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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:08 pm 
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After a couple of months of waiting, researching, looking all over the internet and comparing packs side by side, picture by picture and review to review, I finally managed to grab the courage to spend my birthday money (with the approval of my Laddie of Finances, my lovely wife), and buckle up the $200 to purchase a new backpack to replace my old Chinese replica Eagle A-III MOLLE Pack. So, even though it is not my birthday yet, I decided to get the new backpack so I can give it a couple of test runs before taking out for a long hike during my birthday trip, because I did not wanted to find out what was wrong with what ever backpack I decided to get, while I was on the trail or after using it so much that I couldn't return it anymore.
To begging my search, I looked at what I didn't liked about the Eagle A-III design: it has no real framing to speak off. So the pack will sag down on your back, even with a tight fit. You can purchase a plastic frame for it, which I had, but it wasn't that much of a improvement. On long, 15 mile hikes, the shoulder straps would become just too painful to bear, with anything heavier than 10 lbs. The straps themselves had no real padding to speak of. And the hydration pocket wasn't really effective, because what ever water bladder you used, it would sag down over time, sometimes even laying horizontal as there was nothing to hold it straight. And if you wanted to carry papers, maps, pens, or small tool, there was no organization for such things.
But the pack did have features I liked. It is tough, with material that withstood some heavy treatment. Even if the sewing gave in over time and just failed to hold after a year, I knew the pack was above your average day-pack. Also it was my first introduction to the MOLLE system, which I came to love and made me purchase many pouches for it.
But again, it was time for something better.

Image
45270_427741736603_714201603_5502705_5125851_n by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(picture of me with my old Eagle A-III replica)

Also, I know the Eagle A-III's design was conceived on the late 70's, and it has gone through some changes over the years, but over all it still the same pack. And the aging shows.

With so many options out there, I had come down to two choices: Camelbak's Motherlode 500 (updated version of their beloved Motherlode model) or the Trizip ( a combination project with Mystery Ranch)

At first, i decided to purchase the Motherlode 500. I told my self that it was a design I was more familiar with, because panel loader packs are what I have been used to since I can remember. And it seemed to have all the features the Eagle A-III was missing. Organization, dedicated water bladder compartment, actual back padding, and best of all, a true waist belt. So i went ahead and ordered it. I waited a whole week for it to arrive. Once it did, I was exited to start playing with.
It seemed at first that it was meeting all my expectations, and that I could throw anything at it and it wold hold.
But the problem came once I filled the water bladder, and loaded it to the pack's maximum capacity. The water bladder, added with the internal pressure cause by all the gear, made the backpack bubble up, and feel a bit unbalanced. Which it wouldn't be a problem, was it not because the back frame it self would bubble up, making all the padding in it not tough my back, because it was been pushed AWAY from my back, going all to waste. To make matters worst, it had the same basic problem the Eagle A-III did: it will sag down. No weight would be well distributed to my hips, and all the pressure will remain on your shoulders, which i knew I didn't wanted to deal with.
The Camelbak Motherlode is a great day-pack, but nothing more in my opinion. I know it was design for that purpose, so soldiers can carry their daily gear. But with all that space and framing design I though it could take more.
So I returned it.

Image
IMG_6464 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Camelbak Motherlode 500 fully loded)

I kept looking around a bit more for other backpacks, that had the same panel loading design, maybe one of them might not have the sagging problem. But it seemed that the only packs with a frame that could meet my needs would be Mystery Ranch's designed packs. I had to admit, the triple-zipper-design was what I was the most skeptical about. So, after debating it again with my self and my girl, I decided to purchase Camelbak's Trizip. And I buckled up the $200 again, while waiting to get a refund on the Motherlode.

I guess it would be good to mention at this point that the reason I have become do picky with the design on my backpack's framing system and padding, is because I have a bit of an odd body. I know that I have scoliosis, which makes my pack have an extra odd that makes almost no regular measures for torso length work well for me. On top of that I am big chest and naturally thick (not fat), so even though I am a "Medium" size on most things, I am "Extra Small" on packs height. I am bellow the average male height (but who is average this days), at 5'9'', but I am not a small person by any means as you might see on some photos later on. I mention this because this would give you an idea as of how the packs might affect you (or not).


