I bought this pack as my new side & backcountry pack for this upcoming season. Last season I used an older Heli Pro and Dakine Blade, but wasn't extremely happy with either. The Heli Pro wasn't comfortable enough with minimal padding on the straps and back, while the Blade was comfortable, but too big and heavy for sidecountry hiking. This pack was the perfect combination of both packs. Super comfortable straps and back panel, perfect size, and all the amenities you'd want in a day pack. Easy access to your avy gear too. Also a very versatile pack for everyday use.
One gripe I have with the pack though is there isn't a small pocket to organize tools. Only the main compartment, shovel/avy pocket, and goggle pocket. I'd like one smaller pocket somewhere for my multi tool. But it is what it is and that's why this pack won't get 5 stars from me.
If you're thinking about going with the Heli Pro instead of the Heli Pro DLX, do yourself a favor and spend the extra $20 for the DLX. The DLX has upgraded fabric, way better straps, padded back panel, insulated hydration sleeve, and a few other features that really make it worth the extra $20.
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