Hi, I have a Junction 40 and always seem to be just out of space. I ordered a 55, and am wondering what others experienced with these 2 sizes. Is there that much more room or is it just enough extra room for the ounces?
The outer pockets on a 3400 are slightly taller giving more external storage.
Otherwise the roll top is maybe 5-6 inches taller which was helpful for my fall AT SOBO last year to carry bulkier cold weather gear.
For my summer CT thru this year I'm bringing a 2400 .
I have thru hiked with a HMG Windrider 2400, and followed the next year with a HMG WR 3400. With the 3400, the 3 mesh pockets are slightly larger and the roll top extends to allow more storage space.
I reach for the 2400 when I walk out the door. If you want to carry more gear, the 3400 works better. I've gone through the "honeymoon stage" with both, but the 2400 and I have a better relationship.
The choice is up to you.
I moved from a 3400 (AT) to a 2400 (PCT). Even with a 10 day food carry & a bear box, I found the 2400 to be sufficient with a dialed-in UL kit. As the philosophy goes, you'll pack to fit available space. The 3400 offers quite a bit more room in the collar, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about said philosophy. :)
I have used both and I found that the 3400 was just way too big for me. I now use the 2400 and there is still some room but usually it is ok once I roll it down. The 3400 is great for trips that you need some extra gear and it definitely makes a difference.
I initially purchased the 3400 for the Long Trail because it weighs about the same as the 2400 and I would get some extra space if needed. Turns out, by the end of the trail I was mostly annoyed with the extra space and material. I switched to a 2400 for the PCT and its roomy enough for all of my gear plus a bear can. If you are taking lots of bulky or winter gear, the 3400 may better suit you... but if you're not using that extra space it can be annoying to wrestle with the extra fabric.