I would like an informed experienced opinion regarding a pack and I consider this the best place to get that. I have briefly used a Mystery Ranch Deep, Trance, 2 years ago, that seems to do a good job but I need the best load transfer to my hips possible. Is my best bet to just go to an external frame and chop it up to lighten it or are there other alternatives that will get me the weight transfer. I am looking for the best transfer, not just ok.
Following is some history to explain my needs.
Bio: Previously my gear consisted of a beltless homemade pack and most gear, base weight summer 7.5 pounds plus food and water. No hiking last 2 years due to 30 year back issues that came to a peak. I resorted to back surgery 6 months ago L3,L4,L5 fused from the front "ALIF surgery.
Currently, my 6 month review shows good bone growth and no physical restrictions, except the understanding that I am almost 60, not almost 20 and need to be a tad bit more careful. I have started hiking again and have my eye on backpacking as soon as conditioning and strenght etc. is appropriate.
With all that said, The doctors recommend a pack that has a hip belt and transfers almost all of the load directly to the hip bones. I understand this is a lightweight forum and such packs are heavier but I now consider myself a hybrid. The gear I put into the pack will be scrutinized even more for lightness and function.
I do not want to go out and test a myriad of packs to narrow down the field as the wear and tear on me doing that is not acceptable at this point.