Replacing my uncomfortable military internal frame. I have used my old pack for my last 2 trips to Yellowstone's backcountry. This year I will be going for ten days nine nights. I want the best on the market, and so far this one is at the top of the list. Which would be better for my trips in Yellowstone, the Argon 85 or the 110? I'm 6', 215lbs.
This is a great pack. World of difference from the old Army stuff. The other one would be the Arcteryx Bora 80, or if longer trips and bigger loads are the norm, the Osprey Argon 110 would be the way to go, or the Arcteryx Bora 95. Both of latter packs are "HUGE". Between the Argon 110 and the Bora 80 I own, I prefer the ride and fit on the Arcteryx. For that kind of trip length and load, you really should inventory the gear you plan on hauling, and also see if there's any way to try them on first, even if it means ordering both/all at the same time and returning the one(s) you eliminate from the running. You can even take them out and field test them, and BC will still let you make the return for a full refund (less shipping).
Phil is right, these are great. To answer your volume question, about the 85 or 110, you should consider the type of gear you generally carry. Personally, I'd recommend the smaller pack.
Ask yourself these questions
Will you be carrying a lightweight, high fill power, down sleeping bag or a cheap bulky 0º synthetic? Does your shelter weigh more or less than 2lb/person? Does your kitchen consist of a single titanium pot, or are you bringing your stainless pot set and nonstick pan? Are you bringing more than one set of clothes? How bulky is your sleeping pad- A 14oz Neo Air or 2lb Trail Light? Do you plan on bringing heavy luxuries like a Camp chair, DSLR, Coffee, Fresh fruit/veggies?
A couple of things to consider: The 85L will have a better balance and carry better, because it will weigh less, have a slimmer profile, and by necessity have less crap in it. The 110, a gigantic pack by any trip standard, may ruin you: if you have extra capacity, you'll be tempted to bring extra crap.
The advantage of the 110 is that if you have heavy gear, it will not require you to buy lighter stuff to make it all fit. Also, you won't need to strap anything to the outside of the pack, which not only ruins balance and mobility, but makes you look like a junkshow on the trail. Finally, if you compress the larger pack right, it may fit just as well as the 85L.
I'd personally recommend an 85L as the size for a backpacking trip of any length. I'd reserve 100+ for winter camping and mountaineering.
Thanks for the quick and helpful responses. For the record, I will be using canibalized MRE's for the anti-bear advantage(air-tight, burnable trash). I will find out if any of the local retailers carry Osprey for a tryout. I think I'll also measure the pack I've used on my previous trips which was sufficient for slightly shorter treks.
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Hey there - Simon is right on abaove. Think about your gear. Depends on how much you want to carry. They will feel similar, except, you will have more weight in the 110 (because its bigger!) so it won't be as comfy as it would be if you had less weight! Argon 85-110 are the right choices.
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