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#198234 - 04/30/17 03:16 AM I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks
Mario Smith Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 2
Hello all, I would like to buy a 70L backpack(btw, I carry a maximum of 50 pounds, 40 preferred). The North Face Fovero 70 is what I would like. This is sold in S/M and L/XL (I guess, because it can be adjusted)
However according to The North Face Sizing Chart, I fall between the three sizes!!!
To measure myself, I followed carefully some main guides you can find googling, including the rei.com one. I measured myself with the help of two(non-expert) persons and I measured Torso, Waist and Chest(chest using wikihow guidelines). I measured myself without any cloth.
These are the result
Torso: 16.9''/17.7'' Waist: about 36'' Chest: 37''

I'm 6'23'' tall and I'm 165-182 pounds

About torso: I've done two measures, because it felt like there was two bones and I didn't know which one was the C7 exactly, so I've taken two. Between 165 and 182 pounds because it depends if I follow a diet and if I'm doing sports.

I can understand why I'm a S according to Chest, yes, I should fix it with some exercises, but what about torso?! I'm 6 feet tall. Waist: I'm not fat, but I wear a L according to waist. According to Torso, a S(/M, I could also wear a M actually, but a S fit better the torso measure I've got IMHO).

Unluckily, I can't try this backpack in a store, and there aren't stores which sell a lot of this stuff near me. No way then, I must buy it online. What can I do? Any tips from some experts on what size choose and/or what to do?
Any help appreciated. Anyway, I understand how much is important to choose the right size!

A little note: I've long legs(more than what most people have) but I've also a quite long back, more long than what most people have. I've always though I was proportionate(apart chest), and most people think I am, so... I don't think my heist is only thanks to leg, they're long but back is also quite long. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think I've a short torso because I've very long legs and short back, I don't think I'm in this situation.

Thanks in advance for any reply


Edited by Mario Smith (04/30/17 04:29 AM)

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#198235 - 04/30/17 07:06 AM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I think you're asking an impossible question - until I can see the pack on you, loaded with gear, I can't begin to know whether it fits. Not knowing where you are located, I can only offer a solution that may or may not work for you. It depends on shipping costs.

I'd suggest you order from a company that allows you to return anything you haven't used for a full refund; I believe this is still REI's policy. Then, order the pack you want in both sizes. When they arrive, try them both on with your own gear packed inside, and make your choice. Then send the other one back. (Don't take them both out backpacking to decide; you may not be able to return one that has actually been used on a trip.) You will have to pay the shipping cost, but that's still cheaper than if you had to go to the nearest store that carries the pack.

Also, keep in mind that one possible outcome of this experiment is that neither size will fit you right, and you may end up sending them both back and looking for a different pack.

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#198236 - 04/30/17 08:45 AM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
I agree with Glenn. Order both from a company that will give a full refund.

FWIW, your torso is a small/med from your measurement (assuming you did it correctly) and that is what matters for packs. Waist is only a consideration if hipbelt doesn't come in different sizes (i.e., permanently attached) and can't be adjusted far enough.

That said, you would want a pack a little too long than too short if given a choice.

Are you mountaineering or is there some other reason you wish to carry so much weight?

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#198237 - 04/30/17 02:14 PM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Torso: That C7 vertebra is the bump (usually prominent) you feel at the back of the neck where it meets the shoulders. The bottom of the torso measurement should not be at your waist but the level of your iliac crest (the top of your pelvic girdle, aka hip bones. ( You can feel your pelvic girdle by pushing your thumbs downward from your waist at your sides until you hit bony resistance. If this is the way you measured, you should be OK.

In most instances, if you're a "between" size, it's recommended that you go for the larger size. Or, as suggested, you could order both sizes and send one (or both!) back.

The hip belt should not be on your waist but rest on the top of your pelvic girdle. The idea is to transfer most of the pack weight to your pelvic girdle (hips), not your spine.

Some short people have a long torso, while some tall people have a short torso. Torso length is not necessarily proportional to height. Some of us, for instance, have a long pelvic girdle (mine is long, while my torso and legs are both short).

Be sure to have all your gear, including the equivalent in weight/bulk of a week's food and a day's water, on hand before the packs arrive. Leave the tags on the packs, load one up and take a several hour's hike around the house (you gotta keep that pack clean and dry in case you need to return it). It will be the most boring hike you ever did (try music), but after those 2.5 to 3 hours, your body will tell you if this is the pack for you. You may or may not need to do this with both sizes of pack--it may be obvious when you put on the empty pack which is best. However, it's extremely important to be sure the pack works for you and your gear when fully loaded.

There are lots of articles on the home page of this site on gear selection, including this one on backpack selection.

