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Choosing a backpack

I am 5'8" tall and my torso measures 19" and I will be doing late April to early June hiking in the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.  I have been looking at the Osprey Exos 58 and Osprey Exos 48.  My hikes will be no less that 3 days and no more than 10 days and I do plan to pack a stove, ground pad, 30 degree down bag, a tent, 10lbs of food, and some clothes.  I have also considered one of the Hyperlight Packs.

Do you have any thoughts or recommendations.

Bob

1 Reply

@rfradette Thanks for the question! It sounds like you've done a tremendous amount of work to prepare for your upcoming hikes. When it comes to backpacks one of the most important features you should look into is the fit of the pack. When you're logging lots of miles, even with a lightweight set up, your pack fit can be the difference between feeling good when you get to camp or feeling sore and frustrated. That being said, the best option is to try on the packs you're looking at purchasing, preferably with all your gear loaded inside. A great option REI offers is a personal outfitting service where you can get one-on-one time with an REI Expert and take the time you need to get your pack fitted. I recommend setting up an appointment at your local REI and taking your backpacking gear with you to see how it all fits inside the pack. That way when you hit the trail you know you'll be dialed in for the right fit for you.

When considering similar packs in different volumes I always try to remember that you will more than likely fill all the space you have available in your pack (I am guilty of this as well) so if you're trying to keep weight to a minimum you'll want to go with the smallest volume pack that will fit all your gear. If you're someone who wants to take some 'camp luxuries' (coffee grinder anyone?) then perhaps the bigger volume is better. Lastly, there are lots of great articles in the Expert Advice section of REI.com, it sounds like you've done a lot of your homework already but you may find some useful information here, here, or here

Best of luck in your search for a backpack, I hope this helps!

John

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