I was initially skeptical about the shirt because when I tried it on at home it felt very itchy and hot. But when I tried it out on multiple day hikes, overnight trips, and recently on a three day trek in the Missouri Ozarks, with temperatures above 90�, the shirt performed beautifully. It was perfectly soft and cool. Maybe it had to be washed first or sweated in first to break it in. It dries more quickly than any other shirt. When I washed it in the stream, wrung it out, and spread it across a big rock in full sun light, it was dry by the time I finished washing my other clothes, in about fifteen minutes. The size small is a perfect fit for my 38" chest and 34" arm, not too baggy and not too tight.
I bought and tested the size L, and although I returned it because I needed a larger volume, I really liked the pack. It has minimal but stellar features such as the wrap –around compression system with straps that store in the front pocket. The material is burly and will take a beating. I measured the parts separately: Al stay (90g), Frame Sheet (105g), Alpine Hip Belt (205g), Lid (135g), the second webbing belt (60g), and the stripped down bag itself (1165g). It was stuffed, with little or no room for food for a minimalist weekend trek. The color scheme is bold and manly too! I tried the South Col 70 as well, but it did not have the same thick fabric on the sides and it did not fit nearly as solidly on my back as the Direttissima. The comfort is what you might expect for a climbing bag–sufficient and comfortable when loaded properly, but not spectacular. My vote is that it is a 5 Star pack. Thank you.
What is the height of the frame, for both size M and size L, measured from the base of the pack at the center of the lumbar pad to the top of the frame (just the actual frame)? Having a torso size between the two I need to know the head and neck clearance in order to decide comfortably. Thank you kindly.
The North Face has a promising line of pack designs with the Alteo 50. In use in the hot and humid air and hilly terrain in the midwest I found the pack to be quite comfortable. I never expected the ventilated back panel to work as well as it actually does with mere evaporative cooling. If you turn sideways in a breeze it really feels like air conditioning on the back! The tensioned, ventilated back panel combines the best feature of external frame packs from decades ago with a modern, sleek, and smart internal frame pack. The comfortable fit of panel and waist belt conforms to the natural shape of the back and hips. The compression strap system is quite balanced and versatile and allows me to make the pack look elegant and feel sturdy even with small and compact loads. Basically, it can become anything from a 25 L pack to a 50 L pack, or more with the expandable collar under the removable lid. The external side pockets are not accessible with the pack on. The included rain cover is red, which detracts from the overall professional look of the respectable TNF black and grey colors. The hydration tube port hole is very tight and a little fancy finger work is needed to get the bite valve through (the tube itself is no problem). The front zippered access panel is convenient to get inside but does require too many steps-two strap buckles to unlock plus a fabric fold and the overhanging lid to lift up to be able to pull the zippers fully. The waist belt straps fold and tuck away under the hip belt pockets so they do not dangle. After years of using a slightly uncomfortable, minimally padded ultralight 2 pound pack, the Alteo 50 adds a little extra weight but gives an aging back a whole lot of needed comfort. On my scale the pack weighs 1600 grams/56.4 ounces, the lid itself weighs 130 grams/4.6 ounces, and the rain cover weighs 90 grams/3.2 ounces. Happy Trails!