I love this pack. It fits like a glove...even for those of us who are not the typical hourglass shape. I thought I could wear an Aether just fine since I don't have much for hips, but I was wrong. The shape of the women's waist belt is much better. The shoulder harness is a fabulous fit--esp for those of us who are top heavy. I am 5'9, wear size 14 long pant, and needed the medium pack with the large waist belt. I loaded this pack up with 50lbs and it was very easy and comfortable to wear. The lid buckle and waist buckle are the same size--back up is so nice when you are in the back country. I love how the frame flexes with me. The loops on the zipper pulls make them easy to use with gloves on or limited finger dexterity. I have found it easy to unzip the lid and stuff my hat, shades, or gloves in the top then access them again later without taking the pack off.I have tried packs with the waist belt pockets and find them hard for me to access easily. What I have done is run a small organizer pack on the wide strap for the belt. I've attached my bear spray holster the same way.
Edit: I upgraded to this pack from the Kelty Redwing 2500w. The Kelty raincover that I bought for the redwing fits over the Ariel 65 just fine.