I am new to backpacking and am most likely going to be doing 1 to 2 night trips, with an occasional 3-nighter. Will probably be doing 5 to 8 miles per day at most. The majority of my trips will be near home (Yuma) in the Kofa Mountains--wInter of course, it is too hot to even go take the trash out here in Yuma this time of year. I will most likely be packing in all my own water. There are water tanks scattered throughout the Kofas, but I always assumed those were for the animals, not the hikers. The winter temps. in the Kofas are real pleasant, with highs in the 60s and 70s so I shouldn't have to bring in a truckload of water. I am going to take my 8 year old boy with me on some of the hikes, so will surely be carrying some of his gear on my back.
What that scenario in mind, what size pack would you guys recommend for me? I have tried a few packs on at REI and really favor the Gregorys for fit and comfort. The guys at the store in Tempe recommended I go something around 4000 c.i., like the Gregory Baltoro or maybe the Kelty Coyote. I liked the staff there and don't doubt them, I just like to have second and third opinions from knowledgeable people.