Reviewed by Pacifico from San Francisco on Friday, July 3, 2015
I've been searching for a backcountry backpack that would be comfortable for long hikes, can carry a heavy load, and would be easy to transport .... found it.
This is going on a hiking trip to a month-long China trip and a week-long Adirondacks trek late summer. There are lots of room to carry gears, equipment, clothing, and the external pockets are perfectly sized for quart-sized nalgene bottles. The designer of the backpack put some thoughtful touches such as external access to the bottom compartment, well-placed compression straps, adjustable shoulder straps, and well-padded hip belt.
I'm 5'8" and this fits me perfectly after adjusting the shoulder straps.
improvements: the nylon material feels light (good for weight savings) but I wonder how it will hold in the rough terrain and wilderness after scrapes and falls.
Reviewed by Dave from KY on Friday, July 3, 2015
I am replacing a very nice Osprey backpack and this seems to meet my needs. It is well designed and has plenty of room. The compartments will be helpful separating gear. The belt is very comfortable, and it fits me better (small waist).
Reviewed by ADK Jay from New York on Thursday, June 4, 2015
This is a great pack for the money! Novice to intermediate, you won't find a better pack at this price level. large sleeping compartment, I can fit my down sleeping bag, thermorest, and my Hennessy hammock with full rain fly in it. Front access as well as top access to the main compartment, which helps a lot. The only issue I have with this pack is that it is a little heavy, just over 5lbs, and I'm 5'10", and no matter what position I have the shoulder/torso adjusters at, my head hits the top of the pack, which just happens to be right where the frame/chassis bars are. Quite annoying.. For someone 6' or taller I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue. Overall decent pack, comes with a rain fly, zip pockets on the waist band, plenty of room for a 5+ night out
Reviewed by Vermont wanderer from Vermont on Thursday, May 21, 2015
I just received the pack and I didn't get the chance to try it on the trail. I had a few backpacks (lost my beloved VauDe), so I believe I have some base to compare.
Here my first impressions:
The outer material is a light nylon fabric. Makes for a light pack, but I doubt that it will stand up well to a lot of abrasion. Maybe not your best choice for mountain climbing or that 1000 mile trek. On the other hand it makes for a light pack.
Quality of the seams looks good; all internal seams are taped. Zippers look OK.
As with most modern packs, it is divided into upper and lower section with a divider that can be opened and a horseshoe shaped zipper on the back that allows access to both compartments. There are plenty of outside pockets, including a large, flexible neoprene pocket on the back where you can stuff your wet pants or whatever you need to stash away on the go.
There are also plenty of straps on the outside that let you compress your pack or strap your stick or firewood.
As with many other packs, the top can be removed and used as a fanny pack. Handy.
Two internal (removable) aluminum stays (~1 inch wide) run the length of the pack inside pockets; a plastic sheet (not removable) stiffens the back. The back feels indeed pretty stiff and sturdy and gives the pack stability.
The hip belt is well padded and feels like it will take a good load. The shoulder straps look a bit narrow, but padding is good. Back pads look good too and feel stiff. There's plenty of ventilation. The upper pad can be adjusted in height to fit the torso length. I'm 6'-3" and it fits fine in the mid position (large size pack).
The built-in rain fly is nicely tucked away in a flap on the bottom. Again, the fly material is pretty light.
While fitting the pack I noticed that the back sheet is close to the head; can't tilt my head much back without hitting the pack.
All-in-all I'm pleasantly surprised by the design and quality of the pack. I did not expect to get top quality for a fraction of the price a top brand pack. There's nothing particularly outstanding about this backpack (good or bad), but at such a low price this is already a great achievement.
+ Great value
+ Fairly well made
+ Rain fly, fanny pack
+ Rather light
+ Large volume
0 Materials are on the light side
0 May not hold up to long treks
- Back sheet too close to head
Reviewed by CJ the good aunt from Indiana on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
This pack holds a lot. The internal frame is bit heavier than I expected but all in all I am quite pleased with the purchase. The storage areas are roomy, the hydration pack was easy to attach and the compression section works great. I would recommend this pack to friends.
Reviewed by Tickspit from Perrysburg,Ohio on Monday, November 17, 2014
I had an older version that did not hold up on a 2 month hike, otherwise I loved it. So I thought I would give them another try with this model. I will not use this till spring, but it has many nice features and is large enough to hold everything for a long hike. Does not appear as durable as my Kelty.
Reviewed by mathaytays from Ohio on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
This is a great pack for the price! When I purchased it, I was initially concerned about the durability and the fact that one review mentioned it pressed against the back of your head. When I first tried on the pack, it did indeed press into the back of my head, however loading it lightly pulled it back and changed the shape enough to eliminate that completely. Super comfortable...Recently hiked 40 miles through the Smokies with 55 lbs in it through ice and rain. The pack held up great with no visible signs of wear. One trip is not enough to completely test the durability...I will update this once I have taken it on more. The built-in pack cover worked well, and I love having the lower access zipper to the main compartment. Overall, great pack, for a great price.