I have really liked the Lightning 45 with added Flash pocket but needed a larger pack to contain winter bulk, activity gear and more food for longer trips.
So after debating how big to go, I ordered the Explore 60 online. This pack has two slightly narrower aluminium struts as part of the super comfortable harness, compared to the Lightning models with one central strut. Another model in larger capacity sizes with a single strut would be the Thunder series.
Comparing to the popular Lightning packs, the main differences are:
A pack fabric rather than stretch mesh on the side and hip belt pockets.
Different compression system.
The Explore was great on it's first outing around the Deep Pass area of Blue Mountains and Wollemi National Parks. I did a two nighter which was mostly off track, stepping and pushing through scrubby undergrowth.
It has heaps of adjustment options beyond the sliding back length. The load lifter straps can be repositioned completely as with the Lightning and also slid along the shoulder straps, the extension collar could be folded in and a lower pull cord used, the top strap and lid could be completely removed and all the Rapid hooks work quite well one handed.
I made little adjustments to them all and will continue to as I dial it in for a perfect fit and different trip gear.
Somehow I loaded it to the max! Using the extension sleeve, adjusting the height of the lid and a few flat things in the back/front pocket. I was carrying a helmet, harness in a dry bag and my usual fresh food in reuseable containers. Plus my cold weather sleeping bag not squashed as small as it could go and more layers just in case.
It's a great pack