"Looks better on paper than it feels on the trail"
Weight: 3lbs 2oz
Review Year: 2009
Organization: 2 main pockets, 1 top pocket
Pro's: Very Spacious, Top Pocket, Easy Access to Bottle Pockets, Easy Organization, Padded Straps
Con's: Poor Quality, Poor Ventilation (Back Sweat), Uncomfortable, Poor Hip Belt
The Full Story:
This pack seems to have all the features you could want, padding everywhere, a hipbelt, plenty of space, organization, but uncharacteristically of REI they cut too many corners with materials and design, as a result - a pack that seems to have it all, leaves a lot to desire. The poor ventilation is probably the most difficult design flaw, since nothing ruins a hike like a sweaty back and even against a good wicking base.
Not everything is bad about this pack though. It has a great amount of storage, and although it is too small for light backpacking, its great for winter hikes with a full 40 liters of space available in the two pockets. Organization is a breeze as well, with internal zippers and flaps abound to prevent little items like batteries from falling down and getting squished at the bottom. In fact its almost hard to imagine what one could bring on a simple dayhike that would fill the pack. Stability can be an issue as a result, but not a serious one.
important design revisions have been made to the Lookout since this review, and the new model looks a bit better and reportedly had better ventilation, as well as satability.
Lookout 40 at REI.com
Test Locations: Hall Natural Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, Big Basin State Park