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EDIT: OR - Lowe Alpine Contour III - Dan Feldman

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  • Nazdarovye
    Dan - Good first pass at a review, and I like that your observations are backed up by a whole lot of use. That said, I have several edits given below, and also
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2005
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      Dan -

      Good first pass at a review, and I like that your observations are
      backed up by a whole lot of use.

      That said, I have several edits given below, and also want to suggest
      you do two things before addressing them, as I think it will help
      focus and improve your review:

      - Re-read the owner review requirements given on the BGT site
      - Take a look at a few of the more recent official pack reviews on
      the BGT site

      You may note some additional issues and features to comment on as you
      do this. Once you've updated the review to flesh out the content and
      address the edits, post it again here with the word "REPOST" in the
      subject line, and I'll do a second-pass edit, and if all looks good,
      an approval to post.

      If you have further questions, feel free to ask me online; I also
      recommend our "Mentor" program, which you can find out more about on
      this list as well.

      Regards,
      Steve
      BGT Editor

      [EDITS FOLLOW:]

      Name: Dan Feldman
      Age: 28
      Height: 5'11"
      Weight: 170lbs
      ***EDIT: Dan - here, and throughout the rest of your review, please
      add metric equivalents for all measurements given.

      ...

      Favorite Quote: "It would surpass the powers of a well man nowadays
      to take up
      his bed
      and walk, and I should certainly advise a sick one to lay down his
      bed and
      run."-Thoreau

      My backpacking background consists of a thru hike of the AT in 2002
      and various
      long-
      middle distance trips throughout the eastern mountains since then. I
      consider
      myself a
      light weight backpacker, but by no means ultralight. My pack weight
      ranges
      15-25lbs. I
      coordinate a wilderness backpacking program for disabled teens
      through the
      Sierra Club
      Inner City Outings program http://www.sierraclub.org/ico/dc/

      ***EDIT: please put all of the above, including the favorite quote,
      under the heading of "Tester Background"

      ...

      MaterialNylon: ripstop/polyester
      ***EDIT: "Material: " followed by whatever it actually is (is it
      Nylon, polyester, Cordura? Go ahead and find out from Lowe or an
      online source and make sure this is stated accurately)

      ...

      Approximate volume: 3,700 (4,600 expanded) cubic inches
      ***EDIT: Is this what the manufacturer claimed? If so, you can say
      this as "Stated volume:" or something along those lines; if you've
      measured the volume yourself, state that separately as your own
      measurement or estimate

      ...

      Average weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz.
      ***EDIT: Same question: is this the manufacturer's claimed weight? If
      so, note that; if it's what you've personally measured, note that.
      Ideally, give both (see other pack reviews on backpackgeartest.org
      for examples)

      ...

      The pack is an internal frame.
      ***EDIT: "The pack has an internal frame" or "The Contour III is an
      internal-frame pack"

      ...

      It always looks like you're carrying around
      more weight
      than you really are due to the long, narrow shape of the pack.
      ***EDIT: Make this personal - e.g., "It always looks like I'm
      carrying..." or "The pack always looks to me like I'm carrying..."

      ...

      TESTING CONDITIONS:
      I took this pack along my entire North to South thru-hike in 2002
      (also year of
      purchase)
      and have taken it on every trip since then here in the eastern
      mountains. The
      pack initially
      held the 55lbs I was foolish enough to pack in it for the 100 mile
      wilderness in
      central
      Maine without a problem, but I typically carry up to 25 lbs.
      ***EDIT: It would be great to hear a bit more about the conditions
      you experienced (and congratulations on the N-S Thru-hike!); one
      thing you don't mention in the review is how the pack held up to
      weather and precipitation - that would be a useful addition.

      FIT:
      The features that stand out with the Contour III are the extra
      padding and the
      APS system.
      The APS system is series of adjustable stops on the frame of the pack
      that allow
      the user to essentially change the length dimension of the pack's frame.
      ***EDIT: "length of" - "dimension" is redundant

      ...

      The pack is infinitely adjustable with lots of straps...but you pay
      for them in weight.
      ***EDIT: consider rewording this to remove "you" - e.g., "but they
      add weight"

      ...

      The
      compartment makes a great stowing place for raingear and other stuff
      you need to
      get to
      quick or want to keep separate from the rest of your gear as there's
      a plastic
      divider
      between this compartment and the rest of the pack.
      ***EDITS: "stuff I need to get to quickly" and "rest of my gear,
      as" (i.e., make first person, plus add comma for readability)

      The pack is hydration compatible, but I didn't use the feature.
      ***EDIT QUESTION: Can you describe this a bit more? What do they mean
      by "hydration compatible"? (E.g., a sleeve for a bladder, an opening
      (how big, how many, where?) for the hose and bite valve.)

      ...

      DURABILITY
      The Contour III is made of tough stuff. The pack material is pretty much
      impenetrable to
      everything (except mice).
      ***EDIT: "has been pretty much" to make it about your experience,
      rather than projecting future experience

      ...

      SUMMARY

      ...

      Even after
      paring the
      pack down to barebones (eliminating the top pouch, cutting tags and
      straps,
      etc.) the pack
      weighs more than its peers.
      ***EDITS: "bare bones"; what do you consider its peers, and do you
      feel comfortable making this comparative statement? A way around the
      latter would be to say it weighs more than you would prefer, or
      something along those lines.

      ...

      Since purchasing a hefty camera, I have had to retire the pack for a
      lighter
      one.
      ***EDIT QUESTION: not sure I understand the connection here; how did
      purchasing a hefty camera lead you to retire this pack for a lighter
      one?
      I think the
      APS system is nice, but unecessary.
      ***EDIT: "unnecessary"

      ...

      RECOMMENDATIONS
      I recommend the pack to weekend trippers and (gasp) long distance
      hikers. Long
      distance
      hikers will get used to the weight in the long run and appreciate the
      extra
      comfort. I do
      not recommend it for those who typically hike for 3-5 days at a time.
      There's
      not enough
      time to get used to the weight.
      ***EDIT: This last sentence is projecting what others might
      experience; instead, stick to what you've personally experienced.
      This whole section might better be stated as how you prefer to use
      the pack (e.g., you were happy using it for long-distance hiking, as
      you got used to the weight).

      [END OF EDITS]
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