If you're on a limited budget, commonly carry medium rather than very light loads, or just want a pack you can purchase easily and have right away, the Exos 48 is our top recommendation. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Gossamer Gear Gorilla, is 8 ounces lighter, and carries lighter loads much better. It is also much more adaptable; you can remove the frame and waist belt if you want. Our Top Pick for Ultralight Enthusiasts is a different animal altogether. It pares the feature set down to a minimum, and weighs in a full pound less than the Exos. If you're relatively new to ultralight and lightweight backpacking, or simply want a pack that performs incredibly well for medium weight loads, the Exos 48 is for you.
The Exos is also made in a 58-liter version (the Exos 58) for larger loads and a 38-liter version (Exos 38), pictured to the right. Ultralight backpackers who love the feature set of this pack can save 3 ounces with the 38-liter version. According to our independent volume tests, we think the Exos 38, minus its lid, would be weight competitive and similar in total volume to the Editors' Choice winner Gossamer Gear Gorilla.