It’s hard to call Mammut’s Lithium Crest ($160) a backpack since it feels like so much more.
There is no shortage of innovative and helpful features that when taken separately, aren’t exactly life changing. However, when all of the features are combined they make for one of the best packs I’ve ever tested.
Let’s start with the pack’s most important function: Carrying gear.
The great thing about the pack is that there are so many places to store things that you can easily change weight distribution. That comes in handy on multi-day or multi-week journeys.
One feature I especially enjoyed was the stuff sack in the bottom, which is great to shove a sleeping bag in for those mornings when you want to hit the trail immediately.
It could also be used to keep damp or stinky clothes separate from the rest of your things.
Another handy thing the pack offers is the ability to easily change the back length. I played with this a lot with different weights and it made for a much more pleasant hiking experience.
If the bag felt too tippy, I was able to adjust the center of gravity without having to unload all my gear.
Another feature that was a real game-changer was the rain fly. It rolls up nice and tight in a zipper on the top of the pack and is super easy to throw over when unexpected weather rolls through.
It’s securely hooked in, which ensures it won’t accidentally fly or slip away when you’re putting it on.
As for creature comforts, the pack has those in spades.
I didn’t think much of the hip pocket at first but now I can’t imagine backpacking without it.
It is small but allows you to easily access necessary items without having to stop. I stored chapstick in there and my lips have never been more hydrated on the trail.
Speaking of hydration, the pack has an integrated place for a bladder and you can snake the mouth spout through the back to attach to the shoulder straps for easy access on the trail.
All of the handy features aside, the pack is extremely well built and sturdy. It has a nice structure but is still lightweight.
The pack is able to comfortably carry about 35 pounds of gear and can be used for overnight trips or multi-week hikes.
This backpack has undoubtedly made me a very happy camper.
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