Osprey Argon 110
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$400
This sturdy adaptable pack has allowed me to travel with comfort in a variety of environments. Glaciers and mountains, volcanoes and river crossings, this pack has been through it all. No breaks, rips, or problems and I'm going on 3.5 years. Great for getting everything you need for a a month long trip, or having a luxurious weekend overnight trip.
- You end up bringing too much stuff
Design: Top loading internal
Size: 110 liters
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 70 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
I had always done my backpacking with an external frame pack. Since this is my first internal frame pack, my comments will be slanted.
I bought this pack because I carry HUGE loads - I like to have plenty of comforts for the Cub Scouts I lead. My first excursion was a boat trip to N Manitou Island followed by a short 1 mile hike in with 70 lbs, so the pack was loaded to the max. I have to say it was very comfortable and handled it well. When I returned, I noticed one of the aluminum load bars pushed through the bottom. I believe this was due to a manufacturing oversight more than an inherent problem with the pack. The bar was (with great effort) returned to the plastic keeper (I don't think it started life in this keeper) and I haven't seen a problem since.
I like the sleeping bag pocket on the bottom, which handles my bag and pad easily. The divider leaves space for my tent poles to run the full length of the pack, which is a great plus. Without additional pockets, I will need to purchase additional stuff sacks. Otherwise small items work their way to the bottom of the DEEP main pocket. Again, I was used to the external frame packs that have many pockets. The front elastic pocket is not useful when on the trail, but seems to be a great place for the poncho when its wet. The loads remain stable under all conditions and the shear volume of this pack allows everything to remain inside (doesn't have any daisy chains, so its a good thing).
The lid converts to a hip pack. Although another review said you have to remove the hip belt from the pack to utilize this, you don't. The belt for this is tucked behind it's pad and worked well for day hikes. It has ample volume for a "multi-person" first-aid kit while still handling my lunch and platypus. I was pleased with it.
Hope this helps.
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 60
Height of Owner: 5'10
Price Paid: $419
What a comfortable pack! I bought mine for an upcoming 2010 climb of Denali. I carried a Gregory Denali Pro on Denali last year. Although I'll reserve my final judgment after returning from this year's expedition, the difference in comfort on my training climbs is remarkable.
Pros: Comfort, ability to look up when loaded
Cons: Smaller than a Denali Pro, no extendable collar