Rated 4 out of 5 by Wuxtry Solid day pack w/3-day capability
I bought this a few years back when most of my hikes were day-trips with the occasional overnighter and it has performed very well. Recently I used it on a 3-day August backpacking trip in the White Mountains and while I may have been pushing its limits, it still worked out. I was able to carry my portion of our 4-man UL tent, along with a sleeping bag, a few pieces of warmer clothing, hydration reservoir and food. The shoulder straps and belt don't have a lot of padding but I still found the load manageable. And I love the trampoline design that allows my back to stay dry. My biggest complain is that I cannot cinch the hip belt tighter. I have a 32 inch waist and cinching the belt to its tightest setting is barely enough to carry the majority of the load on my hips. I actually started out with the large and returned it two years later (God bless you, LL Bean) to see if the medium would be better. It is, but it would be nicer if I could cinch the belt just a little more. The "load lifter" straps really serve no purpose because of how close they are to the top of the shoulder straps but since I don't carry a lot of weight at the top of the pack, this hasn't been a problem. Also, while others have talked about squeakiness, I haven't experienced that. It is an amazingly flexible pack and perfect for someone who cannot afford, or doesn't want to have, two or more packs for short and long trips.
August 22, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by mrbrooktrout Nice pack, poor fit
I have used this pack on two trips and I really like the features and the volume. Unfortunately, the waist belt is simply too long for a proper fit. Even cinching the waist belt to its tightest setting does not allow the pack to sit on my hips. The pack slides down and I end up bearing most of the weight on my shoulders. I have a 30 inch waist and purchased the large. I plan to return the pack and look elsewhere for a better fitting pack with similar features.
July 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by peregrino AT 35 Backpack
this is my second LLBean backpack. I brought the blue one on sale!. My first one is from 2003, green color, and with a similar capacity. I have used it extensively in Spain - el Camino and have gone there over 15 times. One back back vs 7 pairs of boots..
I like this backpack. It has front loading capacity which is what I was looking for. It also has a similar amount of space ~ 2,300 cu/in. the straps are well placed, the side compartments for water bottles are there, and lo a behold 2 separate pocket size compartment on the waist strap for the cell phone or small flashlight. The size is ideal. I may spend 4 weeks at el camino, but I wash clothes every day, and they dry out fast. Most of my equipment and clothing is LLBean.
LLBean backpacks are well constructed, of durable materials, lightweight, and comfortable. I have not tested the suspension systems - aluminum frame , but I am sure it will work out fine. Looking forward to using my new backpack on my next trip.
July 17, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by ContrarianView Poorly designed, big outside, small inside
I bought the large size because I need capacity. This is the first Bean product that ever thoroughly disappointed me. The frame has far too much dish. While this provides a large air space for cooling the back, it also makes the pack small on the inside, and the sharply curved back is awkward for packing larger items or anything long. The inside of the pack is much shallower than it looks in the picture. Also, the bladder sleeve is so tight that I don't think I could get a bladder into it.
With a better-designed frame, the pack could have a capacity of 45 liters and would be much more practical. As it is, it barely fits a change of clothing and a little food.. It's ok as a day pack, but it wouldn't work for even a weekend trip for me.
February 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Edmeister Great carry on & Alaska day pay
I took this pack as my carry on for an Alaska trip, planes, trains, & a cruise, excellent pack, very versatile & fits in airline overhead storage, made a great day pack for cruise excursions & was excellent for a three day side trip to Denali with the basics , very comfortable and the large version can hold a surprising amount of gear.
November 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by YWURY Functional modern pack
I broke this pack in on a 12 day trip though Portugal and Spain. It performed great and I recommend it. The frame can make you feel you're loosing space, but the capacity remains true. The pack width can be considered narrow but was overcome simply by changing how I placed items in the pack which resulted in a balanced ride without thinking about it. The ride was level, smooth, and comfortable. Features were functional and easy to figure out.
October 4, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5
by BCFisherman Great pack that kept me cool
I had flown with this a few times and used it as a carry on. It worked great, but yesterday I had the chance to test it in the mountains. I hiked up a mountain in the heat yesterday with a full pack and I was surprised! My back wasn't sweaty from the pack at all! The air flow system this pack has works great! I am 6'2 and 220lbs and ordered the Medium. I ordered this size because it meets the carry on requirements for flying. If I didn't need it t fly, I feel strongly that others my size would want to order the large pack for sure. The pockets on the waist strap were great for my camera and GPS. Bottom line, if you need a pack for a long day hike, or one overnight, this is the one hands down.
August 4, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by emsch not for me
Others may like this pack; I didn't. I returned it after one use. The profusion of straps and buckles was confusing. The feature of having the pack off one's back sounds good, but this means that volume inside the pack has to be sacrificed.
May 8, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Nancela67 Uncomfortable When Wearing Light Layers
I am a 5ft 6in ex-gymnast and swimmer. While I am female, I find men's packs fit me better. I tried this pack on in the store and the medium fit me perfectly.
It is a well made pack and has all of the features I desire in a large daypack. I bought it mostly for winter hiking and backcountry skiing. There is one problem that is nearly a deal breaker for me. The upper compression straps are attached such that the buckles are in the back of the back. Not just at the back but in a parallel plane to the back panel. They're hard and they protrude. When I went XC skiing, I was wearing a light shell (summerweight rain jacket) over a 100-weight fleece and midweight baselayer. The pack felt fine, was light weight and very easy to carry. However, I get hot when I ski. When I removed my shell, I found that the buckles on the back of the pack rubbed painfully against my scapulae. No matter how I attempted to adjust the pack, this continued and was very uncomfortable. Although the shell I was wearing was light, I think the hood hanging down the back had cushioned me from the buckles.
I have since taken the pack on a short winter hiking trip. When hiking, I didn't notice the buckle issue, perhaps because I was wearing a slightly heavier layer or perhaps because I was not skiing, so my posture was different and there was much less upper body movement.
I have decided to keep the pack since I intended it for winter use and most of the time my layers will prevent discomfort, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone because of the buckle issue. I noticed one other review from someone who said that the stays rubbed his shoulders, but perhaps it was actually the buckles?
February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by TJ54 Great Pack for the Price.
I really like this pack a lot. Offers a lot of great features normally found only on more expensive packs. Organization and access are very easy and the storage area is more than adequate for day or overnight hiking. Adjusting for fit is simple and the pack is very comfortable to carry. I looked at a lot of packs before purchasing and am glad I chose this one.
January 2, 2013