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[pct-l] Pack inquiry from NaborJ./PCT 2005.
Buy a pack to fit the gear you expect to carry, not because of it's stated
capacity. How much of that 7000 cubic inches is useable and where is it
located? A lot of packs quote their fully loaded capacity - counting all
side pockets and extension collars. Loaded like that, they won't carry
nearly as well as if the pack bag itself were sized for the same capacity.
Most places will let you bring in all your gear and load it into several
packs, walk around with it, and see how it fits before you buy. Some (like
REI) will let you buy and return them after trying them at home. Find a
dealer who knows how to measure you for torso length and is willing to take
the time to truly custom fit a pack to your body (different shoulder strap
designs and spacing, different hip belt designs and girths).
Read the Backpacking Light Internal Frame Pack Review (2004) at
You have to be a Premium (paid) member to get some of the detailed reviews,
but the overall article is excellent. Personally, I've carried the
Mountainsmith auspex for three years and love it. Lots of excellent reviews
and articles to read here. It's actually worth the $25 Premium Membership
Another source of unbiased reviews is http://backpackgeartest.org/. Scroll
down to PACKS, Internal and External Frames Backpacks.