User Review: CiloGear 60L Worksack
Design: top-loading internal frame
Size: 60 liters
Max. Load Carried: 40-45 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'7"
Price Paid: $235
I just did my first trip with this pack - sadly the trip didn't work out due to weather but the pack did.
First off, Cilogear's service is excellent and very personal; they build a relationship with you and discuss your needs. My initial thoughts on receiving the pack were that it appeared to have everything laid out where it should be, the weight was very light and the pack compresses down very small.
Fabric is excellent - the right combination of lightness or scuff-resistance where you need it and no ridiculous thick cordura in places that do nothing but add weight. The D clip compression system is very clever, lightweight, and works beautifully.
Cilogear has an excellent manual on their website to guide you through the fit customization process (bending the internal framesheet, compression options, fitting the hipbelt, etc.). The suspension is very simple, and at first I was a little alarmed at what appeared to be rather spartan padding for the shoulder straps, given the volume and therefore load potential of the pack. Yet as I set about customizing it, and noticed how well it seemed to be hugging my back, I began to wonder, could it be that Cilogear actually pays more attention to fit rather than overstuffed padding and the marketing hype of "thermo-formed" everything?
Carrying the pack into the backcountry for 15km, which included some bushwacking and then some epic scree grovelling to reach a glacier/high camp, the pack fit like a glove. There was room for everything - the space for the framesheet has room for my folded thermarest, a great feature. My boney frame did wish for just a touch more padding (only on the shoulder straps) by the end of the second day, but I also recognized that I needed to tweak the fit a bit more.
Based on its design/shape (flaring upwards), I think the pack probably performs best with heavier loads close to the back at low to mid height, otherwise it can pull away. But that's more of a packing issue. The only thing I would add, except for a bit of padding for the shoulders, would be some sort of slot/pocket at the bottom of the sides, for slotting wands or tent poles (or skis). Cilogear does make an accessory pocket, however.
Great job overall, and I'm looking forward to using the pack more in the days to come!