With old, deteriorating backpacking equipment (and a body following a similar trend), I need to do some upgrading if I want to make any more trips. On a recent test hike with my old gear, my REI Flash 65 pack split down the back and the soles of my boots started crumbling and delaminating. So, time for a refresh. It's easy to get consumed reading ads and reviews and conflicting opinions online (I know). But, what I'm wondering about specifically are how the tradeoffs between weight and stability apply to me. I think my situation is fairly common (in my 60's, decent physical condition, but knees don't provide good shock absorption anymore so rocky downhills are particularly difficult). The gear trend is always towards lighter equipment, and all else being equal lighter is obviously better. But, if I care more about comfort than pure speed, I can't help but wonder if boots that weigh a bit more but provide stability for wobbly ankles and cushioning for aching knees would hit more of a sweet spot for me. Similarly, for packs it's not obvious that lightest would necessarily be best. Any thoughts from backpackers out there with some decades of wear on them who no longer gracefully rock hop down the mountain?