The Mystery Ranch and McHale packs are very nice packs but are more than I want to spend. I'd like to limit the price to around $250, max. I know they're great packs but, for a guy who goes out maybe 3 times per year for 1-3 days, it would be overkill. Heck, I'd get along with my Trek if there was some padding and adjustability to the design. I've been getting along fine for several years with this "low end" pack and just see no sense in spending a large amount of money on an activity that I'm not sure how much time I will be able to spend doing.

I'm more of a bang-for the buck guy anyway so, for a real part time backpacker, the MR and McHale would be big time overkill.

I do appreciate all of the time all of you have taken to post, though. I backpacked happily for several years with gear that folks on this group helped me put together. I really like the Rainbow and W.M. Alpinlite 20 degree bag.