Thanks a lot! The only padding in the straps is the foam in the 4mm spacer mesh. I've taken it for a couple of training walks. One was in the state park and the other was on the river levee. Each walk was non-stop and 2.5 to 3.5 hours in length. I have to say that it did carry well. I did feel some of the weight in my shoulders near the end of the 3.5 hour walk. My other packs have had hip belts and I am spoiled in that area. A full load in this pack including water, fuel and consumables comes in at 17.5 pounds.
My Singer handles the mesh, X-pac and 3/8" CCF padding but it is a tight fit. It is workable though.
Glad you're getting good service out of the bivy. :-)
I appreciate the good words!
The X-pac does as you said give the straps enough "body" without the CCF inside. As stated above on my practice runs the pack was loaded up to 17.5 pounds. Max would probably limit out at 20 pounds. It would really be a winner at 15 pounds wet weight though.
The pack is very stable while carrying it. It is actually a little wider on the front panel than it is on the rear panel. The difference is about 2 inches. Loaded up with the CCF pad as a frame it takes on a more cylindrical shape.
There is no hip belt on this pack. What you are seeing is the loose ends of the shoulder strap adjustment webbing.
I wasn't sure how the pack would ride with the added depth until I tried it. Most of my packs are 12 to 13 inches across and 5 to 6 inches deep. It was a pleasant surprise that it carried so well.
The dimensions of the pack are basically the same as the one that they discontinued.
Since the "w" is silent maybe I ought to call it The W Pack. L O L