Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
Interest: Fishing, hiking, backpacking
The pack fit is dependent on the torso length, not your overall height. Did one of the sales staff help you with fit and adjustments? They know their stuff. Plus they can also can help with the comparison between packs. And they stand behind their advice if you buy one, then have problems.
I agree about the Alpenlite. The straps are narrower, and for big load hauling, you don't want that. As the name implies, the weight is premium at the Alpine.
For the Ibex, I forgot about the sleeping bag straps. They are nearly useless in the stock form. I retrofitted (at my local shoe repair place) two 1" buckles there for actual use, and had them sewn on with webbing anchored with a back patch in the stuff pocket. Now it is bomber, but I sold it to my brother in law as he needed a decent pack for cheap. He had no trouble with it on the West Coast Trail.
As for your experience with the Bora packs, they are an investment, but one that will give many happy returns as long as you get the fit right, in the beginning. Take the time to really sort out the issues, and if you find the fit lacking, packs don't really "break in". If it rubs you now in the store, and can't be adjusted, it isn't going to magically go away on day 2 of a 5 day trek. They are heavy too, but ultra durable. A couple years ago Backpacker did a test of packs by dragging them down a gravel road at various speeds to see what would survive. The Bora kicked some gravel road butt.