Light Speed: LL Bean Women's AT 35 Pack
Published on 06/11/2012
By Madison Kahn
The L.L. Bean AT 35 pack is the ideal daypack for women who hike fast and light. Our testers took it on a full-day hiking excursion up New Mexico’s highest mountain—Wheeler Peak—and not once did it fail to impress. After stuffing the pack to the brim with food, clothes, and gear, our testers were a little worried that all that weight would take a toll on our backs during the six hour, 4,000-foot elevation gain. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
The pack’s butterfly aluminum frame provides strong and secure support, transferring the weight off your back onto your hips. You’ll forget about all that weight as soon as you strap on the hip belt, though, which is built with perforated EVA foam for extra cushion and ventilation. The pack also features a unique trampoline suspension system frame that allows air to pass between the pack and your back, keeping you cool and comfortable. Lastly, the shoulder straps automatically adjust when you put it on, so you won’t never have to waste time messing around to get the fit just right.
With over 30 liters of storage space, the AT 35 will fit anything and everything you’ll need for a full-day adventure. The pack features top and front entry to the main compartment, allowing for easy access to gear at any time. The Stretch Spandura shove-it pocket on the front panel gives hikers an ideal place to stash a rain jacket for unexpected weather. It also comes with two side water bottle pockets and Hypalon compression wings that allow for attaching additional gear. It can be difficult to access water easily, so we recommend buying a bladder (pack contains hydration port).
The AT 35 works just as well as a work/ travel backpack as it does a hiking pack. When our testers took it to the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, they were sure their papers were ruined after a spontaneous afternoon downpour. Thanks to the 210-denier HT ripstop nylon’s water-resistant polyurethane coating, all was safe and dry.
Though it’s advertised as a “multiday pack,” our testers thought it was better suited for a long day hike, or maybe a two-day, one-night pack. Basically, the women who already find it difficult to pack light might not have enough room for a multi-day trip in this pack.
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