When you need to fulfil a specific carry need, sometimes only a specialist will suffice. And that’s what our Best Specialist finalists are designed to do. All primarily hone in on nailing one specific carry requirement, such as helping protect you in an avalanche or battling forest fires or keeping fragile gear safe against impacts. Each finalist excels in its own right. But which one deserves the category crown? Choose your top pick below.

VOTING CLOSED

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RMU Core Pack 15

RMU designed the Core Pack 15 as a lightweight trail companion to hold your essentials, whether you’re eating up the miles on two wheels or roaming on two feet. The pack is made with weatherproof 420D nylon and weighs just 2.5 lbs. The interior accommodates a hydration bladder, with a selection of pockets for storing tools and other trail necessities. And since a little adaptability comes in handy, you can remove the waist belt and slip in a laptop for daypack duty in urban environments.

RMU Core Pack 15

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Watershed OTB 75™ Backpack

When superior protection from the elements is required, this pack steps up in a big way. The Watershed OTB 75™ Backpack is submersible to depths of 33 feet for six hours and includes an oral inflate/deflate valve to control buoyancy. The tough USA-made build features a rugged double-coated 500D Cordura laminated exterior, RF-welded exterior seams, YKK Aquaseal zipper and an amphibious Mystery Ranch® NICE™ Frame. The comfortable and supportive suspension also makes it a versatile pack for conquering a variety of outdoor environments on land too, offering darn impressive sea to backcountry adaptability. And with interior and exterior Armathane™ MOLLE panels you can get creative with organization setups too.   

Watershed OTB 75™ Backpack

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Colfax Design Works Project T.O.A.D. DryBag

Forming part of the Tactical Operations Amphibious Drybags collection, this 100% waterproof bag is built to handle a variety of demanding environments when you need to keep gear dry. The submersible bag is made in the USA with a waterproof coated Cordura fabric, YKK Aquaseal zippers and a locking buoyancy valve for easy inflation or deflation. And for flexibility the bag can be carried as a backpack, duffel or lashed to a vehicle rack to adapt to a variety of adventures.

Colfax Design Works Project T.O.A.D. DryBag

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Hydro Flask Journey Series™ Insulated Hydration Packs

There’s no shortage of hydration packs available. But how about an insulated hydration pack that keeps your water cool for over four hours? Hydro Flask’s Journey Series™ does just that. The series includes a 10L and 20L backpack, both of which feature a Cold Flow™ System incorporating an insulated reservoir, a reflectively-lined neoprene sleeve, and an articulated back panel that creates an air space between your back and the pack to prevent the transfer of body heat to the reservoir. So you can enjoy refreshing cool hydration even after hours on the trails.

Hydro Flask Journey Series™ Insulated Hydration Packs

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Osprey Seral and Savu Lumbar Packs

Want to keep carry loads to a minimum while mountain biking, but still enjoy easy access to hydration and other small essentials? Osprey’s Seral and Savu lumbar packs are well up to the task. The Seral includes a 1.5L reservoir, while the Savu offers two rigid pockets for easily accessing and storing water bottles. And with ventilated padded waist belts and a range of pockets at the ready, the load stays comfy, secure and organized while you’re on the go.

Osprey Seral and Savu Lumbar Packs

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Revelate Designs Pronghorn

The Revelate Designs Pronghorn is a race-ready handlebar carry system designed to strip back carry weight while keeping gear well protected from the elements. The handlebar bag comes in three sizes to suit a range of loads and is made with durable, lightweight and weatherproof Dyneema fabric. The Pronghorn features an interior fiberglass stay integrated into the mounting points and front bag attachment straps, which keeps the load secure and stable. A solid choice for ultra-endurance races or bikepacking carry needs, it’s a versatile and modular system for demanding cycling environments.

Revelate Designs Pronghorn

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Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ 25 Backpack

The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ 25 Backpack is a lightweight but durable pack aimed at climbing use. It comes in at just 1 lb 14 oz (848 g) and is made with weatherproof, four-layer Dimension-Polyant fabric. The removable floating lid allows you to store a rope externally or shed excess carry weight as required. The quick-access drawstring closure lets you open and secure the pack easily, while the padded, flat base enables convenient loading and gear protection. The pack is compatible with a hydration reservoir and provides exterior attachment points and pockets to keep tools and water bottles secure yet easily accessible.

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler™ 25 Backpack

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ONFAdd Wrapping Backpack

Some backpacks are designed to hold specific items. But the ONFAdd Wrapping Backpack specializes in exceptional carry versatility. Inspired by Japanese furoshiki (a traditional wrapping cloth), the backpack folds out flat and can be wrapped around a variety of objects, from bulky chairs to boxes, paintings and more. However, the clever design also serves as a slim daypack for everyday work or casual use, with dedicated storage for a 15″ laptop and six interior pockets for smaller day-to-day essentials.

ONFAdd Wrapping Backpack

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Arc’teryx Norvan 14 Hydration Vest

Sleek, compact, lightweight and durable, the Arc’teryx Norvan 14 Hydration Vest is a comfortable trail running vest designed to effectively carry a hydration bladder and running essentials for day-long outings. The Norvan comes with a 2L bladder and offers 12L of weather-resistant rolltop storage space for food, an outer layer and other necessary items. Front pockets also keep soft flasks and snacks at the ready. And the secure fit offers bounce-free carry so you can focus on the trail and not what’s on your back.

