Hunting for a summer pack for my wife

5:24 p.m. on August 6, 2008 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
62 forum posts

I need suggestions on a summer backpack for my wife.

Target size: around 2600-3000 cu. inches.
Target price: $140-$200

Some that I'm considering at present:
Osprey Aura 50
Osprey Krestrel 48
Osprey Talon 44

I know the Aura is woman-specific. However, I've been told that many women find good success with the Kestrel and Talon. Can anyone confirm that?

I've had great success with my Osprey Aethers for years, so I tend to want to stay in the family. But I'm open to considering others.


9:20 p.m. on August 6, 2008 (EDT)
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6,005 forum posts

The Ospreys are good packs. Barb (my spouse) has the women's version of the Aether (the Ariel) and finds it very good. Be sure you have a trained and experienced pack fitter work with your wife to get the right pack and to fit it properly. No pack is perfect for everyone. I find certain brands fit me well, some models of other brands fit me well, while others of their models don't fit no matter how much fiddling I do, and still other top-quality brands do not fit me at all for any of their models, brands which fit some of my friends extremely well. So do not be too tied to the idea of "staying in the family". The Ospreys might fit your wife very well, or she might find another brand and model that works better for her. Also, some women find that the "men's" version actually fits them better than the "women's" version. Everyone is different in their physique.

3:28 a.m. on August 7, 2008 (EDT)
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62 forum posts

Thanks! We'll definitely get her fitted properly. I just want to have some idea of packs (beyond the Ospreys) that we should try out.

2:22 p.m. on August 8, 2008 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

Granite Gear makes some lightweight women specific packs. I haven't owned a GG pack, but they usually get great reviews from people who have them. They make a number of packs in the size you are looking at. The models with "ki" in the name, such as "Vapor Ki" are the women's packs.

11:13 p.m. on August 9, 2008 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
62 forum posts

Thanks, we'll be sure to try the GG models.

If you guys have any tips on woman-specific pack issues, I'd love to hear them. I confess that I've had my Ospreys for so long (and with such good success), that I haven't even thought about buying a pack in at least 5 years...and certainly never before a woman's pack.

I want to get my wife going on weekend-to-4 day trips, without bombarding her with a 60L or 75L pack.

9:31 a.m. on August 10, 2008 (EDT)
9 reviewer rep
47 forum posts

Women-specific packs have shoulder straps that are placed more closely together, differently angled hip belts, and generally a slightly smaller volume than the male versions. For a woman with a small frame like me, the women's packs are far more comfortable. As Bill suggests, though, a men's pack will fit other women better. (Osprey and a few other companies have interchangeable waistbelts, so that you can buy a small pack with a medium waistbelt, a nice feature if you don't fit into somebody's idea of the standard sizes!)

Good hunting!

11:26 p.m. on August 10, 2008 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
62 forum posts

Thanks for the tips. The guys at Marmot Mtn Works (Berkeley, CA) let us try on a number of packs and sizes....and turns out the Aura 50 (Large) ended up being far and away the most comfortable. Got it 50 bucks off no complaints there!

4:39 p.m. on August 11, 2008 (EDT)
18 reviewer rep
26 forum posts

Glad you found a pack.

For anyone else reading this post, I wanted to encourage them to check out Deuter. If you like Osprey, which are widely available, Deuter has some packs that are cheaper and lighter, and that have great suspension systems.

Deuter is the oldest maker of packs on the planet. But they're relatively new to America and it's hard to find an in-store selection, even when REI and others list them on their websites.

April 20, 2018
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