By 30-Something from the City December 8, 2011
I picked up this pack for a steal on SAC, and first impressions are great. I've not had a chance to hike with it yet, and I'll update the review once it hits the trail.
For the price, and considering it comes with a rain cover, I'm not sure Ive seen a better weeklong bag.
The design allows for a lot of storage. The main compartment has a drawstring separator about two-thirds of the way down. In the picture for the blue pack, it lines up where the bottom blue section is. Conveniently, the zipper opens to access the bottom section. As the description says, there is a small bottom pocket where the rain cover is stored. There's enough room there to stash your rain shell as well. The top drawstring closure has extra room so that you can over-stuff the pack, then compress it down.
The convertible lumbar-pack/top pouch is a neat idea, though I'm not entirely sure how useful. For a day hike I prefer something hydration-compatible, and the space is on the small side. I suppose you could stash a water bottle and some clif bars for a quick trek away from the campsite, but for the extra weight between the padding and the very sturdy waist belt, I don't know that its a great addition. If, however, you're looking for a lumbar pack in addition to a very large hauler, this would meet the need.
The side pockets are huge. There is enough room for food, water filter, and anything else you want quick access to. They open very wide and have heavy duty zippers, so stuffing them full is easy. There is also a pocket on the front which has enough space for your headlamp, compass, map, and any other small necessities you don't want to be without.
In addition to four straps connecting the top pocket, there is a fifth that connects from the middle of the back of the pack to the middle of the front of the pack. Having five compression straps really lets you crank the back down. The straps and buckles all feel very sturdy, and I was not concerned when yanking on them. The design also lets you use the bottom straps to hold your sleeping pad and tent poles if you need the extra space.
The tie-ons are very sturdy and could hold just about anything if laced with some paracord.
The waist belt and shoulder straps are comfortable, well padded, and fit comfortably. I've got a JanSport 5000cu as well and the waist belt seems too big (I've got a 34" waist). This one is much more comfortable and tightens down easily. The mesh side-pockets are small, but would fit a thin water bottle, small shovel/trowel, or anything else you need quick access to.
The bag is on the heavy side at nearly six pounds, but the amount of space is really astonishing. It is comfortable when weighted and fits well. I'm excited to pack it full and head to the wilderness for a week.
Nailed It? 0 Yes
- [top] nylon ripstop; [bottom] 1000D nylon
- 5200 cu in
- Comfort Glide, padded back panel
- Shoulder Straps:
- SoftEdge (two-layer foam)
- yes, three-layer foam with Air Mesh
- Hydration Compatible:
- Reservoir Included:
- Detachable Lid:
- top, bottom
- (external) 2 side zip, 1 top lid, 1 front zip, 2 side mesh bottle, 1 bottom rain cover
- 5 lb 8 oz
- Recommended Use:
- backpacking, trekking, expeditions
- Manufacturer Warranty: