Well,

I recieved my Icon 6000 on June 8th, but didn't open it up until the 11th since my wife had our first baby on the same day so I was a little preoccupied. So, about the weight. I scaled mine and with the included velcro pouch(which I will probably not use due to its small size), my pack came in at 5 LB 12.5 OZ. So yes, they came in heftier than advertized. Their weight claims were a major factor in my decision to try one out. So, it was disappointing to see it come in almost a LB heavier than the projected 4 LB, 14 OZ. Is it a deal breaker? Well, I almost sent it back just on principle and I am sure for some folks, they did just that. However, I decided to keep it because I really like the layout, the build quality seems excellent, and it fits me well with better functioning loadlifters than my mystery ranch 6500. It still saves me more than 3.5 LBS from my 6500 as well. I loaded it up with about 30 LBS or gear and food to just get the feel of it and I like it. I saw the prototype at their shop in Dixon a while back as I passed through on a road trip and it seems that the shoulder straps were beefed up a bit material-wise on the front, which I like. I was concerned on the prototype that it may easily rip, but with the one I received, that will not be an issue. The main pack fabric should be sturdy enough to withstand brush, snags, and the like. I haven't taken it out yet with my current baby duties, but I am looking forward to it. Around the house and up and down the stairs it feels good as far as how it fits my back. Of course I will need some trail time to test it well and through some serious weight in it. I was concerned as well about being able to attach pouches, rangefinder, holster, etc to the waistbelt. I have found that my Serpa paddle holster slides into place nicely behing the strap.and even better if I undo the lower shoulderstrap and run it through the paddle as well. I will throw up a picture of it soon to illustrate the point. My rangfinder case fits okay on the other side as well. Not as good as on my pals webbing with MR pack, but it should be sufficient to get the job done. The spotting scope pouch fits my Vortex Nomad and a Slik Compact XL tripod nicely together. I didn't use the bungee to secure them and I will probably remove it from the pouch. With both in the pocket, I can't see how either would just fall out when opened up. My Slik Pro 614CF does not fit though. It is a couple inches too long to make it in that pocket. With the pack fully loaded, it doesn't seem possible to use the exterior bottom flap to secure a bow cam. With the spotter and tripod, it doesn't give me a good angle and I can't secure the bow close to the pack. With it set up in a daypack mode it is possible though. Fully packed, you will have to just use the crossing staps to secure your bow. I am fine with that setup since that is how I usually secured my bow on previous packs or with extra staps that I jimmy-rigged. I think for pack in hunts, I will hunt without the lid as it compresses well and simplifies the setup. The straps that secure the lid can reach all the way over the top and attach to each other without the lid and could come in handy to hopefully secure a big fuzzy set of antlers without the lid on the way back to spike camp. One detail I really like is that they have sewn a webbing loop that you can pass the backside lid attachment straps through so that it helps cinch a taller load in closer. With my old crewcab, on tall loads heading out, I have used an extra strap around the top of the pack to accomplish the same thing. As far as stuffing the pack. If you have a lot to get in there, stuff from the top because it is hard to stuff from the front and be able to close it without putting strain on the zippers. The meat cell has a pouch at the bottom that may catch some of the blood, but I don't think it will contain it all. It tightens down really well though and should keep the meat evenly distributed. I think I will continue to use my gamebags and drop those inside the meat cell to help keep it a little cleaner. Anyway, those are my initial impressions after messing with it for a few days. I will report back after I get some trail time and also post a few pictures as well.