The first one i am looking at is right in the range i'm comfortable with. It is around 5100ci which is pretty suitable for my intentions. I plan to spend most of next summer backpacking out in the west, around California and possibly Colorado. I also do not plan to stay in hotels, i have my own tent, supplies, etc. The pack i am looking at is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...ER&v=glance I know it's a cheap pack but i really can't afford a higher range brand from someplace like Rei's and at $60 it's a reasonably functioning pack. The only problem is its weight: at 6lbs empty it's ranging on ridiculous. What are your thoughts/alternatives?
Go to REI's website, and click on the REI Outlet tab. For $80, there's a Jansport Klamath pack that's nearly the same capacity and two pounds lighter than your Amazon pack. There are a couple of dozen other deeply discounted packs there, too, that you'll want to consider. (By the way, if you decide to buy that pack on Amazon, buy two. I wouldn't count on that pack being exceptionally durable, and you may end up replacing it halfway through the trip. So, your total pack cost is $120 from Amazon.)
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I would stay away from packs like this if possible. It is too heavy for one thing. The weight is due in part to too many pockets, zippers, and straps, things that can break and cause problems.
REI Outlet, as already mentioned, Campmor, EMS and other online stores are better choices for finding a pack at a lower price than a "name brand" pack. EBay is a good source if you know what you are bidding on. There are also a lot of cheap packs on eBay that aren't worth the money.
If you are going to buy a cheap pack, look for Outdoor Products. I have one I paid only $40 for and it is surprisingly well made. It survived a three week trip to India with a friend of mine with no wear or tear at all.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.