Apr 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm #1315401
Peter BakwinBPL Member
Wife wishes to upgrade from her Golite Jam to something with a bit of suspension. She is petite (5'1") and short torso – I measure 16" from the bottom of the hip belt to the top of the shoulder strap. She needs to be able to carry a bear can – BV450 or BV500 – which does not fit well in her small sized Jam. The can goes in but not with enough room to pad it adequately. What are you petite females finding works well? I have a Zpacks Arc Blast which I like – any small women using that?Apr 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm #2090810
Chris .BPL Member
@cwbLocale: Los Angeles
I just went through this with my tiny 13 year old. I can't find any pack with a fixed suspension that goes that small. Maybe I didn't look in the right places. Fitting a bear can is going to push you into a Circuit, or if you don't want to spend the money, the Osprey Volt, the North Face youth Terra 55 and another one that escapes my brain right now. I have a GG Blaze AC 60 that almost goes down to that size. What is her waist size?Apr 7, 2014 at 10:09 pm #2090832
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
The Exped Lighting has an adjustable torso so it might work. Definitely fits a bear can but the frame is tall (24 inches), I don't know if that would be a factor or not.
Another option would be a custom built pack from either Chris Zimmer, Elemental Designs, or HMG. Chris can make you any size pack you want. I don't know specifically about HMG and ED but they've done other custom packs so maybe they would.
A final idea would be to check out the Fusion packs from Six Moons Designs. They have an adjustable torso so they might be short enough.Apr 8, 2014 at 2:54 am #2090849
Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
What is her torso size? Mine is 15" and ULA fits very well. They also make a smaller pack that fits kids and it may do well for her. Give Chris a call and see what he has because he offered me an XS that isn't even on his website. ULA are great packs.
Any of the cottage makers would most likely be good to work with as well.Apr 8, 2014 at 4:54 am #2090857
Michelle ABPL Member
I'm 4'11" and skinny and was able to custom order a 16" torso and small waist belt for the arc blast. I have taken it out on a few trips now and I love it. The only minor gripe I have is that the shoulder strap loops for sternum strap adjustments and for clipping shoulder pockets are too high for me since I'm short. Otherwise the light weight is awesome!
Before the zpacks I was using the old rei flash 50 which I also liked but is 1.5 lbs heavier.Apr 8, 2014 at 6:12 am #2090869
Peter BakwinBPL Member
Great info everyone, thx. Michelle – have you carried a bear can in your Arc Blast?Apr 8, 2014 at 6:22 am #2090872
I have an Exped Lightning 60 women's version that I bought on super sale at Backcountry hoping to make it work for me. The hipbelt is a little small, (I'm 5'10" 165) but the frame is pretty adjustable. I'm planning to return it to Backcountry but PM me if you're interested and I will send it to you at cost.Apr 8, 2014 at 7:21 am #2090880
Link .BPL Member
@annapurnaApr 8, 2014 at 7:27 am #2090881Apr 8, 2014 at 11:46 am #2090948
Valerie EBPL Member
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
A 16-inch torso is not that tiny (mine is only 15", and I'm 5'5"!)
Basically, any woman-specific pack (in a size small) will accommodate her; many "youth-sized" packs will also easily fit a 16" torso, and most of the cottage makers have a short-torso option which is 15" or 16" at the low end.
So, she can use just about any pack out there, as long as you buy the smallest size! Now it's just choosing what features/weight/capacity she needs, and making your final pack choice…
In this case, anyway — size doesn't matter very much! ;^)Apr 8, 2014 at 2:26 pm #2090980
Michelle ABPL Member
Yup I carry the bv500 in the arc blast all the time with no issues. The pack volume is the same regardless of torso length.Apr 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm #2090985
Charles GrierBPL Member
@rinconLocale: Desert Southwest
I'll second the recommendation of the Elemental Horizons Kalais. I used mine last summer on the JMT with a BV-450 and it worked great. I also tried it with the BV-500 and found it to handle my gear and the bear can with but little extra room. My gear and the BV-500 filled the main compartment and about half of the useable extension collar; this was for a medium size pack. The volume of this pack varies with the pack size so I can't speak for how well a small Kalais would work. But, I hike solo so my gear volume is more than it would be if I was one in a group. I will say, though, that the Kalais is probably the most comfortable light pack I have ever used.Apr 9, 2014 at 8:15 am #2091171
Marko BotsarisBPL Member
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Yet another strong recommendation for the Kalais. I'm confident all the sizes will fit a bear can as Mathew basically specifically "certifies" this fact right on the website. I have been carrying bear cans into the sierra for decades. I have used frameless packs like a Jam, and framed packs like ULA P2 (early version of the catalyst) and the Kalais is finally the "perfect" pack for this IMO. I put my Berikade Weekender (it will also fit an expedition) at the bottom and there is enough room around it to stuff small item like clothes or a down jacket. As a small side benefit when packed this way the pack stands up by itself.
Their size small should fit – but in this case you can just email Matt and ask for the exact dimensions if in doubt. You also get a choice of colors!
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