I don't mean this as a criticism, since we all develop our own likes and dislikes as far as access, but why do you feel it's worth 3/4 of a pound to be able to get into the lower part of your pack during the day? Could you make a couple of minor changes in the way you pack that would let you avoid opening the pack - or at least the bottom section - during the day? When I went from the Vapor Trail to the Aether 60, I was able to use all the extra pockets to do exactly that, and never have to open my pack till I reach camp.
Like I said, I don't mean it as a criticism, and mention it only in the spirit of perhaps looking at something in a way you hadn't. I'm also not trying to disparage the Aether 70 - it's a really neat pack, and I looked at it seriously before deciding it was too big for my needs. It may, indeed, be the perfect pack for you. But, heck, if I can help you lighten the load a little, it's worth a shot - as long as I don't strong-arm you into choosing something that doesn't do what you need it to do.
Edited by Glenn (02/09/09 02:45 PM)