I recently took this pack on a two week trip to Peru, including the Inca Trail and a week in the rainforest. On the Trail this pack was used as a daypack, carrying around 15 pounds worth of food, water, and gear. On the plus side, it's a lot tougher than it looks- the material seems pretty thin, but didn't tear or even wear down anywhere, and I wasn't exactly gentle with it. The layout could be a little better though- the lid compartment, while convenient, is difficult to secure if packed with too much stuff. Also, because of the long and thin design, you have fairly limited space after filling a hydration bladder. Since it only opens from the top you have to go through all of your gear to get to anything at the bottom. Finally, the shoulder and waist straps are very, very thin. That being said, I never found it uncomfortable. It could have used a bit more waist support, but it held everything I needed (including my hiking poles) and allowed me to concentrate on the hike.
For the price, capacity, and durability, I would recommend this pack.
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Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend