Mountainsmith Cairn II
I found this at Campmor.com for $35. I bought it because…
Design: top loading
Max. Load Carried: about 12 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'-10"
Price Paid: $35
I found this at Campmor.com for $35. I bought it because I was recovering from some minor surgery which prevented me from wearing a conventional backpack. I loaded it with my tarp and footprint, extra clothes, some food. I carried my sleeping pad rolled through the elastic straps and cinched my sleeping bag on top through the handle.
All in all, I loaded this little pack up with about 12 pounds (two Nalgenes full of water in the mesh pockets also). I hiked with it so loaded for a weekend hiking trip, and was extremely satisfied with its performance. It handled that load surprisingly well just on my hips and the pack part of it fit nicely in the small of my back.
It's hardy and well worth the $35 I paid for it. It is a bit heavy just on its own and I would think about clipping out the inside pockets and divider in order to cut some weight.