I'm a new member here, so a quick little introduction: I'm leaving for the John Muir Trail in less than three weeks, and I'm looking to upgrade my backpack. However, I'm 6'4" and weigh 165, and most 'large' sized packs don't fit me as well as I feel they should. The hip belt and shoulder straps always seem a bit overkill for what I need.
In regards to my gear, I use an ultra light hammock/tarp/underquilt/overquilt system, have an ultralight and compact cookset, and go pretty minimalistic and lightweight with most of my gear. However, for the JMT, I'll be bringing more layering than I typically bother with, extra fishing gear, and will be hauling a bear canister, so space may be a bit of an issue.
For a new bag, these are the criteria important to me:
2. Actually fits me
3. Fits a bear canister easily with other gear
4. Durable, or with a good repair/replacement program
5. As light as possible, but with a frame capable of bearing mild loads sufficient for up to 10 day treks
6. Keep price as minimal as possible
In looking at new packs, right now I'm eyeing the Osprey Aether 60/70, though I'm having a hard time deciding between the two capacities. I like that the shoulder straps and hip belt are swappable for other sizes, and this seems to be the only way I'll manage to find a pack that will properly fit me in all regards. I can't find whether Osprey or any dealers will let you swap out sizes, or order with specific sizes, so does anyone know if this is the case?
The Aether seems to meet my criteria better than other bags I've researched, but are there other brands or specific packs should I consider taking a look at? Thanks ahead of time for any input.