It’s no surprise that when professional hikers and backpackers talk about the best gear, they usually point to custom made products.  One of the best they talk of is Dan McHale and the beautiful, rugged packs he hand-creates in his garage in Seattle, Washington.

Each pack is specifically tailored for the individual as they must provide detailed measurements. While no two McHale Custom Backpacks ($695+) are ever exactly alike, there are some common features like the Cordura nylon & Dyneema outer materials which are the toughest available.  They all have a 7075-T6 aluminum frame that can be custom shaped then made permanent with carbon fibers.  Duraflex hardware keeps all the zinc-plated metal buckles, clips, and fasteners lightweight and working in any conditions.  The foam used for the security belt is a time-proven English import so you can wear it without fear of chafing.  Although a bit pricier than your mainstream brands, the McHale Custom Backpacks are built to last through all the journeys one can take in a lifetime.