I've been looking for the perfect backpack for years now. I do a lot of hiking 5-8 miles per day. But I could never find exactly what I was looking for. I own 6 packs and they are all good for different trips, but none are perfect for a 3/4 day trip in the woods. My 50l is way too big. Great for winter camping but just too much pack for the fall. I have a summer pack 30l but it is packed so tight i can't even add a toothpick to it.Finally my Mardingtop Tac arrived in the mail and I have it packed and ready to go for my October 4 dayer coming up.This pack is amazing. I always get caught up between lightweight and practical. I like pockets and pouches and all the ultra light packs have one giant pouch to shove all your gear in. Blah! Nothing worse then digging in your big pack for 10-15 min trying to find your Chapstick that fell to the bottom of your bag because some designer thinks lightweight is better. Finally I have a light pack that is big enough to fit all my gear and it has pockets... 8 pockets and pouches to be exact plus the giant pouch for my bigger gear like hammock, tarp, sleeping bag and under quilt. I guesstimate this bag being about a 40l pack with molle. Yes molle! So I added a water bottle pouch and my big kukuri knife to the outside of the bag. The pack empty is about 2.5 lbs. and fully loaded I am at 27lbs for a cool autumn hike. Perfect!!! Now I can have a lightweight pack with pockets and a method to add extra pouches if needed. I truly am a happy hiker.
UPDATE: I've had this pack a year now on many strenuous Colorado hikes. This is my hunting pack - I go WAY off the usual trails, often working through dense brush and over and around fallen timber. This pack takes a lot of knocking-around and hasn't shown any sign of fraying, issues with the stitching, etc. I have no doubt it will last many more seasons. My "day pack" is a little overkill - since I hike so far from cell service, trails, etc. and often alone or just with my son, I carry a lot more water, emergency supplies, etc. than most people probably do on day hikes. Last time I weighed out I was pushing 40lbs...Shown here is the pack hung for my next trip, plus some accessories I've found fit well on it. This is one of the few packs I could find that actually has Molle attach points on the BELT, which is very important to me. I have an Admin Pouch and a Storage Pouch that hold my GPS, some quick-access items (a few band-aids, chapstick, screwdrivers, sharpie, knife, flashlight, etc.), windicator, snacks, and so on. The larger of the two pouches is big enough for a turkey box call. This keeps all my "quick access" items close at hand.Shown on the sides are two large "saddle bags". These fit my "wet" weather gear (left side) and my "cold" weather gear (right side). In Colorado the weather can change quickly so this keeps me from having to root around in my bag to find a pair of gloves or raincoat. On one saddlebag I additionally have a large "cell phone holder" that's big enough to hold my battery charger.That's just what's on the outside, saving space inside for clothing, emergency kit, a small folding Coleman "tension" chair, and food. It's a big load, but when you're on your own...My only complaint is that two of the straps have started to squeak, especially when I have it overloaded. A little chapstick helps.This pack easily beats out competitors at four times the price. Highly recommended.--I'm over the moon about this pack. What's not immediately apparent from the pics is a feature I value highly - there are attachment points on the BELT support, coming around to the front. This is incredibly useful for the small items you often want to have handy, but don't want to take off your pack to get. I added a pair of molle-attachment utility pouches, one on each side, and they easily hold all the small items I use regularly while hiking/hunting - turkey call, compass, GPS, cell phone, knife, a few small snacks, etc. The rest of the pack is basically a cavernous stuff-sack, and while I do wish it had one more compartment divider, it works well for the stuff I carry. I also really like the bottom attachment-loop points because the loops are bigger than on a lot of other packs. This makes it easy to lash things onto the bottom of the pack.I wouldn't use this for an Appalachian through-hike, but for 5-10 mile day hikes it's the king, and I'd happily use it on 2-3 day trips as well. Basically, for anything short of wanting a fully framed pack, this is a great choice at a great price.