"Is there a better 50L pack for $70 than the Jam?
Is there a better 50L pack than the Jam?"
Indeed, two very different questions. Thanks for boiling it down so succinctly, Nigel.
When the Kindle Fire was released, a few of my friends opined "Why would anyone own an iPad when you can get a Fire for $200?" Of course, this question was meant to be rhetorical, perhaps, but iPad owners came out of every corner with a laundry list of answers. Certainly the Fire has its function in the consumer marketplace, but it was never intended to be an iPad replacement and at its pricepoint, it's a silly comparison.
There does seem to be a little bit of GoLite fanboyism and it seems reasonable that there would be some counterbalance. I wouldn't classify it as "hating" on GoLite, though. I own a GoLite pack. It's too heavy for what it is and does, but it's functional and reasonably priced (so much so that I can't justify replacing it entirely), but I have concerns about their business model moving forward. They want to be the cheapest alternative on the market, but that comes with some heavy costs (no pun intended) all around. There should be room to identify those costs without offense, I would think, especially as it affects the quality of the products themselves. Cheaper materials + over-engineering = heavier pack and more things to go wrong. Clearly there is a market for this kind of a product, but just how broad that market is should be up for discussion.