So my gear buying is officially over. Last week I purchased the last few big items on my list, including trekking poles, a sleeping bag liner, and a pack. With the trekking poles I just bought some lower end Black Diamonds. They are fairly light and telescopic so they should work just fine. For a pack I ended up buying the Flash 50 from REI, mainly due to the fact that I could go to the store and try it on. It's not as light as some, but at 2 lbs 10 oz its still saving me over three pounds from my Gregory.
There are so many opinions out there on packs and I was looking at ULA, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, and Six Moons, and the truth is that, while all of them had packs that I was interested in, I couldn't try any of them on. Obviously a lot of people buy packs online so it's not that big of deal, but for me it was just too hard. One week I wanted the ULA Ohm and the next it was the Granite Gear Vapor Trail. I just couldn't pull the trigger on anything...
Turns out that It was a good thing I went in to REI. You see when I bought my last pack, my torso was measured at 20", and of course I ended up buying a "Large" sized pack. The Gregory that Ive been using, while heavy, has always been fairly comfortable, but never really seemed to fit me quite right. Last night at REI I had the salesman measure me three times, and every time my torso came out at 18". Which means that Ive been lugging around a pack thats too large for my torso size for the last year because when I was originally fitted the person at REI who measured me screwed up.
Now, I'm not the type of person who negatively takes advantage of REI's return policy. I stand by my buying choices and almost never return items. Well, I paid $250.0 for that Gregory and it kind of pisses me off that it doesn't fit. So yeah, I'll be taking that one back, even though I bought it over a year ago.