A versatile weekend pack is capable of taking you to huts, remote campsites or on fast and light multiday missions.
Compression straps secure the load and modify the profile of the pack to suit the amount of gear being carried.
Harness and back panel
Most models have a fixed, non-adjustable harness (though some have multiple length and volume options to suit the user’s height and shape). Airflow, muscle support and moisture wicking comes in the form of padding or a mesh trapeze.
These smaller capacity packs most often have light, moulded hipbelts. The padding needs to be comfortable without bulk, and should cup the pelvis, keeping the load in place and carried by the hips.
Ripstop nylon, Cordura or polyester cotton canvas is common. All offer tear resistance and are coated to provide water resistance. The denier rating will be 400-plus in high-wear or stress areas such as the pack’s base, with lighter fabrics used in low-abrasion areas.
Ranging between 35 and 50 litres, mostly likely as a single sac, the pack will feature front and, possibly, side pockets, as well as pockets on the hipbelt and hood. Most overnighters will have tool attachment points, but not all have compression straps long enough to carry a tent.
Flowing up and over the shoulder, they should be contoured around the neck and armpits to avoid chafing. Adjustable sternum straps slide into position to help stabilise the pack.
Denier refers to a fabric weight and filament, or yarn, size. Extended over a distance of 9000m, a fibre strand’s total weight is calculated to determine its denier rating. The thicker the fibre, the greater its weight. As an example, a 1000g fibre equals 1000D.
Denier also relates to durability. Heavier fabrics offer greater wear resistance. They can also be combined with ripstop weaves to further improve abrasion and tear resistance.
Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose an overnight pack.