Pack fit, like shoe fit, is so individual that I hate to recommend one that suits me to anyone else.

For what it's worth, the three packs that are at the top of my list to try should my present pack (10 years old) decide to bite the dust are the ULA-Equipment Ohm and (maybe) Circuit, and the Elemental Horizons Kalais. Both provide excellent customer service and offer some customization, and their packs appear to meet my special needs (short torso, excellent weight transfer to hip belt, load lifters that effectively take all the weight off my extremely pressure-sensitive shoulders.

For those who regularly carry bear canisters, the ULA Catalyst or Elemental Horizons Aquilo might be a better choice. Both of these are larger capacity. For me, they're larger and heavier than what I need, but both will allow carrying a bear canister sideways. I have never had any luck with standard brand packs sold in stores--too heavy or don't fit or (usually) both.

Be sure to have your gear (including the equivalent in bulk and weight of a week's food and a day's water) ready before ordering a pack. When it arrives, load it up (without removing tags) and take a couple hours' hike around the house (boring, but essential to determine if the pack fits you with your gear inside). You may have to pay return shipping on several packs before you find the one you want. Some time on the phone with the firms mentioned above, both before ordering and when adjusting and trying on, will definitely improve your chances of getting what you want.

Edited by OregonMouse (09/09/15 11:26 AM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey