The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 3400 is an impressive pack that delivers a lot of volume relative to its weight. This competitor is a simple, yet functional option for ultralight backpackers. It has lots of external storage, including large hip and side pockets and a waterproof main pack. Although this model is made of some of the most advanced fabrics, it's paired with two old-school aluminum stays. This combination failed to carry medium loads as comfortably as we would like. That said, this is an excellent pack for loads less than 25 pounds. Overall, we preferred the Editors' Choice award-winning Gossamer Gear Mariposa, which carries this load better and weighs in lighter than the Windrider. We also preferred the features that the Mariposa provides. However, the Windrider's waterproof hybrid Cuben fabric is a compelling feature in very rainy climates.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear reached out to let us know that their hip belt pockets have been redesigned, now featuring larger dimensions as well as a zipper that's positioned for easier access into the pockets. While we haven't tested out the pack with this new hip belt, larger pockets are always an exciting and welcome change, and we look forward to checking them out!