The air intake box has been moved. It is no longer over the shoulder so it does not dig in when youve got a heavy load = Huuuuge perk. I used this pack on a 2 nighter with enough gear for 3 nights. While its volume forced me to strap most everything to the outside, the weight factor was not an issue like on older avalung packs. Super comfortable. Back access is awesome. Great vertical board carry. Not sure how I feel about the new locking buckle design on the straps. Takes longer to do everything but I guess better safe than sorry.
1. No ice axe loops. I tucked mine into the lower snowboard carry strap hider. Didn't feel as solid as a loop though and not great for dual ice axes.
2. Chest strap female buckle is tucked into the shoulder strap and inaccessible. This makes it near impossible to clear ice out of it to get the buckles snapped closed.
3. Not crazy about the goggle pocket. The weight distribution of the pack deforms the goggle pocket even with a very light load. This puts a lot of pressure on your goggles and deforms them.
4. Be ready for some major strap management. When everything's tightened youve got feet of excess strappage everywhere.