This was my new airbag pack for this season. I purchased this in a size M/L and am 5'10" 165 lbs. I admit, I purchased one over the summer and used it as a party trick many times. I messed up though and did not disarm the pack off time and did not read the whole manual. Evidently when you don't disarm it; it will drain the battery to beyond rechargeability. Fortunately/unfortunately Black diamond did warranty the item and replaced it no questions asked. The flip side is it cost almost 50 dollars to ship via UPS with 1450 dollars of insurance. I guess that is a small price to pay for a 1450 dollar pack. Need less to say BD warranties department is AWESOME, but slow (3.5 weeks turnaround).
On to the pros and cons... Well first of all, this pack is built with the craftsmanship and quality I have come to expect from BD products. This pack in praticular has a brilliantly stable horizontal carry system for skis. I never once have felt unstable while harnessed to this pack skis and all. It took it up some steep ascents and the pack frame aligns and conforms well with the contours of the back. This pack does an outstanding job of distributing weight equally. Next the back to the pack is soooo comfortable, especially on the longer hikes and tours. The packs security strap system is incredible, with the optional leg straps for extra security. There are additional tow straps that afford the ability to creatively attach extra equipment to the outside of the pack, such as axes, poles, helmet and etc... depending on how crafty you may be.
For my load I could pack a highly compressible down underlayer, Jacket shell, extra beanie, extra socks food (16oz kleen container and snacks), nalgene, Avy equipment, skins, ski crampons, first aid kit, Helmet, goggles and of course a camera. Once in a while I would squeeze in a pocket stove and a cup for coffee and foot too.
So a few things that I do not like about the pack is #1: The weight. My north face patrol was lighter than this pack. Though this is a new technology, I believe the next evolution is to microsize the tech and create insanely light packages. The next issue is why on earth is there a goggle pocket without a scratch proof liner. Now I can't fault BD for not lightening this pack (that will take time) with as well built and attentive to detail as BD is I can't believe this goggle pocket is not lined with a soft microfleece or something consistent with that. Last but not least, and this has nothing to do with the make/quality/functionality at all, but I have the black pack, and hate that the inside is red. I don't know why, it just bothers me and at times makes me apoplectic. Other than these minut details, I love the pack.