seattlesetters

seattlesetters

PNW, Sierra Nevada

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seattlesetters

seattlesetters wrote a review of on August 25, 2011

5 5

This is a beautifully-built pack with top-notch materials and workmanship. It has a feature set others would die for in this size and price range, and the ventilated back panel is a complete game-changer. This thing is so incredibly comfortable to wear, and it fits a wide range of body sizes and types. I also beleive it to be conservatively rated in terms of capacity.Tthis puppy holds a ton of gear!

I've had 30 lbs in this baby and it handles it with supreme comfort and stability. The hip belt is sturdy and sticks like glue. And, when I take the pack off after a 7-8 mile jaunt in 90-degree weather, my back is dry!

Mammut packs are clearly in the upper echelon. The materials are the best and durability is outstanding. I've had mine almost two years and have over 300 miles on it, and it looks new.

I love the sleeping bag compartment, as it allows me to stuff an entire tent and fly inside, freeing up space in the pack for the rest of my gear. I've used it on weekenders with great success and it also makes a great winter bag if you pull on the shoulder straps and bring the pack close to your back to keep out blowing snow.

Great carry, supreme comfort, super-durable, great looking and extremely well-ventilated. Truly one of the best packs I've used or owned!

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seattlesetters

seattlesetters wrote a review of on November 4, 2009

5 5

Now that I've got over 100 miles on this little workhorse, I can safely say this is what Webster had in mind when the word "daypack" was added to the dictionary. It has everything you need for a comfortable day on the trail and plenty of space for all but the largest winter load.The design is terrific if you like a bit of organization. The hipbelt pockets are among the best I've seen and the top pocket is useful for storing frequently-needed items. I really like a panel loading daypack and this one has the great access you'd expect of that configuration.The trekking pole storage feature seemed a bit superfluous at first inspection, but it works brilliantly and doesn't add much weight. If your hikes have ups and downs and long flats, it's a must-have.The hydration pocket holds my 70 oz. Platy perfectly between the back panel and the interior of the bag. I don't even know it's there and this design means that no pack space is eaten up by your bladder.The included rain cover is a great thing to have up here in the PNW, even if it is impossible to re-fold the way it comes from the factory. The small amount of added weight is completely offset by the convenience of not having to rely on bringing a detached cover or having to line your pack every trip with a garbage bag.I previously had the Kestrel 28 which I actually liked better in terms of the way it was designed but the 28 does not have the wire frame of the 32 (and larger Kestrels) and its unsupported back panel would get an uncomfortable lump down low when the pack was loaded over about half-full. The 32, with its wire frame, eliminates this issue and carries with supreme comfort with ultralght, 1/4-full loads or stuffed to the gills with 20 lbs.The AirScape back panel is comfortable, although it doesn't offer quite the ventilation that Osprey's AirSpeed packs (Atmos, Exos and Stratos) do. Same can be said for the Kestrel's foam harness vs. the the others' ventilated harnesses.If you like a panel loading daypack, it would be hard to beat the Kestrel 32 at its price point. If you need to carry gear for a winter day trip, however, you may want to move up to the Kestrel 38 or Talon 33.All-in-all, I'd say the Kestrel 32 is as close to perfect as an all-around daypack can be. Sure, it could be lighter, but there are plenty of minimalist bags out there for the gram weenies. They just don't offer the convenience or comfort of the Kestrel.

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seattlesetters

seattlesetters wrote a question about on November 4, 2009

I've narrowed it down to the Mont-Bell Thermawrap Jacket and Patagonia Nano Puff. Weight is essentially the same...what about packability? Which would be best for summer backpacking in the Cascades? I would be using it for chilly stops, hanging out around camp in the evenings and layering under a hard shell for nasty conditions.

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seattlesetters

seattlesetters wrote an answer about on November 1, 2009

Tim - Thanks for the response. However, I'm not sure why you'd think a fairer comparison exists between the Marmot Greenland Baffled Jacket and its 300 grams of 800 fill down and the Fitz Roy's 181 grams of 800 fill down. If the Ama has 125 grams, as you suggest, it is much closer in fill weight (albeit sewn-through construction) to the Fitz Roy than the Greenland. I'd say the Greenland is more apples to oranges.....

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