Backpack Selection

Posted by: AustrianAlps

Backpack Selection - 03/04/14 09:47 AM

Hello! I am newbie and I need your help smile

I am 5'3" with what I guess is an unusually long torso of approximately 19" (46cm) (when measured from the bony neck vertebrae down to above my hip bones) and a 29" waist (73cm) (measured at the widest part of my hipbones - hopefully I did these measurements correctly!)

I have been having issues finding the right bag. I have been looking at the Deuter AirContact SL, Arcteryx Bora, Osprey Aether and many others all around the 60L capacity range but the women's specific fit always seem to be too short for me (even though I was of the original opinion I was quite short myself)

I will use the bag for my tent, sleeping bag, pad etc... primarily on weekend trips (1-3 days and all weather possibilities!) but I would also like to use it on week long excursions when I have the time smile So the bag should be able to hold at least 35lbs (15kg) comfortably

Pockets are kind of important to me, but the most important thing is comfort and fit! (and durability/water resistance of course)

Does anyone have any experience with these (or other) bags? Could you provide me with suggestions? I don't live near any easily accessible store where I could try these bags on so I have the internet and a tape measurer to go by so your help is very much appreciated!
Posted by: lori

Re: Backpack Selection - 03/04/14 09:59 AM

I'd look at packs that allow you to swap out the hip belt. Granite Gear has some. And look at men's packs - the packs I have that work best are not gender specific, actually.
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Backpack Selection - 03/04/14 01:21 PM

It seems you have an out-of-the-ordinary fit and have collided with the reality that pack makers aim at the boring center (statistical mean), which means folks off-center have to "make do."

Modular pack lines are a good place to start. Before that, I'd try to find a shop with pack fitting jigs to get reliable measures, especially if you've been relying on a tape measure to get your torso length. I did so after years and years of thinking I had a correct torso measurement, only to discover I was two inches off. The Gregory fitting jig was the best of those I've tried.

ULA might have a good pack for you, and it will be light whatever the model. Buying from Austria could be...a challenge but they have great customer support so might be able to help.

Good luck!
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Backpack Selection - 03/04/14 01:42 PM

Did you try those three packs on and determine that they don't fit, or are you basing it off of internet numbers?

The hip belt is the main concern. If it doesn't fit, then forget it. But if the torso is a little tall, not short, then you will usually be fine. So that means, find a pack with interchangeable hip belts.