So, after so much waiting I finally got my Trizip.
And I am keeping this pack for ever!

Image
IMG_6522 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Front View)

The first thing you would notice on the pack is the odd zipper design. if you are familiar with Mystery Ranch's packs it might not seem surprising to you. But to anyone who I have shown the pack to, it seems as something out of the ordinary. It is a Y zipper design, consisting of 3 different zippers, all meeting in one point on the higher end of the pack. It is design so you can use it as a "top loader" pack, and also as a "easy to reach" pack. Because all you need to do is unzip the middle zipper, and you have access to your gear in the middle, without having to dig through what ever you have in there. With such a design it is very important to have strong zippers, because there is a possibility that you might burst them open. But Camelbak has used YKK zippers, that are strong, and they can hold their own. Reinforced with the help of two outside straps that can take some pressure away from the zippers themselves, you can lode this backpack pretty much with anything, and it will hold.
On the top part, as with many "top loader" designs, you will find a top pocket, which is meant to hold easy to access gear, such as gloves, cap, first aid, or cellphone and GPS. It works well, but because of the triangular shape it has it might create some odd areas of unused space, that unless you don't notice, you might never get to use. But is not a big deal. Also at the top, right underneath the top pocket's zipper, you will find a second zipper to the water bladder compartment. It is a neatly hidden away compartment that does not compromises on the framing system by bending the frame creating that bubble effect on you back. It fits right behind the Mystery Ranch's frame, which is solid enough to make you forget about the bladder. And as always with Camelback, it has a simple lashing hook so you can keep the water bladder straight even after it is empty, so it won't bulk up. On top of that, it does come with Camelbak's Hydration System (the water bladder it self), which is by far, the best bladder I have ever own. Tough as nails, with a very convenient drinking valve system.
Image
IMG_6513 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(To Pocket with: Shemagh, glove, fleece cap and a pair of wool socks)
Image
IMG_6514 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Water bladder compartment)

On the front of the pack you will find a very simple, semi-flat surface that has 5 rows of MOLLE webbing. Even though it is convenient, I find that with the zipper down the middle it is a bit of a unnecessary extra weight, as they could have done with only 2, maybe 3 rows of MOLLE. Like Mystery Ranch did with their 3-day Assault Pack. You can't use all the MOLLE properly without blocking the middle zipper, or throwing off the balance of the pack a bit. And I personally don't like attaching heavy items to the front of packs, as it generates drag that goes against the natural balance of your body. But, adding some straps you can attach odd shaped or bulky items not problem (which is what I am planning on doing).
Image
IMG_6548 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Attached: Condor's H2O Pouch, Gadget Pouch, Utility Pouch)

Once you go to the sides of the Trizip, you can right away see the two side pockets they have included, which both seem to have their very own specific purpose. The pocket on the left, by Camelbak's own description, is design to hold their 27oz bottles (any other 27oz bottle will work fine), and they work great for this purpose. You can definitely put other kind of gear here, like gloves, snacks, or headlamp. On the right side of the backpack, it is the organization pocket. Which is obvious once you see it, as it has mesh webbing, pen and paper holders, and even a key hook. It woks great for this as well, as it hold maps, multi-tools, pens, markers, lighter, flints and even some tissues perfectly. Neat and organized. This pockets do have the problem that they go inwards, instead of outwards, and they will take some of the space you have inside if fully stuffed, or the other way around, if your main pocket is stuffed, you might not be able to use the pockets to their fullest. Plus, they also have some more MOLLE webbing on them, which I also think it is a waste. Once full, the pockets take a bit of an ovular shape, making the MOLLE webbing useless, and too tight to utilize. Most MOLLE pouches are flat on the back, and they wouldn't fit or work well on the outside of the]is pockets. I personally think that Mystery Ranch's original design, making the accessory pockets, mesh pockets, was a better idea, as they don't take internal space, are lighter and more flexible. It seemed Camelbak's idea behing the pocket design was to pake the Trizip seem more sleek, and more "low-profile" than Mystery Ranch's.
Image
IMG_6507 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Right side, organizational pocket)
Image
IMG_6508 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Left side, bottle pocket)

