Also, for packs, try Six Moon Designs. I've had one of their packs (Comet) for almost four years and still think it is the best single purchase I've ever made. Do get the "optional" stays; I wouldn't want to carry more than 15-18 lbs. without them. With the stays, I've carried up to the mid-30's. My knees and feet were screaming, but my shoulders, back and hips were just fine.

I second all of Brian's comments on REI. While I did go there to get fitted for a pack (I tried on a lot of different models to get a better idea of how a comfortable internal-frame pack should fit and feel before shopping on the internet), the fact that I refused to buy any pack weighing over 2 1/2 pounds saved me from a purchase--they didn't have any!

Edited by OregonMouse (02/03/09 07:35 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey