I wonder if I should swap out my new Osprey Levity 48 for the 60 L. Right now, I am not planning on any thru hikes but who knows? Also, I may be using in bear country where a bear container is required. So is it worth the extra 4.5 ozs and the money? If I want to do a 10 day hike, perhaps the extra load would be required. What do you folks think?
I'm a bigger guy and, to an extent, will usually sacrifice some weight (carry more) in exchange for a good camp experience. If it's one or the other, I'd go with the extra 4.5oz. You can do with the 60 what you can do with the 48 but not the other way around.
my osprey exos 58 works well for a 10 day trip, with an ursack, but is very heavy, can approach 37 to 40lbs, depending upon camera/photography goals.
It can take the bv500, sideways on top, but it's tough to fit 10 days. The good news is it gets lighter everyday (captain obvious here). But the bv is required in most of the sierra np's.
I think it's a wonderful pack.
I lean more toward the ultralight side of things so my instinct is 48. But, like @hikermor already said it is great to have the extra space if you need it. I bought my Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 for that reason exactly. It is ultralight but also has a high load range in case I want to carry more than normal. I rarely carry enough to fill my pack but if you can compress everything well it shouldn't be an issue. DISCLAIMER: sometimes load range is overlooked when people are buying packs and just looking at capacity. A pack may have a 60 liter capacity but only be able to safely/comfortably carry 10-25 lb (like the Levity). Food for thought. Think about how much your gear weighs/will weigh as well as how much space it will consume. Good luck!