/ Female Friendly Climbing Packs!
A big desperate plea to all the women out there about climbing packs. I have owned an Osprey Ariel 55 (designed for women)for hillwalking and it's brilliant if not a bit "strappy" but too clumpy for climbing and sits too high to wear a helmet and successfully look up at the same time with!
After some research I bought a Podsac alpine 40 in small and although the size is good the arm straps are far too chunky and thick and pretty much cover my whole shoulder leaving it difficult to stick both arms in the air....sort of needed for climbing. I have had to return it.
I am finding next to no provision for women climber packs. I found marmot Freya 35 but there are next to no reviews and it is a lot more weighty than others I have seen. I like the look of Osprey Mutant 38 but there are no women specific designs which I think I need.
Basically would love to hear from women a similar size and shape to me (5' 4", 58kg, typical pear shape, small waist), or even who aren't but can give me some advice (guys included!) who have found climbing packs that work for them.
If any product designers are reading this- GET MORE FEMALE CLIMBING PRODUCTS OUT THERE!!
I'm 3" taller than you and have a few more kilos, also pear shaped but with quite broad shoulders. I use the Mutant 38 in size small and find it pretty comfy provided I'm not carrying it heavily packed on a long walk (when it makes my sciatica play up). For me it works with both a harness and a helmet fine and I don't find the shoulder straps too broad given that it's a 'unisex' (aka 'male') bag.
But of course, every pack's different, and you'll need to give it a go yourself
I'm a woman, was involved with the gear testing of the Mutant, and use it in size small as a general pack for everything from summer trekking to winter climbing. I disagree with the need for women specific everything. After all, no products are man specific are they?
Try the Crux AK range, there v lite, come in different back lengths and have narrow shoulder straps but there not cheap.
Another vote for the Mutant, in small. I am 5'8 and tried small and medium, the guys at Cotswold said the small was a much better fit. I have a fairly short back for my height, so would recommend you try it.
I have a vaude rucksack which is around 8 years old, totally bomb proof, it has been every where and is the most comfortable rucksack i have ever used. I am not the same shape as you but it has thin straps and a well shaped waist that sits in a good position swell as a height adjustable back which i think it key. The height adjustable back should prevent the strpas being too big in the wrong places.
Unfortunatly they dont make it any more but it is very similar to the Challenger 35.
You're right but everything I buy (that is specific to form like backpacks) that are NOT specific to women tend to be to long, wide etc. Back length is a huge issue for me. Let's face it, women do have a different shape. Our shoulders are narrower, we generally have hips...and breasts!. They may not be advertised as "men only" but I bet you anything they will be predominantly aimed at males therefore designed for their body shapes/needs.
Thank you! I think I will....this is probably the bag that stands out the most so far
I hadn't even heard about these, thanks for the heads up
If you're still thinking about the Marmot Freya ... it's a bit heavy but then the frame sheet is removable ... I've not tried it but have a couple of previous Marmot women-specific rucksacks, the Diva 55 and Myrina 30. I have a lot of rucksacks but these are definitely amongst my favourites as they fit my small size (5'4"/size 8) well, and are also stripped back and simple. I reviewed the Myrina here and you can still buy it online but it might be a bit small for your needs. http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4225
Thanks, it is looking like the mutant may win here!
She spent ages in 2010/11 trying to find something short enough and the Mutant in small was the best fit of anything she tried.
I don't know what Macpac make at the moment (my bigger sacs are coming up 20 years old - eeek, at least they last....), but I found them good because the women's sacs had particularly narrow (and shaped) shoulder straps, and even the smaller unisex ones weren't too bad.
Have a look at Deuter packs, they pretty much duplicate their range.
Not the lightest but the build quality is excellent and they carry better than the Osprey sacs IMO. I have a Guide 35+ that I use for work, Its been fantastic so far.
Another which could be worth looking at is the Berghaus Arete (ladies obv) it has a good back system although it is let down by the height of the sack behinnd the head - it seems like they made it the same height as then mens just with shorter straps so it tends to hit shorter users in the back of the head.
But the Deuter guide lite 28 sl was a good choice .
My wife is, 5'4 size 10 and likes using the bag, I like the fact she can know share the load on our way to a climb. Result. :)
Other half has a small POD cragsack in the small size - it was the only pack that we could find that fitted her.
I've got a size 2 cragsack and an Osprey Mutant - and whilst the Mutant is a bit lighter and arguably more comfortable when loaded (back on Cragsack is solid so it doens't matter how badly packed it is!) the Cragsack is far more robust.
The lid pocket is also much better on the POD.
I've also found that the cragsack sits better on my back when only partially loaded than the Mutant does and that the Mutant is a bit of a pain to shove stuff in - both due the the felxible back deforming lots.
I guess I could investigate a stiffer back sheet for the Mutant, which would help loads.
The high behind the head is also a major issue! I'm a bit of a berghaus phobic for some reason. I never really took to the brand but will have a nosey nonetheless. I am avoiding deuter due to the weights but am templed by the guide 35 which people seem to be raving about. I hope your gf finds a suitable bag too!!
I was looking at this but fear it will be too small. Unfortunately I think my partner would like the share the weight 50/50 :P
Ok So it looks like I'm going to be going to try the Mutant 38 small, Deuter guide 35+ and Deuter Guide lite 28.
Cheers for all the help everyone! keep em coming if you have any new finds! :) I shall give an update with any successful purchases
p.s I am having to see my Podsac Alpine 40 due to the sizing. It's brand spanking new (can't get refund as i took off and threw away the tags, doh) so am trying to see it for as close to what i got it for as poss. Please make sensible offers if you want this. Retail price £120
For summer I use a womens specific guidelite 28...it's practically perfect!
If only I could find a similar great sack for winter. Women obviously have smaller and narrower shoulders so whoever said we should just get on with it as they don't have "man-specific" gear is talking rubbish. Happy hunting!
Please post if you find a great womens sack!
Talking weights, 500g difference is sod all really if the fit is right. For many years I used a (old) Karrimor alpanist 45+10, it weighed a good kilo more than my lightweight sac, but I picked it up every time because it was comfier to carry loaded. A lightweight sac that skimps on padding and strap width etc (the weight savings have to come from somewere), is more tireing over a long day, than a heavier comfier bag IMO.
I'm glad you mentioned the variant because I was going to look at this too but was umming and ahhing about it not being women specific. I did hear about the straps! (which is a bit of a pain on my ariel 55) what about the guide 28 isn't suitable for winter? Material?
I heard that the back padding on deuters can potentially gather water/sweat and freeze in winter!! you know anything about that?
My girlfriend swears by her Deuter for everything outdoors and as her main travel bag.
Actually most climbing/walking products are men specific and if they make a women's version it comes in pink or purple!!!
We don't need women specific everything but for packs and clothes they are desirable.
Bloody pink and purple eh. I have an amazing down jacket but could only find it in purple. luckily it's a deep purple but still!
I know what the adjustable back on the talon is like as i have the same with my ariel 55 and it's great! thanks for the heads up
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