Light, Simple, Functional
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I really like this pack. I had a hard time fitting it to my body, at first, though. I think the reason why is that it is a womens specific pack, and I am used to unisex. So, once I just set the hip belt in the right place, I realized that the shoulder straps naturally fall into place, and you do not have to adjust them much, at all.
This does have a hydration sleeve. It carries a heavy load well. I was responsible to carrying everyones water. So, I was very relieved to feel the weight transfer right to my hips, and not my shoulders. It also stays in place, scampering up rocks and leaning over to assist your dog or kids and whatnot.
The hip pocket is rad because it half-detaches, so that you have easy access to the pocket, without dropping it. I really like that feature. The other pockets are smartly placed as well. They are simple, but really useful. There is hidden pocket that is good for your keys and things you do not want to lose. And then the big main pocket for everything else.
The sternum strap is not adjustable, but it is comfortably placed for me at least.
The shoulder straps are really cool, as part of it is cut out for more breathability. I also like that I can loop the the hydration tube through it and it stays put. The straps also have a mesh fabric to help with ventilation, as does the back panel.
There is an expandable strap on top, to secure a rope. I plan to use this trad and multi-pitch climbing, so that strap is crucial for my needs. I have not climb with it yet, though. But, I am confident it will be light enough to climb in, but still carry everything I need and keep me hydrated.
I have no question on the durability. The fabric is solid and the zipper are all smooth and strong. The mesh pocket for water bottles is thick as well. Also, I've roughed it up quite a bit, but it doesn't hold on to dirt or discoloration at all. So, it still looks perfect.
The sternum strap on this pack is adjustable, both in position and length. There are two loops inches apart. The pack pictured is set at the highest adjustment. You can slip the plastic clips off and attach it to the lower loops (note these in the photo as well). I prefer mine on the top setting. The plastic clips do not slide up and down as they do on many similar packs,. The sternum strap can be cinched, the usual mechanism, and it will go very small, unlike some packs. I like that this pack is especially long and narrow for its low volume.