There are also a number of articles there on reducing pack weight and an excellent model gear list ("27-lb, 7-day pack list") should you wonder why we experienced lightweight (not ultralight and certainly not "stupid light") backpackers are commenting on the size/weight of your pack.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/30/17 02:17 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#198238 - 04/30/17 04:02 PM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: OregonMouse]
Mario Smith Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/30/17
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies, this forum looks awesome. I'll give more details soon about my problem. Now it is some days I don't sleep very well, and is two days I'm awake, please be patient with my bad English and my bad writing especially now!

I'm from Italy, and yes, I'm knowing very quickly USA brands and quality. It look likes you have a backpacking philosophy, here is totally missing(or it looks ridiculous when compared), and despite there are some good brands, I don't like very much the stuff that is sold here. I've known rei.com and I'm loving it. An exception I'll probably make is for a pair of Garmont Tower Trek GTX, they looks great, and they're sold here for about 217$ (200€ full trekkin.com price)
The North Face Fovero 70 is 30% off on moosejaw.com, the price is even better than the REI Traverse 70(and I think the north face is better, apart that the rei traverse would be more suitable to warm temperatures)
Budget is very important to me, as you probably guess, I've to buy a lot of stuff, and I don't have many moneys. I'm just a newbie entering this great world. To cut cost, I can easily reduce the backpack size anyway, I wouldn't carry more than 50 pounds, best 40 pounds. I wouldn't carry more than 1/3 of my weight.
Here everyone loves Ferrino, but I checked it, nothing so great actually. I tried it as a boy-scout in the past, I worn, they're good, but sure REI quality is much better. I'll check again the Italian brands regarding backpack however, and some EU stuff sold here. What I like about Ferrino would be only the water carrying stuff and cooking stuff

What I'm planning to do is buy most stuff on REI using an international shipping, and anything else from USA using myus international shipping(which is quite good). Said that, it's implied it would be very difficult to send backpacks back... but actually, just to try it, I could also buy the Fovero 70 here that is about 220€ at full price(trekkin.com if I'm not wrong). Maybe just to try it, then after got my money back, I'd buy it from US, why? Lifetime warranty of The North Face USA (here just 2 years as local law force to).
Trying it will make my job of buying things much longer and may delay my departure date, trust me, there are several important reason why I must go as soon as possible. And this is not because I can't wait!
I've contacted mousejaw and they told me that:
Have you considered any Osprey or Gregory brand packs? Most of the packs have the option to swap out the hip belt, so you can buy a pack in the torso size you need and then purchase separate hipbelt for the correct waist size.
I'm not sure quite which activity you were planning on using the pack for, but an option you may want to consider is the Men's Aether AG 70, and if you were planning on swapping out the hipbelts we would recommend the Men's Isoform CM Hipbelt. I hope this helps.

However, looking at Osprey and Gregory, I don't like them very much(I don't like at all that Osprey looking! but if we talk of quality, I've no idea how they're like I've no idea how any backpack is). I'm newbie so please take me to the right way, what I think is that these brands are a bit overpriced seeing their features and prices.
What I like is a backpack that make the job of keeping things organized easy, with things like the Fovero 70 J-shaped lock which allows easy access of any part of the backpack, a lot of zip locks, separate storage for sleeping bag etc... "Optionals" like day pack and something to carry tools are well accepted.
As soon as they fix my problem of not being able to use their live chat, I'll have a chat with moosejaw. I've also contacted The North Face itself but I'm still waiting for replies.

Quote:
That said, you would want a pack a little too long than too short if given a choice.
I'll keep in mind, thanks

I haven't understood very much the difference between mountaineering and backpacking. I think mountaineering is something very hard on the summits(or near), especially in winter, for long periods. Backpacking instead, it can be from any guy I see with a large backpack in Milan to the USA fellows who sleep in a tent/bivy and enjoy wilderness in national park or even Alaska(and of course, outside USA too) What I'll do is Backpacking(I'll give more details) overnights, more than 5+ days, maybe by the time I've experience, weeks. Said that, I've a bit of the ultralight philosophy but I'd care some things that aren't ultralight. Never more than 50 pounds, best 40, unless there are very good reason to carry more weight.

I think the Torso measure I took is ok, maybe what can be wrong is the Waist measure, I followed the REI guide, what I've done is measure around the first bump under the chest, in the "hips" area. Btw I still don't understand what this waist measure is and how it differences from hips measure(I don't know how to measure both of them)

2.5-3h(insert omg here) in the house sure resolve my problems but, it is impractical where I live. I'd be able to do it, but it doesn't depend just on me, that's a pity I know. However, thank you OregonMouse for the tips.

I just need a bit of rest to take care of these things, thanks a lot for your support mans!


