Thank you; my camera is fully automatic, I just press the shutter button. There are many nice places around Tokyo.
Regarding the Meridian, the lid zipper teeth failed on the second day of use in a below-zero temp. environment. I sent the lid for a replacement. The straps were comfortable, but too narrow for the 20+kg winter mountaineering load I was carrying, so I sent them in for the wide versions.
I really like the other features of the pack, and assuming both exchanges go as promised, I will keep the pack as my winter/alpine pack. I think it is the best combination of comfort and light weight in the 60 liter range. More reply later; gotta head out the door...
OK, back.. The feature which I require on all large packs now is panel loading. This changed the way I pack and saves me time throughout the hike. One competitor to the Meridian is the Black Diamond Quantum 65; it is just as comfortable, strips down to 2+ pounds, but the 'panel' access is not a panel, it is only a slit-type zipper on the side. The Meridian is a true triangle shaped panel which opens on the front of the pack.
Also on the Meridian, the mesh pockets are deep enough for snow pickets, a wand, tent poles, a mat, ice axe handles, etc.. all items I have carried there. People gripe about the lower compression strap going OVER the pocket, and I agree it is a design flaw. There is no reason I can think of not to route the strap through slits on the front and back of the pocket, but Im not going to cut them myself. The lid on the Meridian is fairly large; good enough for the things Im using over and over all day long, sunscreen,camera, bandana, cap, gps, sunglasses, etc..(but see note below) One problem with the lid is that the closure buckles are FIXED to the pack, about 80% of the way up the front of the pack, another serious design flaw, since now it is impossible to cinch the lid down when the pack is less than 80% full. As a result it flops from side to side, and it can not be used to compress the main compartment down from the top. A third lid problem is the location of the zipper on the lid, it is on the 'wrong' side, facing away from the hiker; so it is difficult to get those items I want throughout the day. I have never seen a pack manufacturer put the zipper AWAY from the hiker, and I see no reason to do so.
So, summary; good capacity to weight ratio, comfort, panel access, and customizable straps (and geometry I forgot to mention)
Bad; zipper quality, lid closure buckles in wrong place, lid zipper on wrong side.
In all my research I can not find a better pack than the Meridian, even with these flaws, so if I can get the new lid and straps Ill keep it. If BD put deep side pockets and panel access on their Quantum though, it would be an easy choice to go with the Quantum.