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R C.

R C.

R C.

R C.wrote a review of on June 7, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I am pretty sure most of the reviews here are written by Backcountry employees. I am not a Backcountry employee, so on to my review.

Style: I was drawn to this pack because of its styling, the black colorway is super sleek and understated (I didn’t want to look like your typical hiker bro college grad backpacking throughout Europe).

Storage: Ton of pockets in this thing. The best storage compartment is the hood, which in turn has its own zippered storage area. The pack has two main zipper compartments for you to separate your gear. Neither compartment is particularly large (I will get into the cons of this below).

Weight: weight was an issue for me. This is a 30L pack that weighs nearly 4 pounds empty. Backcountry went with heavyweight materials that definitely seem more durable, but probably overkill for a bag with this intended purpose (what is the intended purpose of this bag?). I took this pack on a week-long trip of the Mighty 5 in Utah. I loaded this pack with a week’s worth of clothing and camera gear (small mirrorless camera with 2 lenses), and the bag felt like it weighed 35 pounds. I’ve packed 35 pounds before without issue, but the design of the bag made it feel clunky and tough to manage that load. For one, this bag seriously needs load lifters. The pack was so top heavy it felt like someone was grabbing me from behind whenever I had it on. Why did I load so much weight on top you ask? Well it’s because the interior of the compartments taper and become narrower towards the bottom of the bag, and the material has no give (remember heavyweight non-stretch materials) so I could only fit lighter items, such as clothing, towards the bottom. All the heavier stuff unfortunately sat in the upper middle/top of the pack due to size constraints.

The hip belts, while included, are totally useless. Maybe I don’t know how to use hip belts but they seemed to sit very high on my torso (like above my belly button). Mind you, I am not tall. I am 5’7” and 160 pounds.

The two main storage compartments are nice for separating items, but neither compartment is particularly able to handle larger items. If you load one compartment to the brim, the other compartment is more or less rendered useless. Not sure what the benefits of this design are, other than maybe you want to keep your clean clothes separated from your dirty clothes? Seems like a lot of extra weight for no reason.

The zippers on the bag are terrible. They don't pull smoothly and get stuck a lot. The actual pulls aren’t the kinds with loops on them (Osprey and other brands carry zipper pulls like this). If you have gloves on or any sort of apparel on your hands, good luck unzipping.

The front compartment on the face of the pack is a nice touch, has two smaller internal zipper pockets. Problem is, the front material doesn’t stretch, so if the two main compartments are packed tightly, it’s nearly impossible to fit anything in the front pocket that isn’t already flat/flush.

I saw someone comment that this fits perfectly under your seat in a flight. That is absolutely untrue on a US domestic flight (think an airplane with 3 seats on either side of the aisle, like a Boeing 737/Airbus 320). The pack is too long to fit under the chair in front of you and it would stick out, so you'd have no where to put your feet. Flight attendants are not okay with this, trust me they told me it was not okay. Plus if you did get away it, how could you possibly sit in your seat with your feet resting on the pack?

You could read all of this as someone who has no idea how to pack, but this was just my experience with it.