Rating: 4 / 5
I bought that 45L model a couple months ago, and have used it on a few day trips so far. It is unlike any pack I have tried before.. or more correctly, it is like MANY packs I have tried before, but with all the best features I want consolidated into one great lightweight pack.
I could write an essay about this pack; but Im not sure how much you or other readers want to know; so here are some key points..
Direct your attention to the chart below; I made it while researching my purchase. It summarizes the volume to weight ratios of several popular packs, Black Diamond, Cilogear, REI, and a GraniteGear. High volume with low weight is of course favorable, assuming a certain comfort level is maintained. I either own or tested these packs, and find them roughly equivalent in comfort. Therefore, comparing this density number is valid. I added 5 liters capacity to each pack for the analysis, to account for using some of the extension collar capacity (except the REI which does not have one).
1/2 stripped means 1/2 the removable weight has been removed, maybe the lid and a couple straps, or the belt and a couple straps; it's the average of full-up and fully-stripped weights.
I used the 'average' of the other three numbers for my own comparison since I will be using the pack full-up to base camp, stripped to summmits, and 1/2 stripped on trips to the crag.
The pack you are considering, the 60L Cilogear has the highest volume/weight ratios; far above these competitors
Another great feature of Cilogear packs are the removable straps. I hate strappy packs. I prefer to carry most everything inside the pack, and keep a snag-free and clean pack surface. with Cilogear you can remove all external cargo straps except two short ones wich can be rolled and taped.
I could go more into the use of straps but suffice to say you can configure them to compress or carry most anything. I just use 2 up top to connect the load lifter attachment points to the outside front middle of the pack, so actuating the load lifters pulls and compresses the upper 1/2 of the pack.. can't do that with any other pack I know of. Many combinations like that are possible.
Another nice feature is the removable framesheet/stay and pad. the included pad folds open to short torso size, or the sleeve can accomodate a GossmaerGear Thinlight or a Torsolite section(my choice). The conventional aluminum stay can be removed to use only the plastic framesheet, a-la GraniteGear. For alpine use, keep only a 90g pad to protect your back and remove the framesheet/stay for the summit attempt.
Waist strap and belts are comfortable enough. Not as good as the Black Diamond or Granite gear.
Sewing is done by a human on a sewing machine in Turkey; packs come with all threads un-finished (loose ends dangling), take a lighter and melt these.
I'll stop here; if anyone is actually reading this and wants to know more, watch for my BPL review.
I give this 4 stars overall to encourage new features such as a side panel loading zipper.
Bottom line; this is a great pack for someone who will take the time to configure it for your body and particular trip.
Ill replace these with pics of mine when I get home..
no lid, and lid..