-- Last Updated: Oct-22-12 5:35 PM EST --
and the go to ones are the Ostrom and the CCS. For quality of worksmanship.
The Ostrom pack fits me far better. It seems to keep a pack shape better . The CCS one wants to go to round.
The Ostrom has a more secure drawstring top that closes the top bag..then three straps secure the load front to back and side to side so the shape stays secure. If you are going with a smaller pack this may not matter so much. Then the final top flap folds over.
The CCS pack top is open with two sets of straps that fold over flaps..but they seem not to give the pack integrity.
The Ostroms have a lot of lifting handles. Again perhaps not an issue with smaller packs.
And it is reinforced internally with aluminum stays that conform to your shape. The back is far more rigid. However check with Dan Cooke, he may be reinforcing the back of his newer packs. Again with a smaller pack this may be a non issue.
Both of course come with lateral compression straps but I believe there are more adjustments possible with the Ostrom (both packs are in the barn now)
Both Dan Cooke and Bill Ostrom are paddlers first and foremost. You cannot go wrong with either.
Someone once had a link to a portage pack that unbuckled into two packs for solo canoe trim. You really dont want to be unloading a single pack to trim up the boat. But I forgot the maker.
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