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Packs for women

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Packs for women

Postby gary c. » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:09 pm

My wife is thinking about joining me on a few short trips and is going to need a pack. Are the models designed for woman neccessary or advantgeous?
Gary C.



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Postby wingding » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:29 pm

I do happen to have a woman's backpack that I really like - it's an Osprey Aerial. It fits perfect and carries weight great. I'm not sure if it's because it's a womans pack or just a good pack. I bought a new pack every year for 3 years until I bought the Aerial last year - I'll use it until it wears out. The redesigned it this year - I'm not sure why they have to change a good thing.

I went through an Arc'Teryx Bora 62 (a womens pack) that killed my shoulders, a Go-Lite Trek (Unisex) that killed my back with over 20 pounds in it, and a Granite Gear Vapor Trail (Unisex) that worked pretty good up until 30 pounds and when I didn't have snow gear to hook on the pack.

I have day packs that are not gender specific and they work fine.

I'd like to donate my old packs to a good cause - maybe a youth backpacking program, but I don't know about any programs like that.
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Postby calipidder » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:32 am

It depends on her shape. Women's packs are designed with a shorter torso and to accomodate the... ahem... curves that can get uncomfortably pinched or poked by ill-fitting pack straps and belts. I happen to have a short torso (16 inches) and have some of those curves that tend to be pinched by packs, so all of my favorite packs are either custom fit (my ULA P2) or my women-specific packs (Granite Gear Ki, Osprey Aerial, and Gregory Tega). I have a terrible time getting unisex packs to fit because I have to cinch everything down to the smallest setting, and sometimes that's not enough.

On the other hand, I know several women hikers who don't have the short torso or 'curve' issue, and women's packs provide no extra benefit for them.

Like wingding, I recommend the Aerial. I just got mine and carried it for 8 days on the JMT, then again for another weekend trip. I'll also be carrying it this weekend into Cottonwood (doing Langley). Even though I haven't used it much, I really, really like it. On the JMT I practically forgot I was wearing a pack, even though I had 30 lbs strapped to my back, it was that comfortable. No hip-hickeys or shoulder bruises at all.

If something smaller is more appropriate (how much gear will she need to carry, will you carry the shared stuff?) the Gregory Tega is also a very comfortable and lightweight women's pack.
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Postby DJG » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:31 pm

My wife and I both got new packs earlier this year. She tried many but ended up getting the one with the best fit, with weeklong trips in mind. We both got Gregory Palisades.

Biggest asset in the purchase was the amount of time the salesperson spent making sure the packs we tried were adjusted appropriately for each of us (swapped out the hip belts too). So far, so good, we love 'em!

And regarding the backpack donation Kathy mentioned, Adventure 16 stores have a program to pass on used gear to a variety of places. I haven't participated, only read about on their web site. Great idea, remember how stoked you were when you got the opportunity to be "out there"?

Hope this helps.
Dan
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Postby gary c. » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:02 am

Thank you for your replys :nod: She won't be needing one until next year so that will give us plenty of time to shop around and try some different models on for fit. Thank's again.
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Postby Kerstin » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:35 am

I just purchased a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone. I love it! This is not a women's-specific pack but you can turn it into one.

I special ordered it from a local store with a women's-specific hip belt. I have hips. This hip belt was extremely comfortable. I have a 15-16" torso so I ordered the small-size pack. The small size automatically comes with shoulder straps designed for narrower shoulders.

I'd highly recommend this pack. I just put a review on this site if you're curious.
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