Good call Dale! I looked into the 2013 look book link that Scott posted above and read up a bit more on the flash 45. Regarding the suspension and the cross-bar:
"Here’s a pack in the 2-pound class that offers substantial load support and transfers that load efficiently to the hips. it accomplishes these feats via a perimeter frame that’s tubular aluminum on top, with lightweight delrin® rods on each side.
these side rods shave off ounces and provide flexibility. This design also improves balance because the load conforms to a hiker’s back."
"Having flexible side rails is the key to having a load-transfer point in an area of the body that moves so much. the solid top rail, though, offers a good anchor point for load-lifter straps."
Apparently the bow and flex are intentional and will help us? Hey, I would love to have a lil bounce in my step while im enjoying my black and lime spritz ;)
But enough of me talking trash...truth be told, I think the Flash 45 is a damn sexy pack...almost as sexy as Mark from REI's pencil thin mustache (click the video, there's just so much awesomeness in it....and by awesomeness I strictly mean mustache). Looks like it's a head to head competition against the Osprey Exos 46, but at 4oz less. The price point is steller too.
Just to draw another comparison, it weighs the exact same as the Granite Gear Crown 60, but is about 10-15L smaller, but you get hipbelt pockets and a lid/ lidpocket that could potentially bridge the gap...you also get a true frame as opposed to a frame sheet.
The down side that I see outright is the unisex sizing...someones gonna get the short end of the stick here.