The idea of carrying possessions strapped to your back is an ancient invention. Native cultures would swaddle their goods in blankets. Today’s camping packs have come a long way since then, but still with much the same basic purpose.

Today’s packs are smarter, more secure and even waterproof. Hot products at this year’s Outdoor Retailer included dry bags with shoulder straps and heavy duty backcountry packs for your hardcore adventure needs.

Out of all the packs at OR this year, here are seven that especially caught our eye.

Thule Subterra

Thule (800x533)

Best known for their roof racks, Thule has been making bags and backpacks since 2010. This year they’ve released the Subterra line of luggage. This urban inspired collection of luggage is streamlined and minamilist, and it comes with some neat design features such as a suit case that splits into two with a carry-on bag. 

5.11 Rush 12

5.11 (800x533)

You would be hard pressed to find a bag that takes as much consider to every pocket and detail as a backpack by 5.11 tactical. Originally designed for military and hunting applications, 5.11 also markets to general outdoors enthusiasts. Their Rush 12 backpack is an ideal choice for day hikes. It’s tactical banding around the pack allows you to hang accessories. And the bag opens almost completely flat so you can easily fit your belongings. There are all kinds of hidden pouches and sleaves to store your devices and sunglasses safely. And best of all, as with all 5.11 bags, there is a robust back cushion and strong shoulder straps. MSRP $100

Granite Gear Crown 60

Granite Gear (800x533)

With Granite Gear’s newest backpack, the Crown 60, the company keeps it simple delivering a trusted pack while reducing weight to just over two pounds. The Crown 60 is a predessecor to the cult classic Grante Gear Vapor Trail, but now even lighter. It comes with a waste band that can removed, an optional storage compartment for the top and vapor current suspension to keep you cool. MSRP $200 


Mystery Ranch Stein 62

Mystery G (800x533)

From the makers of top notch climbing packs and military packs, comes the newest model from Mountain Ranch called the Stein 62. This pack is svelt version of its extremely popular Expedition Series. This pack is ideal for climbing because you can easily disconnect the top portion and turn into a day pack, perfect summitting that ridge. It also has a sleeping bag compartment for easy access and two places to store ice axes or other tools. 

K3 Pro-tech Waterproof Backpack


For backpackers and cyclists prepared for any weather there is the K3 Performance line of dry bag packbacks. These bags are stylish enough that you can wear it in the city, while still standing up to the toughest conditions. With the brand’s newest model, the 20-liter Pro-tech Waterproof Backpack, the company had added paracord along the outside for added functionality. MSRP $60

Watershed Ocoee Dry Bag


A bag with crossover appeal for both watersports enthusiasts and commuters is the Watershed Ocoee Dry Bag. This waterproof pack includes shoulder straps perfect riding a bike or hiking. With 900 cubic inches, you can fit just about anything you’ll need for a day trip. MSRP $95