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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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WilliamnWendi
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 12:42 pm

@azbackpackr
I really like that ULA Circuit from what I can see online. I work close to Hiking Shack so I might check it out on my way home to see if they have it. I am waiting to hear from Wendi to see if the one and only color offering will work. :scared:
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 01 2012 12:46 pm

WilliamnWendi wrote:I am waiting to hear from Wendi to see if the one and only color offering will work.
You can always Spray Paint it. :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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WilliamnWendi
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 12:52 pm

Outdoor Lover wrote:
WilliamnWendi wrote:I am waiting to hear from Wendi to see if the one and only color offering will work.
You can always Spray Paint it. :sl:
She likes it! We still will put the Venturi through it's paces first just to be sure that it doesn't work (I am dubious). Thanks everyone for your input.
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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pengelly
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by pengelly » Feb 01 2012 1:03 pm

I love my ULA Circuit - I have hiked most of the AZT with it, and my husband and I just thru-hiked the AT, and we both used our Circuits the whole way. Mine is a Medium - I am 5' 8". Never had a sore spot the whole hike - usually carried between 18-23 lbs.

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big_load
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by big_load » Feb 01 2012 1:24 pm

WilliamnWendi wrote:We still will put the Venturi through it's paces first just to be sure that it doesn't work (I am dubious).
I have a Venturi 40 that I use for deep-winter dayhikes and lighter-weight weekends. I like it a lot, but your description of how it fits her doesn't sound promising.

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by desertgirl » Feb 01 2012 2:27 pm

I have had good luck with Granite Gear Kia (size M). I also have used the Gregory Z pack (Small). For me a good solid fit is a prioirty & I have had to deal with the fitting issues for a long time before I learnt how to fit my self. Trying to fit a pack based on specs does not work ( at least for me). I have to put it on with the weight & volume (you can usually pick a few items from REI to simulate your pieces). I am 5'1". As far as chest straps go -- big Plus since it keeps your straps where they need to be :) I have hauled upto 35lbs in my packs for 6-8 days trips & they were comfortable. Lighter (20-25 lbs)makes them ride way better! but you gotta haul water & water is heavy :(

I have had reasonable luck at buying online ( for favorable pricing) after I have identified what Pack I want from the store.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 01 2012 3:22 pm

pengelly wrote:I love my ULA Circuit - I have hiked most of the AZT with it, and my husband and I just thru-hiked the AT, and we both used our Circuits the whole way. Mine is a Medium - I am 5' 8". Never had a sore spot the whole hike - usually carried between 18-23 lbs.
Look at this lurker! Joined in 2002 and this is your first forum post, but you have hiked the AZT and AT? Holy moo cow! We should throw out the welcome mat, even though you joined 10 years ago! :welcome:
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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WilliamnWendi
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 01 2012 5:10 pm

azbackpackr wrote:
pengelly wrote:I love my ULA Circuit - I have hiked most of the AZT with it, and my husband and I just thru-hiked the AT, and we both used our Circuits the whole way. Mine is a Medium - I am 5' 8". Never had a sore spot the whole hike - usually carried between 18-23 lbs.
Look at this lurker! Joined in 2002 and this is your first forum post, but you have hiked the AZT and AT? Holy moo cow! We should throw out the welcome mat, even though you joined 10 years ago! :welcome:

Yes, welcome back, should we assume that we'll be seeing a reallllly lonnngg triplog. :lol: Your endorsement will be given elevated status. Those who speak less, speak more. I always say.(I've never really said that but there is qoute that my ADHD isn't giving me access to right now)
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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writelots
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by writelots » Feb 01 2012 5:15 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I don't know where Writelots is these days but she is shorter than I am, as I recall, and I'm 5'2".
Oh, I'm around...just got more balls in the air than hands to catch 'em with :sl:

And I have you know last time I was measured at the Dr. office, they said I was 5'4"! That's an inch and half taller than the last measurement several years ago, so I keep getting taller evidently! :y:

Regardless of how tall I am or am not, I swear by Golite packs for something basic, lightweight and flexible in the fit. I have a friend who is 5'2", and she loves hers, too, and I know more than a few girls who use a Golite in their regular arsenal (including Rae Rae and Elizabeth). Right now the Quest (which is a nice medium size) is on sale at Backcountry.com for $157, and sometimes you can find them cheaper. The best part is that they have excellent load support without the 'rigid' rigging that you find in Osprey packs and Gregory. My ULA Catalyst is fantastic - I switched to it because I could get the fat-girl hip belt on the short-girl bag and because they shaved off even more weight wise than the Golite. This means fewer features and pockets, though, which for beginners makes things even more complicated. The ULA is also more expensive ($225) and isn't available at most of the regular retailers, so your good return policies don't work.

