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COMMENT - Owner Review - L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack

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  • Sheila
    Hollis, I just have to mention that your OR made me laugh. I ve used the same LL Bean Deluxe backpack as my sole luggage carrier, book bag, rock sample holder,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 2, 2007
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      Hollis,

      I just have to mention that your OR made me laugh. I've used the same LL Bean Deluxe
      backpack as my sole luggage carrier, book bag, rock sample holder, and day hiker for
      forever. I originally got it so I could carry my flute while riding my bike to 6th grade. (I'm in
      21st grade now).

      Sheila

      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Hollis" <backpackgeartest@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Editors,
      >
      > Sorry for the repost--I see from my last entry that Yahoo Groups
      > didn't like the formatting of my text file, making it quite difficult
      > to read. It's my hope that this will work better--it's taken from the
      > HTML version of my review, which presently resides at
      >
      > http://www.holliseaster.com/BGT/LLBeanDeluxeBookPack/review.htm
      >
      > Thank you for your time, and happy new year!
      >
      > Yours,
      > Hollis
      >
      > -----
      >
      > L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack — Daypack
      > Owner Review
      > December 28, 2006
      >
      > (include photograph of my pack, stuffed to show full size)
      > Reviewer Information:
      >
      > Name: Hollis Easter
      > Age: 25
      > Gender: Male
      > Height: 6'0" (1.8 m)
      > Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
      > Email address: backpackgeartestATholliseasterDOTcom
      > City, State, Country: Potsdam, New York, USA
      > Date: December 27, 2006
      > Backpacking Background: I started hiking as a child in the Adirondack
      > Mountains of New York. As a teenager, I hiked my way to an Eagle Scout
      > award. These days, I'm mostly doing day hikes in the mountains. I hope
      > to get back into doing longer trips soon. I'm also learning rock climbing.
      >
      > I am a midweight backpacker: I don't carry unnecessary gear, but
      > neither do I cut the edges from my maps. I hike in all seasons, at
      > altitudes from sea level to 5,300 ft (1,600 m), and in temperatures
      > from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38 C).
      > Product Information:
      >
      > Manufacturer: L.L. Bean (made in Korea)
      > Year of manufacture: circa 1996 (still in production)
      > URL: www.llbean.com
      > Listed dimensions: 17"H x 13"W x 7.5"D (43 cm x 33 cm x 19 cm)
      > Actual dimensions: 17"H x 13.5"W x 10"D (43 cm x 34 cm x 25 cm) see below
      > Listed weight: 1 lb 8 oz (680 g)
      > Actual weight: 1 lb 10 oz (737 g)
      > Listed volume: 2,250 in^3 (36.8 l)
      > MSRP: $39 US ($18.95 US on sale)
      >
      > Listed dimensions are for a new (2006) pack; the differences in
      > measurement may be due to stretching in use. Changed specifications
      > could also account for it, although L.L. Bean's website gives no
      > indication of major changes to the design.
      >
      > Product features:
      >
      > * Strong and abrasion-resistant nylon material
      > * Padded shoulder straps
      > * Water-resistant coating and taped seams
      > * Strong haul loop
      > * Four compartments: two large, one medium, one small
      > * Padded back panel
      > * Organizer panel with pen holders, zippered mesh pocket, key ring
      > * Scotchlite reflective panel on outside for visibility
      > * Pre-installed zipper pulls on all zippers
      > * Lifetime warranty
      >
      > (might include photograph of pack with compartments annotated for the
      > review)
      >
      > The L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack (hereafter "the pack") features four
      > pockets. The biggest are a pair of main pockets accessed from the top
      > of the pack. Although one is larger than the other, both can carry
      > oversized books, camping cookware, or winter coats. A panel-loading
      > pocket with an organizer panel inside will hold a raincoat, camera and
      > accessories, or similar amounts of gear. There is also a front slash
      > pocket for small things, guide books, etc.
      >
      > The shoulder straps are padded and 2.25" (5.7 cm) wide; the waist
      > strap is 1" (2.5 cm) wide nylon webbing. Zippers are nylon with metal
      > sliders and knotted webbing pulls. Buckles and tensioners are black
      > plastic or nylon.
      >
      > Later versions are available fitted with Illuminex, a battery-powered
      > light system for the back of the pack that increases visibility to
      > motorists. For a hiking pack, this seems like a waste of weight; for a
      > student's bookbag, it may not be.
