I just got back from two trips, a 4 night and then a 7 night in the high Sierra at 10-12,000′, both with my Nunatak Original Frameless/Bears Ears 50 (the name, and the web site, are both a little confusing) and a BV500 bear can.
I carried 28-34 lbs starting out on the two trips respectively, no problem at all, very comfortable and stable both on trail and off. Some have asked about this above, and I can say definitely that the bear canister does NOT bounce at all.
I am 5’10.5″, 175-180lbs, inseam length 30in and although at first a Large was recommended, we agreed that a Medium would be the better fit based on how I like to wear the hip belt relatively high, and I think that was the right choice.
The pack felt great both trips, which were about 2/3 on trail and 1/3 off trail/XC, at 10-12k’ in the high Sierra. I also used the pack as a day pack to summit Langley, just removed and stashed the canister and cinched the bear can straps down to zero length, and it worked just fine.
Super handy that you can pull out the ensolite back pad and use it as a knee/sit pad; I used this every day.
I bought my pack set up with a right-hand gear pouch and a left-hand bottle pouch on the hip belt; I ended up moving the bottle pouch to the left shoulder, it works better for me there, and I was able to easily reposition the bottle pouch using the existing strap.
Someone asked: “What was it like to set the pack down on the ground? Did the bear can get beat up? sure, a bit. But, less than a bear would beat it up!
Q “Did the water bottle pockets have to splay out or go on their sides? Did the pockets want to discharge the bottles when put down on the ground?” yes, a bit (I was using a 75oml Smartwater bottle) — that’s part of the reason why I moved the water bottle pocket up to the left shoulder strap. After that, no problem.
Q “Was it ever slippery if you had to sit down with the pack on? Like if you had to sit down to descend a big rock drop-off, would the bear can scrap or slip on the rock behind you?” I didn’t find this to be an issue, but I suppose it was more slippery than a pack. Worked fine for me, not an issue.
The single big exterior mesh pocket is awesome—just use it, no wondering which pocket things are in.
Weight seems very competitive with other UL packs. Materials are top notch and seem pretty dang bulletproof.
Although I don’t love carrying a bear can, that’s kindof a done deal here in CA and I love how the pack is designed around the purpose and allows access to the can at any time without having to dig it out of the pack. Love it, way to go Nunatak!