Review: Triple Aught Fast Pack Litespeed

Great for hiking, climbing, photography, or any other daytrip excursion you might find yourself on, the Triple Aught Design Fast Pack Litespeed is all about toughness and modularity. It's a bit heavier than most packs its size, due to the 1000-denier fabric and the ubiquitous buckles, straps,  and MOLLE webbing attached throughout. A little extra weight has never bothered me, but if you're a gram-counter, consider this: what these abundant accoutrements add in ounces, they make up for in flexibility. Fasten anything, anywhere, and it'll hold tight.

For storage, the 22-liter pack has an external admin pocket for instant access to key items, while dual mesh sleeves in the main compartment segregate small, slender essentials. The entire pack fillets open for ease of packing and quick retrieval of buried gear. An adjustable, removable "Transport Tail" on the front holds a helmet or extra layer, while the bottom compression straps extend out to hold a spotting scope or other mid-sized cylindrical object.

I like how the rigid framesheet gives the pack structure—not only does it make the bag feel burly, like it can handle a real beating, but it helps with ride and load carriage. Pile as much weight into this puppy as you can, it'll take it. To reinforce the ruggedness, a stout, grippy carry-handle rides atop the pack—no flimsy webbing here. Grab and go, regardless of weight.

Another virtue is the pack's resistance to moisture. The waterproof liner and Aqua-Guard zippers keep the contents dry even in a torrential downpour. That's comforting during a Montana spring, when it can go from sunshine to driving rain in an instant.

Put all that together and it's clear that a lot of thought went into the design of this pack. Case in point: the nifty strap retention, which is a built-in buckle with an elastic loop-and-hook system. Way better than the usual flimsy velcro straps. All in all, the Fast Pack Litespeed is one solid pack, top to bottom, inside and out.

Available online; $345.