For anyone seriously interested in backpacking, you really should consider purchasing an Arc'teryx backpack. They are so tough you feel as though you could drive a truck over one and it would still be okay. I was wearing mine when I was caught in a torrential downpour at Enchanted Rock here in Texas and did not even need to pull out a rain cover. Everything in my pack was bone-dry. The padding on the straps is top-notch and extremely comfortable. Even with a heavy load, you're assured of comfort thanks to their design. I liked mine so much that I bought a Bora 95 for expedition loads. They are pricey, but with these packs, you know they will last you at least 10 years.