Okay, after using this for a while I made some mods, here are the changes for those interested:
- On the right side pocket I dropped the height by 3". I use this pocket for my tent poles and crazy chair. By cutting off the 3" they stick out a few inches, making them easier to grab.
- I split the left pocket into two. The lower (larger) pocket holds my hydration bag, large enough to hold my Camelbak bagless pouch
- The upper pocket is about 5" deep and I use it for trail snacks and lunch. Plenty of room, easy to access, and the shock cord holds it nicely in place. Since it is over my left shoulder, my right hand can reach over the shoulder to grab a snack while still hiking
- I ditched the straps that come over the top and down the front of the pack. The pack material is too slick, and they keep sliding.
- I attached two 1/8" grommets to either side of the top flap. I then attached a cinch point to the bottom of the pack and hooked a cheap carabiner to it. Run a length of shock cord through the two grommets. The cord stretches to the biner and holds everything snug.
In addition to making the pack work better for me, it also cuts the weight by 36g (hey, every bit counts). The pack now weighs 12.5 oz (363g).
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, and loudly proclaiming Wow! What a Ride!