Women's Backpack

Backpacks, Daypacks, Hydration Packs, etc...

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tracker
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Women's Backpack

Post by tracker » Sep 26 2002 10:40 am

I've been backpacking for over 4 years now. I tried on many backpacks and gone through about 4 different internal frames before I found my Eureka Torrid. However, my wife wants to start backpacking and I don' t have a clue about womans packs. How should they ride, different suspension, etc. I'd perfer that she bought an internal frame. Any suggestions or stores. We wil be checking out REI this Sunday. Any online stores? :?:

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Randy
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pack

Post by Randy » Sep 26 2002 12:17 pm

Tracker: Torso length is critical, as is the ability to adjust the shoulder straps to position the sternum strap appropriately to a woman's physique. Several pack manufacturers design specific woman's models. Internal frames are closer fitting and better off trail or in steep, rocky, or precarious situations. They also rarely cool as well as externals in hot weather, since air circulation around the back is reduced. External's carry very heavy loads better, at some loss of balance (except for Dana Design, who makes the cadillac of externals as well as great internal..)

A good plan for a backpacking pack is to take a duffel bag with all her gear; sleeping bag, tent, water bottles, clothes and all the stuff you plan to foist off on her from your pack ( :roll: ) Pack candidate packs in the store and see how they fit fully burdened. All packs feel pretty good empty, test them fully loaded.

The brands that come to mind who offer excellent quality and may have specific women's models include Osprey (real nice packs, just bought one for day hikes), Dana Design, Arc'Teryxs, and Gregory. REI handles most of these. You may wish to check out the firms' websites. Also look at the inventory and descriptions of the models offered at Summit Hut in Tucson. (http://www.summithut.com) Most are available locally, but their website is very good as a research tool, and they tend to offer only very good, high end products.

Don't go to the store just before closing, try an off-peak hour and spend some time with it on the back loaded to be sure everytrhing fits and adjusts ok. Be sure a torso measurement is done to assure the right pack length-nothing else so destroys fit and function as a wrongly sized pack. -Randy

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Post by tracker » Sep 26 2002 12:56 pm

Thanks for the quick response. I was going to go to the REI by the Paradise Valley mall to have her torso measured. (That didnt sound good) :lol: They usually have really good customer service and they always seemed helpful in the backpack area. I probably won't buy a pack there, to expensive I think. I bought mine at Big 5.

:)

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Post by CindyC » Sep 26 2002 8:55 pm

Tracker, After going through a few packs, external and internal frame, and some miserable trips because of ill fit, I finally found the REI Traverse Rising Star a few years back. I am 5' 4" and weigh about 105 and have a short torso length. The Rising Star seems to be a perfect fit and adjust well. The price was very reasonable as well. Other than that I use the pack my son had when he was 12 (now 16). It's a Wenzel and is good for an overnight or two. Three if you pack real light. Just some info from my experience at REI. They seem to always oversell. Whether it be my boots or pack or water purifier. I imagine it may just be their personal preference but I always feel they are trying to sell me more than I need. :roll: Good luck!
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MaryPhyl
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Post by MaryPhyl » Sep 26 2002 11:59 pm

Ummmm you don't suppose they work on commission at REI?

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Post by tracker » Sep 27 2002 7:11 am

I like to look at all the stuff at REI. I may have bought a couple of maps once. I just think that its over priced even for their their own name brand stuff. Don't get me wrong, most if not all of their merchandise is top quality. I could just find it cheaper someplace else.

Thanks for the tips on the Rising star backpack. :)

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Randy
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commission sales

Post by Randy » Sep 27 2002 11:34 am

They probably all work on comission, Mary Phyl. Babbit's too.

Fortunately there are a wide range of products available for every budget. Some people think REI is expensive. My Dad, who would eat dirt to save twenty bucks, is afraid to walk in the place for fear he'll be charged for floor use. Frankly, most of what they sell is about the median price range. I've never taken Dad into Summit Hut because he would probably expire looking at the price tag on a $800 Dryloft sleeping bag.

The manufacturers contribute to this by featuring their logos on all films and TV spots on climbing expeditions. The IMAX Everest film had a shot of a Mountain Hardwear logo on a parka or tent about every other minute. It's great gear, I've got a bunch of it. You don't need that level of quality to day hike to Tonto Natural Bridge, however. But, if you like it, and occasionally go somewhere remote and critical, quality is always good. There are no stores in the wilderness. Most of us don't really need Porsches or BMWs either, (except Hoolie, who has earned it by virtue of his longevity :wink: ) but we like those toys if we can get 'em.

