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Gear Review

3 5

Great idea, but poor execution (at least for me)

I was in the market as they say for a light backpack (trying to keep my total load around 25lbs), and a bag that weighs less than 2 lbs sounded very promising to me. I wasn't too concerned about its virtually non-existent individual compartments/zippered pockets/lid/etc. In fact, I found its Spartan setup quite refreshing. The issue for me ended up being its suspension. Now the shoulder straps and the hip belt, despite their thin composition are very comfortable, but its frameless design made the load lifters ineffective in that the frame wasn't strong enough to properly lift the load off my shoulders. In fact, the top of the frame just curled towards my shoulders (and this was with about 20 lbs of load. I'm not sure whether it's technically correct to call it a frameless suspension, but it's essentially a combination of light plastic frame sheet and a foam pad - offers nowhere near the rigidity that other backpacks in its class offers (e.g. Granite Gear AC 60, Osprey Exos 58, Boreas Buttermilk 55). Additionally, the pack has absolutely no provision for a hydration system, and it's also more expensive (not by much but nonetheless) than its competing models. I do love the idea/intent of the bag, hopefully I'll have a better luck with it in their future models. I believe it may have still worked for me for loads under 15 lbs. And just because I had issues with it doesn't mean it won't work for you, everyone has a unique body and propensity. For reference, I'm 5'11", 170-175 lbs (depending on whether I'm lifting or not), 31" waist with 21.5" torso (I do have a long torso for my height).

Responded on

I agree with everything Mr. Lee has described. I'm returning the pack, unused, because of the same issues. I, on the other hand ordered the medium and it fit my torso well, Mr. Lee and I are the same height. Once packed, the pack didn't feel distributively comfortable. One specific reason I'm returning the pack is because the major compartment stuff sack has a smallish, few inches, of velcro closure. I really dislike it when I'm removing items from the pack and they inadvertently stick to the velcro, damaging the product. It's happened before, I won't let it happen again.