reminder: nobody ever asks me to review gear, but i use gear and sometimes like to tell you how it performs. i do not receive gear from merchants or manufacturers to try out.
a long time ago (like, i was either still in college or just out of it) i bought a handsome mountainsmith lumbar pack. i loved it and used it for all the things, making it my de facto purse. in those days, there was only one model of mountainsmith lumbar pack, and i had it.
but then as more and more people had these bags and used them, mountainsmith came up with design changes that reflected how people were using the bags, like an improved shoulder strap.
and i saw these improvements and wanted one of the newer bags.
problem: my old bag was still in good shape and worked just fine. so i told myself i would use it hard and rough and wear it out and get me a new one.
twenty years later i still have not succeeded in wearing it out.
apparently this is a common story among fans of the original mountainsmith bag.
so this spring i decided to JUST GET A NEW ONE ALREADY, especially because the new one has more carrying space to hold my junior naturalist materials.
i bought the mountainsmith tour and a set (pair?) of strapettes, which are mountainsmith's packpack-style straps that can swap in and out for the shoulder strap to stabilize a large load for a longer hike.
my mom did the ordering, which is significant, because i didn't much care which color came, so she ordered huckleberry, which she judged to be the most handsome. this is only significant because she also apparently decided to nickname the bag "huckleberry", because a bad needs a nickname.
"huckleberry was shipped!" she'd tell me.
or "huckleberry's here!"
so me 'n' huckleberry, we're tight now.
we've carried a lot of stuff up a lot of mountains and i will tell you that this bag is tough like the original, has more carrying space, and the strapettes make it a comfortable carry for long days even with two full water bottles, a field guide, and a pair of binoculars.
and part of what i love about the strapettes is that if you don't need them and you just want to carry the bag as a purse or with fewer straps, they pop right off.
so yeah. would recommend.
be sure you like the color, though, because you're going to have the bag a LONG time.