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Gear Review

2 5

Did not live up to my expectations

I have to agree with the review preceding mine, this pack did not live up to the hype and I really wanted it too. First of all I hate the newer suspension systems backpack manufacturers are making. I have tried them out on a few models and just can't get over my distaste for them. First the suspension systems dig into packing space and take away from total volume by creating an uneven storage compartment making it difficult to load. Then there is the issue that these suspensions displace the load away from the back making it harder to balance loads. Call me traditional, but I like to distribute the weight directly off of my hips allowing my shoulders to rest a bit (I took the suspension out the second go around on the trail). The shoulder straps never fit me right. I was concerned about this when pack fitting and finding the right size at the shop, but when I got it out onto the trail it just resignated the entire trip. The straps just dug into my shoulders and I could never maintain that balance so I felt as if I was readjusting ever half hour or so. Finally the chest strap broke on my 3rd adventure with this pack and I knew then I had had enough. The plastic buckles at times came loose and I was carrying around 25-35 lbs on 5 day backcountry adventures. What I did like about this pack is the flexible nature of the packs front pouch. The capacity without the suspension was much improved. I was just never really impressed with the load distribution and wanted more in regards to comfort. Bottom line, it just did not work for me, but anatomically it may work for someone of different dimensions. I am 5'10" about 165 and this pack fit me in the medium and I could almost make a large work, but stuck with the medium. Keep in mind height has nothing to do with fitting, torso lengths can vary considerably in people of the same height so it is personal discretion.