Rated 5 out of 5 by TommyHummingbird Highest rating possible, I Love This Pack!
Alright, I almost never review gear or books, but in this case I just gotta. I bought on of these about 20 years ago, maybe more, and have used it constantly since then. It carried probably 40 pounds of sharp-cornered books as I worked my way through two forestry degrees. It's been my luggage when I traveled. I've taken it hunting and camping many times. I've been a naturalist for several years now, and this pack is my constant companion in the woods, carrying food, water, huge 1st aid kit and a great big wad of naturalist gear and props. I throw it, drop it, pile stuff on it, lean against it, and lay on it, and basically drag it through the mud and dirt.
I love the simplicity and the euro-mountaineer styling. I love the large plain compartment, and the unobtrusive loden color. I love the nice padded back. Padded but plain. It can expand to hold all I need and only weights a pound and a half.
Finally, after over two decades of honest service, it's beginning to give up. Some buckles have broken, I can see through some of the fabric, and some of the urethane has come off. Yet it is still as workable as the day I got it. That's ok. I'm a bit worse for the wear after all those miles myself.
For about $3.50 per year, haha! What a great deal.
Imagine how happy I am to find that LL Bean still sells this pack! And updated, too. Spindrift collars on the side pouches, laptop/hydration compartment, and ergonomic shoulder straps. At about the same price I paid 20 years ago, if memory serves. Accounting for the time value of money, that's gone down in price.
I can't wait to get a replacement for Old Faithful.
September 15, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Thwain Good All-around Rucksack
The Continental Rucksack gives more capacity and utility at a better price than comparable bags I have seen where I live in Switzerland. I purchased this rucksack to use as an everyday pack. I use it for carrying groceries, hiking, work and travel. The main compartment is big enough to use for weekend travel or an all day hike. The side and front pockets are completely external to the main compartment, so items in outer pockets do not intrude into the main load. The side pockets are big enough to easily hold a 24 oz cycling water bottle. The front pocket is big enough to hold a first-aid kit, small camera, sun glasses and more. The design of the pack allows hiking poles, or an umbrella to slide behind the side pockets and be securely attacked to the pack with a strap. A blanket or small tent can be attached to the top of the pack with the provided straps. A very nice feature is that the hip belt is actually functional. I am over 6 feet tall, and the hip belt sits in the correct place and can take the load off my shoulders to make hiking with a load comfortable. I have only two minor complaints. First, it would be nice if the extra padding added in the main compartment to protect a laptop could be removed. It takes up space that could be better used and tends to make the bag tip over when set down on the ground. The other problem is that the draw string does not completely close the main compartment. The side pockets have draw strings on a softer nylon material at the top of the pocket that allow complete closure. The main compartment has the drawstring in the tougher and stiffer outer material. The top flap completely covers the main compartment, but it would be nice to make sure nothing can fall out, especially given the bags propensity to tip over when set down. The only other thing I would recommend is a rain cover since the bag is not waterproof.
August 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Bob32 A classic!
I still have my Continental Rucksack from the college days (~1985) and still use it! Did get a new one a few years ago, love the updated features, but classic style. Getting one today for my daughter to take away to her first year of college. LOVE this bag!
July 17, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by SflickPix Rucksack Meets My Needs
Just exchanged an old campus bag for this newer version. Wow, LLBean took back a pack purchased around 1995 and gave me 39.00 towards this pack. I originally purchased the smaller S Rucksack and the cost to me was only $6.00 with the exchange. But, I had too much stuff to put into the pack for my 4 day road trip and decided the trip back to the Freehold NJ store from SI was worth the trip. I spent the extra dollars to purchase this version, and so glad I did.
This one fits both my husband and I fine, and plan on another 20 years of use.
So, for now on, I only plan on using LLBean for my packs and outdoor gear. Customer service is great at the Freehold store.
