Hoosier EMA/SAR Guy ( Bloomington, IN )
I have used it twice so far. First I had a two-day work trip when the weather was pretty bad. So I had the usual changes of clothes plus cold weather gear, gym gear, etc. Even then, the bag still had room in it. The second was a weekend camping trip for a mock SAR exercise. I switched my 24-hour SAR kit to it and I still had room left in it.
1) This bag is deceptively big. And if you throw on any outside gear (tent strapped to it or via the webbing for instance), it is really getting up there in capacity. But my “2-man” ultralight backpacking tent actually fits inside it with my gear.
2) The interior organization is super flexible. The shoe pockets, adjustable partitions, and clothing strap. I was a little worried about things tumbling around since I didn’t have it 100% full but nothing really moved for the short hauls I had with it. And I do love a mesh pocket where I can see what is in it. Outside pockets are small but good quick access to things like tech chargers, snacks, etc. I love being able to completely unzip it and flip it open like a suitcase (even inside my tent). That makes it super easy to access things that would otherwise be “in the bottom of my pack” and require me to pull everything out. Also better than a standard duffle bag with the “down the middle” zipper. The compartment system is flexible and the dividers are able to lay flat if not needed.
3) It feels well made. I wasn’t worried at any point that I was maxing it out or that it wouldn’t hold up to camping, travel, etc. And despite many zippers sometimes having issues with curved corners, etc. It doesn’t seem to have that problem.
4) Without a frame, the weight might get awkward on long hauls. But for short hauls, the backpack system is more than enough. And it rides fairly well due to the strap locations.
5) It is right on the edge of FAA carry on size. So if it was fully stuffed they might not let you carry it on. But so long as you dont' have it at 110% full, it's a carry-on.
6) The exterior pocket under the handle is a little odd. It's really big but the opening is fairly small. Could be a spot to stuff a sweatshirt but I haven't figured out a good use of it yet.
So far, I feel like the real upside is that it is a backpack, a duffle bag, and a suitcase all in one. But since it is softsided, it doesn't take up much room when laid flat. If you have limited space in your house, apartment, dorm room, this is a great multi-purpose bag that you can also squish under a bed or into a closet. Also works as a second bag inside a larger suitcase, etc.