Summertime Backcountry Gear: Thule Versant 70L Men’s Backpacking Pack

Known more for its bike and roof racks and strollers and bike trailers, Thule’s Versant backpack is a high-quality, thoughtfully designed gear hauler for multi-day trips that manages to keep the pack weight down to 4.19 pounds even with plenty of welcome options. The pack is fully customizable with an adjustable hipbelt and torso, which means you can tweak as necessary to get that perfect fit. Built with tough Cordura fabric with easy access pockets and a lid that converts into a sling, the pack also has some innovative options, including click-on hipbelt add-ons like a waterproof roll-top pocket for storing phones, cameras or GPS units or additional water bottle holder. For keeping gear dry, the StormGuard system combines a partial rain cover with a waterproof bottom liner to create a fully weatherproof bag. Even with the rain cover on, the angled side pockets make reaching your water bottles easy without stopping. There are two attachment loops for hiking poles or ice axes and a front “shove-it” pocket that’s the perfect place to stash or grab ditched layers. If you are willing to carry a few more ounces of pack weight in exchange for added comfort and convenience on the trail, this pack is worth every penny. MSRP: $279.95. // (Wil Wheaton)

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