      >
      > My pack is a dark blue color, although many other choices of solid
      > colors and prints are available.
      >
      > Compartment measurements:
      > Biggest: 16"H x 13"W x 6"D (40 cm x 33 cm x 15 cm)
      > Next-biggest: 16"H x 13"W x 3.5"D (40 cm x 33 cm x 9 cm)
      > Organizer: 10.5"H x 9"W x 2.5"D (27 cm x 23 cm x 6 cm)
      > Slash: 10.5"H x 9"W (27 cm x 23 cm) no depth
      > Field information:
      >
      > Locations used: I have used this pack over the last ten years in many
      > different conditions. In high school and university, I carried it to
      > and from classes without regard for the weather, and used it for
      > grocery shopping since I had no car. I have used it as a day pack
      > while hiking and bicycling in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in
      > spring through late autumn. I have also used it as a gig bag for music
      > performance, where the atmospheric conditions are less important than
      > the handling ones: this bag has ridden in vans and buses and trains
      > and aircraft holds, often stuffed with instruments, music, and
      > performance attire. University was probably the hardest test in terms
      > of weight, when I regularly carried more than 25 lbs (11 kg) of books
      > in it.
      >
      > Description of locations: Suburban sidewalks, trails and forest
      > bushwhacks, mountains up to 5,100 ft (1500 m), aircraft holds, etc.
      > Highly varied.
      >
      > Weather conditions: Again, highly varied. This pack has experienced
      > everything from winter snow at temperatures below 0 F (-17 C) to
      > driving spring and autumn rain at 40 F (4 C) to burning summer sun
      > above 100 F (38 C).
      > Comments:
      >
      > On the whole, this pack has been nothing short of wonderful. It's
      > marketed as a school backpack for teenagers—I got mine at the age of
      > 15. Although its feature set leans toward the academic (pen holders,
      > key ring, organizer panel), it serves admirably for day hikes. This
      > backpack carried my books to every class of high school and
      > university, but it also served as my kit bag for years of bagpipe
      > music competitions, saw me through hikes in the USA and Scotland, and
      > served as my luggage for performance tours of Spain and the Pacific
      > Northwest, USA.
      >
      > The pack is very easy to work with. The compartments seem sensibly
      > designed and placed, and they seem to "just work" for different kinds
      > of objects, and the packing usually ends up comfortable even if I
      > don't do it carefully. It's hard to quantify, but what I mean is this:
      > it usually works fine if I just put items in the pack wherever they
      > seem to fit. With other packs I've used, I've always ended up
      > repacking things to make the load comfortable, or to allow more gear
      > to fit. With this pack, I never seem to need all that packing and
      > unpacking.
      >
      > Most of the pockets are very useful sizes. My water bottles usually go
      > in the biggest compartment, along with my camera in its hard plastic
      > case. The padded back keeps them from poking me, even with a heavy
      > load. Books fit nicely in the second-largest compartment, and its
      > shape and dimensions keep them squarely in place and protected. I find
      > the second-largest compartment also holds my lunch and trail snacks
      > well, and it's easy to access while walking: just slip one shoulder
      > strap off, swing the pack around, and the zipper's in just the right
      > place. Again, a nice touch.
      >
      > The pocket with the organizer panel usually carries my guide book, map
      > and compass, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other essentials. The document
      > pocket in the organizer isn't quite big enough to hold a USGS (United
      > States Geological Survey) topographical map, but the maps fit nicely
      > outside the organizer, inside the pocket. This pocket also works well
      > for carrying rolls of 35 mm film, as the double-headed zipper means I
      > can open the pocket from the top—this keeps them from falling out of
      > the bag.
      >
      > The one pocket that disappoints me is the front slash pocket, which is
      > really only useful for larger things if the organizer pocket is
      > underfilled. Otherwise it's good for holding papers and small items
      > like lip balm.
      >
      > (include photo of organizer panel, possibly showing a map in place for
      > size reference)
      >
      > Almost all of the seams on the pack body are taped and sealed, which
      > does a nice job of keeping the rain and snowmelt out of the pack and
      > also keeps fabric from catching in the zippers. The seam attaching the
      > organizer pocket to the main pack body is not taped, and consequently
      > leaks occasionally. However, this is nothing too serious, and I could
      > probably treat it with seam sealant if I really cared. One complaint
