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Mountainsmith Crux

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Crux has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best overnight packs for 2023.

photo: Mountainsmith Crux overnight pack (35-49l)

I have not used this pack with gear yet but I am quite happy with the result of my shopping. I will amend this once I have had occasion to suit up on the trail. The pack is very well built with many adjustable straps separate pockets. I had been going back and forth between this one and the Osprey Aether 60, which has, I think, a slightly better suspension system and is slightly lighter (less durable as well I suspect).

However, this pack has certain advantages (not to mention I got it for 1/3 the price of the Osprey!!). Full zippered side access on both sides, canted mesh water bottle pockets on both sides, separate sleeping bag access with compression, a removable top lid which becomes a fanny pack. In addition, mine came with a pair of trekking poles. The bottom material is 420D so I expect it to take a bit more abuse than the really light packs.

Design: Top loading internal frame with full side access and separate sleeping back compartment.
Size: 55 Liters or 3400 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 2 side mesh and top lid
Max. Load Carried: Not Yet
Height of Owner: 5 10
Price Paid: $75

I bought this last year for a hike on the West Highland Way. It worked beautifully. Very comfortable to wear all day and not feel fatigued at the end. Straps adjust easily to bear the load. Water bottle pockets are very easy to reach while walking. Large enough to hold my tent and bag and clothing kit, cooking kit and food, with a ground ad strapped to the outside. Outside shovel pocket easy to access with undoing the whole shebang.

I've used it on a few more hikes since and will continue to use it until it wears out.

Overall, very happy. I'd probably add a few smaller outside pockets, but that's just me.

Design: Top and side loading internal frame.
Size: 3387 cu. in
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 25 pounds
Height of Owner: 69 inches
Price Paid: $100

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