For those on a budget, here's two more places to check out for discounts. Sierra Trading Post sells irregulars, last years models, and closeouts. http://www.sierratradingpost.com They are VERY good folks and will work with you on returns if you have a problem. They have some really hot deals especially if you are really familiar with the product lines first. REI also has a website called reioutlet.com which features closeouts and discontinued/older merchandise. Sometimes you can find very good deals on product lines like Marmot, North Face, Sierra Design, Mountain Hardwear and Vasque at both of the above.

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Post by tracker » Sep 27 2002 11:43 am

I've been checking out Campmor.com as well as Sierra Trading Post.

I'll probably get my wife "fitted" at REI and then look at Popular outdoors, Big 5 and then the internet for a good quality pack.
I bought my Eureka Torrid from Big 5 for $99. I saw on the Internet the MSRP was $180. I guess I got a good deal. The pack is well made and I've never had any problems with it. I did step on one of the straps and smashed the clip-lock thingy :(

I'm hoping to find a pack like the Torrid for my wife (The Torrid is to big). What size would anyone suggest? Cubic Inch wise.

She's 5'5"

She'll only be carrying the following:
Sleeping bag
Sleeping Pad
Toiletries
Extra clothes
part of the food
Water Bladder
Plate/Fork/spoon/cup
Any female stuff needed :oops:


:wink:

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Post by kurthzone » Sep 27 2002 12:47 pm

tracker wrote:...Any female stuff needed :oops: :wink:
Mighty tempting :twisted:
Blessings, Stan

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Post by tracker » Sep 27 2002 12:52 pm

Yeah I know :sweat:

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Jan 31 2012 8:55 pm

Hey ladies, Wendi went pack shopping a couple of weeks ago...and no we didn't look at the Whipsnake :lol: . We picked up the Osprey Atmos 65 for me, and for her REI Venturi 40. We are going to be trying the packs out this weekend we hope (my left knee providing). This has been an on going process for over a year. Wendi really wants to do Havasu Falls but really hates getting fitted for packs, it's like pulling teeth. We've looked exclusively at Women's packs for her but I was wondering if that was a mistake and if any of you have an opinion. She 5'4, small torso (15). The Venturi seems to be a good fit but inner frame sticks out passed the bottom of the hip belt padding, she is hoping that she just needs to adjust but I am dubious that we will back out shipping. We go really good deals (Clearance prices) on our packs and I made sure to buy hers at REI for the return policy. Mine fits perfectly so I'll feel extra bad if hers doesn't. Does Osprey have good Unisex packs... Are the chest straps that important?
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by outdoor_lover » Jan 31 2012 9:43 pm

What all did she try on? And did you take some stuff with you to pack it with? So she could get a "feel" for how the pack feels loaded? I got a Gregory Z40 and I have to say, it's been extremely comfortable. The only thing that I wish it had is more compartments so I can carry the plumbing along with the sink... :sweat: But I'm 5'7" with medium torso....I'm not sure you're going to find anything comfortable in a "Unisex" type, with her height and small torso....
WilliamnWendi wrote:and no we didn't look at the Whipsnake .
How disappointing! :D
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by Trishness » Jan 31 2012 11:14 pm

I've been bitchin' and moanin' for YEARS about how NO ONE has backpacks to fit petite women. Wendi is lucky if she is a 15" torso at least she can fit a small in most categories and manufacturers. I'm 5'1" and have a 13.5" torso so I have really limited options and a hard time finding a pack that fits properly. There are some Gregory backpacks designed for women that fit the 14"-15" torso (DEVA is one) and Kelty has a few too, Even the 14" Gregory Deva <X-small> just was a little too big on me and I could feel it rocking and rolling across my back. I finally found one internal frame backpack (Kelty Shadow 4500) that is adjustable from 13-16 inches that isn't a kiddie back or an external frame adjustable. I guess there's not a high demand on backpacks for the "munchkin group".

Have REI load it up with 30 pounds and walk around the store for a while to see how it feels.

