Backpacking for Women

Share traveling tips with other travellers.

Moderators: sinecure, TravelFun, ballu, jimshu, JaliscoJudy

Backpacking for Women

Postby Wanderlust83 » Fri May 29, 2009 1:30 pm

Hey All,

It's time to break away from suitcase travel and be more adventurous!!!I'm a single, female traveler looking to purchase my first backpack for some upcoming trips I have booked (the longest duration being 4 weeks).

I'm looking for any advice on reputable make/brand. Also, would you recommend a 40L or 50L backpack? (I've already started doing some research myself, and any back larger than 50L is out of the question!).

There's probably already a thread for this somewhere in the Forum, but I'm hoping to get some udated information.

Thanks!
Wanderlust83
Wanderlust83
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby mrzeszow » Fri May 29, 2009 2:10 pm

Hi,

I can't really recommend any brands, but I might be able to mention some features I discovered the hard way. Not sure if they'll help, but, here they are.

The size, really depends. You can find a 40L pack, and it will be sufficient if you're a great packer, but if you find you're always going to be attaching things to the outside then it's better to buy one size bigger and leave the extra space empty when you don't need it. I personally like having the option of both, so I have a slightly larger pack, I leave it partially empty when I leave, and then I fill it along the way when I buy souvenirs. I also like being able to attach things like sleeping bags/mats/tent/shoes/water bottles to the outside of the pack so I look for daisy chains and loop holes for carabiners/straps on the outside of any pack I buy.

The pack/day pack combos are very popular, and I'm a fan. But I tend to wear my day pack on my front instead of attaching it to the main pack. I found having the day pack on my back put me off balance. Having it on my front helps me balance when I walk and I like having things like my passport and map right in front of me. I use carabiners to attach the day pack to loop holes on the main packs shoulder packs.

I highly recommend buying a pack specific for a female. I've used both and the female packs had better hip straps which make a big difference on long hikes. Having adjustable harness is also helpful, so you can set it to accommodate your back length. And fat/cushioned shoulder straps help prevent it digging into your shoulder . If the sternum strap adjusts up and down it helps so you can place it above the chest. I look for lightweight packs that are durable and have a padded harness.

Besides that all other features are completely personal choices. I am very partial to front loaders (help finding things in main compartment), as well as having multiple compartments for organization. Fave feature is the harness cover for the plane and the hidden away rain cover. Having double zippers on all compartments allows you to put locks on. For some reason I found many packs didn't have this. Hidden compartments are also nice, but I tend to just saw in my own.

Hope this helps.
mrzeszow
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:03 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby Zuleika » Fri May 29, 2009 3:02 pm

I defo second having a backpack with specific womens fit. My first one was a 65L Berghaus womens fit and i used it for 15 years - 3x RTW trips totalling 3.5yrs and loads of smaller trips - it was brill and comfy and fit perfectly!
I went for 65L - i wanted half empty as opposed to stuffed full. And when I camp it can also fit my sleeping bag/thermarest and pillow. It also has straps on the outside so if I do toooo much shopping the sleeping bag straps neatly onto the outside.
I had top loader which didnt lock - but after travelling for so long it was well scruffy looking that no one would even think of look twice at it for stealing anything!!! LOL

Another thing I have seen recently is the Berghaus Optimus range - which is a backpack with wheels - looks good!
Last edited by Zuleika on Fri May 29, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Live the life you love, Love the life you live"
User avatar
Zuleika
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:01 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby mrzeszow » Fri May 29, 2009 3:12 pm

I agree with the scruffy pack, mine is so well 'loved' but I just refuse to replace it. Walking down the street I look so poor that most people don't consider robbing me (or at least that's what I like to think).

My last pack was a top loader, to organize myself I divided all my things between zip lock bags. I found they were a great help to squish my stuff down, and when looking for something it was easy to pull out a few zip lock bags and stuff them back in, instead of removing everything from the pack. Also a big help when my pack got soaked (hotel flooded, I no longer leave everything on the floor, lesson learned :) ).

