Mountain Hardwear Maestro

At 2380g this is a relatively lightweight backpacking rucksack that comes in men’s and women’s styles. But the real story here is the unique Exodus back system that really hugs the body while having minimal contact areas and a high degree of freedom of movement. The ‘sack is very narrow too so you can easily move your arms back and forth when walking with trekking poles for example. There’s excellent space for the head too. The body of the ‘sack is quite simple with just one main compartment, side compression straps and a cavernous front pocket. You can stow trekking poles to the sides easily and you can fit a hydration system. The lid can be raised or removed, which is ideal when you really have to overstuff the pack. Overall this is a stable ‘sack that does not hinder movement, with a reasonably low weight. But the floating lid design could allow water into the main compartment. The high price tag doesn’t quite match what you get. You’d need to be careful what you put in that large front pocket too as anything heavy or loose would no doubt hinder stability of the ‘sack. Not everyone will like the idea of a single rather than twin main compartment.

 

Capacity: 66 litres
Materials: Cordura with Ballistic Cordura base
Features: adjustable Exodus back system; extending lid; one main compartment with top entry; three lid pockets; front pocket; quick-release side compression straps; wand pockets; hydration system-compatible
Weight: 2380g
Made in Philippines
Stores in UK: England 20; Wales 2; Scotland 10; Ireland 2

Verdict: Buy it if you want a relatively unrestrictive, relatively lightweight ‘sack with good features for general backpacking.