Being a munchkin sucks :yuck:
Trish-Kabob

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 2:14 am

Outdoor Lover wrote:What all did she try on? And did you take some stuff with you to pack it with? So she could get a "feel" for how the pack feels loaded? I got a Gregory Z40 and I have to say, it's been extremely comfortable. The only thing that I wish it had is more compartments so I can carry the plumbing along with the sink... :sweat: But I'm 5'7" with medium torso....I'm not sure you're going to find anything comfortable in a "Unisex" type, with her height and small torso....
We tried the Gregory Deva (I had pre-screened that on-line) but she has got some back issues that packs that rigid in the way they try to manipulate the back hits her wrong and these did just that, along with 3 others in the women's category. A Deuter at "Hiking Shack" was the best fit last time but she couldn't pull the trigger because she wanted to make sure she actually liked backpacking. For our Aravaipa overnighter (Our first camping/backpacking ever together) we rented from the Shack. She enjoyed the trip but hated the rentals(unisex/men's with a woman in it). The Hiking Shack has of course moved now, and their return policy was bit more limited compared to REI's
Outdoor Lover wrote:
WilliamnWendi wrote:and no we didn't look at the Whipsnake .
How disappointing! :D
I actually emailed her a link to that when you first posted that under a guise that it was a review of a pack that I was considering for her. :lol: Later I used it as a threat if she didn't come along to do a dreaded "Fit". Luckily I am getting to the point where I know enough about pack fitting without needing to get too many others involved.
Guys, careful using the video trick, she didn't watch till later in the day. I forgot all about it even after I got a text from her, "Whipsnake! Really?". I was driving home and thought there was a snake in the yard. I raced home trying to figure our why a "Whipsnake" would be in my side yard and how Wendi remembered what one looked like. She hates snakes so much she can't look at one long enough to remember what she saw. :lol:
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 2:22 am

Trishness wrote: (Kelty Shadow 4500) that is adjustable from 13-16 inches that isn't a kiddie back or an external frame adjustable
I wonder if maybe she is under a 15 and that is why there are so many no fits. I'll look for the Kelty Shadow, I don't think we have seen that yet. We have been loading the packs with the weights that REI provides and packing just as you would for the real deal: heavy towards the small of the back and lighter stuff around it.
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 01 2012 3:10 am

I don't know where Writelots is these days but she is shorter than I am, as I recall, and I'm 5'2". She has the ULA Circuit, which is going to be the next pack I buy, probably. However, it looks as though the smallest one is 15" to 18" torso. It's a small company, you could call them and find out.

Starting out as a newb, if you have a problem with your back, I just can't see doing anything but super ultralight. True, the gear may cost more, especially the sleeping bag, but it would be worth it. My last two Grand Canyon backpacking trips this past fall, my pack weighed less than 25 pounds with all the food, before I put the water in. Those were 3 and 4 night trips. People would pick up my pack and say "you have nothing in here?" And I don't even consider my stuff to be super ultralight at all. I know I should be able to get it closer to 20 without the water. There is still gear I need to replace. I have a golight quest pack, but the Circuit is lighter.

REI isn't in the business of selling SUL gear. Look on the threads on HAZ for discussions about which companies make that gear. They are small companies--cottage industries. Threads such as this one: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=2158&start=0
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 01 2012 5:35 am

WilliamnWendi wrote:Guys, careful using the video trick, she didn't watch till later in the day. I forgot all about it even after I got a text from her, "Whipsnake! Really?". I was driving home and thought there was a snake in the yard. I raced home trying to figure our why a "Whipsnake" would be in my side yard and how Wendi remembered what one looked like.
:sl: I guess the joke was on you! :sl:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 6:35 am

azbackpackr wrote: True, the gear may cost more, especially the sleeping bag
azbackpackr wrote:REI isn't in the business of selling SUL gear. Look on the threads on HAZ for discussions about which companies make that gear. They are small companies--cottage industries. Threads such as this one: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=2158&start=0
The tent and both sleeping bags are in my pack, hers will have clothes, sleeping pad, some food, her water. I've read through the threads and looked and the prices seemed far out of our budget at the time, probably still. I will check out the packs you and Trish suggested for sure though, thanks a bunch... I think another problem was with many of those places being mail order and given Wendi's circumstances that seems like a crap shoot with loaded dice, it's been awhile since I've looked at that market for her so I will check again.
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 01 2012 6:50 am

WilliamnWendi wrote: I think another problem was with many of those places being mail order and given Wendi's circumstances that seems like a crap shoot with loaded dice, it's been awhile since I've looked at that market for her so I will check again.
That's when you go to the stores, find the one you like, and then go mail order...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 01 2012 6:55 am

Arizona Hiking Shack does carry some of those SUL brands. They've moved recently to a location on Thomas east of 32nd, so don't go looking for them on Cave Creek any more.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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