Volume: 4300 cu. in.
Weight: 5 lbs. 9 oz.
LOWE ALPINE AIRZONE CENTRO 45 + 10
Heavy-sweating hikers will find supreme favor with the AirZone Centro. The Lowe Alpine pack has a newly designed ventilation system of mesh that ultimately minimizes direct contact with your back so air can flow through freely. It also comes equipped with a convenient gender-specific adjustable back system for extra comfort and detachable extra storage for more volume when you’re trying to manage your backcountry load.
Volume: 2700 + 600 cu. in.
Weight: 3 lbs. 14oz.
The Z55 is ultra-durable yet weighs in at just over three pounds. But the big news is Gregory’s ventilated Jet Stream™ Suspension system that allows air to flow across your back, so you stay fresh on long weekenders. More relief also comes from the comfortable weight distribution and moisture wicking harness and waistbelt system, as well as the weight reducing molded fit.
Volume: 3350 cu. in.
TENTS – THE BIGGEST LOSERS
Meet four new tents that are maximizing space while still managing to shed the weight.
BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR ULTRALIGHT
Made to redefine the space to weight ratio in ultra-light tents, the new Copper Spur introduces the lightest nylon Big Agnes has ever used. Tipping the scales at just 3 lbs. 13 oz., the two-person model has almost 30 square feet of floor space plus another 22 square feet of vestibule room for the dirty stuff that needs to stay out. Other perks include an amazingly simple two-pole set up. $399.95.
GOLITE UTOPIA 2
For those more concerned with lightweight convenience than cushy backcountry comfort, the Utopia is a tent/tarp hybrid (essentially a floorless tent) that is perfect for high-paced, ultra-light packing. Our testers were pleased that it popped up without hassle and effectively blocked the wind on a gusty fall overnight. Oh yeah, the weight? 1 lb. 9 oz.! $275.
SIERRA DESIGNS ULTRALIGHT VELOX 3
Sierra Designs sheds the pounds, while still providing spacious, comfort—a result of a new savvy design and ever-so-convenient stake-out loops. The three-person model has two nine-square-foot vestibules for even more room at a total weight of just five pounds. $349.