I have just purchased one of the day lumbar packs. The single shoulder strap came with plastic "buckle" that snaps into the pack. Does this product have a simular buckle that would interact with the pack like the shoulder strap? I can see myself switching often between this harness and single shoulder strap often and would prefer not to have to be threading straps through buckles all the time.
Thanks for your time.
Yes the buckles are identical and the straps are interchangeable. However, older lumbar packs by Mountainsmith do not have the buckles so not all packs can use the shoulder harness.
If your single shoulder strap had "male" clips on both ends and these fit into "female" clips on the top of your Mountainsmith pack, then the strapette should work flawlessly, with rapid clip-on, clip-off (there is another attachment that goes to the body of the lumbar pack, but that is also quick-on, quick-off). The older Mountainsmith lumbar packs have a buckle on the top that you have to lace the webbing through, but if yours is the male-female type of clip, no problemo.
The rear straps of the shoulder harness snap into the female ends of the pack which are the same as those for the single shoulder strap. The front part of the harness straps are threaded through the plastic loops which are located on the forward part of the waist belt near the main belt buckle.
It would not be easy to frequently switch. The lower connections require a good bit of effort/threading. I simply disconnect the upper click buckles, stuff the shoulder straps behind the padded backpad and connect the other shoulder strap. The strappette harness makes the lumbar pack much easier to carry when on a long hike - I wore it into the Grand Canyon and without the strappette harness it would have been extremely uncomfortable and more tiring.
The Strappette harness uses quick release buckles on one end (the top of the pack) and a buckle you thread through an eyelet on the bottom of the pack. I would not consider the harness instantly removable, but unthreading the two bottom buckles would only take less than a minute. I never remove the harness, I consider it an integral part of my Day pack. I load a ton of photo gear (including a 13 inch laptop) into my Day pack and using the single shoulder strap would be too uncomfortable. Although the nylon cover of the Strappette Shoulder Harness tore early on (due to the heavy weight of my bag) the rest of the harness has performed as well as the rest of the bag. I've traveled extensively with the bag (always overloaded) and the harness has been the key to doing so comfortably. You can't go wrong having both straps, especially at the low price SunnySports is selling it at.
The harness is not really designed to be a shoulder strap and would he quite uncomfortable as one. However, I love this harness and did keep the shoulder strap just in case. In the 3 years since I bought this harness, I have never felt the need to use the shoulder strap, as the harness is very comfortable. It does attach in the same way as the strap, in that it buckles right into the pack. Switching between the two would be a minor inconvenience, as the harness is relatively easy to take on and off. Hope this was helpful!
That's the one downfall to the shoulder harness - no quick release option. I was s bit disappointed in that when I bought the shoulder straps. However, for me it hasn't been an issue because I often find I carry enough in the pack that the shoulder straps are better for me. Initially threading the straps to the pack was a pain. Also another reason I just use the pack with the straps. I mostly use the pack for fly fishing so it's nice having the straps to help distribute weight.
Unless I don't have the strapette harness attached correctly, the lower front is "permanently" attached.
Honestly don't recall -- I purchased the strapettes three or four years back, but no matter how heavily I've loaded this pack, I've never really needed them, and have stopped using them. (And I use this pack to carry everything I take to Asia for a month, though admittedly I travel a bit light.)