Im a bit of a gear whore, but time and time again i use this pack for almost everything. Its a barebones design that is tough as nails and ive put it through hell using it for school and play (I surf, snorkel, Hike, mountainbike, and do lots of high caliber target shooting). It rides nice and high and close allowing for lots of mobility. So great that Ive owned 2 because I had the original stolen. That said you need to learn how to pack light since it is a small bag (closer to 16-17 liters). I also discovered that nalgene bottles dont carry very well in the mesh pockets, but not to worry some good old fashioned one quart army issue canteens will do the trick( I carry 2) and for those of us that like the whole camelback thing, a stow away system and a little bit of ingenuity will do the trick, after all thats what the straps are for.