Good But Not Great
I have had this backpack since it was released about a year and half ago. I really liked the pack initially but I have a few gripes now after using it for long treks in harsh conditions. Let me begin with the positive aspects. This pack is built better than any other pack that I have used, it is a tank and can take very big loads. The suspension is on par with other load hauling packs and seems to support as much weight as you can put in it. The pack is all around more water resistant in comparison to the ospreys and gregorys that I have used. I left the pack out in a torrential rain one night and all the things in the pack were dry the next morning, I was quite impressed. The feature set is very nice with zippers that allow the bag to be opened like a duffle, also there are three compartments on the lid of the pack wich come in handy. The stuff pocket on the back is huge and fully zippered. Okay now for the downsides. The packs rotating hipbelt does not work as it should. It rotates to far clockwise but hardly rotates counter clockwise without popping off. Also the hipbelt has no framing to it like the gregorys do, it is simply a peice of thermoformed foam. The hipbelt tends to squeak even when it is lubricated, and dirt collects in the ac2 hipbelt disks. The shoulder pads are nice and can be customized but they could have been stuffed more for greater comfort. Also the mesh material that makes up the water bottle pockets has holes in it now, clearly this should be made of a more durable material. Once dirt get into the facric or coating of the fabric, it is nearly impossible to get out, making the pack hard to clean. Overall I feel like useless features like the compression wings and multitude of zippers on the duffle opening could have been removed and that removed weight could have gone into improving the comfort of the pack with a better hipbelt and more cushion. Overall I feel that for the price this pack should meet my every standard. I suggest the much cheaper option of the gregory baltoro.