So I'm in the market for a new ruck as my current Lowe Alpine is on it's last leg. My new pack needs to be capable of supporting trips that last two to seven days, so I'd like it to be at least 70 liters. My budget is around $250.
I'm currently looking at the Mountain Hardware "South Col 70" and the Osprey "Aether 70."
The South Col is 4 lbs and very comfortable. My biggest issue with it is that it has no additional pockets other than the lid (including no side mesh for water bottles), and there are no external access points to the main compartment (I.E. if you need something from the bottom of the bag, the only way to get to it is to unload everything from the top).
The Aether is a little over 5 lbs (and feels noticeably heavier than the South Col), however, it is abundant in both external pockets, as well as two additional access points to the main compartment.
The South Col feels a bit more comfortable, but I think the lack of pockets/access points might be a pain in the ass on the trail, so I'm at a crossroads with which one to get.
What do you guys think? And if you have any other suggestions besides these two, feel free to speak up. Remember, my budget is about $250. Thanks in advance!