Am I an anomaly? Are my hips wildly out of wack? Am I wincing in pain putting this pack on? Am I a bad person for hating this pack?
I think the answer to all of those are possibly yes. I used this pack for a 5 day backpacking trip to the Bob Marshall and I didn't end a day without bruises on my hips. I bought the right size for the center back length as well as my hips. Anything larger I would have swam in.
I don't know if my issue was a break in problem or what but the way the hip straps are angled in didn't work with my body. I winced every time we took a break and I had to put my pack back on. I could never get it comfortable even with loosening the hip straps. It was like the were there to pinch, squeeze, and torture my hips.
That's my biggest gripe with the pack. Outside of it being entirely miserable to wear, it did have some upsides:
+ great side pockets that let me carry my coffee thermos, water bottle, bear spray, and tent poles with easy access to bear spray and hydration as needed.
+brain that turns into a tiny backpack! My favorite piece of gear I brought on my last big trip was my stuffable 18L pack. It's so nice it's integrated on this one
+DURABLE. I whacked a good number of branches across the pack and dead dropped it onto the ground a number of times. The pack was 43 pounds, I couldn't help it!