1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well thought out design,
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This review is from: Mountainsmith Approach 35 Recycled Camera Bag (Sports)
The approach 35 appears to be discontinued from Mountainsmith. However, this should not discourage anyone from considering this pack. The clamshell design of the main compartment is one of the best designs I have encountered. You can open the bag all the way up if needed to get to items on the bottom. Or just peel back the top (without undoing the side straps) for quick access to most of the bag. The separate smaller compartment and mesh panel pocket offer a lot of room and expansion to an already large pack. The smaller compartments on the back of the pack offer outstanding organizational mesh pockets, key fob loop, and are colored bright yellow to make finding gear easier. There is a small pocked on the waist belt, but its not useful for anything more than lip balm or a credit card. The side mesh pouch can't really hold a water bottle either because of how its angled. It is good for storing snacks or small items you might regularly reach for on the trail. The elastic pocket on the opposite side of the pack from the mesh pocket is good for small flat items like maps or energy bars. The larger side pockets help my one liter Nalgene bottles comfortably and could probably accommodate things like Camera lenses, small tarps, hammocks, or anything up to the size of a rolled up newspaper. The trekking pole straps do their job and hold secure through hauling the pack around a campsite or into or out of a car.
The fit works well for me (6'0" 165 lbs). The pack rests comfortably on my hips and I tend to let the shoulder straps stay slack and only tighten them up when moving fast. I hiked for a week in Yosemite in temperatures in the high 80s / low 90s with lots of humidity and never felt like this pack lead to excessive sweating along my back.
This pack seems primarily designed to work as a long day pack or travel pack. I feel it can easily handle an overnight backpacking trip (and plan to test this out). The straps on the bottom can accomodate a tent. The main compartment should be able to handle any sleeping bag you can pack down to 10 liters or so. And That would still leave plenty of room for a bladder, food, a set of spare clothes, and a camera. Multi-day trips would be difficult though as the big issue would be accommodating all the food you would need without overloading the suspension on the pack.
Overall this pack fills a specific niche in my collection as a long day hike pack, or quick and easy overnight pack. I could see using this for travel as well and would be comfortable doing so.