how do you pack it?
I put sleeping bag in the bottom section of the bag. My air mattress, stove, cloths, etc goes in the main section. The front pockets hold my knife, matches, light, etc - small stuff. The side pockets are for water bottles and other stuff I need quick access to - snacks, toliet paper, etc. In the top part, I place other small items and it if I am carrying part of the tent I fasten it between the top part and the main section - in between.
Hope that helps
My Redwing 90 packing preference :
I store my sleeping bag inside the bag compartment with the pad tied to the outside bottom face which acts like a stand when its on the ground so you dont have to lean it against anything. I put my tent and poles inside but seperated on both sides vertically then I will pack between them starting with tent footprint then all my cooking items and next my food container with my meals then my clothes on top in a compression sack then a loose jacket and rain gear on top of that. I like to use the two side compartments for things like the water filter, gps, cell ph, headlamp, binoculars. I store my snacks in the top cover along with a spare 16oz plastic water bottle and a small medical kit so they are already there if I decide to use it as a fanny pack for a short trip from camp, which the fanny pack came in real handy on my last outing. On the back compartment I will put items like maps and 'bio'-tissue and a couple of small paper back books or a couple small magazines to read. I'm sure I've left some things out but it all depends on your length of stay and how much you need to get by on. I just did a 3 nighter and had plenty of room to store all my gear in the pack.
Hope this has been useful. But its always going to be trial and error.
If you bought the pack it should have some tips on packing. The biggest thing is first go through and loosen all the straps so that the pack space is as open as possible. Remember there is one on the bottom of the Inside of the pack. The way you pack is more of a personal thing. You can pack for space, you can pack for ease of use. Its up to you. A tip is to boot something square like a spare shoes or boots laid at the bottom (like you would find them in a shoe box) This spreads out the pack and makes it easier to pack. Also pack from light to heavy. Yes this means the heaviest stuff should be on or near the top. Hope this helps.
I bought this back for a European vacation, not back country camping. There are two main compartments of the bag. I used a eBags to separate my clothes, otherwise it'd have been pretty tricky to find things in the big main compartments. The bottom part is built for a sleeping bag to fit in and has a nice quality zipper to you can really compress stuff in tight.
You just want to remember to back the heavy stuff close to your spine and higher in the pack. Overall I really liked the pack and I was thankful I didn't have a suit case with all the stairs and cobblestones we encountered.
I think the best question is how don't you pack it. The thing has massive space! But that doesn't mean it does not require any organizational skills; because there is so much space to fill. The thing I find amazing about this pack is that since the pockets are so deep, it has zippers in places where you can get access to the stuff that is buried under other stuff so you don't have to take everything out just to get what you need. I had so much fun just exploring and finding all the compartments and pockets on this thing when I first got the bag. It has pockets for the little things, pockets for the medium things, and pockets for the big things. It even has straps on the outside to attach your sleeping bag to the exterior so you don't have to use up space stuffing it on the inside of it. If you are a camper/hiker this is the bag for you. I wouldn't suggest using it as a book bag though, 'cause this thing is heavy duty made for the elements. Hope this helps. Thanks.
It's a very roomy pack. The bottom compartment is for sleeping bag, and I also packed my ground matt and deflatable pillow in there along with some clothes. The straps on the outside of the bottom compartment are great for attaching tents too. Pack the bottom compartment first. Next pack the main compartment, putting what you need quick access to (i.e., rain gear) on top or in one of the side pouches. Finally round out the side pouches with small items and other quick access items. I bought this pack for Philmont this past summer and it was a champ for me. I carried all my stuff for 11 days, including the crew first aid kit, and usually 3-4 days of food as well. It's so roomy, in fact, that you'll have to worry more about weight than capacity because of all the things you can stuff in it. My pack was about 65 lbs most of the time, and I had no problems with straps or buckles breaking. I also shopped it around on the web and Sunny Sports had the best price, at least then... Good luck.