At the bottom of the pack you will find a more simple, and I guess more tradition design. With only two rows of MOLLE webbing, it is meant to hold some more of your oddly shaped or heavy gear. Again, by my own preference, I don't like having gear flopping around bouncing on my butt when i am out hiking. But it is there for me to use if i ever need to. Also, the bottom of the pack is made out of 1000D Cordura, unlike the rest of the pack which is made out of 500D Cordura. This is to give the bottom extra strength to withstand all the throwing around it might take. And, as with most packs this style, it has a drain hole.
Image
IMG_6531 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Bottom of the pack)

And for those of you whole using Velcro patches, it has a nice and big area on the top front that allows for a variety of patches to be fitted. Although it ain't that big. My Mil-Spec-Monkey "Do no harm. Do know harm" medics patch won't fight all the way.


The inside of the pack is some what simple as well. It is, on a basic level, a large pocket. But it has some organizational features, like the two mesh pocket on the higher area. They are great to keep some of that loose gear in place, such as flashlight, socks, cans, wallet. Those pockets aren't fully attached to the pack though, they leave a nice gap on the back, so you can keep long tools, like axes, poles, machete, all in place, without it moving around. And by the "top loading" design, what ever long object you put there is very accessible. Right in the middle of the internal compartment is also a deep pocket, with a elastic cord to help keep things down. I have seen some people use this pocket to carry another water bladder with them. I have find it to be useful to hold some shirts, maybe thermal shirts for the winter, but for the most part, I have no need for it, even though I don't doubt many of you can find use for it. And to keep things even more secure, there are 2 nylon straps that run across from both sides of the pack, at the bottom, and the middle. I have found them great to keep heavy jackets, pouches, and stuff sacks nice and tight, to prevent them from moving around and also for keeping the weight of the pack closer and tighter to my body.
Image
IMG_6505 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Pack with my winter hike lode out)
Image
IMG_6518 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Inside of the pack)
Image
IMG_6519 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(I place my 7 inch Ka-Bar across the back of the mesh pocket to demonstrate how they aren't fully attached)
Image
IMG_6545 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Trizip holding the main body of my 4 person tent ((poles would be on the outside)) and my Kelty 20 degree sleeping bag)

But by far, in my opinion, the very best feature of this pack it's the framing system.
Mystery Ranch's design, a very flexible in sizing, yet sturdy and comfortable back frame, makes this backpack a luxury item. After loading it with so much gear (as you can see on some of the pictures) and even attaching more gear to the outside, it is still the most comfortable backpack I have ever own. And I am not speaking out of my ass here. I have used many different framing systems before, including the R.E.I. Flash 50, the Gregory Baltoro 70, Camelbak Motherlode, and Motherlode 500, and as said before, the Eagle A-III replica. And even then, just as my day-pack, this beats them all.
Image
IMG_6526 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Solid framing system)
Image
IMG_6537 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(The adjustable panel)
Image
IMG_6538 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(You can make it fit any torso length)
Image
IMG_6539 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Here it is adjusted to my right size)

I mentioned before, that in the past i have had problems finding the right fit on a backpack. On my Gregory Baltor, I had to ask at R.E.I. to replace the shoulder straps and waist belts, as in torso I am a extra small, or small, but on shoulder and waist, I am medium, or large. On top of that, I also have what is considered a muscular chest and shoulder (not bragging). Which means that regular, or even worst, thing straps will just bury themselves on my shoulders over time. This is why an R.E.I. employee (who happened to be a body-builder) recommended me the Gregory Baltoro 70, because it has thicker and wider shoulder straps that work best for guys like me. This is why, when I was looking at pictures of the Trizip, I was happy to see how thick and wide the shoulder straps were, which seems a regular feature on all Mystery Ranch packs. Lucky for me, when soldiers wear body armor they need wider and thicker shoulder straps on their packs, and seen this pack was design for our boys in uniform, it worked great for me. The shoulder straps are even wider than the Motherlode and other standard Camelbaks. Even when fully loaded, the pack is comfortable. With no drag at all, and all the weight concentrated on my hips. To make things even better, the torso fit is adjustable to any size (I have mine adjusted to the very lowest it can go, which is perfect for my torso). It has some mesh fabric on top of the framing and shoulder padding, to make you ventilate better, and sweat dry away faster. But I do see this irritating your skin if it's on direct contact. The pack does have load stabilizers on top of the shoulders, which is odd for a pack this size (at 37 litters it is still considered a day pack) but it helps when you are carrying heavy gear.
Image
IMG_6528 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Some of the most comfortable shoulder straps I have experienced)