      > is that the zippers will leak if they're out in a heavy rainstorm for
      > a long time. I see that in later versions of the pack, L.L. Bean has
      > added sewn zipper covers to protect against this.
      >
      > My few complaints mostly stem from the fact that this is a daypack,
      > not a more advanced technical pack. I include them for reference and
      > completeness, not to deter others from buying this pack.
      >
      > I feel ambivalent about the hip belt on this pack. It's made of plain
      > nylon webbing, which makes it less comfortable than a padded hip belt
      > would be. However, I don't really notice the issue unless I'm carrying
      > a lot of weight. A benefit of the simple strap is that it allows
      > people who don't like hip belts to cinch it out of the way. When I was
      > younger, I hated hip belts, and I did precisely that. One small
      > complaint is that the plastic hip belt buckle fractured years ago. It
      > still functions, which is why I haven't replaced it, but it would be
      > nice if it hadn't broken.
      >
      > A few other things might affect the choice of this pack. The pack's
      > back panel, although padded, is not rigid. This makes it difficult to
      > transfer much weight from my shoulders to my hips, which can be
      > uncomfortable with heavier weights. The back's design is quite simple,
      > without any of the air channels or mesh contraptions often found on
      > newer packs. This can sometimes lead to a sweaty back after a long
      > hike. The lack of compression straps also means that loads can
      > sometimes shift if the pack isn't full.
      >
      > I think the brightness of the Scotchlite strip is overstated in the
      > pack's advertising. While it is certainly reflective, it hardly sets
      > the night ablaze. It's a nice safety feature for the bookbag use, though.
      >
      > The pack expands away from the wearer like a bellows, which may pose a
      > problem for those who carry loads that are both bulky and heavy. When
      > fully loaded, it also means that the wearer's turning radius is quite
      > a bit larger than normal, which can be an exciting discovery in tight
      > quarters! With careful packing, the balance issues of a heavy and
      > bulky load can be mitigated, leaving only the turning issue.
      >
      > (include photo of fully loaded pack in side view on the wearer)
      >
      > As I wrote earlier, I include these issues for completeness. In most
      > cases when I've run into them, it's been my own fault: I really should
      > have been using a larger or more technical pack. That the Deluxe Book
      > Pack came through so well in circumstances beyond its original design
      > is a testament to its versatility.
      >
      > The pack is comfortable to carry, easy to load, and extremely durable.
      > After ten years of almost daily use, the pack shows very few signs of
      > wear: the bottom has a little bit of fuzz from abrasion; there's one
      > spot where the fabric has begun to fray from rubbing at a seam, though
      > it will be a long time before it wears through; and the webbing on one
      > shoulder strap has a bit of fuzz. The haul loop and shoulder straps
      > are still firmly attached and in great condition, which surprises me.
      > I've had other daypacks whose straps have torn off in the first couple
      > of years, and with lighter loads than the ones I carry with the Deluxe
      > Book Pack. The pack looks used but not worn, and it looks startlingly
      > clean for ten years without a wash.
      >
      > (possibly include photo of wear points, though this is getting to be a
      > lot of photos)
      > Summary:
      >
      > My pack is still going strong after ten years, and it has served hard
      > as well as long. L.L. Bean built a heck of a daypack with this. It
      > does a very good job of carrying books, and works equally well as a
      > hiking daypack or travel bag. The current sale price, $18.95 for the
      > Deluxe model, makes it seem a bit like getting away with murder. I
      > would definitely buy this pack again.
      >
      > pluses:
      >
      > * unusually durable construction throughout the pack
      > * organizer panel
      > * good water resistance
      > * easy to pack effectively, with good pocket sizes
      > * comfortably padded back
      > * keeps a clean appearance even after use
      >
      > minuses:
      >
      > * slash pocket isn't very useful with a full load
      > * zippers can leak in heavy rain (fixed in current retail model)
      > * hip belt is unpadded and pack has no frame
      > * arrangement of pockets can make the pack quite bulky
      >
    • Hollis
      Hi Sheila, Thanks for the comment! As a 20th-grader, I thought it worth getting back to our collective roots. Since I ve only recently been employed to the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 2, 2007
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        Hi Sheila,

