I've been in the search for a new pack, anxious for the coming change in weather and new season. I've narrowed it down to the ULA Circuit or OHM2.0. The pack I will be ditching is an REI Pinnacle 40 (http://www.summitpost.org/outdoor-gear/pinnacle-40-pack/6965). This pack actually works quite well, and isn't too heavy at 3lbs, but has too narrow an opening to accomodate the large bear canisters that I have to use in N. California. I've used the large Backpackers Cache canister and it had to store it vertically but the diamter flexes the back pad of the REI pack in a very unconfortable way.
Now, I'm aware that the OHM2.0 suggests not using a bear can with it but is it talking about the large canister only? Would a bearvault 450 fit nicely sideways, with a flat side toward the body, so that it wouldn't flex like the REI pack did? Beyond the bearvault 450 what are some of the other smallish bear cans (besides the small bearboxer, not quite big enough for me and it's still round).
Basically I would really prefer the OHM2.0 mostly for its weight savings but am afraid it will be uncomfortable with a bear can. Also, I've always had to overpack in my previous trips but now that I've gotten my base weight down to 12-15lbs am I really ever going to feel a difference in weight when dealing with fulll packs less than 35lbs? As in, is the heavier Circut going to feel bigger, or will it still have a lightweight backpack feel to it?
EDIT: also, random question I couldn't seem to find anything from searching: what sort of bottle can I use that will have a wide enough mouth to accommodate a steripen? I noticed in one of the ULA vids that cutting out nalgene bottles is pretty common, but am not sure how I would then get safe water as pen is my go to method. Can i sterilize the water in my aluminim cookware perhaps?
Thanks in advance for the help I've learned a lot from this place!