The belt is a classic Camelbak belt, with what I believe it to be 3/4 inch padding. Not the best belt out there, but enough to help you feel comfortable. And there are also load stabilizers at the bottom, which keep the pack secure and tight to your liking.
The pack's shape it self is meant to move towards the sides of your back, instead of away from it like on classic backpack models. If seen from above, you will notice how it has a bit an oval shape that embraces your back. This works great to distribute the weight all over and around your back, instead of it pulling down and dragging down, or away, throwing off your center of balance.
Image
IMG_6527 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(even when fully loaded, the back frame remains flat and sturdy, to avoid making the backpack feel unbalanced)

Some of the other details that make this such a great pack are the Velcro loops that are at the end of every strap, that keep them from flopping around (standard on all military Camelbaks). The amazing valve system that has a water shut-off lock, to keep the pressure on the pack from making all the water gush out of the bladder. Also the valve has a big-mouth-drinking piece, that makes a gulp of water come out when you drink from it, unlike some other valves in which you have to suck from the tube quite a bit to feel satisfied.
There are some small problems I can see with the design though. I have previously mention, some of the MOLLE webbing seems a bit useless, and unorthodox. And by design, even though it helps keep balance and distributes weight, some corners are likely to be empty space that wont be fulfilled unless you notice. Also, if you are a light hiker, or backpacker, this pack is mostlikely not for you. By it self, the backpack weights 6 lbs. (my wife's R.E.I.'s Flash 50 is a 50 litter pack, that weights only 2.5 lbs. and my Gregory Baltoro, which is a 70 litter pack is only 5.5 lbs) so weight reduction is not really possible, because of the materials that it was designed with. It is a pack designed to withstand the harsh treatment of a war zone or a battlefield. But if you aren't concerned with weight (which it should still be considered) the framing design on the Camelbak Trizip will make you think you are carrying half your gear, with how comfortable it is.

I did some small alterations my self though. I cut out the zipper pulls it came with. They were damn crappy, (they weren't even real 500 cord) so i switched them for some Paracord, and added some ITW Tac-Toggle, to make it easier to grab once wearying gloves, or when the pack is tight because of over packing. You can only do this with the 3 front sippers, and the one for the top pocket, because the zippers are big enough. The zippers used for the side pockets and the water bladder pocket are too small for the Paracord to pass through them (I learned this the hard way). I also am planing on adding some nylon straps to the outside, on a vertical manner, as the pack has no vertical straps to speak of (again, another idea I think they should have kept from Mystery Ranch). I will be posting pictures once I have done so.
Image
IMG_6533 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(I replaced the zipper pulls with my own coyote brown paracord and ITW's Tac-toggle)


Here are some shots of me wearying the pack. I noticed that of all the pictures I found out there in the interwebs, the ones I found the least of, were pictures of people wearying the Trizip. Hope this gives you an even better idea of what the pack looks like and how big or small you think it is for you. Remember, I am 5 feet 9 inches. Not tall, but not short either.
The best way I can describe the looks of the pack once been worn is "wide, but not fat". As you can see, the pack expands to the side, and not on the opposite direction of your body. It is tough, and more heavy duty than a regular day-pack. For quick and light day hikes, or trips to town, I have my ILBE Assault pack (24 litters). But the Trizip will be my winter and long-heavy hikes. And maybe (If I ca fin the right pouches) my overnight backpack.
Image
IMG_6554 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Perfect for big-chested guys :D)
Image
IMG_6556 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
Image
IMG_6557 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
Image
IMG_6559 by Ramiel88, on Flickr
(Wider than what it seems. But it feels great)



