Rating: 4 / 5
First impression: WOW, this thing is light!
My G5 came with drawcord already in the extension collar and loops sewn on for installing a compression system. I installed the foam pads in the shoulder straps (kind of a hassle to do)and the waist belt, filled the pack with garbage bags full of shredded paper and inserted my foam pad (3/8" blue foam K-Mart pad, 20" wide, cut and taped together in 4-11" sections) in the holder. I initially found that the 4" shoulder straps were uncomfortable as they rubbed on my neck and the inside of my biceps due to the straight design of the straps. Hip belt fit comfortably and the pack fit my back nicely. Sleeping pad kept the top of the shoulder straps up off my shoulders (almost like load lifters) which I found to be quite comfortable.
I tried this pack out this weekend with 25 lbs on a quick 4 mile hike and was quite impressed. The shoulder straps didn't really bother me as much as I thought they would and the pack carried the weight without a problem. I will be using this pack on a 5 day trip the middle of this month and will add comments after the trip.
I used my 100 oz camleback bladder 2/3 full inserted between the pack and sleeping pad as I had read suggested somewhere and it fit great, no discomfort. I did find though that the condensation from the cold water began running down thru the mesh onto the back of my shorts, creating a somewhat uncomfortable feeling.
Giving a rating of 4 for now until I see if the shoulder straps will drive me crazy or not on a 10 mile day.
I have been out twice this summer with the G5, a 2 day 12 mile trip and a 4 day 32 mile trip. Max pack weight was about 23 lbs. I am really impressed with the pack, carried very comfortably, even whe the pack wasn't completely full, although there is more strain on the shoulders with less than a full load.
I had one small tear on the shoulder strap where the bottom of the sternum strap daisy chain is sewn to the strap due to a sewing defect and a small tear in one layer of fabric on the hip belt where it attaches to the pack. Fixed both with silicone and they seem to be holding up. I have sealed all the seams with silicone in hopes that it will prevent these little tears.
I think the shoulder straps and hip belt should be made of the rip stop nylon due to its durability over the spinnaker.Weight gain would probably be negligable.
The lack of absorption of sweat between your back and the sleeping pad gets uncomfortable after awhile as the back of my shorts were soaked but this can be remedied by tucking a small piece of terry towel in the waist band of your shorts.
The pack has plenty of space for my gear even with leaving my sleeping bag fluffed up.
Pack material was very noisy at first but quieted down and softened up very quickly.
Overall, a great pack.