PS: I've just 500€ now, 200€ will come maybe and I'll try to get more, but 500€ is budget for backpack + sleeping bag(north face ocelot overbag, great and strictly sold only in US country), a 10$ headlamp(amazon), 30$+30$ t-shirt from Smart Travel Companion and Scottevest, alcohol gel based hand sanitizer(>= 60% alcohol, I though to buy the Purell two pack on amazon, budget 25$), maybe Travel Inspira Adaptor on amazon.com As I said, budget is important, however I'll try as much I can to rise it Quality btw, is also very very important. I wouldn't waste my money on something that breaks easily or which fabrics aren't good quality

I edit my post now because I checked the store I found the Fovero 70 here in Italy. Checking the north face official italian website, there is just one 70+ backpack, which is not the Fovero. However, it was bigtree-outdoor.it and not trekkin.com and they have the Fovero 70 30 days to return it, they even pay the shipping return cost! It can be done to buy two backpack and get my money back, hoping that in the meantime, someone doesn't buy all fovero 70 in moosejaw stock!


Edited by Mario Smith (04/30/17 04:34 PM)

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#198239 - 04/30/17 05:25 PM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Take a look at Deuter packs. They're a German company, so I assume they would be readily available. They have very sturdy suspensions, very comfortable hipbelts, and get consistently high ratings.

They have one other feature that you might find useful: many of them hold a basic low volume of gear, and have the ability to expand (get taller) to hold an extra 10 to 15 liters of stuff. For example, I've used the Deuter ACT Zero 50+15. It holds 50L in its compact form, and 65 liters in its expanded form. I think it sells for about $190 US; the Fovero is about $200 US. They also make other, larger volume packs, many in the same price range. (There are an ACT Lite 50+10 and 60+10 - the larger packs costs $20 US more.)

The ACT 50+15 and ACT Lite packs also weighs about half as much as the Fovero.

The only reason I'm not still using the Deuter pack is that is was overkill for my needs - I went to a pack that weighed about half to two-thirds what the Deuter packs weigh.

I'd highly recommend that you take a look at Deuter before you settle on a pack. You might even have a nearby shop that carries them, which makes your problem a little easier to solve.

As far as that J-lock zippered access, I don't really like it that much. It's one more zipper that can fail, for one thing. But, mostly, I've always been able to organize my pack in such a way that I don't need to get into the main compartment during the day while I'm hiking. I can fit all the snacks, first aid kit, hats, gloves, extra clothing layer, map, compass, water and water filter in the pack's outside pockets and lid. Since I don't get into the pack while I hike, the extra access to the inside is a worthless feature to me. (I don't use crampons, so a crampon panel is a waste, too.) As Karen Berger put it, "You can find packs with lots of bells and whistles, but they're dead weight if they bells you won't ring and whistles you won't blow." I think most experienced backpackers would agree that simpler is usually better.

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#198243 - 04/30/17 09:20 PM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By Mario Smith
I haven't understood very much the difference between mountaineering and backpacking. I think mountaineering is something very hard on the summits(or near), especially in winter, for long periods. Backpacking instead, it can be from any guy I see with a large backpack in Milan to the USA fellows who sleep in a tent/bivy and enjoy wilderness in national park or even Alaska(and of course, outside USA too) [b]What I'll do is Backpacking(I'll give more details) overnights, more than 5+ days, maybe by the time I've experience, weeks. Said that, I've a bit of the ultralight philosophy but I'd care some things that aren't ultralight. Never more than 50 pounds, best 40, unless there are very good reason to carry more weight.

I asked because with mountaineering you'd have all the ropes and climbing gear that would add weight. I don't understand why you'd carry 40 pounds normally. I don't carry more than 30 pounds for a week long above treeline trip. I'm not saying you need to be that light, but don't carry more weight than you really need.

All the big name makers like Gregory and Osprey should be fine for quality. I originally had planned to get a Gregory Z55 I think it was called. Thankfully, I discovered lightweight backpacking before I bought much gear and ended up with a Golite Pinnacle instead that weighed much less. This is its equivalent today. I doubt it could carry 40 pounds well without some modifications (and I have carried 40 pounds fine with minor modifications).

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#198248 - 05/01/17 10:22 AM Re: I fall between S, M and L what size I'm? Backpacks [Re: Mario Smith]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1146
Loc: Washington State, King County
Mario, it's common in the United States for beginning backpackers to buy a lot of equipment, and then as they gain experience --- find that they don't like so very much the gear that they bought. What's common then is to pare down some, both in the amount and type of gear/clothing carried. In that context, a common recommendation is to buy the backpack as late as possible. Rent or borrow a pack if possible, or at worst buy something fairly cheap (perhaps used) to use in order to get some experience.

I think that it would help this group interact with you if we had an idea of the kind of backpacking that you're interested in --- what general areas, what time(s) of year, how long a trip in miles/kilometres or days, anything you can tell us about what you're interested in doing.

The only backpacking that I've done in Italy was a few days along the Via Francigena in Tuscany --- "backpacking" but sleeping each night in ostelli or hotels, so not quite the same thing! :-)

Your enthusiasm is clear --- best wishes for good equipment choices and great trips to come.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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