My advice on the 'fitting' problem is to just get the Golite Quest from someplace like Backcountry where you can get it cheap and spend your time and effort on finding nice lightweight toys to go in it. A perfect fit is much less critical on a 20lb pack than on a 35-40lb one. Fitting a backpack is a bit like finding a good swimsuit - and I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to do it in public.
-----------------------------------
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te_wa
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by te_wa » Feb 01 2012 5:24 pm

AZ Hiking shack does not carry ULA. This brand is hand made in Utah, and has just a few retailers, but luckily we have one such in Tempe called Lower Gear.
and for the record, UL gear is cheaper than heavier stuff. Good down is what you pay for pricewise, not because it's light, because it's hard to get.

the Circuit may be huge on you. try a CDT or Ohm first.
Felecia likes her GoLite Jam.
I like my MLD Burn and Exodus.

Liz, SUL is a base weight NOT including food or water or gas (but DOES include the weight of the containers it comes/travels in) of LESS than 5 lbs.
SUL is a very difficult dicipline, and is probably done successfully by about 5% of backpackers.
:D

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by Trishness » Feb 01 2012 7:48 pm

writelots wrote:And I have you know last time I was measured at the Dr. office, they said I was 5'4"! That's an inch and half taller than the last measurement several years ago, so I keep getting taller evidently! :y:
OK...how did you do that? I was 5'1" in 2000 and now I'm apparently shrinking. :scared: Does this mean I'm gonna be 4'9" when I'm 70?
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by writelots » Feb 01 2012 7:54 pm

Trishness wrote:OK...how did you do that? I was 5'1" in 2000 and now I'm apparently shrinking. :scared: Does this mean I'm gonna be 4'9" when I'm 70?
If I knew, I'd do it over and over until I had legs like Prestons! ;)
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It troubles me that these days no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up
- Lilly Tomlin

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Canyonram
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by Canyonram » Feb 02 2012 8:33 am

The Borden Institute has a good review of 'Load Carriage in Military Operations' that discusses backpacks and gender differences. The document is free as a PDF file here:
http://www.bordeninstitute.army.mil/oth ... agePDF.pdf
If the link does not work, simply do a search on 'Load Carriage Military Operations Borden.'

It is difficult to get past the advertising hype. It is also difficult to try one every single durn pack out there that may work best. Instead, I think most backpackers find something that 'works' (even if it is less than optimal) and then stick with it. It also becomes the basis for advising others. I still use my external frame Kelty as my preferred pack and only switch over to an internal when I hike Shawnee Forest in southern Illinois (it hugs closer to the body and it is easier to navigate thickets, tangle brush, etc). Good luck though finding a selection of external frame packs in the supply stores.

As mentioned by several others, take your time to try on as many as you can while under load. It is a great satisfaction to find a piece of equipment to really works!

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 02 2012 12:02 pm

I used my old Adventure-16 Hiphugger external frame, purchased in 1975, for many years. I still have it, in fact, with its homemade Frostline Kit packbag, and lots of "been there done that" patches. It was fine on trails when walking upright. However, it was useless for scrambling, since it was top-heavy, and shifted from side to side. Pt. Huitzil route, for example, with so much downclimbing and scrambling, would have been well nigh impossible for me with that pack. My golite quest doesn't tip me over! It is a stable load. It doesn't stick up higher than my head (see my profile photo to your right!)

In Grand Canyon, I am close to being done with hiking all the regular trails off South Rim. I knew that if I wanted to complete all the trails and named routes off both rims I would have to have something that wouldn't tip me off a cliff at the slightest breeze!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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WilliamnWendi
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 02 2012 12:19 pm

@Canyonram
Love the story that demonstrates one way that cigarettes kill. It also makes one ponder what elements in their own gear would produce the same results. Sounds also like (As an unconditioned soldier) I might need to reduce my own carry. Good read, thanks!
The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"

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te_wa
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by te_wa » Feb 05 2012 9:12 am

Trish, et al. you can find smaller packs at Moutainlaureldesigns.com and gossamergear.com - the "gorilla" pack is durable, light, has a removable frame structure and comes in small 12-16" torso. made in USA as well!
:D

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by gringoantonio » Feb 06 2012 12:44 pm

I very highly recommend Arizona Hiking Shack. You can't go wrong there. And you will learn a lot more from the staff there than you will at REI.

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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by pengelly » Feb 13 2012 8:48 am

Maybe I have set the record for longest lurker! I have sent PMs, but never felt like I had that much to contribute? We did keep a journal on trailjournals, but I felt like I should chime in on my Circuit. I saw a lot of women on the AT with backpack problems - mostly carrying too much stuff! One carried curl-cream and hairspray for all 281 miles of Maine.....

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WilliamnWendi
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Re: Women's Backpack

Post by WilliamnWendi » Feb 13 2012 10:05 am

pengelly wrote: I felt like I should chime in on my Circuit. I saw a lot of women on the AT with backpack problems - mostly carrying too much stuff! One carried curl-cream and hairspray for all 281 miles of Maine.....
Your input was and is appreciated... Should I not be carrying curl-cream? :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 azbackpackr » Feb 13 2012 10:16 am

What IS curl cream, anyway?
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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