My friend owns the previous version of this pack so when ARCTERYX redesigned it with some improvements I bought it.
I use it as my crag bag and wanted to use it as a lightweight alternative to my 26 liter Osprey for multi-pitch trad climbing (carry water, rain jacket, food and extra gear).
I love the new zippers as opposed to the drawstring closer which I think is a bit more secure and keeps water out much better. It still opens very wide so i can get stuff in and out easily. I also love the new inside pocket for my wallet, phone, money, etc...
I DISLIKE the new shoulder straps. ARCTERYX indicates they changed to the nylon straps to save weight. This may be true, but it's at the expense of comfort. I used it for a 5-pitch climb at Seneca Rocks, WV. I carried two 32 ounce jugs of water (About 8.3 lbs), a couple energy bars, two sandwiches and two leightweight Sierra designs rain jackets. it wasn't much weight at all, maybe 12 pounds total. By the time I got to the top, my shoulders were killing me from the straps digging in. By the time we were repelling, I was cursing this bag and most of the water was gone, meaning the pain was from the weight earlier in the day.
I give it 3 stars because it looks cool, has some good features that make it great for going to the rock gym, or for short hikes to the local crags. but for this price, it should be good for more than just one thing. Bottom line is it's bad for multi-pitch climbing or for longer hikes. If I was to do it again, I would get the older version. maybe backcountry will let me switch.
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