Hi - yes, I actually purchased and field tested three beacons during a recent Avalanche training course. Of all the beacons (including Mammut Pulse, and BCA Tracker 2), I was the most impressed with the S1+. (Note: they were all good, and did their job. Read on).
Ease of use is pretty straightforward - open, and you're searching. Closed, and you're sending. If the beacon is open for too long (ie: you were hit by another avalanche while searching for someone), it will automatically revert to Send mode. A small LED flashes to let you know it's turned on in the holster.
I was the most impressed by the S1+ on the "Range Test" (where the instructor walks further and further away with a transmitting beacon, while 12 students read out the distance indicator) - the S1+ was the one of only two beacons in the group to go past 40 meters (the Mammut Pulse was the other one). The S1+ though - it kept reading past 60 meters. This might not seem like much, but if I'm searching for one of my best friends or my wife, I want as much range as I can darn well afford - the small extra cost for a better beacon is suddenly going to be worth it.
The other test that sold me on the S1+ was during multiple-burial drills. Comparing the S1+ and the Mammut Pulse, I personally found the S1+ to have a faster processing speed while locating 3 or more victims.
Downsides - the fine-search is different on the S1+ than some people might be accustomed to. But anyone who has taken an Avy course will quickly and easily adapt to the circle instead of a big "+" symbol.
Which brings me to my last point - if you're reading this and looking for an Avalanche beacon, but haven't yet taken an Avy course - Stop. Spend your money on the Avy course first, then a good beacon second. You'll be informed, and will make an educated purchasing decision as a result.
I put the largest Voile shovel into this pack the other day, and it fit without having to stretch the zipper. This was in a size Large Kode 30.
A size medium, tucked into the inside mesh pocket, is a little bit smaller than a cantaloupe (there was still space to squeeze it down even more).
I just bought these pants after reading the review on here. The answer is yes- I tried putting these on & taking them off with sneakers on. Then (just to make sure I covered every base for other readers here) I did it again with sandals, and again with my heavy-duty hiking boots. Result- I had no issues putting on & removing the Large size pants over my size 11 heavy leather boots. I am 6' tall, 180 lbs, with a 30" inseam, and 35" waist, and these pants fit me beautifully. My only complaint with the pants so far is the lack of pockets. This is offset though by the fact that these pants roll up to the size of a burrito, and only weigh 9 ounces.