Rating: 4 / 5
I picked up this pack for $20 US at a Big 5 to experiment with (Campmor has it listed at $14.99). The thought was to see if it would do for a day, a night, and a day camping trip. Here it is packed, with the tag still on in case it didn't work at all, front, side, and harness views:
Here are pictures of the side compression straps and what I use as Torsolite pad straps on the bottom:
Campmor lists it a 1 lb. 5 oz. But, it weighs 1 lb. plus a couple of ounces on my scale w/o cutting off or taking off surplus stuff. (E.g. It has a CD player pocket on the inside of the main body, long straps for adjusting size, size load stabilizers, zipper pulls, and a little holder set up in the front pocket for pens, keys, knives, etc.)
This is a trial piece of equipment, to practice cutting down on stuff carried and to force me to increase functionality decisions. The volume is listed as 1.830 cu. in. Size is listed as 17" H x 11"W x 5.5"D. It has two side mesh pockets, which are just big enough to hold a .5 L Platypus almost completely full.
It has a lifetime guarantee. Capmor's description says it is "450D Polyester/Ripstop/600D Polyester", to me it is like cordura -- durable fabric. Strong zippers, not SUL. The main body has dual zippers as does the front pocket, shown here:
I loaded it with enough stuff for a day out, overnight and a day back. Could do two days but wouldn't push that. Also, depends on availability of water. It wouldn't work w/o water available, since I wouldn't want to try to carry a lot of water in this pack -- for sure.
Total weight (rough estimate on food weight) with food for dinner, breakfast, lunch 8 oz., BushBuddy stove & pot 9 oz., clothes (? oz.), NANO bivy & sleeping bag 1 lb. 9 oz., BMW T poncho tarp shelter 4 oz., rain/wind pants 6 oz., wind shirt 3 oz., medicine and accessory stuff sack (? oz.), MH butter balaclava 1 oz., MH micro beanie 1 oz., PossumDown mittens/gloves 2 oz. = 6-7 lbs. using the bathroom scale.
Here is the gear that fit in the front pocket -- what used to be called Patagonia mid-light weight capilene long john, long sleeve top for sleeping or to replace wet clothing; GoLite windshirt; MH balaclava and beanie for sleeping and cold weather (I wear my trekking hat for rain and sun protection); PossumDown gloves for sleeping or cold weather (I wear three quarter finger gloves, lightweight for holding treeking poles and for sun protection); Firelite spork in the medicine accessory bag (I carry a knife on a lanyard also used for cooking, as well as small compass, and whistle on me); medicine bag (bright yellow stuff sack, small sized NANO type from BMW) filled with firestarter kit, medicine kit, foot/blister aids, NANO style Ti shelter stakes, chap stick, Aqua Mira in BPL mini bottles, bic lighter for extra security, Photon light on lanyard with hat or belt clip attached):
Here is the gear in the main body:
The gear is silk weight Patagonia boxer w/pattern so they can be worn as shorts at the store or PO and for use if other shorts are wet; BMW SpinPoncho T Lite (in an small Intergral Designs stuff sack left over from something or another; for rain, wind, and shelter if necessary); MH Phantom 32 F down bag w/ BMW NANO bivy (sleeping system, ground cover, extra insulation value even if minimum, moderate rain and wind protection); BushBuddy stove stored inside of MSR Titan kettle in plastic bag to keep soot off of pack and gear; and, finally, a food bag ziplock type (w/ Hamburger Helper noodles and sauce mix for two meals sized servings, instant Oatmeal packet for breakfast, tea bags & capuccino powder bag for hot drinks, instant potatos in a baggy, dried jerky piece and dried corn mixed in mashed potatos) for extra dinner or lunch food. (I would add granola bars, cheese and cracker packet, jerky, etc. for snacks and extra food in the unused side pocket or my pants pocket if I had to). The Torsolite in its red stuff sack was tied to the body at the bottom.
Total weight on bathroom scales is 9.2 pounds with food, water, and snacks. Fuel is free and weighs nothing because of the BushBuddy, at this time of year.
This gets a 4 because I can recommend it as far as my purposes go or to someone who can't afford the more expensive gear. I can't highly recommend it because not everyone is as goofy as I am. And, it fits well, has functional design and holds lots of gear for a quick getaway.
Campmor description and pic is at: