on September 11, 2010
I purchased the Centennial 30 for use on the hiking trail during day hikes in North Carolina. I found it to be well constructed, carries well, and overall an excellent choice for a 30L backpack. The best feature is the weight at only 2 lbs/6 ozs. one of the lightest for its size. Also the aluminum stiffening rods beat the standard rigid plastic sheet of most designs. What really sets it apart is that it is not a combination school/laptop backpack. Almost every other manufacturer in this size backpack-including Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia-all consider their designs "dual-use" and generally describe them with the words "padded laptop pocket" which really discouraged me. Also, I did not want pen/pencil holders, etc.
All-in-all the Mountainsmith Centennial 30 lives up to it's description as a full featured, trekking, all terrain, technical backpack. And the extension sleeve to increase capacity to 38L is nice too!
on March 26, 2012
This pack is great! I was looking for a day pack, with removable waist strap (for when I'm using it on the plane). I took it on a trip to Juneau, and used it as my carry on in the plane. It fit fine under the seat in front of me, but was not completely full. The water bottle pockets are deep enough to keep my bottle, and my Kindle secure. Then I used it everyday to schlep my stuff to work. My laptop (in a neoprene sleeve) fit inside of it, and all my material for the day.
Downside - beside the water bottle pockets, the only pocket you can access from the outside is the one at the very top (in the pack cover). The grey colored outside front one is covered by the top flap, so you have to open the top flap first, then unbuckle the grey pocket. I guess it does keep the content secure. Also, this front grey pocket is made of a strange stretchy material. Might be good if you were fitting a helmet in it. I wonder how it will wear? It does not seem as durable as the rest of the bag.
I can't wait to take it into the woods! This pack is really great. The color is bright, and cheery. I like the yellow accents on it.