Lodestone Mountaineering went out of business so I…
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 20 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $135
Lodestone Mountaineering went out of business so I wondered to myself how I could ever replace my aging Lodestone Blackstone pack which I've had for 3 years. A search on the Web for a zipperless backpack brought me to Stone Creek Designs. Turns out that the people who founded the company used to work for Lodestone.
I ordered the Redstone II and found it to be overall an even better design than the Blackstone. No zippers, buttons, velcro or anything that might blow out or fail. The pack uses a proprietary Quickcord system for ease of opening and closing the pack's two large compartments easily even with gloves on. I especially appreciate the dual mesh water bottle pouches.
Craftsmanship-wise, I didn't like the shoulder straps. The stitching was somewhat sloppy. Good thing they were removable. I replaced them with straps from my Gregory pack. I also wish there was more padding in the back area. I could feel some items poking me from inside the pack itself. It would also be nice if the storm flaps was loaded with bungee/shock cord so that they draped over the openings more securedly.
Overall, a good pack. When this wears out, I'll get the same one, unless, of course, Stone Creek comes up with a better one.