I'm starting to plan some activations in/around Tucson, W7A, where I live. I do a fair amount of hiking already, and hope to do some activations on multi-day backpacking trips, where both space and weight are top concerns.
I gather that the FT-817, KX3 or KX2 will probably be the best radios for this purpose. I've been reading up on them in some depth, and the topline pros/cons seem to be: the Elecrafts will get me better overall RX performance, double the output power and more portability (especially with the internal ATU), but the Yaesu is several hundred dollars cheaper.
I'll be using SSB-only for now as I learn CW. Given all this, I'm curious what the veterans here think, especially those who've taken their equipment on longer trips: is the extra price of the KX2 or KX3 worth it?
Looking forward to getting started – this is the radiosport I've been looking for!