I am pretty much just echoing what is said above, but I use them for what I would call just below the tree line rockies every year for about 5.
It is largely following closed roads, quad trails, and used snowmobile trails, but they works really well for that.
I am not a skier or telemarked or...
I am in this camp as well.
I hunt in the gear I train in for the most part. I will hose the gear down until all the crap is off it, then I dry it all and store it in a bag full of pine needles/branches.
I have been using the seek outside SXL for a number of years now. In Alberta late season it is a must.
A friend has been using one from Lite Outdoors for a long time -- it is one of the early prototypes or something. It works really well.
Ultimately, in the 2, find which has the size profile...
What kind of climate, and distance from safety are you hunting?
My advice would change a whole bunch for first rut rolling prairies vs November Alberta rockies. Also if you are a 2hr hike from real heat vs a 6hr hike.
I've done a couple of them. Toughs, not the bigger ones they have now.
They leave me pretty pooched. Using them as an excuse to train for is the biggest thing.
The part that surprised me the most was the leadership component.
Do you know how much it will carry? I can't find a manufacturer claim as to what it will hold, nor can I find a pic of how it attaches to the ALICE.
I saw this:
Which makes it look like 4 U clips bolting a giant steel plate to the ALICE, but it is hard to believe that...