Intended for backpacking, although not extended trips due to size, bag offers approx. 5000 cu in of packing space in 7 pockets + main compartment. Main comp. space may be accessed through both the top and bottom of bag. 7 pockets include 2 sides, 1 top, 1 bottom, 1 middle, and 2 mesh side pockets.
This is a very nice bag. I've been packing with it for about 8 months (read: 17 trips) and I have very few complaints. If you're planning on spending more than 5-6 days on the trail you'll want something bigger (unless you're a fantastic packer). For anything under 5 days though it is a perfect size.
Hip belt padding is a bit thing compaired to larger bags, but this is becomming the trend (light-weight backpacking). It really hasn't bothered me too much, if you have the pack properly fitted (this bag is also very adjustable) the thing padding won't be noticed.
I really liked the placement of pockets, more backpacks are limiting the number of [external] pockets but bag keeps a good amount. I find external pockets good because it makes life easier when hunting for gear, in my opinion.
The side mesh pockets are awesome on this thing. They're huge, yet have a tight elastic top so stuff won't fall out. I keep a Nalgene in on pocket and a Canon SLR camera in the other, for example.
I'd definately recommend this bag, especially for those of you who (like me) are on a budget. It's only $150 for the largest model (the 75), that's an unheard of price nowadays. Not to mention, the bag is very high quality. I've got no rips, tears, trashed zippers, broken straps ... and I can beat these things up pretty good.
I use the 65, making it the middle of this series of packs offered by REI. Has plenty of room for a 3 day trip, ~4000ci. I like to seperate compartment for the sleeping bag of tent, very convinient. This pack has proven to be very durable as I have used it regularly for the past 10 months or so in various places. Has plenty of pockets to keep all your items organized.
The fit is dead on and REI offers three sizes for the various sized folks out there. Very comfortable, have carried a good amount of weight for 6 plus hours with no complaints. Good padding where necessary.
This pack is hard to get a good fit. It has a non adjustable suspension, and very little padding. The morning star has NO support in the hip pad, and just dangle flimsily. For a pack with this light a suspension I would also expect a little lighter overall weight.
Used once, -and I did have it fit properly - and felt it underpreformed.
I would not suggest this pack except to shorter distance hikers, or just carrying a half days worth of supplies into the crag.
The morningstars most redeeming value is it's price. It does offer a "decent" pack for under $200. Other than that I beleve you can get a much better quality for less weight
This pack has proved most comfortable and packable for me, even on some extended trips. I have learned to pack and prioritize more than ever before, but it has performed extremely well. I loved the good price, which made it easy to get into backpacking. It is a great first pack.
On the down side, the daisy chain on the front has ripped out over time. I am not a big fan of hanging a lot of stuff off my pack but there are times that it needs to be done. The stitching in this area has not held up like I would expect it to. Other than that, this pack has proved to be most valuable.