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You're right -- I am NOT doing any winter (I hate winter) hiking or super-long trips.
My husband and I went on our first backpacking trip last year and loved it. My current pack is an older 65L REI pack, and it was not very comfortable during the trip even though I was wearing it correctly (I bought it to use on my first trip to Europe and had never gone hiking/backpacking with it). I didn't really know it was uncomfortable until we were a few miles into the backpacking trip. It was packed full during this trip (which we way overpacked for), and it weighed a little over 30 pounds, which was manageable.
Osprey does make a 55L Ariel bag, and Amazon has free return shipping on it, so I might order it to be able to visually see the capacity difference between it and the 65L. 55L may be adequate since we learned that we brought way too much stuff during our first trip...I'm hypoglycemic, so we packed way too much food out of concern for that. We're going to make a conscious effort this time to be a little more conservative with how much food we bring (though not too conservative because passing out is bad).
Thanks for the advice!