I have been using this pack extensively for several years, and have tried the Dakine pack and other options from mystery ranch, and adapting packs not specifically made for hauling a saw. I carry a Stihl 261, 9 layer chaps, gloves, helmet, more than half a liter of both fuel and bar oil, a fairly large first aid kit with Israeli bandages, elastic wraps large gauze pads, tourniquet, trauma shears, Sam split, and more, water, 4 wedges, hatchet, an extra bar and at least one chain, sharpener, and saw tool, multi tool, phone, snacks.
It is tough to get it all to fit, and to get the extra fuel/oil bottles on, I have attached molle water bottle pouches to the chain saw sleeve for them. The 18 bar fits in the main compartment diagonally, a friend has the same pack and a Oregon bar and has opened the funny interior zipper to make it fit. It would be nice to have a little more room for lunch and a jacket, and dedicated specific mechanisms for carrying the fuel/oil. I think it would be a significant improvement if there were better attachment systems on the top and bottom of the pack. I haven’t quite figured out how to do that. It is surprisingly comfortable to use while riding, but not nearly as much when hiking. An way to adjust the torso length would help. I am 6’1”.
The mystery ranch and True North solution are modular, can carry more, are more comfortable for hiking, cost a lot more, and I do not like to ride with them.
The Dakine 40 liter, is more versatile and larger, but carrying a saw in it is more awkward, and it makes the pockets on the saw sleeve pretty useless.
The new smaller dakine would be awesome for a saw if it had a lot more room, as it keeps the saw closer to the body. I haven’t even come close to figuring out how to get a minimum amount of gear in it for serious sawyer work. Maybe I’ll figure out how to attach more to it. It’s great for carrying the Stihl Kombi and attachments out.
Evoc customer service has been great dealing with warranty issues. Its the bag I leave my sawyer stuff packed in and ready go. If I need the Stihl 661 then it’s time for the trailer.
This pack is too small for the serious trail worker. My 211 chainsaw (a relatively small size) barely fits in the holder. While the pack has many small pockets, it does not have room for the stuff a sawyer needs to carry in addition to the saw: fuel/bar oil bottles, water (at least a quart), gloves, chaps, wedges, first aid kit—not to mention lunch, extra torso layer, rain gear, etc. Pack is a bit too small for my relatively average torso (5-10, 200lb male)—when the hip belt is right, the sternum strap rides way too high. Zippers seem a little stiff, but hopefully they will loosen up a bit with use. There is a mysterious zipper that apparently opens up the bottom of the main compartment, but it’s impossible to get my fingers into the corner to get it unzipped, and I’m not sure what use it would have.
The pack might work for non-sawyer jobs, or quick trips in pleasant conditions, but the lack of room for bulky work items and the other stuff needed for a safe day in the backcountry is real drawback. This is an expensive piece of gear and I expected a little more thought would have gone into the design.