Reviewed by Mountain Maiden from Hesperus, CO on Monday, June 03, 2013
I got this because it looked similar to an Osprey Talon pack I own and like, but was a little bigger. If I were to choose between the two, I'd probably pick this one with the caveat that you need to know how to properly adjust the torso length. The things I like better on this pack are the numerous internal pockets, the stiff zipper pulls that make it easier to open and close zippers with one hand, the hiking pole attachment system and the size and number of compartments. The straps that pass through/around the side water bottle pockets are also easier to get out of the way if you do not use them (I don't). The Osprey's torso length adjustment system is better. This one just has pull straps at the top end of the shoulder straps, while the Osprey allows the entire shoulder harness to be moved up and down. Also on the Fluid 26, the vertical strap that holds the large outside pocket closed attaches with a large hook rather than your typical snap buckle, and it's not very secure. I would not put anything that might fall out into that pocket.
Other than those two criticisms (torso length adjustment system and outside pocket closure) I have been extremely happy with this pack - but only once I figured out how to adjust the torso length - it's counterintunitve. One would think that if your torso length was short you would shorten those top straps. It's exactly the opposite. I did a couple hikes with the pack sagging out with all the weight hanging from my quickly-aching shoulders and the waist strap digging into my stomach before I figured out that I had the thing adjusted wrong and that proper adjustment was possible. I thought there was a problem with the pack and was thinkning of returning it before I spent an entire hike contemplating the physics of the thing and figured out the right way to do it. There are no instructions and the info on the website video wasn't helpful for this issue, either.
Reviewed by Kim from Upstate NY on Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I purchased this backpack for hiking. Although I have yet to take it out on the mountain, it seems very comfortable and it has many adjustment straps to get a good fit. I love the side pockets for water bottles. There are also zippered pockets on the hip belt which I think will be very handy. I am 5' 6" and the M/L fits well. I got the red backpack because I feel it will be highly visible in the woods for safety reasons. Fits well and I think it will be just the right size for a full day hike.
Reviewed by Outdoor Family from Utah on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
We bought 2 of these for our boys (ages 11 & 12). They are super excited to use them. Right away they were wearing them around the house exclaiming how comfortable they were. We wanted a day pack with proper hip belt and straps for adjusting the load. The boys also love the breathable back panel.