Image of the October 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
October 2020 Issue
Home / Articles / Gear Guides

2020’s overnight packs

An overnight pack holds all the necessities for a night or two in a hut. Photo: Matthew Cattin
For those trips where you’re packing the necessities for a night or two in a hut, look no further than mid-sized overnight pack.


Between 35l and 48l, the pack will feature a single compartment capable of holding a sleeping bag, food, cooker and other items needed on an overnight trip. Pack carefully and lightly enough and you’ll cram all you need inside for multi-day walks.


A front stash pocket or bungee system is used to store quick-access items like a rain jacket. There will also be stretch mesh side pockets for drink bottles, as well as organiser pockets in the lid and on the hip belt.


Compression straps are found on all packs to provide stability to the pack and modify its profile to suit the amount of gear being carried. They may be long enough to strap a tent to the side or base of the pack.


Because loads can still be quite heavy, most packs in this category have a padded hip belt to support the weight of the pack. Lightweight packs may opt for a webbing strap only.


Ripstop nylon, Cordura or polyester cotton canvas is common. All offer tear resistance and are coated with silicon to provide water resistance. Heavier, more durable fabrics are often used in high-wear or stress areas such as the pack’s base.

Shoulder straps

Padded straps contour around the neck and armpits to avoid chafing. Adjustable sternum straps slide into position to help stabilise the pack and manage pressure points.

Women’s packs

Many packs come in women-specific options. These have smaller harnesses and shorter hip belts. Shoulder straps will be narrower and contoured differently to a standard pack.



Lowe Alpine Airzone Pro 35:45/ND33:40 $439.95
AirZone+ patented FormKnit harness, SpiderPlate bungee system, side mesh pockets, zippered side-entry, rain cover, large-capacity top pocket, expandable lid volume, forward pull hipbelt, adjustable back length, HeadLocker axe attachment, TipGripper walking pole attachments Fabric 210D mini-ripstop Capacity 45-litre (m), 40-litre (w) Weight 1560 (m), 1540g (w).


Macpac Rhyolite 47 $299.99
Helium harness, front zip opening with double storm flap, tension hook closure, drawcord storm throat, dual walking pole/ice axe attachments, self-draining hip belt pockets, mesh side pockets, compression straps, top zip pocket, hydration compatible. Fabric 210D nylon ripstop, 500D Cordura base Capacity 47-litres Weight 1530g.


Macpac Fiord 40 1.1 $299.99
HeliumLite frameless harness, hip belt pockets, detachable top lid, front mesh stuff pocket, compression bungee and stretch pockets, dual walking pole attachments, hydration compatible. Fabric Titan Grid 100D nylon, 500D Cordura base Capacity 40+9-litre Weight 1100g


Macpac Torlesse 35 1.1 $269.399
AirFlo harness, padded hip belt, lid with top zip pocket, front zip pocket, compression straps, stretch mesh side pockets, walking pole or ice axe attachments, hydration compatible, pack cover. Fabric 210D nylon ripstop, 630D Cordura base Capacity 35-litre Weight 1270g.


Lowe Alpine AirZone Camino Trek 30:40 $389.95
Top entry, zippered front panel and base entry, extendable lid, hydration compatible, stretch side pockets, internal lid pocket, hip belt pockets, TipGripper walking pole attachments, ice axe loops, bellows side pockets, SpiderPlate bungee system. Fabric 210D mini-ripstop Capacity 40-litre Weight 1430g.


Lowe Alpine Altus 42:47/ND40:45 $439.95
Four season mountain pack with extendable lid, adjustable back length, forward pull hipbelt, U-shaped front opening, zippered divider, front stash pocket, stretch mesh side pockets, TipGripper walking pole attachments, HeadLocker axe attachment, daisy chain lash points. Fabric Robic ripstop Capacity 47-litre (m), 45-litre (w) Weight 1700g (m), 1660g (w).


Aarn Pace Magic 33 $259
Balance Pockets on shoulder straps and hipbelt, dual chest straps, U-Flow stabilisers and bottom tensioners, dual-adjust hipbelt, X Frame suspended Air-flow backpanel, roll-top closure, stretch and zip front pockets, tuck-away ice axe and twin pole loops, hydration compatible. Fabric 40D ripstop nylon, 210D nylon base Capacity 33 + 4-litre Weight 680g.