I ended up with this pack because it fit the best…
Number of Pockets: 0 (but side pockets available)
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs (50+ over level ground)
Height of Owner: 6 feet 3 inches
Price Paid: $130
I ended up with this pack because it fit the best of the packs in the $200 to $300 range (at the time). I have the belt adjusted all the way down and the shoulder straps all the way up. It can certainly pack a lot. The extra space is nice since at 6'3" a 300 wt fleece jacket takes up a lot of space.
It has a seperate, lower panel to stash a sleeping bag, side compression straps, ski slots, more adjustable straps than I ever thought I'd want, the top coverhas two zipper sections for a map, etc... I was quite happy with the hip belt padding. I was less than happy with the hip belt adjustment mechanism though. But those X-shaped plastic fasteners are commonplace nowadays.
I don't have side pockets. They are available though. It's not waterproof. After three years the ski slots are starting to show a little bit of wear. They do take abuse though, I usually jam my water bottles in the ski slots in the summer. :)
I keep waiting for it to wear out so I can start looking at those expensive packs but it refuses to. :)
The sleeping bag area wasn't big enough for a -20F long synthetic bag, but a down bag fits fine.
Like an internal frame pack, it is too warm in the summer.
This is a big pack that will carry anything you can…
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 84Lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1", 210Lbs
Price Paid: $225
This is a big pack that will carry anything you can hndle. As a big guy, I enjoyed this aspect of it, but smaller people, watch out, it might tempt you to carry more than you want to.
My only complaint is the loose connection between the hip-belt and the pack frame. While weight is transfered well to the hips, it seems EMS could make the connection a little more rigid.
I got it because it was a good price and I needed…
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 80 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $225
I got it because it was a good price and I needed a big pack. It gets the job done. But I don't really reccomend putting 80 lbs of gear in it when you only weigh 140lbs.