Thanks to the amazing staff at the Birmingham, MI Moosejaw store, I was able to try on both this pack and the Osprey Women's Arial 65. I chose the Xena simply because the only difference between the two is that the shoulder straps are just slightly wider than those on the Arial, and I was afraid that the thinner straps would uncomfortably dig into my shoulders. While I've only taken this pack out on two local "practice" hikes with my very-experienced-backpacker boyfriend, I LOVE it so far. We did about eight miles each hike so far, and it was never pinchy or uncomfortable. In fact, the only pain I felt after those hikes was in my legs, which aren't used to carrying the extra weight (about 32 lbs fully packed). It has plenty of pockets for all the crap I feel like I need to carry, but will compress down once I figure out what I need to take out. We're doing a long weekend on North Manitou Island next week, and I think my first official backpacking trip will be the first of many!
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