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Gear Review

5 5

Very nice pack for long day hikes; suggest a few changes for next year's model

I looked at about 45 different packs before picking this one. I like the weight and capacity. My only complaint is that the lid pocket is very small. Maybe the next version of this pack could have (a) double or triple the size of that pocket, and (b) increase the capacity of the pack by 2 liters. Then it'd be just about perfect for what I use it for - strenuous day hikes, scrambles, and snowshoes. Definitely keep the side pockets; that is one reason I bought the pack. Each pocket can hold a Platypus watter bottle fine. This means that you don't need the inside sleeve for hydration, and could lose the sleeve and save a bit of weight. On the other hand, the sleeve helps a bit for internal organization, so having it is not all bad (but I'd still prefer not to have it). This pack was the closest thing I could find to exactly what I wanted, when I looked in the winter of 2009-2010. It's very comfortable. Be aware that it doesn't have load lifters. Note the weight - just over 2 pounds; very light for its class.

Responded on

Some additional comments after a year of use:

It's just about the perfect pack for me for strenuous day hikes. I've shrunk and lightened my gear to the point where I may be able to use this pack in the winter, as long as carrying snowshoes isn't required.

Make the sleeves for the side pockets a bit higher. This would make it easier to stuff Platypuses there, and would keep the Platys in better. Once in while, the Platys will fall out - usually when I fall or brush against something. Taller sleeves would help with this (of course it won't be perfect, but it'll help).

It'd be helpful if the straps that attach from the crampon pouch connect to something that does not obstruct the zipper. Right now, using the zipper is slowed down because of these straps.

I reiterate my suggestion about the lid - a much larger lid would be helpful. This would not necessarily require making the pack bigger or heavier; it is just a form of redistributing volume to allow for a little more organization. Another thing that'd be nice with the lid is to have an internal pocket (even a mesh pocket would do for this) to put keys and wallet and cell phone. I put all this stuff in a small bag and never use it during a hike; all I'd need is a little place to put that inside the lid. That would help keep it separate from other stuff that I want during the hike.