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Heres the skinny:
Used the pack for some sport climbing while on my honeymoon in Italy. It held 12 quickdraws, some webbing, two harnesses, two pairs of shoes, water bottle, some jackets, 60 meter rope and some other gear. Basically I had gear for two b/c the wife only took her purse. B/c there are gear loops on the outside and the way the kangaroo pouch is positioned with its strap that attaches to the top I was able to secure rope to the outside with some extra webbing that wove through the gear loops. I pulled the strap that is attached to the kangaroo pouch through the top of the rope and then used the webbing through the gear loops to tie the rope firmly to the pack. This method worked awesome.
Now time for the Pros: I didnt bring a tarp with the rope with me b/c of the way the bag unfolds and Ill say this for a 60 meter rope, I did not need a tarp I just laid the rope in the bag fully unzipped with no problems. Saves space and weight.
The zipper is big and tough and rough and hard to zip. This is a pro!! This zipper makes you feel secure that your stuff will not come unzipped and that the zipper will last for a very long time. Anyone that complains about the zipper is an idiot b/c this is one of its best features. Its the best zipper I have ever seen. With being able to access your pack at any point on the outside this was a well thought out feature and as I traveled from airport to airport pulling stuff in it, it made life a breeze getting to important documents or pieces of gear to show airport security I am not a terrorist.
The compression straps which are not shown in the picture are tucked away which makes the bag very sleek, but for the part I always used the straps to hold gear in place or jackets and the such. So if you need more room you can use the straps to tie on gear. With that said the two pockets on the side are very deep which makes fitting a nalgene very easy and worry free of it falling out something I had a problem with w/ previous packs I owned.
They are lots of pockets the top pocket is awesome for little things like snack or wallet or cell phone. The pockets on the hip belts are awesome they fit my iphone 4s perfectly and some Advil and headphones and spare change. Inside there are three pockets. On pocket at the top which I kept my electronic equipment in and the front inside one where I kept guidebooks and other paperwork. And of the course the back pocket for a camel pack, note: I did not get a chance to check out how efficiently the camel pack pocket worked.
Now for the suspension system, the hip belt was not overly burly nor was it too small like some osprey/mountain hardware hip belts. Do some research and look what went in to designing the hipbelt and suspension system it says it all. I thoroughly liked the feel of the back on my back, especially as I walked over tons of boulders trying to find specific routes, it held up and felt very comfortable.
One of the best things about the pack was the handle on top. When traveling around, I loved this handle for easy hauling of the bag and tossing it round to and fro. And trust me and I wore the s$!t out of this bag and it is very durable.
Also note: this bag has ice pick straps that are hidden and which I have no use for since I live in Texas but thats ok I keep them hidden so I dont have to look at them.
Now for the Cons: The kangaroo pouch on the outside narrows as it nears the bottom of the pack. Its hard to squeeze some solutions into with a pack full of gear, but with that said they narrowed the pouch so the s-shape zippered could function as it was intended and thus something had to give.
The second con is the elastic they used on the straps to keep the long part of the strap out of the way, the elastic itself is very loose and fell off the straps a lot and I had to babysit the elastic so I would not lose it. Will probably end up replacing it with something tighter when I get the chance.
My next step is to see if I can fit my climbing gear, sleeping bag, tent , stove and some food into this bag being a 34L with the right stuff sacks I should be ok.
pictures soon to come.
Love the shoes went down 2.5 sizes from street shoe, I wore a 44 in the mythos and a 43 in these, they will stretch out!!!! Really good for smearing and edging, the heel is something to be desired so If you want bouldering shoes get the solutions, other than that really good shoe. works best on tiny footholds that aren't reallythere both indoors and outdoors. Took about two weeks to break in before I could wear them for more than two climbs, but once broken in, I can wear them for about thirty minutes at a time before I take them off. Hope this helps!!!!
Awesome pack. Has tons of space and 3 pockets with zippers making organizing the smaller parts of your gear more manageable. Took it out climbing in north Texas held all the gear
and we were only top roping. The buckle to hold down the top works great and have had no problems of it falling off. The only complaints are the hip straps, wish they were bigger like the black diamnod octane packs. But they do have more room than black diamond. The water pouch could be more stable within the pack but if it's full of gear not much of a concern. There are also straps underneath the pack which is great for holding rope and yes it is stable, I tried it out. The sinching system to compress the bag is one of the best around. All in all awesome bag I would recommend it to anyone the only concern is that I wish the hip straps were bigger.