Despite coming from specialist lightweight gear manufacturers GoLite, the Quest 50 is one of the heaviest packs tested and has one of the most substantial back systems and set of features. This is a long way from the minimalism of GoLite’s first packs. At the same time, GoLite give 28kg as the maximum load it will carry, far more than that of most of the other packs tested.

I haven’t tried 28kg, which might be difficult to fit in a pack this size, but it certainly handles 20kg well due to the wide, stiffened, well-padded hipbelt and the stiff frame system. If you’re going to carry such weights then the weight of the empty pack may well be justified but for lighter loads I’d choose a lighter pack. The back is body-hugging and stability is good.

The pack is made from recycled fabrics, an excellent plus point. There’s a long zip for access to the pack without opening the lid. The pockets are roomy and the side stretch ones are acutely angled to make it easy to access water bottles. The front pouch is huge and will easily take a wet tent.

First published: March 2014