        Thanks for the comment! As a 20th-grader, I thought it worth getting
        back to our collective roots. Since I've only recently been employed
        to the point where I could afford to buy new gear, most of the other
        gear about which I could write ORs has been off the market for a long
        time. I also figured that it might be a useful review, seeing as it's
        seen a lot more use (in terms of days carried--many thousands, surely)
        than any of my other gear.

        Mine's carried my practice chanters and Scottish flute around several
        countries, too... not to mention a few rocks as well! Ooh, I forgot
        that I'd taken it to France in high school. I'll stick that in the
        review later. I'm glad it made you laugh, and even happier that it was
        the content and not the quality of the writing that did it.

        Cheers,
        Hollis
      • Hollis
        O Editors, Please receive my OR, revised yet again. The updated version reflects several things, chief among them my off-list correspondence with Roger Caffin.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 7, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          O Editors,

          Please receive my OR, revised yet again. The updated version reflects
          several things, chief among them my off-list correspondence with Roger
          Caffin. He asked to hear more about my hiking locations and use, and
          so I have added more information about representative hikes. I have
          also updated the price--the sale price evidently disappeared with the
          end of the Christmas holidays.

          I have also placed a rudimentary HTML version on the web at

          http://www.holliseaster.com/BGT/LLBeanDeluxeBookPack/review.htm

          Respectfully submitted,
          Hollis


          L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack — Daypack
          Owner Review
          January 7, 2007

          (include photograph of my pack, stuffed to show full size)
          Reviewer Information:

          Name: Hollis Easter
          Age: 25
          Gender: Male
          Height: 6' 0" (1.8 m)
          Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
          Email address: backpackgeartestATholliseasterDOTcom
          City, State, Country: Potsdam, New York, USA
          Date: January 7, 2007
          Backpacking Background: I started hiking as a child in the Adirondack
          Mountains of New York. As a teenager, I hiked my way to an Eagle Scout
          award. These days, I'm mostly doing day hikes in the mountains. I hope
          to get back into doing longer trips soon. I'm also learning rock climbing.

          I am a midweight backpacker: I don't carry unnecessary gear, but
          neither do I cut the edges from my maps. I hike in all seasons, at
          altitudes from sea level to 5,300 ft (1,600 m), and in temperatures
          from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38 C).
          Product Information:

          Manufacturer: L.L. Bean (made in Korea)
          Year of manufacture: circa 1996 (still in production)
          URL: www.llbean.com
          Listed dimensions: 17"H x 13"W x 7.5"D (43 cm x 33 cm x 19 cm)
          Actual dimensions: 17"H x 13.5"W x 10"D (43 cm x 34 cm x 25 cm) see below
          Listed weight: 1 lb 8 oz (680 g)
          Actual weight: 1 lb 10 oz (737 g)
          Listed volume: 2,250 in^3 (36.8 l)
          MSRP: $39 US (sales are sometimes offered: December 2006 holiday price
          was $18.95 US)

          Listed dimensions are for a new (2006) pack; the differences in
          measurement may be due to stretching in use. Changed specifications
          could also account for it, although L.L. Bean's website gives no
          indication of major changes to the design.

          Product features:

          * Strong and abrasion-resistant nylon material
          * Padded shoulder straps
          * Water-resistant coating and taped seams
          * Strong haul loop
          * Four compartments: two large, one medium, one small
          * Padded back panel
          * Organizer panel with pen holders, zippered mesh pocket, key ring
          * Scotchlite reflective panel on outside for visibility
          * Pre-installed zipper pulls on all zippers
          * Lifetime warranty

          (might include photograph of pack with compartments annotated for the
          review)

          The L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack (hereafter "the pack") features four
          pockets. The biggest are a pair of main pockets accessed from the top
          of the pack. Although one is larger than the other, both can carry
          oversized books, camping cookware, or winter coats. A panel-loading
          pocket with an organizer panel inside will hold a raincoat, camera and
          accessories, or similar amounts of gear. There is also a front slash
          pocket for small things, guide books, etc.

          The shoulder straps are padded and 2.25" (5.7 cm) wide; the waist
          strap is 1" (2.5 cm) wide nylon webbing. Zippers are nylon with metal
          sliders and knotted webbing pulls. Buckles and tensioners are black
          plastic or nylon.

          Later versions are available fitted with Illuminex, a battery-powered
          light system for the back of the pack that increases visibility to
          motorists. For a hiking pack, this seems like a waste of weight; for a
          student's bookbag, it may not be.

          My pack is a dark blue color, although many other choices of solid
          colors and prints are available.

