It's difficult to find a streamlined, modular pack with enough volume to carry 3 days worth of gear; the Recon shines there. It appears to be well made but the design is lacking. It isn't anywhere near as bulky as similarly sized packs with exterior pockets and I am able to fit an incredible amount of gear in it without the addition of any extras. However, it is not fully modular as it would appear. The shoulder straps are not removable without permanent modification, and there is no waist belt; if you use the QD buckles on top to attach it to a PC or chest rig there is nothing to secure the bottom unless you're creative and handy with "tactical tailoring". With the shoulder straps still attached it creates the excess bulk you were looking to avoid with a modular pack in the first place. As a standalone I would give this a B+ for utility, but as a modular pack I think it is more along the lines of a C. I can make this work for me, but others may not want to go through the hassle.