Price Paid: $103
It's truly a shame this backpack has been discontinued by Mountainsmith. As of 1-28-06, Paragon still had some left in stock. The pack uses the latest Cordura stuff which is really sturdy yet amazingly light. The pack is long and slim so is good for tight spaces. One thing I like is it compacts well when empty -- no wrinkles and folds.
Even though the pack is barely 2 lbs. the straps are thick and beefy. I don't know how Mountainsmith does it. The later models (>2003) have a Delrin loop around the periphery to help the pack maintain shape. What I like is the lower strap can compress the pack while enabling access to the water bottle pockets, and the strap is great for securing stuff like umbrellas from falling out.
Other major improvements on the later packs are a taller hydration pouch inside, load lifters on the shoulder straps (something you'd never see on a pack this size!), and more stitching to prevent wandering of the straps that hold the sternum strap.
Unfortunately, the later packs do not have waistbelts which can take the ole SK bottle holders and pouches, but I was able to rig them up to it anyway :-).
There is a lot of room inside the pack, more than you would expect from 1720 cubic inches, and the outside pouch is roomy enough to hold jackets or large 8.5x11 map books.
This pack just rocks! I stockpiled three of them before they are gone. It's the best 1700 cubic inch pack I've seen at carrying heavy loads and is about a lb lighter than most on the market.
Design: Fromt loading Rucksack
Size: 1800 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 3 + 2water pockets
Max. Load Carried: 52 pounds
Height of Owner: 5.11
Price Paid: $109
Great pack!!! I have carried it for two years and have not had a single problem with it. Its light weight and versatility are awesome! I have carried this pack in Southern Utah, Sierra Nevada, Death Valley, Maine, New Hampshire, and the Appalachians. It has stood up to abuse from caring 30+ pounds of camera equipment, crampons, and hunting rifles strapped to it. The abuse this pack has taken is phenomenal. If you need a light daypack with good features this is your pack!!!