I am a landscape photographer, and being able to access remote areas and have the energy to stay out there for days at a time is crucial. Big heavy packs wear me out, and I find myself less than motivated to be creative. I have been looking at UL bags for a while. This is the one that I feel fits my needs for staying in the 25 lb range, but still haul everything I need to survive out there.
I was gifted with this pack, and I honestly had my doubts about it at first. It was so minimal. I did not know where I was going to put everything. But amazingly, by getting creative with my packing, everything fit with room to spare. The mesh pockets on the side and front are bomber, and they hold a lot more than you would think. The main chamber is massive. And the 360 degree compression on the bag is great for setting that load properly.
I have hauled this all over the Uintas for summer 2015. And it was like having a heavy day pack on. And the time getting into areas that normally took 3-4 hours was cut to 2-2.5 hours of walking time. Less need for brakes, and a lot of mileage in a short amount of time. I did Toomset Lake in the Uintas, 5.25 miles each way in 2 hours and some change. And that has a really big up from the junction. The way it carries a load is amazing. And it has far less pressure points and pull on your back than my other pack had. Sometimes I even forgot I was carrying a backpack.
This is now my go to bag. I would not imagine carrying anything else. You can see my web site and see some of the images that I took because this pack got me there this summer. My average weight with this pack was in the 20 lb range depending on what went in the food bag. The best part of this bag is that it does make you think minimalist and not bring the kitchen sink. Which is what backpacking is supposed to be about.
Here is my photography site: http://www.christianpaulphotography.com/
For the price, cubic inch size, and its weight class, I have yet to find another pack that compares for price or quality. The Crown V.C. 60 is the best backpacking bag I have ever owned.