on June 25, 2012
I don't own a car and live in a hilly area about a mile and a quarter from the nearest supermarket. After 26 years of service, my old "grocery pack" was ready to give up the ghost, so I bought this one after shopping around on line.
To be honest, when I took it out of the box, I was a bit disappointed as to how small it was. I had measured my old pack at 28L and this one is actually slightly smaller. Then again, my back and knees are now 26 years older, so I figured maybe it's time to make lighter trips more frequently.
With that in mind, I took the Cirque 30 for a maiden run. The pack held 2.035 kg apples, 1.910 kg pears, 2.6 kg frozen vegetables, 2 kg rolled oats and four 680-ml cans of pasta sauce, about 25 lbs in all. I was quite pleased by the level of comfort added by the padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt - more substantial than my previous pack - and by the ventilation in the back. (The temperature outside was 23 C, which is hot by local standards.)
At 5'10" I'm at the upper end of the pack's torso length range - maybe even a bit over - and had wondered if this would be a problem, but the pack fits me very well. Unlike some other reviewers, I found the zippers and adjustment straps easy to work with. Also, one of the Amazon.com reviewers said the sternum strap was placed in a painful area for her. I didn't have that problem myself, but then again I'm kind of flat-chested.
By the time I got the groceries home, I'd decided that this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The pack looks durable and well-made - time will tell, of course. And at $70 CDN, shipping included, I'm sure not arguing with the price!
A word about the shipping: the confirm e-mail from Amazon promised I'd receive the item in 7-14 days. Was I ever surprised when my Canada Post showed up at my door 3.5 days after I placed my order - and those 3.5 days included Saturday and Sunday.