- Dec 5, 2019 at 5:21 am #3621605
Hey folks, my GG Mariposa 60 just arrived and I’m super bummed to find it’s not going to work. I should have known – unisex is really just another way to say men’s sizing. The belt and torso seemed okay but the shoulder straps were way too wide, both in placement and width of the straps themselves. So, I’ll be paying to ship it back and starting my search all over again.
Can anyone recommend a sub-2 lb, high volume pack that might actually fit a petite woman? Looking for one that’ll fit a large bear can and supplies for a week out (so ideally in the 60L range). Currently using the Gregory Deva 70, which I love and fits great but it’s many many pounds too heavy for the kinds of adventures I’m trying to get out on.
Thanks!Dec 5, 2019 at 5:40 am #3621606PedestrianBPL Member
Note: I don’t know how well the following packs fit women well…….that said….
Have you considered the ULA Circuit and Catalyst packs? Neither is a UL pack.
In fact, I’m not sure you’ll find a true UL pack that would enable you to carry a week’s worth of food and gear with a bear canister.
Of the lightweight packs, I’d also suggest the Elemental Horizons Kalais and Aquilo. Both are well reviewed.
Please do report back what you settle on.Dec 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm #3621628Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Ditto what @pedestrian said, both with regard to not knowing how things work for small women and with regard to ULA. The Circuit and Catalyst have two shoulder strap options, and the folks there are generally helpful in answering fit questions.Dec 5, 2019 at 6:15 pm #3621648KatttBPL Member
I like my Elemental Horizons Kalais pack because it has a nice wide hip belt and the weight transfers to it well. It is not an UL pack though.Dec 5, 2019 at 10:44 pm #3621685bradmacmtBPL Member
ULA… I love the Catalyst (though mine is a custom version). And having had both, I prefer the “S” shoulder straps over the “J” version despite being a male.
I don’t think you could go wrong with either the Circuit or Catalyst.Dec 5, 2019 at 11:20 pm #3621692Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Lol. I was gonna suggest a Gorilla since my lilbitty loves hers. … but then i read your post. 🤷🏻♂️ Guess it wont work for everyoneDec 6, 2019 at 6:24 pm #3621778
Lisa r, that might be a tall order (pun intended). Sub-2 lbs, ability to carry a large bear canister, and fitting a petite woman’s torso could be tough, but I am not well versed in what’s available from cottage manufacturers that others are familiar with. I can, however, tell you that your torso length, not your height, is the main pack size determiner for most larger manufacturers. You can use your googler to find how to fit a pack – REI has a good tutorial. Part of it is just physics; it’s hard to create a pack bag that is both large volume AND that will fit the average lady torso (typically 14-16″). Granite Gear, Exped, REI, and Osprey all offer sub-3 lb packs in the 55-60 liter category, but you might end up sacrificing adjustability to shave weight.
Full-sized bear canisters are such a pain. Any way you could use an Ursak? I can get 5 days’ worth of food into mine, but it would be difficult to get my full-sized Bear Vault into my 2 pound GG Crown2.Dec 6, 2019 at 7:49 pm #3621793JCHBPL Member
Designed specifically for people with shorter torsos…A smaller frame size creates a good fit for most hikers with a torso height shorter than 17″ (43cm).
I find it very easy to fit my BV450 inside at the top of my (full size) Arc Haul (which is only 1” deeper), but find it also straps easily to the top outside the pack. Look at the v-strap option if you think you may use this method.
Also recommend the roll top closure option.Dec 7, 2019 at 1:10 am #3621859PedestrianBPL Member
The BV450 will fit most packs (even frameless ones) but that canister unfortunately will not hold enough food for a week. For short trips by myself I often go with an ancient frameless North Face pack that will hold the BV450. There are two factors at work: size of canister and the weight of the food. I find I can carry a BV450 filled with 3 days of food in a frameless pack just fine.
Once past the 4 day point, I’m forced to carry something like the BV500 for the volume. The weight becomes a factor as well. I then end up carrying a framed pack that will let me carry the load in comfort.
Depending on the rest of your gear a ULA Circuit could fit a BV500 but leave room for little else. At that point, the Catalyst would work better.
I’m sure the Osprey Exos line of packs could work as well but I’ve never owned one.
