You didn't mention your pack weight, but reading your description (e.g. tarptent) -- I assume that it is somewhere between UL and L. I think your problem is not so much that a frameless pack isn't providing enough load carrying comfort -- but that your pack is sized or shaped wrong for you.

The above doesn't mean that you should now knee-jerk to the other end for a heavy pack as suggested above.

Stating the obvious, the trick is to find a pack that provides just the right comfort and fit. If you dislike the design of GG -- then I second the suggestion above for looking into ULA packs.

I hear ya. I sure don't want to go to any heavier pack than I need. I think the size/shape thing along with essentially un-padded hip and shoulder straps pretty well sums it up. I think the ability to adjust torso length, etc. will be very helpful in my case (along with a bit more padding).

My present set up for the "big four" is around 8 lbs for bag, pack, sleeping pad and tent. Where I run into trouble is with the weight of all of the other stuff I seem to think I need:)

I appreciate everyone's feedback so far. The Trek has been a pretty comfortable pack up until this year. Things just must change as we get older. I don't know how many years I have left to backpack so am not interested in tying a lot of money up in a pack. I will look into the ULA packs.

Thanks, WyoBob