I am fairly new to this BPL thing. As folks have suggested, I have waited until the end of my new purchases to buy a pack. I am there now.
Don't laugh, but I need suggestions on a pack that will hold up to 40lbs comfortably. Why so much you ask? First, I fish and as you know fisherman like to bring lots of junk. I am scaling this down in hopes of making to 33-35 lbs, but in case I can't, I want 40lbs of load carrying ability. Second, I figure if I overshoot a little, the pack will definitely be comfortable with lighter weights. Finally, I am sure I will take my kids hiking/camping again and it will be nice to have the ability to carry as much of their stuff as possible.
So far, I am looking at the ULA Catalyst (add the frame sheet), Kelty Soar, GG Nimbus Ozone and GG Nimbus Meridian. Any other suggestions? Unforunately, except for the Kelty and maybe one of the GG's, I won't be able to try before I buy.