Rating: 5 / 5
This was my first frameless pack which I bought during my transition to lightweight backpacking. I have used this pack for several years now on more than half a dozen trips totaling over 300 miles, including on and off trail. The pack shows little sign of wear and is very durable. I usually carry between 12 and 25 pounds with this pack, and I am confident I could carry more. I have never needed the aluminum stays and I have always felt that the pack carries this weight with ease.
The back panel pocket for inserting the sleeping pad works excellent. It is a tight fit with a short RidgeRest, but a great fit with a Z-Lite. After using this frameless pack, I can't imagine going back to an internal frame pack. What a waste of weight and how annoying it is to strap the sleeping pad on the outside!
I find the exterior mesh pockets very useful for stashing my frequently accessed or emergency items such as snacks, aquamira, first aid kit, toilet paper, rain gear, camera, and water bottle of course. This is something I could not live without, so think carefully before buying a pack such as the Granite Gear Virga or Vapor Trail which doesn't provide such easy access.
I have one complaint, which is no longer a concern since it has been fixed by Ron Moak, the owner of Six Moon Designs. Since the pack has torso adjustments, there was a small plastic "c-ring" thing used to attach the shoulder straps to the top of the pack. Previously, these c-rings did a poor job of keeping the straps attached to the pack and I would be constantly reinserting them on the trail. This was a pretty big annoyance. Eventually one of them broke and I contacted Ron who supplied me free of charge with a newer aluminum (or titanium?) attachment ring which has a clasp that ensures the ring will stay attached. Problem solved, excellent customer service. All new packs come with this newer design of course.
At 23 ounces this isn't the lightest frameless pack out there. But considering its durability, load carrying capacity, comfort, and easy access pockets I expect it is certainly one of the best. I highly recommend this pack to anyone, especially to those looking to transition from an internal frame pack.