I just got this pack this spring and have been using it on a number of mountain biking outings from short laps on downhill trails to xc adventures. The pack is super-comfortable and hugs my body well. Most of the time I am riding I am unaware it is there, which is a testament to its comfort. I am tall at 6'2" and prefer longer packs that can sit on the hips properly for my longer torso. In many cases, mountain biking packs are designed to be more compact and since you are not carrying a lot, it does not matter as much if the waistbelt sits on your hips. The slightly shorter than ideal torso length for me would be my one minor niggles with the fit of this pack. The breathabilty of the Compact EXP 12 is outstanding. I love how the waistbelt is wide to distribute the load better but because of the hard, perforated material that is used it is also lightweight, strong and highly breathable. The pack has some nice details, like the external side opening to access the included hydration bladder. Even a full bladder slides in with minimal fuss and a cool integrated velcro patch allows you to route your hose without having to thread it through any holes or straps. Genius! The helmet holder is my other favorite feature for those hot uphill grinds where you would rather carry your helmet than wear it, or just to hold your helmet with your gear when you are on your way to and from the trail. There are plenty of pockets for organizing the small stuff and so far I have found the capacity to be plenty for my needs without even opening the zipper that expands the capacity further. The included bladder is solid in construction and does the job. I am not crazy about the way the bite valve rotates to open and close, but I am adapting to it.
Was this a gift?:
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend