I was hesitant to buy this pack because I had always used a different brand and had my pack from them for over 9 years. My packs get used hard during buffalo and elk season and not knowing what I was getting from Alps I didn't know how the straps would hold up to the heavy weight of a bison, but I like the bigger shelf. I am very impressed with the pack and glad I made the switch. The larger shelf for elk is great as it helps wrap up and over the nose a lot easier as shown in the picture. For bison the shelf gives me more room to help tighten the cape and head in and make it easier to haul out. Last year we hauled out 4 bison, 3 elk and 2 deer with the pack and more in the previous years. The pack is holding up great and is going on its 4th season and I haven't had any issues other then when I get a lot of dust and blood in a zipper then it binds a bit but cleans out easy and works great.