          Compartment measurements:
          Biggest: 16"H x 13"W x 6"D (40 cm x 33 cm x 15 cm)
          Next-biggest: 16"H x 13"W x 3.5"D (40 cm x 33 cm x 9 cm)
          Organizer: 10.5"H x 9"W x 2.5"D (27 cm x 23 cm x 6 cm)
          Slash: 10.5"H x 9"W (27 cm x 23 cm) no depth
          Field information:

          Hiking locations used: I have taken this pack on many hikes in the ten
          years I've owned it, and have also used it on bicycle day tours around
          my home in northern New York state. It was my only backpack during the
          year I lived in Scotland after graduating from university, so it went
          on all my hillwalking jaunts there. A few representative examples of
          its use:

          Climbing Dumgoyne in the Campsie Fells, near Glasgow, Scotland. A 7.5
          mile (12 km) hike over mixed terrain to climb a 1,050 ft (320 m)
          volcanic plug. The difficulty ranged from walking along a paved
          country road to scrambling up rotting rock that felt very steep indeed
          as it crumbled away beneath my feet! There were also some traverses,
          and a few sheep who made it clear that I was trespassing on their
          turf. Clear herd paths existed near the summit, although the trail was
          less clear at the bottom.

          Hiking through Stone Valley near Colton, New York. Several trails
          surround the gorge cut into the local rock by the Raquette river. Some
          sections are nearly flat, while others are quite steep. It is also
          possible to walk along on the river rocks when the water level is low.
          I have visited Stone Valley many times, whether to swim in the deeper
          sections of the river or to walk or mountain bike along the beautiful
          trails. Once, as a Boy Scout, I camped in winter along the banks of
          the river, using this pack while cross-country skiing into the site.

          Climbing St. Regis Mountain in the northern Adirondack mountains, New
          York. A 6.8 mile (11 km) hike to climb a 2,874 ft (876 m) mountain.
          The trail on St. Regis is sometimes quite steep, but generally
          well-maintained. I have climbed it many times with this pack,
          including on my first map-and-compass bushwhack: we went up the
          trailless backside of the peak.

          Non-hiking locations used: I have also put this pack to very
          substantial use outside the hiking world. In high school and
          university, I carried it to and from classes without regard for the
          weather, and used it for grocery shopping since I had no car. I have
          also used it as a gig bag for music performance, where the atmospheric
          conditions are less important than the handling ones: this bag has
          ridden in vans and buses and trains and aircraft holds, often stuffed
          with instruments, music, and performance attire. University was
          probably the hardest test in terms of weight, when I regularly carried
          more than 25 lbs (11 kg) of books in it.

          Description of locations: trails and forest bushwhacks, mountains up
          to 5,100 ft (1500 m), suburban sidewalks, aircraft holds, etc. Highly
          varied.

          Weather conditions: Again, highly varied. This pack has experienced
          everything from winter snow at temperatures below 0 F (-17 C) to
          driving spring and autumn rain at 40 F (4 C) to burning summer sun
          above 100 F (38 C).
          Comments:

          On the whole, this pack has been nothing short of wonderful. It's
          marketed as a school backpack for teenagers—I got mine at the age of
          15. Although its feature set leans toward the academic (pen holders,
          key ring, organizer panel), it works admirably for day hikes. This
          backpack saw me through hikes in the USA, Canada, and Scotland, but it
          also carried my books to every class of high school and university,
          served as my kit bag for years of bagpipe music competitions, and was
          my luggage for performance tours of Spain and the Pacific Northwest,
          USA. It has seen a lot of hard and varied use.

          The pack is very easy to work with. The compartments seem sensibly
          designed and placed, and they seem to "just work" for different kinds
          of objects, and the packing usually ends up comfortable even if I
          don't do it carefully. It's hard to quantify, but what I mean is this:
          it usually works fine if I just put items in the pack wherever they
          seem to fit. With other packs I've used, I've always ended up
          repacking things to make the load comfortable, or to allow more gear
          to fit. With this pack, I never seem to need all that packing and
          unpacking.

          Most of the pockets are very useful sizes. My water bottles usually go
          in the biggest compartment, along with my camera in its hard plastic
          case. The padded back keeps them from poking me, even with a heavy
          load. I find the second-largest compartment holds my lunch and trail
          snacks well, and it's easy to access while walking: just slip one
          shoulder strap off, swing the pack around, and the zipper's in just
          the right place—a nice touch.

          The pocket with the organizer panel usually carries my guide book, map
          and compass, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other essentials. The document
          pocket in the organizer isn't quite big enough to hold a USGS (United
          States Geological Survey) topographical map, but the maps fit nicely
          outside the organizer, inside the pocket. This pocket also works well
          for carrying rolls of 35 mm film, as the double-headed zipper means I
          can open the pocket from the top—this keeps them from falling out of
          the bag.

