I just got back from a summer vacation with my family (first road trip with three kids under the age of 7) from Alberta, Canada to Zion National Park via a family wedding in SLC. On a whim, I decided to e-mail Brian Frankle to discuss the possibility of purchasing a Circuit but was concerned with sizing. I asked him if it was okay to drop by on my way through Utah. He was happy to oblige a visit and I wanted to post a few impressions of our meeting:
-First of all, Brian is super guy - friendly, eager to help, honest, and a true gentleman.
-a ton of orders going out, so for those of you still awaiting orders they are on the way!!
-I saw and touched....the OHM. For those of you willing to wait, you are NOT going to be disappointed. Think of an AMP with the suspension and volume similar to the Circuit (60L), able to carry up to 35 pounds with a weight of only 18oz. Folks, it is a reality.
Some Circuit observations:
-Brian sized the pack perfectly for me, switching out the hip belt, etc. I would have ordered the wrong size if left to my own. This is the first pack that I have bought that fits like it was custom made for me.
-The hipbelt is a wonder. Similar to that used by Osprey in terms of how the belt is snugged (pulling the hipbelt tension straps out, instead of to each side), Brian takes it one step further by providing dual tensioners. In effect, one can snug the upper part of the belt or the lower part of the belt or the entire belt. For long days 'in the saddle;' the adjustability will be welcome.
-the load lifters not only lift the load, but also flex the upper part of the suspension inward, essentially snugging the upper part of the pack against your upper back WITHOUT pulling the shoulder straps back and up, which is the effect with suspensions with aluminum stays and / or extremely stiff framesheets(unless the stays are specifically molded). This is a real boon when scrambling or climbing. Of course, the load lifters can be relaxed completely or somewhere in between. Again, the adjustability of fit is impressive.
-the side pockets are cavernous and are not limited by compression straps (are you listening Granite Gear?).
-the hipbelt pockets are equally huge. Each one is of equal size and could swallow my digital camera and roughly 4-5 Cliff bars (I said each!).
In sum, a great experience and a great product. Thanks again to Brian for all of his help.