of open …

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Granite Gear Virga 2 Backpack Review

Granite Gear Virga 2 Backpack Review

The Granite Gear Virga 2 is a 54-liter ultralight backpack that is lightweight even by today’s standards. Weighing just 1 pound and 3 ounces (19 ounces) it is truly frameless, without even a foam back pad behind the shoulder straps. Despite its low weight, the Virga 2 is a fully-featured …

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Gregory Paragon 58 Backpack Review

Gregory Paragon 58 Backpack Review-2019 model

The Gregory Paragon 58 Backpack (updated for 2020) is a lightweight multi-day backpack weighing just 3.5 lbs with an adjustable length torso and an adjustable length hip belt. It’s a top-loading backpack with a floating lid, a separate sleeping bag hatch, sleeping pad straps, and side zipper access. This new …

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Elemental Horizons Kalais XT Backpack Review

The Kalais XT has huge side water bottle pockets that stick out like hamster cheeks.

Elemental Horizons is a well-regarded cottage backpack manufacturer based in North Carolina with a small but loyal customer following. They’ve recently added XPac fabric as a material option to their backpacks, including the adjustable frame Kalais XT reviewed here. XPac is an ultralight waterproof laminate like cuben fiber (now called Dyneema …

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Deuter Trail Pro 36 Backpack Review

Deuter Trail Pro 36 Backpack

The Deuter Trail Pro 36 is a great mid-sized backpack that’s good for technical hikes where you need to carry extra gear, hut-to-hut trips, and even overnight backpacking. It has a lightweight spring steel frame capable of hauling 30-pound loads, a sewn-on top lid, and front panel access through a …

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