So I have been using my Outthere USA AS-1 pack for about a year. When I mean using I am not kidding. I wear it nearly every day when I am out with the Chile Dog. I have s bungee wrapped around the pack to clip her harness to. I wear this pack at least 15 hours a week. Usually with around 20 pounds of "stuff" in it. It has also become Chiles favorite. She knows when the pack comes out we are going to have fun.
When I started filming adventure races I realized I need to train for filming. This ment a full pack and trekking for a lot of hours. I went through several different packs but once I tried the AS-1 it has been on my back since.
I took a while but I found a place for cameras (still and video) lenses, lights, food, music, clothes, and all the other gear I need to be out all day and night with a team during a race. It is the small things that make a difference. I can reach both pockets on the side easily, and get stuff in and out. The zip pocket on the waist belt can be opened and closed with one hand. Like I said, the small stuff. I have hung gear all ove the pack. There are places for a light,knife,compass, some where to hang a map holder.
I like the expandable pocket in the back. I will keep stuffing clothes and what ever in it all day when I am out. It is amazing when I get home how much is in it. I also like the side loading compartment. It is usually full of baggies of food. The pockets on the top flap are great. I like that I can see what is in the top at a glance.
So after a year the pack looks pretty new. All of the buckles still work. The straps slide where they should. There are no signs of wear on the pack,save one, the little webbing that you hang it form is starting to wear.
Finally, this is a pack designed by someone (Mike Kloser) who knew what was needed and made sure it was added to the pack. If there were 20 packs out there and they were all designed as well as this, I would still recommend the AS-1 for on reason. At last years Untamed New England I was filming the packrafting section late in the race. As I was watching I saw something blue and yellow coming down the river. It was an AS-1 that had been lost when a raft tipped several miles upstream. Several miles downstream a different team found it along the bank and returned it to is owner. Or as I like to think.The pack wanted to finish the race.