This is an interesting pack that addresses an underserved market: the Volpi UL 40 backpack is frameless but has the option for a wide, padded hip belt. Most frameless packs offer a webbing belt, or minimal belt at best. This means that the Volpi UL 40 has the potential to effectively transfer a load between the shoulders and hips, but with a caveat: the responsibility for doing that lies with the user and not the frame and suspension of the pack. So if you’re knowledgeable and careful about how to properly pack a frameless backpack (see our online course Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp for guidance), you could potentially carry up to 30 pounds in this pack without discomfort.

What’s most impressive about the Volpi UL 40 is its durability and weight and its big, wide hip belt.