So I went to REI. And bought the Salomon Comp 3. And I love it.
Here's just a short, non-exhaustive list:
- Never tie your shoes again
- Kevlar laces
- removable, cushy inserts
- all-synthetic matierals
- absorbs less than one percent of its weight (24 oz) in water
- To get water out of shoe, take it off, bang it against a tree, and go
- Did I mention cushy?
Also, I tried the shoes on with SmartWool Adrenaline Hikers (light cushion). Those socks felt great. I may have to change my sock scheme around. My trekking socks (heavy cushion) just didn't do it for me. The Comps are narrow in the arch, so the heavier sock didn't help that predicament.
Anywho, I also gathered up my week-end stuff and headed to Midwest. I wanted to see ifit would all fit in the Mountain Hardwear Scrambler. To my surprise, it did, with room to spare.
I brought in three stuff sacks, my pot, rope and some stakes. I should have used only one stuff sack - that for my bag. I could have used the pack's volume more efficiently had I not used stuff sacks for my clothes and rain gear.
I got everything in with the lid closed to its max. I did not use either of the two lid pockets, and I did not use the external bungee.
The backpanel is a very dense, very rigid foam. My verdict is still out on it, but it did feel better than any other frameless pack I've tried on. The shoulder straps, which are made out of mesh with an elastic ribbon the edges, require the load to be kept small. My goal is to keep things under 15 lbs. That should be fine for the pack to handle.