Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet Fastpacking Pack (Gear of the Year 2013)
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Trail Runner Gear of the Year: Best Fastpacking Pack | $190 | 14.5 oz | www.mountainlaureldesigns.com
A true fastpacker’s pack, the sub-one-pound Prophet shaves a frame, extraneous straps and other bells and whistles, and is constructed of bombproof Dyneema X fabric (touted by the company’s website to be “15 times stronger than steel per weight”). With a total capacity of 2,900 cubic inches, the pack features a large main compartment with extension sleeve, two side pockets sized for water bottles and a large mesh front pocket that is great for stuffing jackets, tarps, etc. Customize with waist-belt pockets, top lid and other accessories. Despite its lack of frame, the Prophet carried comfortably with loads of about 20 pounds, which testers attribute to the plush, padded shoulder straps.