Well-constructed; has panel loading; front pocket; daisy-chains; plastic & aluminum frame
I bought this as a starter overnight backpacking pack for someone, so I will update this review once I've had a chance to use/gift it. My only comparable modern backpack experience is with high-end Gregory packs and a family member with a new REI pack. This looks almost as well thought out and constructed as those. It has noticeably less padded and sophisticated suspension, but that may not affect comfort and use. It's comfortable and adjustable in all the usual backpack places. The torso height adjustment maxes out at 18", so if you are over 5'10", it might not fit well (see below and in photos).
2019-11-30: I haven't used this yet other than putting about 40lbs in it and walking around the house. -- Features from the top down -- All straps on this pack are 3/4" webbing and have elastic 'keepers' except the shoulder strap webbing is 1" and waist belt is 1.5" 'brain' (top pouch) tie-in straps are about 36" long and are removable. 'brain' has a bottom mesh pocket and separate outer normal pocket. main compartment bag has a drawstring and cord lock and an 'extension' with another drawstring/cord lock main compartment has 2 quick clips inside (to hold hydration bladder?) main compartment has a water bladder pouch (only about 8" tall) framesheet is completely removable from a zippered compartment framesheet is plastic with holes, and two vertical solid aluminum stays. No anti-barreling cross bar there is a large outer front pocket, separate from the main compartment the outer front pocket zips away from the main compartment allowing you to panel load the main compartment.
The front has two daisy chains on the outer pocket the vertical-zipper outside-accessible pocket is on the left the ice axe/trekking pole upper retainers are elastic cord with a cord lock for adjustability and a quick-release the main and bottom compartment are separated by a zippered flap, but there are small gaps at each end of the zipper. This is more separated than the typical 'flap and straps' method, but potentially less strong since it relies on the zipper strength. mesh water bottle pockets on each side ice axe loops are above to bottom compartment zipper so they don't block it. bottom compartment straps only cover the 'door' and do not extend around the bottom of the pack (cannot carry anything onthe bottom of the pack) there is a small reflective strap/loop about 1.5" long on the front of the bottom. You could clip something to it bottom is a heavier nylon material than the rest of the pack, but not a 'smooth' impervious kind the rain cover is accessed on the rear of the pack (by your butt) in a zippered compartment. It is removable, held on by a strap and slider. shoulder straps are decently padded an comfortable; they have permanent D-rings attached. sternum strap is easily height adjustable, has an elastic portion, and the buckle is also a whistle waist belt is decently padded, but is a single adjustment type (no mechanical advantage like newer Gregory or Osprey packs) waist belt has zippered pockets on each side. The pockets are close to the kidney area, even on a smaller waist, but still accessible. On a large waist, i would not count on being able to use them easily, but you could add pockets to the webbing part of the belt.
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