Kelty Trekker 3900 ST
I have had this pack for around 8 years. The 5 1/2…
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs
Height of Owner: 5'4"
Price Paid: $100
I have had this pack for around 8 years. The 5 1/2 pound rating may seem heavy by "modern" standards, but I found the assets offset its weight. I find I stay cooler than with an internal frame.
I like how I can handle the frame without putting stress on the fabric. I prefer the multiple pockets versus the unibody design of the internal. I treat the pockets like "rooms"--one is the "kitchen", another is the "bedroom", another the "bath", etc--so I can find things and stow things quickly and efficiently.
Most people would call this a 3-4 day pack. With careful planning and good food choices, I have hiked 8 days comfortably out of this pack. That is when it weighed in at 45 pounds. Most of the time, I really work to keep it at around 32 or so.
One complaint I have heard about this pack is that it is hard to adjust. Like anything, one must find a good starting point to fit him or herself. I have found this pack very adjustable, and have fitted my pack to people of varying heights and weights. The hip belt is padded and comfortable. I can change strap heights. I can adjust the top rail to carry things on top of the top flap. I can adjust the width of shoulder straps.
My friend has the Sierra Crest version of this pack made for REI. She likes hers equally well. But I will let her put on her own review :)
My husband bought an internal frame for himself when we started upgrading equipment. He hated it. We bought him the men's version of this pack, and he is much happier.
I have found that I do not really get anymore hung up in foliage than my daughter who has an internal frame (which she loves).
The only reason I would consider a new pack is to trim weight with the new generation of materials as my body ages. But for now, I will stick with this tried and true design.