I will be taking the Trizip for some winter hikes next month, and the months after. With any luck, I can put it through some snow as well, to see how much more it can take. And don't worry, i will be posting pictures to go along with it.
Hope you all liked the review, even though it's quite long, but I know out of experience, that when you are looking for opinions on gear, details and above all, pictures, are the most helpful.
Hope I have been of some help to you all.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Great review! I want one now.

It looks a lot bigger on you than it does by itself.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:19 pm 
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hahaha. Yeah. I'm kinda short. But the pack feels compact once you have it on.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:00 pm 
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I have never trusted a pack with zippers, what do you feel about these?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:50 pm 
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aa1pr wrote:
I have never trusted a pack with zippers, what do you feel about these?



It's a valid point. My last pack had all the zippers brake at least once.
But with this pack, they have used strong zippers. I have thrown the pack around to see if the gear will remain inside (litteraly thrown it from my couch, to my bed, to the floor, to my brother), and to see if anything will get out of place. And so far, it has performed well, with all the zippers holding the weight.
But, if you are still not so sure, there are the two front straps that help keep all the pressure off the zippers.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:37 pm 
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aa1pr wrote:
I have never trusted a pack with zippers, what do you feel about these?



not OP, but i'll give my $0.02

i think that zippers now are a little better than they used to be. obviously any stitching site will be a point of failure, same with the metal zippers. however, i find that with old vs new luggage and backpacks, zippers seem to be a little "bigger". meaning they have a larger area of contact between the teeth, allowing a larger load bearing surface. i like zipper packs for the fact that they can allow access to a full pack (clamshell style), but i also like the "stuffability" (just made that up right now, feel free to use it) of a top loading sack with a drawstring. i know some newer packs have a small crescent shape zipper at the bottom of a pack for access to stuff at the bottom.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:58 am 
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Some editor notes here:

I took a second look at the Trizip's tags. And I got some stuff wrong.

The pack weights only 4.49 lbs (almost 5).
But once the water reservoir is filled, it weights as much as 11.34 lbs. The water bladder it self is a 3 litter, so that is about 6lbs on water alone.This is the most likely weight for me, as I always, always always fill my reservoir, because I like having a large amount of water once on the trail.

Also, very important, the cargo size is 34.4 litters (2100 cu in.)
On my review I said the pack was 37 litters cargo. But I should have also mentioned, even though it might be obvious to many of you, is that the pack's cargo space goes down to 31.4 litters once the bladder filled. Not as much space, considering how large the pack seems, but it can still hold a lot. And now that I realize what size this pack is supposed to be, the framing system does appear to be meant for a much larger pack, because even when carrying 20 to 30 lbs, it is very comfortable on such a compact size.

And I purchased a compression strap today at R.E.I., because it started raining quite a lot here in Southern California, and I wanted to keep my gear dry for the hike I was going to take today (my previous dry sacks fail on me), so once all my gear stuff, and compressed down, when I put the sack inside the pack, I have even more space available to put other things. This will come in handy latter on :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:59 am 
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That's a nice pack. Great write up. Please share some info about your pouches and where you for them.
Edit: I have all of the same pouches for my BFM, but I am looking for Foliage. So, I am hoping that your source may have them.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:44 pm 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
That's a nice pack. Great write up. Please share some info about your pouches and where you for them.
Edit: I have all of the same pouches for my BFM, but I am looking for Foliage. So, I am hoping that your source may have them.


I am not sure why you would need more space considering you have a BFM. Isn't it big enough?
I used to have a Condor replica of the BFM. About the same size, huge, and I had it on MARPAT. I end up selling it to a friend, because in between my Gregory Baltoro (70 litters) and my previous daypack, I had no real use for the copy BFM. But I did liked how much space it offered, and all the organization features it had.

