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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: , , .
Posts: 40
Default fitting a backpack

I was trying out some new packs this week and I think I really like the Osprey Atherus 70L. I was trying on a medium and it seemed pretty comfy. However, we had to slide the shoulder/back adjustment down to its lowest setting. We also checked out my back size with the Osprey chart, and I'm right at the overlap between medium and small. Unfortunately the shop didn't have a small that I could try out. Part of me thinks that medium is better, that if something changed in some way I'd rather have shoulder straps that are too high instead of too low. On the other hand, my wife is smaller than me so if she wants to use the pack then a small is better. She should get her own pack anyways so I don't know how important that is.

I'm just a bit hesitant, and thought maybe someone out there has some words of wisdom for me.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 12:59 PM
Summit Master
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 6,120

I would have to agree with you. Most of the load should be on your hips anyway. If your pack is too short you'll find heavier digging into your shoulders big time.
On long trips I find I may adjust my pack a few times in a day. I might start out with the load up high and as the day wears on drop it a bit more onto my hips.
Finding the right fit is important so take your time. Next to comfortable boots your pack is your best friend. If it is badly fitted it will just wear you down on the trail.

“Now you are going to like this” !
Tell your wife she needs to buy her own pack. You are a different frame size and because she is female. A man's pack will feel awkward on her body. Women have narrow shoulders and wider hips than guys (as a rule) . Day packs might not be an issue but a larger backpack will be in terms of carrying weight. That's not to say she couldn't get by sharing the same pack but if she had her own fitted to her body shape …. Well she could carry more of your gear like extra beer and such.
Manufactures finally got the idea the same pack will not necessarily fit both sexes and there are a number of packs specially designed for the gals.
One note of caution; be prepared to spend endless hours while she finds the right colour [)]
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