I love the straps on the outside of my pack. Same here, I use it for traveling as well as back country camping. Big help when I strap all my camping gear to the outside. In Europe I used it to strap rolls of paintings to the side, multi purpose :D.
mrzeszow
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:03 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby janer » Sat May 30, 2009 9:35 am

I am 5'0" and carry an 80L usually. Yes, totally unnecessary, but I do leave with half of it empty, and that's with a sleeping bag in it. I also usually come back with it full. The waist straps are really important. haha don't ask how i get the bag on my back when it's filled to the brim.
janer
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Calgary

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby mrzeszow » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:34 pm

:D I'm so glad I'm not the only girl that carries a larger pack. I'm a bit taller, 5'6", and my pack is 80L plus 10L day pack. My trick is, I always put the pack on a chair, squat, put on the shoulder straps and then stand up. Or sometimes, I have to put it against a tree and put it on like that. I learned not to ask the boys for help, my friends are unforgiving, so paraphrasing "if you can't lift and carry your own pack, throw out half the $*!+ you bought". They're right :?
mrzeszow
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:03 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby Myosotis » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:58 pm

My advice is: Travel light but with a big pack. I use a 50L + 10. ( I have a 10L extension)... It's because I like shopping. I usually buy clothes, art, etc. And I like to have space enough to bring back my things in one pack only. But it depends of your priorities and your style.
About brands, I use Vaude bags for women. My main pack as well as my daypack are Vaude.
User avatar
Myosotis
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: Rimouski, QC. Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby nawirl » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:21 pm

I just did 3 weeks with a 40L small pack. The trick is to roll your clothes. My pack loaded weighed 20 pounds and there was only 1 item I never used. I did leave some stuff behind and bought new stuff too. My pack is a bargain brand and I've used it forever. The little TSA master locks work great between two zipper pulls or even around the strap clasps. I am a female and dont know if I would notice a difference between "womens" or mens packs. I probably couldve used a 50L .
nawirl
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:23 pm

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby Wanderlust83 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:54 am

Hi Ladies,

Thank you all for your very helpful responses. You've given me a lot to think about while I'm shopping for a backpack this summer.

Happy Travels!
Wanderlust83
Wanderlust83
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby poweredbytofu » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:29 pm

I vote for a small bag! I traveled around the world for a year with my Marmot Diva 35L (2100 cu in), and I had plenty of room. Here's the list of the insane amount of stuff I packed into it: http://www.poweredbytofu.com/2009/05/05 ... orld-trip/
Powered by Tofu
http://www.poweredbytofu.com/
Adventures of one quarterlife crisis and a year-long trip around the world.
User avatar
poweredbytofu
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby ballu » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:21 pm

I'd recommend trying out MEC...the MEC brands are great quality and much cheaper than other brand names. I'm pretty sure there's one in Vancounver. That being said, there's no perfect pack for everybody. Make sure it's comfortable when full. Proper outdoor stores should be able to help you find a good fit for you.
EMBRACE THE BIZARRE
http://www.gadventures.com/about-us/gadventures/

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list

If you never get lost, you never get found


Image
User avatar
ballu
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2781
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby Wanderlust83 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:42 pm

Hi Poweredbytofu: Thanks for your great packing tips. I found your list very helpful. I also liked your article about G.A.P and Intrepid tours. I'm very curious to know how you planned for/financed your RTW trip? I sit here in my office daily, wracking my brain for ways that I can take off for a year and travel the world. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Ballu: Thanks for recommending MEC. There is a very large MEC in Vancouver, not far from where I'm living now, so I think that might be the best place to start.

Cheers,
Wanderlust83
Wanderlust83
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Backpacking for Women

Postby poweredbytofu » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:48 pm

Yeah, I get that a lot. ;) First thing I like to clarify, I'm not a trustfund twenty-something. I've just always been a saver and a believer of living within my means. I wrote about it a little more in my About page: http://www.poweredbytofu.com/about/ . It's mainly about priorities and whether or not your goals and dreams (travel) are aligned with your actions. Anyway, if you have any specific questions, feel free to email me. Cheers!
Powered by Tofu
http://www.poweredbytofu.com/
Adventures of one quarterlife crisis and a year-long trip around the world.
User avatar
poweredbytofu
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Portland, OR


Return to Travel Tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest