The internal frame/rotation design on this backpack…
Design: front-loading internal
Size: 49 L / 3000 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 3?
Max. Load Carried: est. 40-45 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'5"
Price Paid: $200
The internal frame/rotation design on this backpack is outstanding, and the lower back support is now something I would look for on any new backpack.
The shoulder straps aren't the most comfortable (they're thick and narrow, and almost round), but they're fairly adjustable, and as long as I keep most of the weight on my hips, I'm fine. I almost always hike without clipping the sternum strap.
For continued trekking in a downpour you definitely would need a cover - but it's not terrible at deflecting moisture on its own.
If I were to improve the design, I'd go for a camera pocket on the hip belt, an easier access for the nalgene bottle pocket (you really have to reach to un-bungee it), and I'd either close off or remove the funny flap between the bottom compartment and the main; if I try to compress my bag in there, it squishes into the main compartment, and I'd rather not have the weight of an additional compression sack. Oh, and (of course!) I'd make it lighter!