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Reviewers Paid: $110.00
I bought this pack for the following reasons:
1) Light: it was the lightest pack I could possible find in this volume (52 Liters, 1.6kg or 58 Liters, 1.7kg).
2) No bells and whistles: there are no extra compartments, no external zipper other than the one on the pack lid. Obviously these things would contribute to the weight of the pack. There are ice axe loops, compression straps and a crampon patch with elastic cord.
3) when alpine climbing with a helmet I can look up, and the helmet will not hit the pack. This is why I bought the 52Liter version rather than the larger one to start. With the larger one I may have to modify the stays so there is no helmet strike.
It's an internal frame design, with an ajustable "ladder frame" to position the shoulder straps. This means it will probably fit you (I am 6'4", 210lbs and both sizes fit well).
I've had the small version of the pack for four years now, and I liked it so much I recently bought the slightly larger version. I use the pack for everything I do: Search and Rescue, ice climbing, mountaineering and ski touring and up to two nights overnight and day trips (with the 52 liter version, but not everyone can pack that light).
The point is I've stuffed this pack very full with ropes, tents, stoves, ice axes (yes, inside the pack) rescue equipment, etc and it's stood up to the excessive wear and tear quite well.
I have had the following failures with the pack, in order that they occurred)
1) internal stays wearing through the bottom of the pack, below the waist belt. Wear and tear, I remaired this with Duct tape.
2) Zipper failure on the lid, from overpacking it. Replaced for free by MEC
3) Broke both internal stays (aluminum), replaced both for $11 CDN
YMMV: the padding on the pack is not excessive, so some people may find that they can't carry a lot in it.
I love this pack and I don't know what I will do when they stop making it.
Design: internal frame, ladder, top loading
Size: regular, large
Number of Pockets: --
Max. Load Carried: 70Lbs -80 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'4"
Price Paid: 135 CDN
I really like this pack. At about 4.5 pounds, it weighs about a pound less than most packs at the 3600 cu. in. size, but the suspension is fantastic. I have overpacked this pack on a couple occasions and never had problems with it.
If you don't need a bunch of pockets (I like the cleaner profile for scrambling off trail), you will like this pack. Ordering from MEC gives US customers a break on the exchange rate, too. Don't let the low price fool you, though. This is a well-constructed pack.
Size: 3600 (58L) - Long size
Number of Pockets: 2 + 2 mesh side pockets
Max. Load Carried: 35-40 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6 ft.
Price Paid: $110 US