This is the single greatest pack design I have ever seen, bar none. I've had my boyfriend complain of how heavy it is when full of water (and spare tube, pump, first aid stuff, etc., etc.), but when it's on your back, it's really not noticeable at all. I have the women's version, and it fits so much better than other packs I've tried. My ONE complaint is the Dakine/Hydrapak hose - it's failed on me and is leaking after one season (I have the 2010 pack). The hanging clip on the bladder also broke. Overall, I do like filling this bladder better than a Camelbak, so I've ordered a replacement valve & hose. I've even used this pack as a carryon in order to transport a full-faced helmet on a plane - it makes it easy to stow in the overhead bin when you can quickly unclip/clip the helmet from the pack.
Not sure if it's because I'm extremely short, or what, but over a very short amount of time, the space between the knee and the shin armor pieces began to fold, placing the knee under the shin. This ended badly for me in a crash at the bike park when the knee plate dug into my shin so hard that I ended up with a golf-ball sized bruise that took months to go away. Too much space between the plates, and not a firm enough backing material to prevent folding. As other reviewers said, they also have a tendency to pop open, and are very difficult to lock/unlock at times. I'm much happier with my Raceface DIYs (the women's version of the Rally FR).
The original reviewer is right about the neck being a little snug, but I was able to get it on fine, and once on, it didn't feel restrictive at all. Length is good (although I'm short), the medium was wide enough for my broad shoulders, and the mp3 pocket was a nice feature the day I wore it to hike the snowboard park. True to description, it did remain funk-free for a couple of days.
The gender-specific description of this product is pretty limiting, isn't it? Young girls are killing it in all action sports these days. Make them feel included.
After 15 years of snowboarding, this board changed my life. Standing just shy of 5 foot nothing, I've tried every board under the sun to complete my quiver. Every year, I end up head over heels when my nose dips into the pow. Long boards, short boards, women's, men's, nothing kept it from happening. When the Malolo came out in 05, everyone kept talking about how amazing it was. I felt left out of the party, and accepted that while powder was fun, I couldn't see what the hype was about, since it was so much work. When they finally launched a 149 (rumor has it JG, Burton's innovator, wouldn't agree to a little one, even for his own girlfriend!), I snapped it up, and I can honestly say it's like cheating. It's a mogul destroying, chop busting floating machine, and I finally understand the hype. I now love hippie soul carving.