"All this banging on Roger. How else would he review the packs if not from his own point of view, based on many years of backpacking experience. Would we prefer a reviewer with little experience?"
Nothing wrong with his experience and opinions, it just could have been written a lot less hostile. For instance, instead of;
“many American packs have extra pockets at the sides near the bottom or across the outside back of the pack. The American manufacturers seem to love to add these, but why they do so is not clear. Perhaps they are marketing frills, or maybe they have the idea that anything stuffed into an external pocket does not really count when working out the pack weight?”
It would have been adequate to just say that the author doesn’t like extra outside pockets (because where he hikes they get caught in scrub, etc...), but if this is a feature that you are looking for in a pack then consider many of the American models such as brand xxxxxxx
Or instead of;
"“Stuff put in the back pocket might be a bit safer, especially if the back pocket has a zip, but that position has a serious problem. Putting weight that far from your back moves the Centre of Gravity (CoG) away from your back, which is a pretty stupid thing to do. You want the CoG as close to your body as possible. That said, a simple back pocket can be very useful for storing flat things like sit mats (which are usually the last thing to get packed away) and map cases. But so often the extra pockets turned out to have very little useful volume once the main bag had been filled up, so the fancy design on many of them seem almost useless to me.”
Which again implies that most people who use this feature don’t know how to pack their bags, and that they are ‘stupid’ He could have just said which packs had back pockets, which had zippers etc…for those that like this feature, even though the author wouldn’t put anything too heavy in them due to issues with CoG.
It is possible to present an opinion without implying people are stupid, or silly, or just don't know how to pack their bags.
"“Finally, I tried keeping things in such pockets, but the pockets were so small I had to stop and very carefully open the pocket when I wanted something out of one - while being very careful not to lose anything else in that pocket. So I am left skeptical: it seems like another cost-adding marketing feature, and I just don't bother with them. Then there's the little pocket found on the Osprey Exos shoulder straps: I was told it's for holding your iPod or MP3 player. Phooey: Keep It Simple!”
Ummm, not all the packs tested had small pockets, and it would be sufficient to point out to readers which pack had larger hipbelt pockets, which got in the way of arm swing (without poles, which many readers use), which had small pockets, and which had a choice of pocket size, while pointing out the he does not see utility in these pockets, but providing the information for those who prefer hipbelt pockets. Hopefully we will get this useful information in part 2!
There's lots more in the article where the author, though very experienced at his way of doing things, comes across as insulting to people who have differing experiences or opinions. It's just unnecessary and inflammatory journalism and not very professional, again just IMHO.