          The one pocket that disappoints me is the front slash pocket, which is
          really only useful for larger things if the organizer pocket is
          underfilled. Otherwise it's good for holding papers and small items
          like lip balm.

          (include photo of organizer panel, possibly showing a map in place for
          size reference)

          Almost all of the seams on the pack body are taped and sealed, which
          does a nice job of keeping the rain and snowmelt out of the pack and
          also keeps fabric from catching in the zippers. The seam attaching the
          organizer pocket to the main pack body is not taped, and consequently
          leaks occasionally. However, this is nothing too serious, and I could
          probably treat it with seam sealant if I really cared. One complaint
          is that the zippers will leak if they're out in a heavy rainstorm for
          a long time. I see that in later versions of the pack, L.L. Bean has
          added sewn zipper covers to protect against this.

          My few complaints mostly stem from the fact that this is a daypack,
          not a more advanced technical pack. I include them for reference and
          completeness, not to deter others from buying this pack.

          I feel ambivalent about the hip belt on this pack. It's made of plain
          nylon webbing, which makes it less comfortable than a padded hip belt
          would be. However, I don't really notice the issue unless I'm carrying
          a lot of weight. A benefit of the simple strap is that it allows
          people who don't like hip belts to cinch it out of the way. When I was
          younger, I hated hip belts, and I did precisely that. One small
          complaint is that the plastic hip belt buckle fractured years ago. It
          still functions, which is why I haven't replaced it, but it would be
          nice if it hadn't broken.

          A few other things might affect the choice of this pack. The pack's
          back panel, although padded, is not rigid. This makes it difficult to
          transfer much weight from my shoulders to my hips, which can be
          uncomfortable with heavier weights. The back's design is quite simple,
          without any of the air channels or mesh contraptions often found on
          newer packs. This can sometimes lead to a sweaty back after a long
          hike. The lack of compression straps also means that loads can
          sometimes shift if the pack isn't full.

          I think the brightness of the Scotchlite strip is overstated in the
          pack's advertising. While it is certainly reflective, it hardly sets
          the night ablaze. It's a nice safety feature for the bookbag use, though.

          The pack expands away from the wearer like a bellows, which may pose a
          problem for those who carry loads that are both bulky and heavy. When
          fully loaded, it also means that the wearer's turning radius is quite
          a bit larger than normal, which can be an exciting discovery in tight
          quarters! With careful packing, the balance issues of a heavy and
          bulky load can be mitigated, leaving only the turning issue.

          (include photo of fully loaded pack in side view on the wearer)

          As I wrote earlier, I include these issues for completeness. In most
          cases when I've run into them, it's been my own fault: I really should
          have been using a larger or more technical pack. That the Deluxe Book
          Pack came through so well in circumstances beyond its original design
          is a testament to its versatility.

          The pack is comfortable to carry, easy to load, and extremely durable.
          After ten years of almost daily use, the pack shows very few signs of
          wear: the bottom has a little bit of fuzz from abrasion; there's one
          spot where the fabric has begun to fray from rubbing at a seam, though
          it will be a long time before it wears through; and the webbing on one
          shoulder strap has a bit of fuzz. The haul loop and shoulder straps
          are still firmly attached and in great condition, which surprises me.
          I've had other daypacks whose straps have torn off in the first couple
          of years, and with lighter loads than the ones I carry with the Deluxe
          Book Pack. The pack looks used but not worn, and it looks startlingly
          clean for ten years without a wash.

          (possibly include photo of wear points, though this is getting to be a
          lot of photos)
          Summary:

          My pack is still going strong after ten years, and it has served hard
          as well as long. L.L. Bean built a heck of a daypack with this. It
          does a very good job of switch-hitting: I find it comfortable whether
          I'm carrying gear up a mountain or textbooks down the street. Its
          durability continues to impress me. I would definitely buy this pack
          again.

          pluses:

          * unusually durable construction throughout the pack
          * organizer panel
          * good water resistance
          * easy to pack effectively, with good pocket sizes
          * comfortably padded back
          * keeps a clean appearance even after use

          minuses:

          * slash pocket isn't very useful with a full load
          * zippers can leak in heavy rain (fixed in current retail model)
          * hip belt is unpadded and pack has no frame
          * arrangement of pockets can make the pack quite bulky
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