Rated 3 out of 5 by Traeger Good travel/book bag, but not really for hiking
My wife and I have these packs, purchased with the intent to use them for hiking and short overnight backpacking. Until recently we only had the opportunity to use them a couple of times for car travel, as luggage, and for that purpose they're fine - easy to organize, good volume for short trips, sturdy, comfortable to carry from the car to the hotel, or through town to shop. It would also make a good book bag for a student.
For hiking or light backpacking, however, the pack carries a bit awkwardly. The fairly boxy main pack body allows weight to fall away from your back, and the outside pockets, which are tempting to use because they're so convenient, further distribute the weight away from your center of gravity. Coupled with a lack of load lifters on the straps, it's difficult to get a comfortable, balanced carry for long hikes. It rides more low and away, rather than high and close. (Some people might prefer that, but for hiking we don't.)
If the main pack body were taller and less deep front-to-back, and/or if the straps had load lifters, it would serve much better as a dual purpose backpack. As it is, I would recommend it for in-town carry and motorized travel.
Two more minor suggestions: 1) The pack is nicely lined with a smooth nylon, but it's a dark gray color that makes it a little harder to find things - a lighter color liner would help. 2) Like others have mentioned in reviews, the lightweight drawstring at the main opening has a tough time closing the heavy duty Cordura nylon - a heavier drawstring would help, or a lighter nylon sleeve at the opening. These shouldn't stop you from buying, though, as long as the intended use is appropriate.
May 22, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Burbswalker Great everyday pack
Got this pack around Black Friday last year mainly for quick trips to the store. At first, I was pleased with some features (simplicity, ruggedness, comfort/fit, basic hiking pack features most book bags don't have such as sternum strap and waist belt) and not so sure about side pockets and capacity of main compartment. I was used to being able to get things out and back in mesh side pockets without ever breaking stride, so covered pockets with cord and buckle seemed awkward. But with increased use I've found I can do all I could before, and my stuff is safer. The laptop sleeve takes a chunk out of the main compartment because it isn't just a nylon slot pocket as some packs have, but a genuine, well-padded protective sleeve. I considered cutting it out to have more capacity, but decided to leave it alone for now- I sometimes use laptop sleeves for ice sheets on yucky days when both temperature and humidity are in the 90's!. And again, the more I use it, the more I find it holds all I need. It weighs about a pound more than the description says, but for me it carries weight really well. Bonus feature not mentioned in description: side pockets are attached on sides only, so you can slide a walking pole or cane behind the pocket and secure it with the lashing strap attached above. Thanks to Tania R from customer service who not only answered my question, but did so promptly enough I was able to take advantage of a % off offer.
May 12, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by NearAncientHiker Old School Updated
I love this pack! Comfortable to wear, old style look with just the right room for meals & gear for all day hikes, climbs & mountain bike rides! Seems rugged enough to handle those Adirondack trees & rocks.
April 29, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Grammywithfour Built to Last
I use mine as a day pack strapped to the sissy bar of my motorcycle.
It is both attractive and functional and holds my lunch box, rain gear, jacket, gloves, cell phone, sunglasses and case, lap top with room to spare. The pockets close securely with pull cords and velcro so there is no chance anything will be left behind. Durable and functional like Bean is famous for. Recommend with no reservations.
April 23, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by SeattleSunburn Awesome Bag
This backpack is perfect for stuffing all the necessities inside for a day hike, along with a few misc things in the side pockets, (which are pretty big and can fit a lot themselves.) Great for a day hike, or as your primary bag for a camping trip. Lives up to L.L. Bean's reputation for being "build to last."
March 17, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by HeyThereFriend Fantastic Pack!
I have one version older of this pack (without the laptop/hydration pocket), and let me tell you it's the best pack I've owned. I've had it for a little over three years, and it's gotten me through a lot.
How much? Well, lets see. It survived my two summers as a camp counselor, where I carried it every day for 7 weeks, sometimes 8+ hours a day. Several overnight trips to many places (where it had to hold a change of clothes, shoes, and often dress clothes and my laptop or tablet). It's handled approximately 10 plane trips to various locations with absolute class and grace, and was comfortable to carry through large airports and on public transportation, and also wasn't as much of a pain at security checkpoints as many of my other packs have been. It's been on two different roadtrips, on the latest of which I packed 9 days work of clothing in this pack (4 pairs of jeans, a pair of basketball shorts, flannel sleep pants, thermal running tights, 9 T-shirts, two flannels, a hooded sweatshirt, and a henley, plus underwear, socks, and hygiene stuff... enough for 9 days). It's handled all of my gear on several long day- and two-day hikes. And through it all, I have not had any problems jamming it full of clothing, gear, or whatever else I've needed to put in it.
The only reason I'm getting this new version is because my girlfriend's school backpack recently kicked the bucket, and I'm giving her the old one to haul her college textbooks back and forth. So I get a new one, and the old one gets handed down, because it's that good of a pack.
Overall, if you're looking for a good pack to use in literally any situation, this is the one you want. It's comfortable, durable as heck, and it really does go the distance (and then some).
March 17, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by kenosky Great backpack!
Because this bag has only one, big, main compartment, one front pocket with no "utility" (no pen/pencil holders, and so on) and two larger side pockets, I was a bit hesitant to purchase this bag. However, after owning it for one year now I have to say this is perhaps the best backpack I have owned and use it for both travel and grad school.
The shoulder straps are quite comfy and this back wears easily even when fully loaded and heavy. The sternum and waist straps certainly help, but I find I can carry a heavy load without their use. There is so much room in this bag and honestly I do not see myself using anything else for my daily needs. The side pockets are also large enough to completely house my Thermos on one side and a water bottle on the other. I have also used the "ski pole holders" that are in-between the side pockets and main compartment to house a full-length Mag-Lite while out camping on one side and a small hatchet in the other.
Overall, such a great backpack that I highly recommend.
March 11, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Grugs Utilitarian
This is my second Continental Rucksack. The first, after 30 plus years of hard use, gave up the ghost. It was used as a day pack and to haul various equipment; skiing, fishing and traveling. The old one was very durable and I look forward to many more years use with the latest version. It is comfortable, light weight, well constructed and the pocket sizes suit my purposes very well. When LLBEAN puts their name on it, it will last!
March 10, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Joseph1969 Really Awesome Rucksack
I purchased this Rucksack to replace a smaller one. The LL Bean continental Rucksack was perfect. I use it on my overnight stays for work, So far I've been able to pack enough clothes for an overnight run, 4 - 16 oz bottles of water, 16 oz container of peanuts for a snack , package of oatmeal and a shaving kit... all fits in the main compartment. I can also fit a 16 oz canteen for hot water in one outside pocket along with any other various small items in the other two pockets. Its well built and I look forward to using it for years to come for recreational or work purposes.
March 4, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Dusty403 Rucksack comfortable for anyone 6' tall and under
This is a well made rucksack that I would recommend to anyone 6' and under in height. The shoulder straps are well padded and the back portion of the pack is as well. There is a waist band that keeps the pack close to the body. The compartments are easy to access and the material the pack is made of is good quality and will hold up to just about any abuse in the field or on travel in a car, etc. Unfortunately I'm over 6'4" tall and the rucksack did not sit well on my back. However, that said if I was shorter in statue I'd buy this in a NY minute.
February 26, 2015