Mountain Hardwear Multi-Pitch 16
Our take Small doesn’t equal flimsy with the MultiPitch. Packs this size—just big enough for lunch, layers, and water—are often made with light materials that don’t hold up to abuse. But 840-denier ballistic nylon (the toughest fabric in our test) on the sides and bottom and TPU-coated, 600-denier ballistic nylon on the front held up to slot canyon squeezes in Utah’s Escalante region. “After a month of trips and many close encounters with sharp rock, there wasn’t a single blown stitch,” a tester says. A streamlined design—nothing to snag—and plastic-coated gear loops round out the damage-proofing.
The details Padded, low-profile shoulder straps and a thin foam backpanel manage loads up to 15 pounds. And despite the clean design, you get welcome extras like a stowable mesh bottle sleeve (big enough for 32-ounce bottles). A V-shaped haul loop and an internal zippered pocket complete the feature set.
Trail cred “This pack didn’t bounce or shift when I needed good balance on a sketchy traverse on the Snake River Trail down into Hells Canyon, Idaho,” one tester says, crediting the Multi-Pitch’s position between his shoulder blades and its secure, inch-thick hipbelt.
$95; 1 lb. 5 oz.; 16 liters; one size