User Review: Kelty Trekker 3950
Max. Load Carried: 40lbs
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $75
The "experts" will mostly tell newer backpackers to get an internal for any number of reasons. This pack blows almost all of those reasons out of the water. I have spent whole weekends bushwhacking through tight underbrush, tree limbs, and thorns with only two major snag-ups... both of which would have happened with any internal I've owned.
The ventilation to the back is beyond words. I am very hot-natured and sweat like a Texan with any internal frame, yet I can hike a 15-mile trail section FAST with this pack on and only sweat under the hip belt.
The comfort is second only to the ventilation. This pack is much more comfortable than every internal pack I have owned or used.
The "experts" generally claim that externals hold the load so far behind your back that they are clumsy. Despite the excellent ventilation, the pack hugs my back and does not feel clumsy at all if properly packed. It even feels LESS clumsy than my internal.
I tend toward the lighter end of the spectrum, usually packing out at 28lbs including food, fuel, and 3L of water. Most folks who pack this light go with a light pack. At 5lbs, this pack weighs the same or less than many internals, but the extra weight is worth it to me for the reasons above. I did take off the head bar and the internal hold-open bar.
I feel that this pack stands head and shoulders above all other packs I've tried or owned, and that's without considering the price! I got it for $75 with free shipping... you can too. Shop around for the bargain!