The North Face


The was designed for—and tested on—snow-capped mountain summits. But every adventurer hauling a few days of supplies down a trail can benefit from the technology that makes the Prophet not just supremely capable, but one of the most comfortable packs available.

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The backpack is light (five pounds, 11 ounces), and made from abrasion-resistant and ripstop fabrics that will last decades, but North Face wanted a pack that made the ugliest endeavors easier by focusing on the fit, mobility, and balance, says product manager Alex Goulet. “It’s built for the ultimate suffer-fests.” As in, carrying 60 meters of rope, ice axes, and a base camp, including the kitchen, into thin alpine air.

Guides from Seattle’s Alpine Ascents International took prototypes and competitor’s packs out on Mt. Rainier for 3 days of intensive testing. They noticed that there was a lot of room for improvement in the suspension systems: most packs, when loaded up, didn’t allow a full range of motion.

The 100-liter aluminum-framed pack ($400) and 85-liter model ($380) are the first to use The North Face’s new Dyno Carry System, which lets users tailor fit without stopping or removing the pack. A tab on the back panel adjusts the pack’s torso length and how close the load sits to your body, which is nice for gradient changes. You can also adjust the side-to-side weight distribution by pulling a buckle on the right shoulder, if you loaded the weight to one side. And a bearing at the base of the pack lets the hip straps pivot up and down with your stride while keeping the weight stabilized.


This story was in the July/August 2018 issue.

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