I'm looking to buy a pack and now that I've dived into the wonderful ultralight world, things have gotten shaken up. Here's my dilemma: I'd like to loose the weight of a frame and somehow utilize my tent poles instead. (just bought a tarptent cloudburst w/ two sets of poles. put them on the left and right sides?).
I went to REI and tried out this theory and was completely dissapointed. I placed two poles on each side of a display "Golite Jam", and filled it with pillow, beanbag, pillow. It was extremely uncomfortable because the pack bulged into the middle of my back in between the poles.
So now I'm looking for pack recommendations. Or, was this just a bad test for the Golite? I don't plan on hiking with a sleeping pad, but rather an inflatable mattress (worth the extra oz for comfort) Therefore I don't have the luxury of using one as a frame.
Also, a pack with room for a bear canister inside or outside would be good. I'd also be willing to sew in internal straps for my tent poles, so that they'd stay in the right place