I have a couple of questions. First I am...
I have a couple of questions. First I am trying to figure out the "old" vs "new" versions. The old had a single wrap-around compression strap and two frame stays; the new has two fixed compression straps but only a single frame stay - is this correct? If so, how does that single stay integrate with the shoulder straps? I have not encountered this type of construction before.
Second - are there any gear loops/slots/holsters on the hip belt? If not, what is the most accessible way to carry gear you might need to reach quickly in an emergency?
I am looking for a mountaineering pack in this size range, and would also appreciate advice on how this pack compares to other options. Thanks!
frame stay is a single piece. 2 fixed compression straps on each side allow for even compression to maximize load symmetry and stability. the frame stay does not integrate with the shoulder straps, but the load lifters do. the frame stay prevents the load from flexing in toward your back and "rounding out" while still allowing torsional flexing. in an emergency, i would not count on your pack still being intact or attached to you. i would look for jacket that has high pockets easily accesible above a cinched down hip belt. if you are just bagging peaks, there are a lot better choices out there, but if you are doing some serious mountaineering this is a good choice in my opinion, but my experience above 15000+ ft is pretty much non-existent.
Last year's version had two loops for ice clips from BD or Petzl. I haven't seen this year's pack up close so I can't confirm. Mountain Hardwear website images don't show a side view but what I can see suggest there are no clipper loops on the current version.