First and foremost, let it be stated, we used and abused these packs. And they took it – in flying colors. There is little visible wear after a summer of pretty constant portaging, loading and unloading of canoes, sunshine, pouring rain, and, on the odd occasion, complete submersion in a rapid.
The many adjustable side and cover straps allowed us to fill the packs to the max, past a recommended carrying weight. They cinched down well as we ate through food and accommodated whatever we threw at them. The straps attached with buckles, which permitted further additions to the pack externally. And not one buckle broke, which surprised me.
The waist and chest straps distributed the weight of the pack across and around the body more evenly. This is a feature I’d experienced on hiking backpacks, but not yet on traditional canoe packs. Very much appreciated, as canoe packs are generally loaded heavier than backpacks. Though canoe packs are usually intended to be portaged over the shortest possible, we started our journey with the 8.5 mile Grand Portage, so I voice great thanks for the added support.
The accessible and sturdy lift handles made loading and unloading the canoes and throwing the packs up for portaging much easier than the regular grasping of the cover corners.
In summary, these are solid packs. Well made. Well engineered. I would recommend anyone thinking about an expedition canoe trip or even a once-a-year-wilderness warrior to seriously consider investing in one of these packs.
- Will Tanner, Voyageur Hudson Bay Expedition
I have only had one strap start to rip out, and my local shoe guy stitched it up for me for $6. The external side pockets are great for all sorts of gear: poles, saws, axes, etc... I double line my pack with construction grade garbage bags rolling down the opening, and nothing has ever got wet.
I love this pack. It isn't huge, but all my personal gear fits in it well. The hip belt helps on the portages. All sorts of nice adjustments on the shoulder straps too. D-rings help in being able to clip on gear for hand-free portages. I have no complaints about this bag, and I will not hesitate to purchase another if the need arises.