Kelty Yukon 48
Design: external frame top load sack
Size: 2900 ci
Number of Pockets: 7 pockets
Max. Load Carried: have carried 50 lbs. but prefer 17 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5 ft 10in
Price Paid: $65
1. The pack is adjustable for comfort, putting the weight mostly on the belt and off the shoulders and back.
2. The convenience of the pockets is great.
3. The extra weight is offset by the overall comfort and back ventilation.
4. Water is easy to transport either in camel back pouch, side pockets, or top of pack.
5. For lite carriers, I've had no problem going less then 20 lbs. and hiking comfortably.
Update: September 20, 2009
I hiked the first 500 or so miles of the Appalachian Trail five years ago with this pack. I loved its comfort after a lady hiker showed me how to adjust the frame so that the weight was on the belt and not the shoulders (that occurred two days out of Damascus, Va.).
I loved the convenience of the pockets, the way that the sweat wasn't on the backpack but rather the back stays fairly cool and comfortable, the durability is excellent, the color is woodsy, the compatibility with water storage.
I've tried "lighter backpacks" and have found that the ultra factor is not comfortable or convenient. I'm sticking with the best - Kelty.