As the manufacturer of these packs, I'd like to make a some comments.
1)In the words of the reviewer from Alpinist Magazine:
"The instructions provided for fitting the pack ... were straight forward and easy to follow." He went on to describe the manual's clear description of how to use the straps. The manual lives online at wiki1.cilogear.com . We are always eager to develop better materials to make it easier to use the entire system.
When we supplied the packs to BPL, we sent an electronic copy of the manual to BPL, and they clearly stated that they had and understood the manual. The manual is clearly linked to in a number of places on our website. Like on the bottom of every page that talks about the packs...Obviously, the BPL reviewer was not able to find the link, and we will address that ASAP.
3) There is no 'reflective material on one side of the pack'. The DP cloth has a white polyester scrim which does make the inside of the pack very bright. There is also a piece of ScotchLite on either end of the internal compression strap.
In other news, the new packs are lighter, just as strong, and we've fixed several of the flaws of the first generation packs. For example, we have several accessory pockets and pouches that will be available in January. We also have a different geometry for the shoulder straps, a new method for the hydration bladder and several other improvements.
As a small company, we strive to improve our product as soon as we detect a shortcoming. We did this with the shoulder straps, and we'll continue to do it. We offer an update package for all of our customers, allowing them to get updated removable parts, like lids, hipbelts (yes, with pockets coming in the spring) and the like.
Please feel free to check out my blog at blog.cilogear.biz to see the new packs and see what else we've been working on...I know that the blog is mentioned in a thread over in the gear section, but I'm taking the liberty of pointing it out again.
Finally, we're updating our website and should have the new one rolled out on Monday. And we've got a moving / clearance sale on the '06 packs. http://www.cilogear.com/packs/sale.shtml