I had one recently for about a week. The lumbar pad isn't as stout or "thought out" as say the s.g with the added support or kuiu or kifaru. But for some reason (not under load) everything felt great with this pack. Im not sure if the load lifters were a craze after the original outdoorsman 1 design pack and they missed the trend or not. But after speaking with outdoorsman I had mentioned a possible composite attachment that would get the load lifters a bit more functional for the taller guys and they were more than open minded to the concept.
The flex frame is definitely that way for a reason, different strokes for different folks I suppose. I assume these guys took into consideration that you hunt a lot more without heavy load then you do with a heavy load. Being based out of Az, This is somewhat of a different style of pack than say kifaru (colorado) or kuiu (nor cal) granted these other manufacturers all have a common goal. They all have a different "style" per say. Majority of sheep guides I know (Nv &Az area)prefer the flex frame and every inch of the outdoorsman compared to the kuiu/kifaru.
After spending a lot of time on the phone with outdoorsman we came to an agreement. That agreement was, that no one can tell you how your boots feel on your feet. Meaning everyone has a different approach to pack design for a different reason or different experience. The outdoorsman is a well thought out pack that performs great for those that like the pack. (Given that makes sense) after a very long conversation I decided the pack wasn't for me. I had the max 1 edition optics hunter. I decided that the right pack for me was the blue ripstop optics hunter. A bit more weight conscious. And being a shorter fella I can adjust the suspension down another notch than most folks and really get some more lift out of the load lifters.
One of the other things we touched on during our conversation was different packs for different hunts or styles. He mentioned that he has 5-6 packs in his garage all with different purposes. Dayhunts, multi day hunts, truck hunts, alaskan hunts and so on. We touched on the fact that pack companies do not have a lot of competition. Meaning they each have their own pretty loyal following and each crowd wants something different from the next.
Outdoorsman definitely has a customer for life in me and I highly suggest trying one out, given the chance. To see if fits your style for a particular hunt or hunts.
i have the optic pack and hunting partner has the long range - this is our first time going out on a bp hunt and we both really like our packs. easy to get the fit right for each person and have typically had 50 pounds and it feels great. i've done some short hikes with 70 pounds and still good to go. for a first timer it is perfect, not crazy expensive and good quality for sure