Hiking/Backpacking/Camping/Backpacks

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Question
I have the opportunity to purchase either the kelty red cloud 6650, kelty red cloud 5400, or the osprey talon 44.  All these packs have been used slightly but are in excellent condition.  I also have the opportunity to purchase the north face terra 65 brand new.  All these packs are available for purchase around $100.  I am looking for a quality pack that can handle on average 3-4 day hikes with all the necessary gear.  There is always the possibility that I might  try week long trip one day but 3 days is about all I can get off for now.  Which pack would you recommend based on quality, durability and storage?

Answer
The best way to decide is to try the packs on, fully loaded, and walk around with them for a bit. Wear your hiking shoes when you do this.

In terms of size, you could make the Keltys and the North Face work pretty easily, but you might find the Osprey to be a bit small. Again, best to try it with a bunch of stuff sacks representing your gear, food and water. Generally you want the smallest pack that can carry all of what you'll need.

Hiking/Backpacking/Camping

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Wounded Knee

Expertise

I can advise on anything having to do with hiking and backpacking skills and equipment, including map and compass and orienteering skills. I cannot advise on the use of GPS devices. I cannot advise on car camping or group camping (10 or more people). My primary geographic expertise is in the US Northeast, but I know how to find information on hiking and backpacking just about anywhere.

Experience

I've been hiking and backpacking for about 45 years, including section hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. I have hiked extensively in the New York Metropolitan Area, as well as various other areas from Georgia north, including upstate New York, New England, and Eastern Canada.

Publications
New York Walk Book, 7th Ed.
New Jersey Walk Book, 2nd Ed.

Education/Credentials
Not applicable to this area of expertise.

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