Rated 2 out of 5 by LeotheTrumpetPlayer Cool Look, Great Idea, Needs Some Work
I bought one of these rucksacks 5 years ago, before I started college. I had admired it in the catalog for over a year and finally decided to splurge and get one. In retrospect, I wish I had returned it. When I took it out of the package, I liked it, until I took a look at the shoulder straps. They were thin and flimsy looking. However, I am an LLBean believer, so I assumed that looks would be deceiving. Unfortunately they weren't. I used the rucksack for 1 year before shoving it in a box and digging out my old, cheap high school backpack. Here are the problems I encountered.
1.) The shoulder straps ARE thin and flimsy they curl and bite into my shoulders with my average daily load (~15 lbs of books, laptop, lunch, etc.).
2.) The frame sheet is too stiff and too wide at the top. The idea of a frame sheet in a bag of this style is great, but the execution is poor. The frame sheet gives the pack almost too much structure, always sticking up 6 inches above the other things in my bag, giving it a strange, boxy shape and reducing how much I can cram into the bag.
3.) The mesh on the back panel is really abrasive. It is so abrasive in fact, that only a few months of use did serious damage to the back of my favorite soft-shell jacket.
4.) The hip belt is not removable. It probably should be. While it does stow away in an aesthetically pleasing way, it results in a big, uncomfortable lump at the base of my spine.
5.) The leather strapping is terrible. In under 9 months of use, almost every strap became extremely frayed, with long thin threads dangling everywhere. Also, the straps for the main compartment cover do not have enough holes. The result is that the cover is never tight, allowing it to flap in the wind and get your contents wet.
6.) The flaps for the pockets are not big enough. The flap for the large front pocket is too small to cover the zipper. It looks ugly and allows rain to penetrate the zipper. The covers for the side pockets are too small to cover the pockets unless they are completely full. If the side pockets are only partially full, they sag open, allowing the contents to fall out and/or get wet.
In my humble opinion, this product should go back to the drawing board. The shoulder straps should be beefed up and reinforced. The frame sheet should be reshaped and narrowed at the top. The pocket lids should be larger. The "leather" strapping needs to be made of higher quality material.
On the plus side, the waxed canvas is very weather resistant and looks great. Also, the pebbled leather bottom is extremely durable.
A month ago, I found this rucksack in a box. I forgot why I had stopped using it, and seduced by its visual appeal, started using it again. It didn't take long to remember why I stopped using it. I would not recommend this product to anyone unless it was drastically redesigned. It looks great, but just isn't functional enough to suit my needs. This product has been one of my very few disappointments from LLBean.
January 26, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by LongIslandNYLovesLLBean Waxed Cotton Continental Rucksack
This is a nice looking rucksack with well-made shearling straps, but, for the price of $149.00, the compliments stop there. The material looked better than it turned out to be. For that kind of money, the material should have been a lot more substantial. The protective wax coating was superficial and I simply lacked confidence that the product would be able to withstand heavy rain, so I sent it back. Too bad. Frankly, I expected more from L.L. Bean.
January 24, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by metrojethro canvas rucksack
I really like the looks. I thought the canvas would be a bit heavier, we will see how it holds up in the field. I would like to see a larger size offered.
January 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by sjogran All the ruck you can ask for!
Needed something to carry all my hunting and non-hunting "ruck" out to the field with me. Plenty of pockets and a huge opening secured by flap and draw-chord. Nice leather and waxed cotton got really wet first weekend I used it and dried nicely. More room than you'll ever need if you ask me. The buckles make the thing look legit although if you need immediate access you'll find yourself leaving them loose. Recommended for those who need a central place in their pack to dump various items. Front pocket is nice and has zippered protection and mesh inner pocket for organization.
January 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Marpercy Smart, very smart!
Practical, handsome, rugged, the perfect backpack for a slightly more sophisticated yet useful look. Fits and carries nicely with space for lots of gear.
December 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Larry1959 Nice pack
I bought this pack because I loved the rugged look. It's a great pack with lots of room and carries well. I would rate this a pack a 4.5 for only one reason - the buckles on the pockets. The very reason I bought the pack is the biggest detractor. The buckles look great but are cumbersome to use.
November 10, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jeff12 Simple means versatile in this one.
I use this pack daily for hauling my laptop and files for work during the week and as my photography backpack on the weekends. It's versatile enough to handle both. The seams appear double stitched and the wax canvas is quite thick. I have not experienced quality issues as described in other reviews. The loops above each side pocket are unexpectedly handy for umbrellas and small camera tripods. Although the main compartment of the bag is simply empty with no dividers, pockets have netting and zippers for loose items. It's a good idea to find a folio or second insert for a laptop as this pack does not have a laptop sleeve, but that wide open main compartment is what let's this pack be multifunctional.
November 6, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by KRonald chep material
The canvas body of the bag is really thin. The canvas has torn at all of the areas where the leather attaches to it. This was very frustrating because the of the price of the bag and the damage happening from casual use with one month.
October 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Lhanna Great Backpack
Adorable, comfortable, sturdy. Not enough pockets on the inside but overall very good product.
October 2, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Delving Love the firm back
As many reviewers have pointed out, this is an excellent overall bag. One thing I haven't seen many mention - but is very important to me - is the firm back. This bag really holds its shape when you pack it, sits up nice when you set it on a rock to dig through it, and doesn't allow the stuff inside to smoosh into your back. I've loaded mine up with king boletes and they came through fine, where a soft back rucksack would have allowed them to smash into my back. Excellent features and terrific durability. Plus, it looks just outstanding - like something Doc Watson would have wore while traipsing across the moors.
September 12, 2013