Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE We took the De­scent on any trip where we didn’t know what the next day would hold. “On a week­long va­ca­tion to Mam­moth, Cal­i­for­nia, the pack’s com­pres­sion straps slimmed it down for in­bounds days, but the De­scent also ex­panded enough to fit my sleep­ing bag, lay­ers, and the group’s s’mores and whiskey for an overnight hut trip,” one tester says. A stiff, high-den­sity foam back­panel and 7-inch hip­belt wings let us shoul­der loads up to 30 pounds com­fort­ably. One tester re­ported no sta­bil­ity is­sues even while posthol­ing on ap­proaches to ice climbs near Mt. Lin­coln, Colorado.

THE DE­TAILS Two rub­ber­ized com­pres­sion straps carry skis di­ag­o­nally and in A-frame, as well as split­boards and snow­shoes. Back­panel en­try keeps shoul­der straps out of the snow and pro­vides con­ve­nient ac­cess to the en­tire pack­bag. A roomy avalanche tool com­part­ment sports a larg­erthan-av­er­age, 24-inch zip­per for fast ac­cess. Bum­mer: The sin­gle hip­belt pocket isn’t big enough for a phone, and the neo­prene gog­gle pouch is a lit­tle too shal­low: Eye­wear tended to fall out when we opened it wide.

TRAIL CRED “The hip­belt wings glommed onto my hips like a baby koala,” one tester says. “Whether I was car­ry­ing 5 pounds or 20, the pack felt like it was one with my back. And the nar­row pro­file never hin­dered arm swings.” $160; 2 lbs. 3 oz.; 35 liters; one size; lowealpine.com

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