User Review: Mountainsmith Circuit 3.0
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85
Purchased from the REI Outlet website this past spring to replace my larger (mid-90s) Gregory pack. Craftsmanship is excellent, seems bombproof. Used it on a couple of trips this summer and it fit well, had good balance and easily fit what I needed for three days.
- Well made
- Easily handled 47 lbs
- Adjustability is easy
- Was able to purchase at around $85
- Wish this version had the pass through sleeves like the original had
- Wish the top lid had the waist belt like the earlier version had
- Waist belt storage pocket would be nice
I happen to see this pack on the REI Outlet website one day and it was listed for around $85 so on a whim I quickly purchased it. My older Gregory is really heavy (7700 cu in) and I was looking for something is the 5000 cu in range. I guess I got really lucky because just a few days later REI had changed the price to $135 and that was the same price I saw on several other sites (Clymb, etc.).
The product description seemed to be based on the original version of this pack, because it said there was a waist belt on the lid and there were pass-thru sleeves behind the side pockets for tent poles or other long items. When the pack arrived, neither of those features were on this pack. Upon investigation, I found out the earlier version did have those features but I was impressed enough with this "special purchase" edition that I didn't want to send it back.
The pack has a nice layout of accessible pockets and the bottom storage area is large enough to fit my sleeping bag, my Kelty inflatable pad, and my small tarp. I do recommend using a storage bag with compression straps to make the sleeping bag as small as possible.
I'm 6'3" and 215 lbs so certain items I use are on the larger size. Sleeping bag, pad, clothes all take up more space and I was really happy that this pack could handle all these items plus other gear (single person Kelty tent, small tarp, food, cooking stuff,...) which weighed out just below 50 lbs.
This pack is labeled as Discontinued, but if you can find a lightly used one on ebay or a consignment shop I highly recommend it.