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gar4574558

gar4574558

gar4574558's Passions

Hiking & Camping

gar4574558

gar4574558 wrote a review of on June 19, 2011

3 5

After I got this, I spent 5 minutes getting it out of all the packaging. Then I put it on my wrist and could barely get it off because the band is so stiff. I see what other people mean when they say they had problems with the band breaking, or breaking off pins. Not a good design. Also, I didn't realize how much it weighed until I had it on my hand. Then I checked the weight and some other altimeters and this one definitely seems on the heavy side (4.5oz vs. 2.5 or 3.0). It is like swinging a quarter pound hamburger on your wrist everywhere you go. I took it back.

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gar4574558

gar4574558 wrote a review of on June 19, 2011

3 5

I am 5'10" and 170lb (pretty average right?) I would normally take a medium in this type of shirt but got it and it was too small, especially in the arms/shoulders. I took it back and got the large because I really liked the lightweight material. The large fits my shoulders but now the mid section is way too baggy. I have a 33" waist. There is about 6" extra material floating around the waist. So the shirt is not cut very well, not very athletic. More boxy.

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gar4574558

gar4574558 wrote a review of on April 30, 2011

4 5

I wish I could give this five stars because I tried on about 10 bags before getting this one. But I think there are a few things they should work on.

Good points:
1) carries weight well and close to your back, does not pull you back like other ventilated bags
2) sturdy frame/suspension transfers the weight to your hips well
3) material is moderately durable which is good. It is not too light weight where I would worry about rips due to bushwacking or rocks. And it is not too heavy, like the REI brand bags in this class (30-40l) come to mind
4) the top lid is great and you can stick your snowshoes across it (parallel to your shoulders) before closing it, and it holds very well

Bad points:
1) the shoulder straps are way too short. A lot of times I let them out the entire length until they catch on the knot and can't go any further. Other times I have them taken in during more technical parts of the climb but then there is only 2" of slack that I have taken in. I am 5'11" and have a 19" torso so it is not like I am huge and need a long bag/straps. So if you are taller than 5'11" like me, this bag may not work for you at all.
2) the mesh/cord on the back should JUST be a fabric covering, like on the ACT Lite series, which would be less prone to catching on tree branches and stuff
3) the fit against your back could be a little more ergonomic. It is kind of flat and stiff, which is on one hand good because that transfers the weight down to your hips (away from your shoulders), but they should contour the back frame to fit a real person's back

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gar4574558

gar4574558 wrote a review of on April 30, 2011

4 5

I would love to give this five stars because I tried on 10+ packs in this category (including the heavier Deuter Aircontact 55+10) and this one came out on top. But I am a little worried about durability, especially with the thin skeletonized buckles. The hip buckle didn't release cleanly the first time I wore this and almost snapped it off as I was trying to get 50lb off my back.

First criticisms - I would give 5 stars if these two issues were fixed:
1) Should have some sort of rotating hip belt (it would only add a few ounces but make for a better fit after a long day of 10+ miles on the trail)
2) the buckles are too skeletonized (too thin). They are too thin and could break very easily. You could easily break them by stepping on them around camp, falling against a rock on the mountain, or even the first time I had to take this out with 50 pounds, when I unbuckled it the hip belt buckle caught and didn't cleanly release from the buckle, and if I didn't catch the 50 pounds with my arms, the one arm of the buckle surely would have snapped. Even though you can buy a replacement hip belt buckle (which is the most important) which is sturdier, you can't replace the other buckles on here since they are sewn in.
3) I wish it had a few more lash points to tie gear (hard foam sleeping pad) to, like on the bottom of the bag

Second praises:
1) carries heavy loads up to 40 pounds very well, and can carry loads up to 50 pounds pretty well
2) carries the weight nice and close to your back
3) the kangaroo pouch on the back is great although I wish it was a little more flexible to put more gear into
4) lightweight
5) perfect size for me for weekend trips (the 40 would be too small)
6) easily compresses down to be a 35-40L bag with the side straps if you don't carry that much gear, but still gives you the flexibility to have a nearly 60L bag with the top fully stuffed.
7) moreso than other bags, the weight is loaded vertically and (depending on how much you compress with side straps) very tight against your back which I personally love since I hate hiking up some mountain totally hunched over to counterbalance some big ass weight on your back
9) has adjustable positioning where you can choose where the shoulder straps attach to the back, to accomodate large/small torsos
10) fits awesome

The bottom line is that it fits awesome. I am 5'11" and 170lb and normal lean/athletic body type, and I can't tell you how bad many other manufacturers fit.

I also got the Dueter ACT 32 this year and think that is a great fit as well.

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gar4574558

gar4574558 wrote a review of on April 30, 2011

5 5

I got this and the ACT lite 50+10. I ended up keeping the ACT lite because it carried weight up to 40 pounds just as good. Beyond 40 pounds, this aircontact 55 was better (as expected).

Even though I took it back, this backpack deserves 5 stars on the basis that it is built well for very hard use and that it carries weight (50 pounds) very well. The suspension and padding give it an edge for heavy weight over the lighter ACT lite but the advantage is not worth it unless you are consistently going to be carrying more than 40 pounds around. The material used throughout the bag is very heavy duty, significantly more so than most other bags I had looked at. It is probably overkill for 95% of backpackers out there. This bag would be ideal for someone who is either A) bushwacking a lot off trail or B) brushing up against a lot of sharp rock or sandstone which easily rips thinner packs or C) going on a big and extended trip to latin america or other remote destinations where you wouldn't want to risk throwing a thinner backpack in a truck, trekking around, and potentially ripping the pack.

The deuter fit is always great. The suspension on this is great, the rotating hip belt is nice. The padding is great.

I would give this 4.5 if I could because they should build a flap on the outside to store gear, like the ACT lite has, but again on the basis this is a hard use backpack you would not necessarily want that type of flap because it will get ripped up or snag on the types of trips you might take this backpack on.

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