The pack is one of those things you must get right to enjoy your time in the backcountry. I really struggled with it - some people can seemingly throw a hundred pounds of crap in a cheapo rucksack and never get sore, I tried an Osprey and had to wear a fleece around my waist to add padding to the waist or my back hurt by the end of the day.

I would suggest getting measured, writing down the measurements, and paying attention to those when trying on packs. Some people need a small pack, a medium hip belt, and shoulder straps made for a woman; others get along just fine with "whatever." So I would stay away from packs with belts you can't swap out, for starters. Also it's generally recommended to try on packs, not guess and order online - but places like that have an unconditional return policy seem a safe bet to me.

I took a chance on a Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone - they are selling the small size at Sierra Trading Post for a very good price right now. The description is misleading - they labeled it a daypack and don't provide nearly enough info, for instance that it's a small, but I guessed that was what the description "works well for short people" meant and ordered. Fits me perfectly. It's definitely not a day pack. goodjob
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki