Rating: 5 / 5
I got my Back Magic on sale, and I think it was because the pack was being discontinued. The one-of-a-kind nylon truss that connects the hip belt to the frame intrigued me. I've never regreted the purchase and I've not replaced the pack with anything more modern in the ensuing 20+ years.
I've carried ungodly 70+ lb loads with the thing on several multi-day trips into the Wind River Range, encluding an 8 day summit of Gannett Peak. The pack was good for such work, and unbelievably never called attention to itself. Get that - no discomfort with a 70 lb load.
It comes from a time when shoulder straps were straight (replaced), and water bladders hadn't been invented (a little needle and thread work solves that). It doesn't compress for smaller loads as well as more modern packs, and the aluminum frame makes it a bit heavier than modern internal frame packs. But the aluminum frame makes gives unparelled ventilation between your back and the pack, and the ability to carry heavy loads is without peer.
I've got an Osprey Stratos 24 for the kind of day assaults you get with Colorado 14ers, so I understand the advantages of modern packs well. But for the long or heavy trip, my old Back Magic dinosaur is the best tool going.