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[pct-l] Gear-head Question

After many trail miles on my gear, I'm in the process of replacing my tent 
and pack. I'm on my second Gregory Cassin internal (the first having been 
bought in the late '70s). With the new suspensions, convenient water bottle 
holsters, and clam-shell sleeping bag zippers, two pack lines that have the 
latter two features are the Gregory Summit Series, and The North Face's 
Alpha Series. So, its been a coin-toss for the Gregory Robson, or TNF's 
Dolomite. Although TNF uses lighter materials (the pack is about six ounces 
lighter than the Gregory), I'm suspect that the quality of craftsmanship 
isn't quite up-to-par, in comparison to the Gregory. Any opinions? Does the 
use of the delrin rod put the load more over the center of gravity, than 
does a Gregory, or is it just hype?  
  Also, does anyone own a Marmot Swallow, or work in an outdoor store that 
does and can provide me with true minimum and packaged weights, via their 
scale? There seems to be a discrepancy in the '96 gear issue of Backpacker 
Magazine to that of store and catalog weights for this tent. Lastly, any of 
you from Southern California know if Adventure 16 intends to start making 
tents again (or sell there patterns)?

Ken Marlow
Washington D.C.
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