I am planning on purchasing maybe two of this pouches:

The Mystery Ranch Long Pocket. Which seems to work well as a side pocket on the Trizip design, and it pretty cheap at $25. And for you, it does come in foliage color.
http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/i ... gory=24119
Image
media.nl by Ramiel88, on Flickr

I am also looking in to their set of NICE Pocket pairs. They be the same as their Long Pocket, but with more rigidity, and a more square design in mind. But at $75, they are kind of too much for a pair of pockets I might not use that often. So, they are my third option.

http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/i ... gory=24119
Image
media.nlsdv by Ramiel88, on Flickr


And Kifaru, has their famous Claymore Pouch, that by the looks of it, it would work well on the front of the Trizip on a vertical, or horizontal position. And I could use them as a shoulder bag when ever I am off camp, or away from my main ruck. Plus, the added straps and buckles will probably help keep it from bouncing around and have the pouch very secure and tight. The price is a big above what I would like, it varies from $45 to $60 for the latest models. But if you look at their first generation pockets (which are on sale at 49% off), you can get one for $21, But they are down to only ACU or Coyote Brown.

https://kifaru.net/claymores.html
Image
claymore_DL-G2 by Ramiel88, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Trying to keep this post alive a little longer, I wanted to update it with some pictures.
I took the pack today for a hike to Inspiration Point here in SoCal.

After wearying it for almost 7 hours straight, through a 10.5 mile hike with a 2800 feet of elevation raise, with some 30 pounds in it, I am happy to report, that this pack performed far better than any of my previous packs. My shoulders didn't hurt at the end, my hips held all the weight, and I was quite pleased with the easy of access in which I could get all my gear. I had no need for external pouches, because the pack's pockets held my items organized and well. I might have not liked them too much at first, but now I can see how handy they can be. Specially the organization pocket. Plus, with such a long hike and with the weather steadily warming up through out the day, the 3 litters of water kept me happy and hydrated.
The suspension system worked well. When I needed it to stay steady, it did. And when I needed it to move with me when going up those steep hills, it was flexible.
I do have to say, as I kind of expected, the mesh material on the shoulders did irritated me a bit after a while, but nothing mayor that a few rest and a good shirt can't avoid.

And I was quite impressed with how low profile the pack can get if you strap it tight, specially if you aren't carrying much like I was on this hike.

Image
IMG_7214 by Ramiel88, on Flickr

Image
IMG_7276 by Ramiel88, on Flickr

That wasn't all I was carrying, I still had more stuff in the pack.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:20 am 
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great review! I've been debating between the tri-zip and the kifaru zulu for as long as I can remember now. Up to this day, I still havent made my decision yet... but i can safely say another point to the tri-zip :D


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:44 am 
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Bayonett wrote:
great review! I've been debating between the tri-zip and the kifaru zulu for as long as I can remember now. Up to this day, I still havent made my decision yet... but i can safely say another point to the tri-zip :D



Well, I was on the same boat. I was deciding between the Tri Zip, or a Mystery Ranch 3-Day Assault, or a Kifaru XRay and a few more. By far, what made me go for the Tri Zip, was the price. About $150 cheaper than all of the others. And it comes with the bladder :o

But that was my choice, based on my budget and my requirements.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:37 am 
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Best pack I've ever bought...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:37 am 
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Nice review. I have the MR version and they look very similar. I do envy your admin side pocket. My MR does not have that option. IIRC the MR is a 4200 or 5200 ci. I like the size of your Camelbak.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Wanted to add another shot of the pack compressed down

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IMG_7230 by Ramiel88, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:47 am 
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Good review and great looking pack.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:48 pm 
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I love the idea of having your pack's contents being more readily accessible, but the idea of that much strain on any zipper, no matter how tuff, makes me wince. I know it's probably because of my time in service, but I just can't help but have a phobia of multiple weak points in a pack system. One as big as that huge "Y" makes me go :shock:

Fabric rips, you can usually patch it or seam it. Zipper breaks, you're done.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:21 am 
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Molon Labe wrote:
I love the idea of having your pack's contents being more readily accessible, but the idea of that much strain on any zipper, no matter how tuff, makes me wince. I know it's probably because of my time in service, but I just can't help but have a phobia of multiple weak points in a pack system. One as big as that huge "Y" makes me go :shock:

Fabric rips, you can usually patch it or seam it. Zipper breaks, you're done.


