This is nearly the perfect day/combo pack. Perfect…
Design: Front Loading Day Pack
Size: 1700 cubes
Number of Pockets: 10 pockets or so including helmet/jacket stuffer
Max. Load Carried: alot of books and beach gear - heavy for daypack, no problem whatsoever
Height of Owner: 6ft
Price Paid: $35 Ebay
This is nearly the perfect day/combo pack. Perfect would have been a bit more bombproof fabric but DO NOT reject for quality - excellent.
My goal was a high quality, extremely versatile pack I could use for meetings, bicycle commuting/meetings, travel and to dump all the work stuff out and pack for the trail, boat or beach. My pack had to be super adaptable esp for cycling to tighten down for lowest profile and security for riding trails. OR to adjust for long hikes.
This pack does all that and more. The front stuff spot easily accommodates a bike helmet or a beach towel and jacket as advertised. Instant stuff. The stuff area has clips on both sides to open wide if necessary or function as compression straps, a major advantage. I also wanted a laptop sleeve which this pack has that doubles for files and would work fine w/ Mac Book Pro.
Water bottle mesh is perfect and large enough to stuff wet shorts or socks for trip back. Chest strap works and should straps have adjusters, like big packs, so you can lower the load for hikes or tighten it up for cycling. Compartments work and pack handles more than it appears it can. Access is a bit time consuming - keep zippers at 12 o'clock position and you get in faster. You generally have to unclip the stuff area thing to access the compartments. Interior details not as sweet at Patagonia or Arc'terx, has key clip and pencil pouch with enough secret compartments.
The outside of the stuff mesh helmet thing has two instantly accessible compartments one is an excellent small compartment w/ vertical zip which is perfect for passport and maybe tickets. This pack is an excellent airplane bag and fits under the seat or in overhead no problem. There are enough loops, handles and spots to strap other stuff onboard if necessary.
A few more straps hanging off than I prefer but NOT a problem.
Improvements? I would like to see a bit higher quality fabric since I am used to Pata and Arc'terx but so what? Really. There is no padded waist belt but I think that is overkill for day packs. Maybe something for cell phone on shoulder straps but screw the cell phones and GPS on hikes. Don't need that crap really. Maybe for commuting - okay, sorry! I think a whistle integrated into chest strap buckle would be way cool - I use whistles.
Pretty dang close to perfect - not quite as bomb or weather proof as Patagonia stuff, rides great, the Airstrips feature looks like it would vent great - need to test in hot weather more.