Hey guys, I've been doing a lot of reading up on packs. With so many options, I'm a little overwhelmed to be honest. I'm mainly a rock climber / guide and I've made due with a Vaude Expedition Rock 55+10 Backpack for the last few years. It's starting to wear out a bit and I want something new. Something nice and slightly bigger.
My primary use for the pack will be on climbing trips. Most of the hikes are pretty easy approaches. We're talking 30 minutes or less usually. The approaches may include some bushwacking, so durability is a must. It'll be stuffed with a rope, shoes, food, water ect. No ice climbing trips, so I'm not worried about ice axes or crampons.
I also want to get into some light backpacking. I'll probably start with a few weekend trips here and there and work my way up to 6-8 day treks. I'm new to the whole treking side of things, so I don't mind if you throw in any links for some basics.
I guess what I'm looking for is a blend between durability, decent weight, comfort, convenient gear accessibility and nice carrying of loads.
I just purchased a Big Agnes Pitchpine 40* and a POE Pack M@ air pad(essentially an ether thermo 6 from what I've read). for the first trip I'm thinking that I'll also be carrying a Jetboil Flash, a 4 pound SwissGear tent, a 2L water bladder, two 32oz nalgenes, and food for two days. Probably a few mountain house meals, granolas, protien bars, and a pack of pasta sides.
I can get better deals on Golite and Mountain Hardwear so I've been reading up on their packs. The four packs I've been looking at are:
Golite Quest 72L - 3.pounds 1oz
GoLite Terrono 70L - 4 pounds 4oz
MHW South Col 70L - 3pounds 12oz
MHW Molimo 70L - 4pounds 15oz
I've also read reviews on the Osprey Aether 70 and the Arc'teryx Altra 75, both of which weight in around 5 pounds. The downside of these two are that I don't get deals on them. If they are THAT much better, I may spend the dough. They all seem "pretty even" in my mind so I'm having a hard time deciding.