I've had this pack (or a version of it) since... 1998 ish? I've used it hiking the AT from Maine to Connecticut, all through Big Bend, most of the south central states, on down to Copper Canyon in Mexico. It's the most durable thing I've ever bought. I can't even tell you the stories this pack has survived. It STILL looks great- no plans to buy a new pack any time soon. It's a bit heavy, but doesn't feel like it when it's on your back. I can carry more weight than my buddies and feel like I have less because of the awesome suspension system. If it's too big, just take the removable pack off the top (or go ahead and take that extra Nalgene of wine with you). The pockets aren't built for holding water bottles, and you actually have to take the pack off to get to stuff, but that's like 60 seconds of inconvenience out of the hours that you'll hike in comfort. Get this pack, like me, and don't buy another one for 12 years. You can buy that other stuff you want later.
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