The compression straps help alleviate some of the strain.

As for the zippers - they're KING KONG proof zippers. Very sturdy.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:28 pm 
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CorpsmanUp wrote:

The compression straps help alleviate some of the strain.

As for the zippers - they're KING KONG proof zippers. Very sturdy.


Like he said, the compression straps help take the tension away from the zippers. Plus, this is a battle-proven design by Mystery Ranch, the guys who actually designed this backpack. They have issued their 3-Day-Assault pack to Afghanistan many times, to all kinds of soldiers, and the packs have proven their worth. Even more, a few months back the Army started a test program to lighten the load of soldiers in the field, and doing so they issued all kinds of different equipment than the standard issued gear. And one of those was the 3-zipper designed Mystery Ranch 3-Day-Assault pack. That to me proves how good this packs can be, even if I my self will never put it through that kind of punishment.

But I do have to admit I have one worry when it comes down to the 3 main zippers, SPECIALLY, on this pack in particular. I am planning on taking a 15 mile hike next week, and going by the weather reports it will be raining non stop all the way through next week. I know the pack is coated with water resistant materials, and I've tested that. But I don't know if the zippers will hold for too long seen how they are not water proofed. The Mystery Ranch packs have waterproof zippers, so I imagine those aren't a problem. But I guess we will see once I go get under the rain. I hope that they will be fine, until the rain starts hitting hard. At which point, I will probably put a rain cover on the pack.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Sounds like a good test. Give us a report when done!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:40 pm 
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Oh no. Definitely not pooh-poohing on your choice. I'm well aware of MR's rep for top tier packs. Like I said, it's likely just a very biased phobia due to it having such an alien design compared to what I've been drilled with.

I may have missed it, but how well does the air flow between pack and your body while wearing under load? I'm one of those types where my back quickly soaks thru my clothes in sweat if there's little air exchange. Also, how does the ruck feel with the placement of the pack being zeroed where it is? How much "play" do you have to work with, if it's positioned wrong, before the pack's comfort zone is passed?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Molon Labe wrote:
I may have missed it, but how well does the air flow between pack and your body while wearing under load? I'm one of those types where my back quickly soaks thru my clothes in sweat if there's little air exchange. Also, how does the ruck feel with the placement of the pack being zeroed where it is? How much "play" do you have to work with, if it's positioned wrong, before the pack's comfort zone is passed?


Well, the weaty part, to be honest, I am by no means qualified. I sweat no matter what. I've sweat through shirts, jacket and backpack all at once. But that is just because my body goes to over time to regulate my temperature as soon as I do strenous movement. I might not be tired, but I am sweatting either way.
The pack does have a mesh lining that is meant to allow air to flow beetween your back and the pack. I don't know how well it works, but I imagine it helps at least some what. I found this mesh material to be a little irritating while wearying only a t-shirt, but I feel over time it might soften a little so it won't much problem. But, what I did noticed, is because the frame only runs down the middle of your back, on a much narrower area than my previous pack, the area of my shirt that is covered in sweat is much smaller than before, and therefore I dry faster. I should probably take a picture of this to show what I mean.

And I am not sure by what you mean with the "pack been zero where it is".

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:06 pm 
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"Placement" meaning where it sits on your back between the lumbar region and your shoulders.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Molon Labe wrote:
"Placement" meaning where it sits on your back between the lumbar region and your shoulders.


Oooooohh........well, it sit pretty well. Last hike I took the pack with, I had a tight fit at first, because we were going up hill, all i had loose were the belt stabilizers to allow the pack to move along with my hips. But once on the way down from 4700 feet, I loosen the shoulder straps and let all the weight on my hips. It balances well. The lumbar area of the pack, is rounded enough to accommodate to your hips and steady enough to stay put once you have the right fit.
I think this would be best show with some picks. I'll try and remember to take so photos next time I take it for a ride.

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