Honestly, the largest difference is hood vs no hood. Sycamore has hood, Alder does not. They are virtually the same weight (Sycamore 2 lbs, Alder at 1lb 15 ounces). The Alder packs down smaller than the Sycamore by a bit, too.
But, seriously - they were once upon a time both called the Aspen! The Sycamore was known as the Hooded Aspen and the Alder was just the Aspen. Your choice will be whether or not you want that hood on your bag (helps hold camp pillows in place).
Either way - Western Mountaineering will be your bag for life!
Date published: 2018-05-04