How We Tested Backpacking Packs

Ian Nicholson and Chris McNamara

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Over the course of two years, we loaded these packs with up to 70 pounds for a side-by-side comparison (though more frequently 30-45 lbs). We hiked over snow, sand, mud, and ice. We would carry these packs for a while, then switch them with our buddies and climbing partners to get a more broad-based opinion of how each pack felt. We hosed them down with water, we used them on overnight trips and all while taking detailed notes along the way. We carefully took into account each pack's features and compared them with its weight and usefulness. Most importantly, we took them out on real-world trips, lived out of them, and took notes along the way.

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