Great pack. I have the crown 60 and a nimbus meridian. There is no beating the comfort, quality and ease of Granite Gear. The Crown 60 is comfortable for me up to about 32-34 lbs. the weight and durability of the pack feel unreal. Other packs of this weight feel like they'll disintegrate while the crown 60 feels like it could be dragged behind a horse fully loaded without a mark. The weight of the pack sits so close to the body, it becomes a part of your body and the pack is unnoticeable when carrying weights under 30lbs. Above that weight, the straps begin to dig a little bit. (nimbus meridian is comfortable for me up to 50lbs and becomes more invisible the longer you hike). The crown 60 is the perfect pack for summer. The 4 clip closure top is simple, but somewhat annoying if you need to access the internal contents often. However, the stretchy outside pockets are plentiful and efficient for quick access and stowing.
Yes, and yes. There is a pocket that holds the removable frame panel and holds a hydration bladder. I have 3 liter bladders from both geigerrig and camelback. They both fit fine with or without the frame back panel. There is a tube slot from the top that allows tube access from both shoulders and the hydration pocket has a bar that can clip the top of the bladder for increased bladder stability. I've also seen the bladder placed in the front stretch pocket for easier access, though not as efficient when hiking.