This is my third backpacking backpack. I traveled with a Columbia 50 L pack during my 6 month stint around the world, but loaned it to my sister who never returned it. That pack was great - but had some flaws. These flaws were addressed in my purchase of the Osprey 46L Kyte pack.
It fit as a carry-on in all my international flights. Local flights I had to check it in. The hip belt has great easy access to essentials. The top loading opening and front opening make it easy to access your stuff. The material is very stretchy and i was able to push several space bags into it. I fit about 10kgs of stuff into it, and I only felt tired once, when i had to run from the International terminal to the Domestic terminal at LAX. The straps are very supportive and the weight bearing helps distribute it throughout your hips and shoulders.
One small negative is that the cinch at the top is very difficult to grip and it seems like a huge nuisance to use your fingers to pick out the strings to loosen. I might be loosening it incorrectly, but i haven't figured out a better way to navigate loosening the top opening.
I'm going on a hut trip in two weekends and will be testing out the pack then as well. Can't wait!
Also, many thanks to the Backcountry customer service representatives for their supreme help in getting my pack to me in time for my trip!
I took this baby on a backcountry hut trip in Breckenridge, CO. Cross-country skied 7 miles each way to a hut at Boreas pass. I'm not a terribly efficient xc skiier, so it took awhile to get to our destination. My shoulders were pretty sore at the end of it, but I fixed most of that by restuffing my pack so the bulk of the weight was to sit at the bottom, tightening the hip belt above my hips, and tightening some of the other straps. The back panel helped my sweaty-self aerate and the rain cover helped keep my pack clean and dry on our hike back in the snow storm. I only went for the weekend, but had plenty of room for maybe another day's worth of provisions. Great pack!