First off let me say that I really like this pack. I'll go through the pros and cons of what I've experienced in the first few weeks of use. I ordered this one (which I never tried on at a store first because I couldn't find one) because the SJ 3.0 pack just didn't have any extra storage if you use a hydration bladder (which I do) and the AK pack was just too bulky for what I wanted. This seemed like a perfect combo of size, weight, and storage capacity.
- VERY light weight
- Fairly breathable
- Good amount of storage for size
- Nice hose routing options. For a pack that doesn't come with a rear hydration bladder, this is really set up to add one.
- Nice "extras" like the whistle, salt cap pocket, little pockets on the front straps.
- Not enough smaller pockets on rear of pack to separate supplies. Not sure why they didn't leave the popular bottom side-opening pocket found on the other SJ vests.
- The strong, breathable, and light weight mesh is not the softest if you're wearing this pack over a tank top or shirtless.
- The front bottles are nice but very cumbersome.
- The small padded inserts on the base of the front bottle pockets are unnecessary and a little bulky when you don't use those bottles.
Overall I really like the pack. Best thing I can say about it is I've hardly noticed wearing it and there was no transition period to get used to the feel of it.