I bequeathed my Cairn hip pack to my son for his travels through Greece this summer. On his return he was reluctant to let go of it, and I succumbed to fatherly expansiveness. Then I sought to replace it. The Cairn II isn't quite as well thought out as the Cairn (I), I opine. The section in the front (which, worn, would make it rear-most) is not as widely opening and as capacious as in the original. Extra pockets for organization are also missing from the sequel. Neither of the packs came with any instruction or suggestions for using its various features (bungie cord, the odd carabiner loop). The addition of the camelback on the II was nice, and appreciated, but is it really more convenient than having bottles tucked into either side? Having apparatures for headphone jacks is, I suppose, a nice feature for those who want to have music with them; I find myself requiring less and less of a soundtrack in my life. Carping aside, I am pleased with my Cairn II; I will use it as fiercely and as much as the one I let my son have, though I was very used to that one and liked its utilitarian design. I carried the old one with me everywhere (my vademecum) as sort of a man-purse. I expect the new one will win my affections, eventually.