ladies pack

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MountainMinstrel
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ladies pack

Post by MountainMinstrel » Sun May 06, 2018 10:51 pm

My wife has decided that she wants to go with me on a 7 day backpacking trip in August/September.
She has only gone on one overnight with me carrying a rented REI pack that fit horribly. So, we are looking at getting a pack for her. She has a rather short torso and high hipbones so if any of you ladies could point us in the right direction we would be grateful.

I realize that the only way to know for sure how a back will feel is to load it up and try it on. I also know that what feels good loaded up in the store may feel absolutely horrible after a few hours. That is why we would like to buy from REI so that as we take some overnight trips we can return a pack that doesn't work out.


Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.






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bobby49
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Re: ladies pack

Post by bobby49 » Mon May 07, 2018 12:01 am

You will get better suggestions if you have some idea about the numbers. Roughly how much weight would be in the load? Do you want her to carry the bulky lightweight gear, or the dense heavy gear? Short torso...OK, roughly how tall is she? Most women have shoulders that are narrower than men. Is this true for her?

Also, once she gets it, get her to start walking around the block for exercise with it on. First week, just put 10 pounds in it. Next week, increase to 15 pounds. Keep increasing until you get to her target load. Then train with it a few pounds more than the target. By the time she goes on the trip, it won't be a big problem.

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AlmostThere
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Re: ladies pack

Post by AlmostThere » Mon May 07, 2018 6:41 am

REI is the last place I would go. Badly fitted three times, gave up, measured myself using the method on the McHale website, started getting packs that actually fit online. There are small and extra small sizes of packs you don't see in stores because REI only gets sizes that sell well. So if you go in they sell something that nearly fits...

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MountainMinstrel
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Re: ladies pack

Post by MountainMinstrel » Tue May 08, 2018 8:09 am

Almost there, thanks for the help. I was concerned about the availability of small sizes at REI. I was leaning that way because of the great return policy. I'm not sure if she will find the experience of backpacking as awesome as I do and money is rather tight so I hate the idea of buying something that will never really be used.

Bobby49, she will be carrying her clothes sleeping bag/pad and food for a week with a bear can. going to try to stay as light as possible for her, but still going to be 25-30lbs. We'll get some shorter trips in before the big one to help with getting things sorted out for her.
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.

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AlmostThere
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Re: ladies pack

Post by AlmostThere » Tue May 08, 2018 9:09 am

I would recommend measuring her first per instructions online - ULA also has a video on another method of measuring. Then go to REI and tell them exactly what pack you need after looking at the websites for Osprey, Gregory, and other brands, and have them special order for you. Then you get the best of both worlds. And if they won't, there are other backpacking stores.

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wildhiker
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Re: ladies pack

Post by wildhiker » Tue May 08, 2018 4:23 pm

Also, REI sells a lot more things online than they carry in the stores. You can order online and have it delivered to your local physical store for free for pickup, or for more expensive items like a pack, delivered to your home for free. But in either case, the full REI return policy applies. It you don't like it, just take it back to the physical store for a refund. You don't have to send it back to the online store.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: ladies pack

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu May 10, 2018 7:15 pm

REI is very generous on returns. Lots of good options on their web site. Carry the pack with all the real stuff she will be using, inside the house, or around the block. Just keep the tags on the pack. If it does not fit, then take it back. Order another brand. They will not charge shipping or returns. You can do this multiple times. I have been burned by internet sales, had to return at my own cost.

For carrying 25 pounds, you should be able to keep the pack weight about 2 -3 pounds. The fit is most important even if it weighs a bit more than the lightest available. For some reason ALL Gregory packs do not fit my back. Osprey packs feel bulky and stiff to me. Everyone has a different shaped spine and hips, so it is more than just the point-to-point measurements.

Be careful if you get an x-small frame. Some manufacturers just keep the bag the same and shorten the straps, which sometimes makes the pack too top-heavy and unbalanced. I have a mountain hardware pack that is like that. I basically cannot use the upper part of the pack capacity because it is unstable.

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mrphil
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Re: ladies pack

Post by mrphil » Fri May 11, 2018 12:49 am

You should really have a look at the Deuter packs. They have an exceptionally wide range of women's packs that are reputed to actually fit and be comfortable for most women, as well as some children's packs that work well with small body types.

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CAMERONM
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Re: ladies pack

Post by CAMERONM » Fri May 11, 2018 8:23 am

Most any framed pack can handle 25 lbs easily. As an ultralighter I recommend a pack from ZPacks. Your wife can try it out on a dayhike with the full load, and they accept returns. If you insist on the REI / conventional route, the lightest Osprey is very capable and seems to be the most popular model with women I see on trails.

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LMBSGV
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Re: ladies pack

Post by LMBSGV » Fri May 11, 2018 10:10 am

Last year when we replaced my wife's pack using our REI dividend, we essentially followed WD's suggestion. We were expecting to try something and return it. We went into REI expecting to get one of the Osprey packs or possibly REI. We got lucky with a saleswoman who knew what she was doing. She sized up my wife and got down a Gregory Maven. It fit perfectly. My wife proceeded to try 5 other packs (3 different Ospreys, REI, and Deuter). Only one of them (Osprey) was even a possibility. She retried on the Gregory, walked around the store with it on while we shopped elsewhere for about 15 minutes, and we bought the Gregory. She's loved it on every trip we've taken and wouldn't consider replacing it.

Everyone sizes differently and what works great for one person may not be right for the next person.

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