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Curvy Women! and pack choices?
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aaron eshelman
(djaaronreed) - MLife

Locale: Central Rockies
Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 10:54:57 MST Print View

Hello, I am trying to find an ultralight backpack for my wife, but I am running into some problems! First off she is short at 5'1", curvy and well endowed up top. We are running into pack straps that won't adjust to her female form very well. Seems that most straps are either too wide and/or too thin. Getting the right torso adjustment hasn't been too problematic, but finding the right torso length with good shoulder straps has been a chore.

She has a great collection of packs already, mostly GoLite. These seem to be ok in most ways, but seem silly to have a 2 pound pack and just "ok" comfort, when her baseweight is around 8-10 lbs and rarely need more than a few days of supplies. I have multiple packs as well including both original versions of the GG Whisper and Murmur. While really lite, she thinks the straps are too wide with the foam inserts and too much extra fabric with something else (smaller thinner foam, socks, etc.) in it's place. MLD, Zpacks all seam to have roughly the same width shoulder straps and shape. We would be up for any manufacturer that would provide her the comfort she needs in an ultralight package.

So, do any other women with these same issues have any suggestions? I know most of this is personal and subjective to different things, but would like some real world feedback and suggestions. Thanks!

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 11:21:51 MST Print View

I am 5' tall but not curvy,so I can't help you there,my torso length is 16 1/2 inches(more important to know than height).I really like the hip belt on the ULA circuit.I also bought an extra and put it on my Gorilla.The new Ohm 2.0 comes with this hipbelt and you can have them put the women's specific shoulder straps(the S curve straps )on.I have never used these straps because I am not curvy so I can't say how well they work.The s straps can be added to any of their packs.You could call ULA and discuss it with them they are very helpful and would probably let you try one.The most important thing is letting her try on different packs to see what fits properly.

Edited by annapurna on 01/08/2012 11:39:40 MST.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 11:43:38 MST Print View

I pretty much fit that description. I have a ULA Circuit with the 'S' shoulder straps and love it. That said, I also tried an Ohm and liked the way the shoulder straps lay better; the straps are pretty much the same but the attachment point on the bottom makes the angle slightly different. I chose the Circuit because I liked the hipbelt MUCH better but with the new Ohm2 hipbelt system, that's probably what I would choose now.

For what it's worth, my light pack of choice before I bought the Circuit was the GoLite Peak.

Also, my first reaction to the Circuit was only so-so and it took some fiddling with the metal stay to where it is today. And the curvature of the stay is completely opposite of how it came.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 11:48:33 MST Print View

Deuter makes "women" specific packs, but not real light. Dan McHale has decades of experience and can make a pack that will fit perfectly.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 11:56:12 MST Print View

Granite Gear makes women specific packs. ULA Equipment now has women specific packs (this would be my choice).

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
women specific packs on 01/08/2012 12:32:14 MST Print View

I think the S-curve shoulder straps would be pretty important to you, so when looking for a pack, make sure that the "women's specific" version of whatever pack from whatever company, has both a women's specific harness and women's specific hipbelt. Golite and Granite Gear only offer a women's specific hipbelt on their women's line...the shoulder harness is the same for men and women, and isn't very curvy. I agree with a lot of the female posters above (Sumi and Anna) that ULA should be youre first stop...the curvature on their S-straps seem very aggressive, so will probably fit her very well. Also, by default, the hipbelts on the ULA circuit, ohm 2.0, and catalyst all allow you to adjust the tilt/cant/angle of the hipbelt because of it's unique buckle system.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/08/2012 12:33:07 MST.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Curvy Women! and pack choices? on 01/08/2012 15:34:10 MST Print View

My wife is a similar body type. Her base weight is in the 14 pound range, so any of the light framed packs would work, but so far none of them has fit and carried as well as her Osprey Ariel 55 (the older and slightly lighter model.) Yes, it's almost 4 pounds, but the carry is comfortable enough that she is willing to carry the extra weight - call it her one luxury item.

In particular, the Osprey shoulder harness is very well designed for her body shape.