Our test of the Litehaul included four flights, several meetings and one Colorado summit

The Kathmandu Litehaul 38L transitions easily from a travel bag to a briefcase or shoulder bag and — in a zip — into a backpack.

We started by using the pack as a suitcase, loading the main compartment and using the sleeves and pockets for smaller items. A laptop slipped into the side-access sleeve. For quick access, the top pocket fit sunglasses, keys and smaller essentials. The inner pockets fit toiletries, shoes and separates. To get down to business, the pack was emptied but for the laptop and meeting materials.

For the summit ascent, we unzipped the back panel to release the Air Pod System harness and tuck-away hip belt. The back panel cannot zip back into place with the harness and hip belt employed. However, flattening the unzipped panel across the back before putting on the pack alleviated any bunching issues. For the climb, the pack was loaded on the light end for a day trip, and was comfortable for the entire ascent and descent. A heavy load may have had a different result, but this is primarily a travel bag, not a backpack. It performed beautifully.

kathmandu litehaul hiking
Taking the pack for a quick day hike up Engineer Mountain near Durango, Colorado.Jan Nesset

Kathmandu Litehaul 38L – $150