Codywrote a review of Black Diamond Epic 35 Backpack - 2013-2258cu in on September 1, 2013
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I purchased this pack to carry my rope, harness, shoes, etc. I do no have plans of using this on real extended hikes.
Pros: I really think the ergoactive belt and arm straps are innovative. The belt has a large pad that sits right on the lower back and depending on how much freedom you give to the belt, your hips are able to move independently while keeping the pack centered. The straps help with this by being connected. That means when one strap goes up the other one by a "pulley" system through the base of the pack shortens up. This keeps the load spread even your shoulders.
Cons: The waist belt and frame are removable, but it was not designed for easy removal. I would never attempt it while in camp or anywhere without a toolbox and great lighting. It requires a hex key set and a lot of care. If you are not very careful there is a high potential to cause harm to the bag during the removal process. None-the-less, it is very tedious.
I think this pack more than suits my needs and I would recommend it to a friend.