Backpack Review by: firstname.lastname@example.org Manufacturer:…
Model: Elite 80
Suggested use: Extended Adventures
Rated Capacity (Manufacturer): 4880 ci.
Capacity as tested: 5033 ci.
Weight (Manufacturer): 4 lb. 14 oz.
Weight (As tested): 4 lb. 10 oz.
Height unextended: 33 inches
Height extended: 35 inches
Access: Top and bottom
Subjective load rating: 55 lb.-60 lb.
Note: Capacity includes all pockets, lid, and main pack compartment(s). Capacity was calculated by filling the compartments with measured amounts of water. Weight is complete pack as shipped from the manufacturer. Height is measured with the pack stuffed as full as possible while still being able to fully close all draw cords, zippers etc.
Construction features: The pack is made of medium weight coated Cordura. The nylon strapping is medium to heavy weight. Cordlocks and quick release buckles are large nylon. The shoulder straps are 5/8” thick by 2-1/2” wide and contoured, encased in Cordura. The waistband is 1” thick. It tapers from 5-1/2” at the rear to 3-1/4” at the front and has a layer of 1/4” closed cell (feels like) foam added for additional stiffness.
Zippers are nylon, with metal closers and pulls stamped “Ferrino”. Stitching is 8 per inch, very straight and neat. No loose threads. Seams are not sealed and showed no pinholes of light when held under a strong lamp.
Suspension: Twin 20” removable aluminum stays make up the backbone. They are bendable to suit your shape. Theres also an aluminum horizontal spreader bar across the top of the pack. This bar slides free in a sleeve in back of the main stays and helps keep the top of the pack in shape. The shoulder harness slides on the back stays and is infinitely adjustable within its range. The waistbelt is extremely comfortable, has a curved shape that melts right into the hips. Large lumbar pad, 1” thick, stays put in the back. The shoulder pads have load lifters that work well to lift and snug the pack up to the back. Adjustable anti-away straps attach to the hip belt to draw the bottom of the pack in tight. A very substantial system. No side compression straps. Unrestricted head movement. Wrist straps on the shoulder pads.
Fitting: Anyone can get the perfect fit with this pack with its many adjustment points. I had it fitting perfectly in a few minutes. It snugs up tight and does not sway around at all.
I put 51 lb. in the pack for a total of about 55 lb. and took a long walk in comfort. This is a big statement for me as my 7 day pack weight never exceeds 32 lb. so I’m not used to such a heavy load. I will say though, this pack needs to be stuffed smartly as it is large and deep and lacks side compression straps. Heavy stuff needs to be at your back.
Amenities: Its all right here. The large main compartment is divided inside by a drawstring closure about 2/3 the way down. The lower portion of the main compartment zips open all the way across for access. In all the main compartment holds approx. 3465 ci with the top drawn tight, and approx. 4303 ci. with the top drawstring open. The side pockets are the neatest thing I’ve ever seen. They zip into the pack when not in use and simply zip out if you need extra storage. They each hold approx. 205 ci. On the bottom of the pack is a flat pocket holding a coated lightweight pack cover. Super idea. The top holds approx. 320 ci. and zips open towards the back. The underside of the top also zips open to a large flat pocket for maps. The pack has two vertical straps to close and compress the front from the top down to the middle of the pack and two more vertical straps to compress the pack from the middle down to the bottom. The bottom has two compression straps to squeeze the bottom front to back. Two ax loops with a quick release buckle. The buckle is attached to a three eye daisy chain for extra attachment points. There are ski attachment points with straps on each side. The lid has an elastic band criss-crossing it for stuffing gear under.
Praise: Way to go Ferrino. One of the few packs that weighs less and holds more than advertised. The harness adjustment system is fantastic as is the waistband/lumbar system.
It's got the right amount of storage options and access. This pack is very comfortable and will get you a long way down the trail before re-supply is necessary.
Punishment: Really could use a sternum strap and side compression straps. I don’t like the elastic (removable mind you) band on the top. Elastic stops being elastic when cold and wet.
Final Verdict: I’ve really had a hard time finding fault with this pack. I just can’t get over the innovative, sensible designs I’m seeing from not just Ferrino, but from most all firms abroad. For five bucks you can add a sternum strap and a couple side compression straps and have a nearly perfect pack. There is also probably 10-12 oz. of unneeded buckles, strapping and misc. to be safely removed here which would put this giant pack in the “lightest” category for its size. Its already lighter than most others for its size class. 4-1/2 out of 5 stars. This is the highest rating I’ve ever given a pack, and its well deserved.