Gear Up, Go Far

These prod­ucts will hold up to what­ever the world has in store.

Backpacker - - Field Test - ALL WEIGHTS PRO­VIDED BY MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS By Nancy Bouchard

CON­VE­NIENT CARRY-ON Peak De­sign Travel Back­pack 45L $300; 4 lbs. 8 oz.; peakde­sign.com

From air­planes to camel trains, this sleek pack can han­dle just about any com­mute. Tuck­away shoul­der straps and a lay-flat bot­tom make it easy to stash in over­head bins, and 12 lash points let us strap it to pack an­i­mals and ca­noes. And when you do need your gear, it of­fers su­perb ac­cess. Back­panel en­try let us pack it like a suit­case, and curved, 23-inch zip­pers along the sides of the main com­part­ment al­lowed us to grab our stuff no mat­ter how the pack was stored. Or­ga­ni­za­tion is di­aled, too: A plush pocket on the out­side fits gog­gles or sun­glasses, and the smaller front pouch has two mesh pock­ets that can hold clothes for a week­end. The pack also has a lap­top sleeve, and two side stretch pock­ets that each fit a 1-liter Nal­gene. “The pack’s abil­ity to com­press down to 30 liters came in handy on day­hikes in the Peru­vian An­des, and its EVA framesheet let me com­fort­ably carry 40 pounds of gear,” one tester says.

TOUGH DUF­FEL Big Agnes Stage­coach 125L $300; 8 lbs. 12 oz.; bi­gagnes.com

Rolling duf­fels can be a god­send for weary trav­el­ers, but they’re of­ten heavy, pricey, one-trick ponies. The Stage­coach doesn’t break the scales, and comes in at a rea­son­able price given its durable con­struc­tion. Its 420-de­nier, wa­ter­proof, TPU-coated ny­lon on the up­per por­tion sur­vived a full year of glo­be­trot­ting, from France to Ice­land to Idaho, with­out any dam­age, and it fits a 60-liter back­pack with room to spare. “We didn’t choose this bag for its ver­sa­til­ity, but that’s one of the things we’ve come to love about it,” one tester adds. “The back­pack-style shoul­der straps are comfy even when the bag is fully loaded, and the chunky wheels han­dled a trip down a rocky road to a camp­site in the Chan­nel Is­lands with­out slow­ing us down.”

ED­I­TORS’ CHOICE UP­DATE Sea to Sum­mit Ul­tra-Sil 18L Nano Day­pack $40; 1 oz.; seato­sum­mit.com

We gave this pack’s cousin, the Ul­traSil Day­pack, an Ed­i­tors’ Choice Gold award in 2017 for its dura­bil­ity and ver­sa­til­ity in a tiny pack­age. Sea to Sum­mit im­proves upon that in the Nano, halv­ing the weight and mak­ing it even more pack­able (it stuffs down to the size of a hacky sack). “I stored it in my bike’s tool pouch, and then pulled it out for hikes up to scenic look­outs,” one tester said af­ter her five-week bikepack­ing trip through Cen­tral Asia. The wispy, 15-de­nier ny­lon (the reg­u­lar Ul­tra-Sil has 30-de­nier fab­ric) is strong for its weight, and ours didn’t suf­fer any rips. The Nano fits a puffy, sand­wich, wa­ter bot­tle, and hat, and its un­padded shoul­der straps com­fort­ably sup­port loads up to 20 pounds.

VER­SA­TILE SHELL Fjäll­räven Green­land Wind Jacket $220; 15.9 oz. (m’s M); m’s XS-XXL, w’s XXS-XL; fjall­raven.com

The best travel ap­parel works ev­ery­where: on the way, on the trail, and on the town. This natty num­ber blocked gusts on ex­posed hikes in Idaho’s Selkirk Moun­tains, but is breath­able enough that our tester didn’t sweat out com­pletely on up­hills. Our tester also praised the hand pock­ets that sit above a hip­belt and a hood that fits over bike and climb­ing hel­mets. The Green­land stuffs down to grape­fruit size. Eco bonus: It’s made of 100 per­cent re­cy­cled polyamide, and a PFC-free DWR sheds mod­er­ate pre­cip. “I washed it a dozen times in the name of test­ing. The DWR hasn’t fal­tered,” our tester re­ports.

ALL-DAY TOP Patag­o­nia Capi­lene Cool Daily Long-Sleeved T-Shirt $39; 5.5 oz. (m’s M); m’s XS-XXL, w’s XXS-XL; patag­o­nia.com

No wrin­kles and no stink mean that we wore this shirt straight from the trail to the air­plane. A Poly­giene treat­ment on the polyester knit ban­ishes odor, and the fab­ric re­sists wrin­kles even af­ter be­ing packed for days. The weave is airy and soft against skin, and the fab­ric’s UPF 50+ rat­ing com­bats UV. It also breathes well: “On a three-day back­pack in New Hamp­shire’s White Moun­tains, I wore this shirt for sun pro­tec­tion but never felt too swampy, even in 80°F weather,” one tester says. Af­ter a rain shower in the Whites, it dried in less than two hours, even with the hu­mid­ity.

JUICE BOX myCharge Por­ta­ble Power Out­let $180; 1 lb. 8 oz.; mycharge.com

This charg­ing block means never hav­ing to sit next to an out­let on an air­port floor again. The nov­el­size bat­tery pack has four power out­lets (a 65-watt AC power port, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C port), so it might even help you make some friends to boot. Its 20,000mAh bat­tery pro­vides up to 10 iPhone charges, and we used it to fuel up a MacBook Pro nearly twice. The rub­ber­ized cas­ing can take a beat­ing: “Mine was strapped to a pack that fell off a pickup in Guatemala. My camp mug was to­taled, but the myCharge was dent- and crack­free,” one tester re­ports.

CAMP SHOE Columbia Spin­ner Vent Moc $55; 8.5 oz. (m’s 9); m’s 7-15, w’s 5-12; columbia.com

Want to sim­plify your kit? The Spin­ner dou­bles as a sup­port­ive camp slip­per and a shoe you can kick around town in. “I even wore it to hike the rocky and rooty Pipi­wai Trail in Hawaii,” one tester says. “The shoes are so light that I felt like I was bare­foot, and the mesh up­per and drain ports on the heels meant they dried quickly af­ter I hop­scotched among tide­pools later in the trip.” Make no mis­take: The shoes aren’t a sub­sti­tute for hik­ing boots, but the EVA mid­sole pro­vided plenty of sup­port for a quick lap on the 3.7mile Mis­ery Ridge Loop in Smith Rock State Park, Ore­gon, while the shal­low, di­a­mond-shaped tread held firm in loose dirt.

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