"I've had this pack for over 5 years now. I've taken it on probably 40+ trips with my Scout troop, some of them demanding and others not. I spent three weeks touring Mexico during my junior year in high school with nothing but this pack. I've taken it to Philmont Scout Ranch for the two week trek.
Through all of these experiences, the pack still looks new. It still functions like new. The things I expected would break first still haven't.
The only complaint I have is that the overhead compartment flops around more than I'd like if the main compartment isn't all the way full. There should be a bit more travel in the straps up there so that it can be tightened down more.
This is an excellent pack, and while I don't know much about pack pricing these days, the other reviews seem to indicate that it's also a good deal."
"This was my first multi-day pack and it met all my expectations. Used it on five separate week-long trips without any big complaints. Carried 50lbs loads with only minimal discomfort. The pack's large volume is a nice to have.
Granted, it's not the best in the world but as a entry-level backpack it sure works well. It's much better than the alternatives for its price range. If you're looking for a pack for the occasional 3-5 day trip this one is a winner."
"This is my first and so far only backpack so I can't fully compare it to others. That being said, I spent many hours testing this and other packs at REI and EMS (salespeople were very patient and helpful at both) and found this one to be the best all around value for its price range and has by far the most comfortable harness system. I've used it on a number of mountain trips in NH and have been happy with it. Drawbacks: external loops for lashing extra items are too few and not well placed. The salespeople told me the removable floating cover could be removed and used as a day pack; I trusted them (silly me) and when I tried to use this function I found you need extra straps to wear it (unless you want to hand carry it). Advantages: Due to its above average volume, I can use it on week long trips or if I'm doing a 2-3 day trip I fill the extra space by putting my sleeping pad inside it and cinching down the compression straps. All around, I feel its versatile, comfortable, and a good value.
"I have been using this pack for two years and several multi-day treks. I found it to be easily adjusted and comfortable. The stitching and finish are very good, however it does not have a built-in hydration system like the Lowe Alpine "Vision 40" day pack that I also own. I was able to adapt by inserting a Platypus 2-liter bladder in the external side wand pocket. Lots of compression straps make it easy to snug down the load. An excellent pack for this price range ($140-180)."
"Very sturdy and a great value for a no-frills, multi-day backpack. Got it for $139 on sale at REI. Very comfortable, even with fairly heavy loads. Huge volume!! Drawbacks: a very basic pack - lid does not convert to fanny pack, side "wand pockets" are just that - hold wands, tent poles, or fishing pole, but a very tight and awkward fit for a 1 liter Nalgene water bottle, no bladder pocket. Still, a great pack for the money!"
"I have owned this pack for 4 years, and have used it on 3 90 mile canoe trips, and many 5 day trips. This pack is extremely comfortable, and is very adjustable. The padding is well placed and very squishy. The pack can hold a lot, or cinch down to be only a weekend pack. I like the lack of extra features, because they seem to make a pack too wide and you forget where you put stuff. The durribilty is excellent, and the fabric is quite waterproof.
I would recomend this pack to anyone who wants a do anything pack without all the frills. can carry 70 pounds with only some (expected) discomfort! The only complaint is that when you don't fill up the pack, the top pocket falls backward and swings. A great buy for the price!"