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Rated5out of5byWooly Wilburfrombest load monster I've ownedI bought this at a scratch and dent sale because I thought it was an Osprey (the older green version of this). when I got to the parking lot I discovered it was not and was a little sad. I puttered around with it off and on but never really used it much.
Well I dusted it off the other day, loaded it up and hit the trail. I am VERY impressed. The biggest selling points for me are the tall frame height (I'm 6'2" so not every pack gives me the stupendous shoulder lift this pack does) and the frame width were it mates to the belt. the x-brace is nearly 8" wide by the time it hits the bottom of frame sleeves on the hipbelt giving it AMAZING stability. I also have no butt so I love the thin lumbar pad, stays locked in place with very little pack slip. I also have very bony hips and fight serious bruising with heavy packs but so far this has been a treat.
I also must say the compression strap set-up is much better then the Osprey pack I thought I was buying, much easier to lash things to the sides like my bivvy sack and sleeping pad. Water bottle pockets are much better as well, easily fits 40oz klean kanteens and you can remove them and replace them without doing any crazy contortions.
back padding is suitable, fairly firm so you don't sink into it and soak it with sweat.
don't care for the side zipper access, but hey, I just don't use it.
for me this beats out the arcteryx, osprey, and gregory packs I've had, and is giving my Kifaru Duplex a serious run for its money. the size/weight/durability ratio is just astounding.
The only thing that would make it sweeter is if the lid had lumbar pack wings like the arcteryx boras, but I can add those myself.
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated5out of5bymentefreshfromThe Caddilac of BackpacksI bought the pack on Sunday and was on the trail by Wednesday. My brother and I had been planning the trip for a while. We didn't expect to get over a foot of snow. The pack was amazing. I loaded more gear than I ever had before and it took it like a champ. Once I had it dialed in just right there was zero discomfort. We had to hike through deep snow ducking under branches by the river where balance is key and the pack felt secure the whole time. The only drawback is that it is a bit on the heavy side, but if your looking for comfort this is what you need.
Date published: 2014-02-27
Rated4out of5byDarthZiegelfromThis is a great product!I have used this pack for multi day trips and weekenders. Loads ranging from 50lbs. to 30. Plenty of load adjustability and large enough for multi day loads. I did a lot of research before purchasing this pack. I bought the Osprey 88 and returned It. I also tried the Deuter Vario and also returned it after a trip.
So heres the deal:
I love the pockets on the sides of the pack. They hold bottles of liquid really well and are easily accessible.
The suspension system is very comfortable and is easily adjustable. I liked the Deuter system better but this pack delivers everything I need, Comfort!
I absolutely dig on the huge sleeping bag compartment, and its zips all the way open, allowing for various sleeping bag/wooby arrangements in differing climates.
The zippers are solid and have a unique "over molded rubber flap on all of them, it helps to seal things up, but is no replacement for a ducks back. There are a lot of easy to use/access cinch straps, which a make it great for various configs and getting it all secure.
Best bang for the buck, for a quality product.
Date published: 2014-02-12
Rated4out of5byFrozzenSquirrelfromGreat Pack, Great Build, Great PriceThe important things: The bag is extremely durable; can take one hell of a beating; is very comfortable; can hold ample weight without the frame being compromised (80+lbs). This pack is a HYBRID, part internal frame (the X bars), part external (the aluminum outer frame that is visible). Its the best of both worlds and is the most durable frame out of ALL the brands, YES I have tried all the big name brands, with the same weight, and they all give, shift or even collapse, but not this one!! I hike the High Sierras, which are very rocky, and the Appalachian Trail, which is very wooded. I do all backpacking and survival trips, so I pack lots of gear on the worst case scenario and have yet to have a pack lighter than 60lbs, have never had a comfort issue yet, and with proper packing and adjustments you wont. I have both this version and the previous version (going on 5yrs) and neither have any holes or any real signs of wear. Ive thrown it against trees, rocks, lots of brush, dropped it 15+ feet, and it still works like new.
People who complain about the weight are just complaining. All the other bags with this capacity and same ultimate use (extended day or backcountry backpacking) all weigh the same. This is not a daypack!! People who say they have to unpack to find that one item clearly don't know how to pack correctly. The zippers are very sturdy, and I love the duel sided zippers. The zippers do take a little time to break in to where they move a little easier.
My 1 and only complaint is, I PERSONALLY, would like the external pockets to have smaller mesh pockets in them to hold the small items. But I there are ways around that.
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated5out of5byodiefirefromREI XT 85Bought this backpack before deploying on disaster relief mission to the Philippines. Rained every day, relocated several times and this pack did awesome. Kept everything dry, easy to pack & comfortable to trek in.
Date published: 2013-12-05
Rated2out of5byBackpacking SquirrelfromIt Falls ShortBought this with the last years Women's 80 Pack, but was actually more disappointed then expecting. This was suppose to be the "Step Up" from the REI Mars 80 Pack but found it lacking. The bottle holders are not as effective as the Mars 80. The access zippers are not very well thought out. They are placed on both sides but do not full unzip the middle portion of the bag. Compared to the Mars 80, which is setup kind of like a duffel bag, is way more easier to access your one item you need. WIth the XT 85 Pack, I found I still had to remove items to find what I was looking for. Besides the zippered redesign and the bottle holder on the sides, I ended up returning the XT 85 Pack and getting the Mars 80 Pack.
Date published: 2013-09-24
Rated5out of5byKenny the GuacfromAmazingTook this out to Philmont (Boy Scout Ranch in NM) for a 2 week trek. The pack performed great. Easy to work with, held heavy loads with ease. I couldnt have asked for a better pack. 2 weeks in the back country and not a scratch on it. Definitely going to last a long time.
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated4out of5bybaqpaqrfromGreat Replacement for the previous packWhen my previous version of this pack's zippers failed, REI kindly replaced it with this newer model. The zippers are now reinforced, and waterproof. The pack is also way more comfortable. Just took it on a 40 mile Sierra hike, and loved it. Only complaints are that it is fairly heavy, and loading and unloading can be a pain, as is true with most internal frame packs. The exterior pockets don't hold a lot, so most stuff has to go in the pack. Lots of room, though.
Date published: 2013-08-25
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