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I've had one of these for almost four years now. It's still my favorite backpack.
I've tried to replace it with Osprey Atmos 65 AG, Exos 38, Redwing 50, Granite Gear 46. (I do like the Exos, though, it works great for ~3 days/2 nights)
I keep coming back to the Trekker. It's so easy to pack out and if you have a tent or a big sleeping pad you can strap it on the bottom (or on the top), and you don't lose any space in your pack.
However, one thing to watch out for is that because of this ease of packing everything, sometimes you'll find yourself taking too much extra weight.
Another is that... external frame packs add some hindrance to mobility since they don't adhere to your back close like an internal. They're fantastic for standard walking/hiking, but if you have to do any kind of scampering around or climbing it might be too bulky. It will catch all kinds of branches if the trail is narrow.
I agree..... I have used a number of packs over the last 45 years. After a deep swing through the internal frame pack world, even including a custom McHale, I have come full circle back to externals for almost all of my backpacking. If it is going to be all smoothish trail hiking, with no tree blow downs to have to do the limbo under, there is no question that it will be an external for me. The weight transference to the hips is superior, and it allows for a more upright posture. Both of these spell less fatigue at the end of the day for me.
They are easier to live out of too, as far as packing and organization. I have the smaller brother of this pack, the Yukon. It shares many of the features of this one, but no load lifters and a smaller pack bag both of which work fine for me. It is super comfortable.
If one adheres to lightweight principles to minimize the weight of what goes into the pack, the extra weight is well worth it for me. I also like that I don’t have to stuff my down bag and underquilt so much since I often have extra space. It is easier to pack up and better for them to not be compressed so much. There is usually enough space that I can get it all in the pack bag without tying anything on below.
BTW, there is opportunity to do some judiciuous pruning of unnecessary stuff like extra strap length, the useless handle strap on the back pocket, aluminum zipper pull fobs, etc.
i have seen several reviews of this pack that slam the red color. I have seen it in a store and it is really more of a rich burgundy color than the pictures on line.
I kind of wish that I had looked a Yukon more knowing that someone has talked about it. I think 48L is probably a perfect size for what I need most of the time. Almost all of my trips are 1-2 nights when I go because it's really hard to coordinate with friends to get more than a couple days off on a weekend. Yukon is always marketed in descriptions as a "scout pack" so I thought it might not be big enough. I'm sure it is.
The Trekker is a little too big for me to want to bring it in my tent, so that would be the only downside, it kind of takes a big amount of space because of the frame. It would fit in my Hubba Hubba, but it would be annoying. Haha. I have been fortunate that I haven't had bad weather but once with it, and the day I got rained on it was the hike out, so I didn't have to try and figure out how to keep it dry/dry it out.
And you're right. It's not bright red in any way. It's burgundy. I may be able to dig up a photo later today of it in use.
At this point I'll never get rid of it even I replace it for my own use, because it's an excellent loaner pack.