on August 16, 2011
The backpack is small (but not too small) and light, but sturdy enough for daytime hike. I normally load up rain jacket, light fleece jacket, 70 oz hydration pack, extra water bottles, socks and some dry food. Nothing too heavy. Plenty of room with those in. Outside meshed pocket is a nice touch along with top cover that also provides small storage space. It's easy to wash and dry. There is no padding unless you count the flat foam pad in the hydration compartment(?). Not ideal for textbooks and heavier objects, I think. Good backpack for daytime hike or trip.
on August 18, 2012
This pack is extremely comfortable, effortless to pull on and off and stays put through a 12 mile hike (no waist strap needed). I'm a tall guy (over 6 ft 4in) and this pack works well, especially in the strap area where a lot of other packs in this range can be constricting and hard to get off or over the shoulders. It's the perfect size for a day hike, although for an overnight you'd be hard pressed for space and all the food/water/supplies you'd need.
I'm actually selling this pack after using it for several hikes, despite the fact that it's comfortable and a perfect size for day hiking and here's why: there is no water bottle holder on one or both sides of the pack. This omission unfortunately makes an otherwise nearly perfect pack a hassle to use on the trail. Instead of just reaching to my side and pulling out my water bottle while I'm moving, I have to stop, take off the pack, undo the entire top, pull out my water bottle, drink, repack, re-adjust pack, head out again. It actually a lot of time lost and more effort than I'd like to spend getting out my water bottle. I tried using a clip to attach my water bottle to the outside, but it just bounces and flops around too much and makes it uncomfortable. The only other feature I"d possibly like is to have a compartment separator in the main pack (to keep my extra shirt/hat separate from my food/water. Wouldn't even have to be a zippered or anything like that. But just a lining separator, but that's a minor qualm.
Overall, it's a great pack. Perfect size, comfortable and does what it needs to do. If this had even a single water bottle holder I'd rate it 5+ stars. But as is, for me at least, it's a glaring flaw that slows down a hike and forces a few more steps than necessary. I've since bought the Ultra Kompressor by Marmot which includes water bottle holders on each side and has slightly more thoughtful pocket openings. While slightly larger than I'd like for day hiking, the Ultra Kompressor can be used easily for an overnight as well and with the added features (the Ultra also includes a waist strap for those that like that feature) it's just a more accessible and easy to use pack for me.
on January 30, 2013
I bought this pack as an alternative to a heavy pack I've been using. It's lightweight to the max and voluminous. The two zippered pouches have vertical zippers that are functional for accessing those most used items. I have the blue with yellow accents--all the vivid colors are a welcome break from black and earth tones i have. Great for a day trip. The one downside is that if packed light, it has minimal shape of it's own to stand up (when set on the ground to rummage through , for example).