Gear Guy

Will an external-fre pack be comfortable for multi-day hikes?

Will an external-fre pack be comfortable for multi-day hikes?

So, after a year or so of ultra-light backpacking, my wife and I are starting to bring my son along, which means I need a huge pack to haul accommodation for three. Should I splurge and get a high-volume expedition pack like a Bora 95 or Gregory Denali, or are one of the new generation of external-fre packs (like Kelty's 50th anniversary edition) better value? We'll be mostly on trail, but I'm not sure if the lower-priced packs will provide enough comfort over a few days. Robert Granada Hills, California

How do I choose the right sea kayak?

How do I choose the right sea kayak?

I've been looking to buy a (first) sea kayak. I've tried a number of different models and types and have come up with a tentative short list: the Synergy by Northwest Kayaks, the Corona by Perception, the Sirocco by Current Designs, and the Cortez by Dagger. (I haven't tried the last one out yet but I've included it because of Outside's recommendation.) If you were a six-foot, 190-pond guy (and maybe you are) what boat would you consider to be the best value? I'm only considering plastic boats but I want to get the skinny on workmanship, materials, and design. Are these four companies equally regarded? Are the boats? Brian McCarthy Glendale, California

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