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EVOC NEO 16L

The EVOC NEO 16L combines back protection and carry comfort in a tough pack built for enduro riding. The bag’s AIRSHIELD protector provides 95% shock absorption while enabling ventilation and flexibility. The AIRO FLEX hipbelt also enables flexibility and ventilation while supporting load transfer for improved riding comfort. And for added functionality, the Polygiene fabric treatment helps combat odors, bacteria and fungi.

EVOC NEO 16L

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Barebones Harvesting & Gathering Bag

Harvesting and gathering can be awkward work. But this Barebones bag makes the process a lot easier, with versatile carry options and thoughtful access. The bag can be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag or chest bag, with a drop-out bottom for fast, easy emptying. The durable waxed canvas exterior is also complemented by a waterproof removable liner which is easy to clean.

Barebones Harvesting & Gathering Bag

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Ergon BA3 E Protect Backpack

The Ergon BA3 E Protect delivers an updated take on the Ergon Backpack, with a redesigned adjustable carrying system to easily adjust the back length to suit a variety of torso lengths. The hip strap can also be shortened if needed, allowing the user to really dial in the fit. Designed for enduro and all-mountain cycling, the pack accommodates both a hydration bladder and a back protector, with a range of pockets on hand to neatly store tools and other trail essentials.

Ergon BA3 E Protect Backpack

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Mustang Survival Greenwater Waterproof Deck Bag

While you can afford to get wet during water-based activities, a lot of your gear can’t. So Mustang Survival designed the Greenwater Waterproof Deck Bag as a rugged, watertight storage solution. The bag is made with a durable 420D Hypalon shell and YKK Aquaseal zipper to keep water at bay, while rubberized and reinforced handles endure tough handling. The bag also includes tie-down points to secure it in place and comes in 35L and 65L sizes to accommodate a range of loads.

Mustang Survival 35L Greenwater Waterproof Deck Bag

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Snow Peak Cooler Tote Bag

Coolers can be awkward to carry, not to mention lacking in aesthetic appeal. But the Snow Peak Cooler Tote Bag takes care of both concerns with its stylish, functional design. The bag combines an attractive canvas exterior with an insulated interior that offers a pocket to store a cold pack. And with its top carry handles it’s easy to carry too. Not to mention the flexible design moves smoothly from cooler duties to day-to-day tote use.

Snow Peak Cooler Tote Bag

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Pelican Air Cases

Protective cases often sacrifice weight savings for durability, but with Pelican Air Cases you get both. Available in a variety of sizes, the cases are made with Pelican’s lightweight HPX™ resin and combine honeycomb structural elements with stiff “full-box” sections. The result is a series of cases that keep weight to a minimum while delivering reliable durability, protection against drops up to six feet, as well as protection from submersion at a depth of one meter for 20 minutes. And the interiors can be customized with a variety of optional organization solutions to tailor the cases to a wide range of gear setups.

Pelican Air Cases

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YETI LoadOut GoBox 30

Whether you need tough protection and organization for outdoor, everyday or adventure-getaway gear, YETI’s robust LoadOut GoBox 30 is at the ready. The rugged build is 100% waterproof and dustproof and built to take a beating day in and day out. It also has non-slip feet for added stability and includes a range of organization accessories to tailor it to your preferred setup.

YETI LoadOut GoBox 30

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Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack

Designed for long-distance racing, the Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack delivers sleek, efficient organization for essentials. It’s made with Hexalon, a lightweight, waterproof and abrasion-resistant laminated fabric developed for Apidura. The bag offers a main storage compartment, along with two removable side mesh pockets that offer one-handed access. A additional top stretch mesh pocket provides storage for items such as a tracker, while reflective detailing helps keep you visible on the move.

Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack

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Mystery Ranch Hotshot

Mystery Ranch takes their hardy, functional fire pack to the next level with the updated Hotshot. Improved comfort, framing and durability now make this an even more reliable, practical tool for hard-working crew. The yoke’s
Futura adjustment system allows for easy pack adjustment to suit different torso lengths. Further features such as a pre-curved 7075 aluminum stay, framing that includes HDPE plastic and a fiberglass rod, structured waist belt wings, and an angled base enhance the carry comfort, load transfer and stability.

Mystery Ranch Hotshot

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Black Diamond JetForce Tour 26L Avalanche Airbag Pack 

Avalanche airbag packs are important, potentially life-saving tools when skiing or snowboarding. But the use of cartridges poses a host of tricky problems, from flying restrictions to single-use functionality. But the Black Diamond JetForce Tour is different. The pack uses the new Alpride E1 airbag system, a fan-based system electrically powered by supercapacitors. The system can be recharged in less than an hour via micro USB and AA batteries, so you can roam with confidence. And you’ve got plenty of space for a day’s worth of essentials, as well as a dedicated pocket for avalanche safety tools.

Black Diamond JetForce Tour 26L Avalanche Airbag Pack

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Vote now!