Funny timing!! After much research, I ordered a 4400 and a 2400 just yesterday. The 4400 will be used for family trips with our 3 little ones and for winter trips. For the family trips, my wife will fill a Golite Pinnacle with clothes and sleeping bags while I will put all the heavier goods in the 4400. For this year anyway, I will probably carry our 25 lb one-year old on my front in an Ergo carrier and give our 3 year old some breaks as needed on my shoulders. Which reminds me, I should start my training now for a spring trip!! I did order the 4400 with the hip belt pockets and accessory stuff pocket. Somewhat necessary when kids are constantly needing things. Additonally, I have a feeling the 4400 will quickly and easily replace my Golite Pinnacle as my winter pack. Not sure I will get out this winter as life is too busy with the little ones, but looking forward to using it next winter...
I had Mike at HMG customize the 2400 to be able to use it primarily for bike commuting. The size is a bit more than I need most of the time, but I am finding myself bringing my laptop home many nights these days and an occasional stop at the grocery store for something small. I had him make the hip belt removable and have the option to use a 1,5" webbing strap as a waist belt for biking. It might seem silly, but I also had him add a loop for a blinkie light for biking. Pretty much all of my winter commuting is in the dark. It's nice to have the extra light to make me more visible and an easy place to attach it to. The white is certainly more visible than the black and gray packs I have been using. This should easily replace three different packs I have been juggling for commuting. It is a simple pack that will easily compress when not using the full volume and of course it is stripped down and clean looking, making it nice and stream-lined for cruising on the bike. It feels great to be simplifying my gear! The regular hip-belt will of course be great for shoulder season trips or longer backpacking trips when I have the extra weight of more food, fuel, and/or insulation. I know my details on the 2400 is a bit of a distraction from the article on the 4400, but it shows the great customer service of HMG,and their willingness to meet the needs of their customers.
Can't wait to get the new packs! I had rotated a Windrider through my pack rotation a couple years ago and it just didn't fit my need at the time. The construction quality was superb and thus I had no reservations about ordering more from HMG. This article certainly confirms that I made the right decision. Thanks Ryan and Chris for the detailed review!!