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Can a Guy use a Women's Pack?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Can a Guy use a Women's Pack? on 05/14/2013 10:44:29 MDT Print View

I can't really find a good answer for this in a thread search, but how much of a difference is there between women's and men's packs from the male perspective? I've tried on a couple Women's packs and didn't notice any huge difference, but I'm concerned about long-term use. Any advice?


Thomas Rayl
(trayl) - MLife

Locale: SE Tx
Can a Guy use a Women's Pack? on 05/14/2013 10:51:38 MDT Print View

Generally, yes.

The main difference is most likely the fit of the shoulder straps which may sit wider apart on the ladies' packs and the chest strap (if any) may be positioned a bit lower to accommodate the feminine physique. Watch out for overall sizing, too. But, "if the pack fits, wear it."

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Can a Guy use a Women's Pack?" on 05/14/2013 10:54:26 MDT Print View

The common design changes I see are that the shoulder straps attach further in on the pack to accommodate a woman's naturally narrower shoulders, S-shaped shoulder straps to fit around the breasts instead of going over the top of them (not on all women's packs) and a smaller waist belt, often positioned differently than on a man's pack to fit a woman's hips.

But in some cases, a "women's" version just means it's the man's version shrunk down a little with no real changes to the design.

Could a guy wear it? Sure, if it was large enough to fit him. Whether he would find it comfortable, that I couldn't tell you.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Can a Guy use a Women's Pack? on 05/14/2013 10:57:23 MDT Print View

"..concerned about long term use.."
And you are right to be. Long term use of a woman's pack may affect your hormone levels among other things. You may notice yourself looking at Capris as a good hiking pant option next..

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Capris on 05/14/2013 11:19:40 MDT Print View

Capris would be a good way to save some grams if one is wearing gators anyways. No need for the extra pants fabric to go all the way down past the ankles. ;op

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 05/14/2013 11:20:12 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Gators on 05/14/2013 11:24:40 MDT Print View

Wearing gators. That sounds either terrifying or an odd choice of shoes for hiking...
:) sorry, could not help it.

Good thread gone silly

Sara Dhooma
(Sara) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Woman's Packs on 05/14/2013 11:39:27 MDT Print View

It all depends on the fit.

My husband gets my "heavy" hand-me downs. :)
He is currently wearing my old down jacket, raincoat, dry-fit hiking shirt and North Face pack (all female versions).

He is very lucky I don't like pink!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
fit on 05/14/2013 12:37:24 MDT Print View

if it fits ... thats all that matters

on another note ... why cant men wear those tight yoga lululemon, especially the recalled ultra sheer ones ... seems like the perfect
"base layer"


Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Gators on 05/14/2013 13:02:15 MDT Print View

what happens if you wear gators and crocs at the same time?

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
yes on 05/14/2013 13:52:40 MDT Print View

I had a friend many years ago who used a women's model of one of the earlier TNF internal frame packs. He worked for TNF and was a medium to smaller build guy and the women's pack model of (Scirocco maybe?) fit him better. luckily I think the outwardly visible difference was the ladies models came in yellow and blue instead of red and black. Did not look at all like a pink or baby blue model might look today. Most never knew, but he clued me in when we were discussing pack fit.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Woman's Packs on 05/14/2013 15:06:12 MDT Print View

Women's packs should be a bit narrower in the shoulders, more "s curve" in the shoulder straps, and a more cone shaped hip band. I would expect the torso sizes to be a size smaller than a mans equivalent. All flagrant generalities or course.

If he asks about the pack making his butt look big, act like you didn't hear and/or change the subject. :)

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
yikes! on 05/14/2013 15:32:20 MDT Print View

on another note ... why cant men wear those tight yoga lululemon, especially the recalled ultra sheer ones ... seems like the perfect
"base layer"

Ha! At 245 lbs and out of shape, I pity the poor souls that would see me hiking in these, especially the ultra sheer ones. I definitely would become a solo hiker...

Jeffrey McConnell
yep on 05/14/2013 16:20:42 MDT Print View

For my first "lighter" pack I used a a women's golite quest for a while. I have a smaller frame and it fit better. Worked great. Most of the cottage manufacturers cater to smaller people so I don't really worry about it now.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Can a Guy use a Women's Pack? on 05/14/2013 16:37:17 MDT Print View

You can, but you better not admit it ; )..kidding.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Can a Guy use a Women's Pack? on 05/14/2013 16:39:36 MDT Print View

I've used a women's bag before.
If it fits, it fits.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Woman's Packs on 05/14/2013 16:44:00 MDT Print View

" Women's packs should be a bit narrower in the shoulders, more "s curve" in the shoulder straps, and a more cone shaped hip band. "

yes. and the cone shape is a godsend to those of us guys with kinney butts.

Mark Heiser

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Sizing on 05/14/2013 17:03:07 MDT Print View

I think it may make a bigger difference in packs with heavily padded waistbelts and internal frames. But how many times have men tried on or purchased a men's pack in a certain model that didn't quite fit them right anyway? I say if it fits and the colors are either nondescript or you don't care, go for it.

I myself own a Golite Pinnacle in women's that I got last June because it was in between model years and they happened to post up a size large for a deal. I did however opt for the black, so it looks no different anyhow.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Women's Gear on 05/15/2013 18:09:35 MDT Print View

Thanks for the advice. I tried to test out a pack in the local EMS today, but they only had smalls and I am definitely a medium. The search continues...

I own Women's rain pants and a pair of women's Under Armour tights, but I hate the tights. The rain pants are great!

Women's gear sometimes goes on sale with a vengeance, more so than men's gear. I think either women are more picky on colors and fit, or outdoor companies are overestimating the amount of women there are out there hiking. I hope it's the former.

Anyways, I need a heavy-duty hauler so I will probably pick up a Gregory Deva 70 this summer and report back if it fits or not.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Women's Gear on 05/15/2013 18:16:48 MDT Print View

Keep looking. Once you have your kit dialed in, you can come to Palm Springs to visit me and my wife. You will fit in with the local parties and can cross-dress to your heart's content. But if you wear nylons, you should probably shave your legs.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Nylons on 05/15/2013 18:20:17 MDT Print View

If you think the AT through Maine gets thick, you should see my calves.