Not all of us are the same. To be honest I thought the introduction was not stellar, but it did not prevent me from reading the entire article.
I do expect a review to be well written. My main focus though, is on the expertise of the reviewer and how well he or she conveys the information. Perfect grammar, style, and convention are secondary to me, and that really is the job of the desktop editor.
Regarding bias... no reviewer is going to be 100% unbiased. For example, reading many of Ryan's articles over the years, he seems to have an Industrial Engineer approach to gear. He is very organized and has analyzed every step he takes when using or setting up gear. No unnecessary steps or wasted movements for him. So he may not be interested in a lot of pockets or pouches to hold gear, he is already very efficient. But other people may not be organized and need said accessories to keep the gear in a place they can quickly find it. So if he recommends pack with no external goodies, then he should tell us why.
Second thought on bias... somehow I have a feeling that Chris and Ryan really wanted to like this pack before using it, and I get a sense that this may impact their objectiveness. I may be wrong, and if I am I apologize now.
I do not like the rolling review format. Why is BPL doing it this way? Is it to try and tantalize us with a little information so we have an appetite for the next installment? This has worked with some STOM reports, but the format/goal is a lot different. Or was this a knee-jerk reaction to get something quickly published in response to the large amount of negative comments about the future of BPL? Or is it something else?
IMO, if we publish a gear review, it needs to be a complete gear review. Why do we publish reviews? I think it is to present a new product (or even an old one) so potential purchasers can make an informed decision based on an unbiased review. To drag this out over time may not be the best method. However, I do like the idea of a long term report, and that is something that has been missing in the past. How well does a product work after a year or more of extensive use. Have features failed that were not anticipated, or have perceived weaknesses not occurred?
Regarding cost, durability and comfort. This has come up in this thread already and in a lot of other threads lately. I think it is important... everyone does want to how much it costs, right? If it exceeds one’s budget then it is not viable unless one realizes that gear that does not last long or does not do the intended job well is expensive, because it must be replaced. Also it is not a good environmental model if it does not last long. I have a Kelty D4 that is 41 years old. It was my main pack for 35 years, which included two 6 month trips, dozens of multi-week trips, lesser trips, and airplane baggage apes. Actually I was going to use it last weekend for one of my "nostalgia" trips and noticed a seam separation at the bottom divider. This is one durable pack and I have gotten my money’s worth out of it. And yes, I just mailed it to Kelty to get it fixed. The UL packs I have owned fall apart way too soon, and they are uncomfortable. In 2009 I posted my thoughts on getting a heavier, more durable, and comfortable pack which ended up being a McHale. After my experience with this pack I will never consider any other brand. I have owned many packs over the past 45 years and nothing is as well constructed, comfortable and well fitting as a McHale. Yes, it does increase my base weight but at what cost? It will last longer than I will live. And amazingly, I never have a single sore point on my body from the pack, no matter how much weight I put in it. Last month I did a week trip in some back country. Nowhere to resupply for food, and water was only available every two days. The pack had to deal with Acacia Catclaw, volcanic rock, scrambles over slick-rock, slips as I navigated between canyons, and dry waterfall run-over’s. It was very stable on scrambles, boulder hopping, and minor rock climbs. With 20 lbs of food and water, it was extremely comfortable. So a pound or more of comfort is worth a LOT to me. I want a pack that is designed to go where I want to go, not where the pack might or might not work. I can save enough weight on all my other gear, that a 2 or 3 lb pack is not going to slow me down, and the right one will actually allow me to hike further and longer, because I don’t even have to think about it… a McHale pack just does what I hope and want it to do. And I think that Ryan is perhaps shifting his perspective to more durable and comfortable gear. I can still do a week or longer trip with a 3 pound pack and be under 10 lbs base weight in 3 season use.