This past Saturday, I tried it out on a 7 mile day hike. It was a sunny day, temps in the mid-60s with a steady 10 mph breeze. I didn't load it to capacity, but put some small camera accessories, extra batteries, my headlamp, snacks, a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen and a monocular in it. I found that it worked well, making some things more accessible than they had been on past hikes. I wouldn't put a water bottle in it when backpacking, since there are readily available spots on my pack for that. I would probably put the pepper spray in there instead. Maybe the ridge line for my tarp to facilitate a quick setup when I get to camp? I have to look at my gear and really figure out what makes sense. It was comfortable and I wasn't even aware of the straps. I tried it on with my backpack and it was the same. I don't know yet, but for me, being 65 and not in top shape, there may be some benefit to redistributing some weight from my pack into it. I should know more in a couple of weeks when I make the first backpacking trip of the season.