July 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by FormerCountyBoy Continental Ruck
I got this for Father?s Day yesterday and immediately took the kids to test it out. There is tons of space and just enough pockets to not have to open ten of them before you find what you were looking for. The pack rides high enough and if you?re broad through the shoulders it won?t restrict your movement. The carry handle on top is big enough to easily slip your wrist into if your trying to grab something but do not want to stop moving.
All the materials are tough and I expect it will take a beating for some time. The zippers were slightly stiff but hopefully they?ll break in quickly. If I were just packing for myself this would hold all the essentials for me for a two day trek.
The price was right and I linked it to four of my friends this morning who are pretty discerning buyers.
June 16, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gajowy Great Hunting and Hiking pack
I bought it in loden (green) with the intention to use it for hunting and family hiking trips. It works well for both. Green is not camo, but I don't care as most big game are color blind anyway, you can go to the forest in pink and they will not see the difference. lots of room for my hunting gear and when with wife and kids I can carry all stuff they need for a day trip.
Very durable fabric that will resist thick bushes and rain.
Typical LL-bean quality.
The only concern I have is that the drawstring that cinches the top is limited by the thickness of the fabric and can only close the main compartment 60-70 %. This is important as the top lid has to be perfectly aligned if you want to keep rain from leaking in. Also if the pack sits on the ground and tips, if you have loose items there is a chance they may fell off. Those few inches would make it a bit more water resistant and more secure.
May 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by textilequeen Initial test was passed
it turned out to be more bag than I thought. First I had to see what I really had so I stuffed it with towels, a couple of bath towels in the main section and then smaller stuff in all the outer pockets. Then I put it on and walked around the house for awhile. It felt comfortable, nothing cut or bound. A good sign. Next I took out the towels and packed it with items from my pantry. Note to self; you don't want to fill it with canned goods on a shopping trek to the local market; It's heavy then. But a mixed bag of perhaps not so many cans and bottles of stuff plus the mail and it works. I can walk the mile home without wishing someone would stop and offer me a ride. And I love that deep rusty color. Next test will be to see how many days I can spend at some destination by packing for a typical trip. That means packing 2 pairs of jeans, 5 tee shirts, sleep wear and undies plus another pair of shoes...maybe a skirt for dressing up. With my waist pack as item two, it becomes hands free travel. Besides, the bag is a gorgeous color that works with most of my jackets. The outer pockets are killer; my kindle will fit in the front one along with whatever else to pad it, the quart baggie for security at airports will go into one of the side pockets and who knows what I'll put in the other side. Since the bag is light, getting it into the overhead rack will be easy. Now what I need to find is one fine luggage tag that really expresses the inner me and coordinates with that particular gorgeous shade of orange. Did I say I liked the color?
May 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Number1Professor Rucksack
I really like the color and texture of this rucksack. My wife and I both bought one however we have not used them yet for we bought them for a tour of the U.K. and needed a storage item without wheels which would fit in the overhead storage area of the tour bus. They are the right size and shape for overhead storage and carrying the items we need when not on the bus.
May 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by 93238joe rucksacks like they used to make
The kind of rucksack they made forty years ago.
It seem that we reinvent all of our gear every twenty or thirty years, I am glad that I lasted long enough to see the rucksack reinvented
May 7, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by vintagegearlover Great but with reservations
It is perfect size for a day in Colorado, well made and most importantly, configured with real pockets and usable space. It is rather retro, not one of the new, fad packs with no pockets and curves and such.
Now for the downside. I rather expected the top flap to have a pocket but it did not. Not a biggy as it already had three outside pockets.
The side pockets are not big enough for a Nalgene water bottle. That is really disappointing as I don't use hydration systems. It seems stupid to sit for a break but have to drag your pack around if you want a drink. Just use a water bottle or canteen. One other small thing. The drawstring that cinches the top is limited by the thickness of the fabric and can only draw a few inches. This is important as the lid has to be perfectly aligned if you want to keep rain from leaking in. Those few inches make it a bit more water resistant.
April 9, 2014