I bought a Zpacks Arc Blast but I just didn’t fit me well so I returned it immediately. Plus I just didn’t care for the delicate Cuben given my usage.Dec 7, 2019 at 5:17 am #3621914J RBPL Member
Look at the Osprey Lumina. I got the 45L version for my female friend as a gift but haven’t given it to her yet so can’t comment on the fit, they also make a 60L version that weighs under 2 lbs. What attracted me to get this pack for her are the ultralight weight, trampoline suspension, sized to carry a bear canister, general Osprey reputation, and the availability at REI so she could try it on before committing to it. I don’t know how I/she will like the hip belt without pockets, side pockets, and other specific features and of course overall comfort, but it’s an intriguing pack that fits into the UL selection set and you can try before you buy and even return after trying penalty-free.Dec 7, 2019 at 8:13 pm #3621984
The Osprey Lumina is indeed a great pack, but Lisa states she wants at least 60 Liters of volume, and the Lumina in the XS and S sizes are only 54 and 57 L, respectively. It is only rated for loads of up to 25 lbs. She also wants to be able to use a full-sized bear canister, which I interpret to mean something like the BV500. While that canister will fit in the pack, there won’t be a ton of room for other gear.
Osprey’s Eja might be a better choice for carrying heavier loads (up to 40 lbs), but again you lose volume in the W’s smaller sizes (XS=52 l, S=55 l). The pack itself is a bit heavier than 2 lbs, and I think the issue of getting a full-sized bear can into that pack is the same as with the Lumina.
Perhaps Lisa r can weigh in at this point.Dec 9, 2019 at 3:52 am #3622110
Thanks for the ideas. To clarify, I’d like a pack that would fit the BV500. I’m not sure I’d want to strap it to the top of a pack because I feel like it would interfere with my ability to look up (an issue with packs that get too tall). I was briefly intrigued by the Zpacks scout options, but their main compartment volume is quite small. I’m tempted by the Osprey Lumina but I’m worried about durability since I want to use the pack for off-trail adventures. The Hyperlite straps don’t look like they’re going to work for me – they look similar to GG straps, which are much too wide for me. Curious about the ULA Ohm. I’ve been using a 68L pack and sometimes it feels pretty full so I’m a little afraid to shrink volume too much. But, I’m also trying to get serious about reducing my base weight and will probably end up with a less bulky kit overall. Right now it’s a little hard to know how much volume I actually need.
So many cottage industries have popped up since I last bought a pack. It’s cool but overwhelming, and challenging since I can’t head down to REI to do some comparison shopping.Dec 10, 2019 at 2:00 am #3622202Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I don’t know of a pack which hits your requirements. If you find something you like, post what worked for you. The petite women in my life don’t go solo, so we can divide the load up so that things fit into their `40-45L packs. When they need more volume / weight we pull out the “heavy” packs. One is a 2005 Osprey Aeriel (~60l, 3.5lb), and the other is a https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/fusion-series/
–MarkDec 10, 2019 at 6:33 pm #3622257
As far as I know, Mark V is correct. Without going full custom, I can’t think of any pack that will meet Lisa’s requirements. The Gregory Deva 70 that you already have might be the best option. Perhaps you can shave weight in other areas: sleep system, shelter, cook kit, clothing, etc. And you don’t mention whether your trips are solo or with others. I usually go solo and can get 5 days’ worth of food and gear into my 60 liter pack, and when bear canisters are required I use the Ursak with aluminum insert lashed to the top of my Granite Gear Crown 60.Dec 10, 2019 at 9:53 pm #3622287JCHBPL Member
“But, I’m also trying to get serious about reducing my base weight and will probably end up with a less bulky kit overall. Right now it’s a little hard to know how much volume I actually need.”
When starting to lighten my load, the advice I got most was that the pack is the last thing to be purchased. I suggest sticking with you Deva until you make good progress on lightening up…you can’t properly size your pack until you know what you will be packing.
Once this is done, take all your gear to the retailer and load up packs. My personal “high volume load hauler” is a Granite Gear Blaze 60. Their packs carry very well and last.Dec 12, 2019 at 9:19 am #3622482Federico CalboliBPL Member
I’d ask Seek Outside of they can rig you up with a pack with shorter stays (if needed) and a shoulder harness that matches your shoulder. It might be a zing heavier than what you want but (1) it’d fit and (2) carry load properly.Dec 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm #3622960George GeistBPL Member
@geistLocale: Smoky Mountains
I bought a GG Mariposa 60 for my petite hiking partner. Like you the straps were way too wide apart. Everything else met her criteria.
I cut the threads holding the top of the straps to the pack and moved them in till it fit her frame, then sewed the straps back onto the pack. This was a lot easier and cheaper than having a custom pack made.Dec 16, 2019 at 1:14 am #3623003Luke SchmidtBPL Member
I’d keep your current pack till all your other gear is as light as possible. While you are at it pay attention to what fits well and what doesn’t on your current pack.
Having a pack customized is a possibility but there are a lot of moving parts so you might not get it right the first time (been there done that). I’d suggest looking at the following packs
1. HMG 4400 series
2. Exped Lighting 60 – I think there is a Women’s size. Good solid pack.
3. Seek Outside – sizing might be to “manly” but its very adjustable
4. Sierra Designs Skurka pack.
5. Osprey – I’ve lost track of there latest and greatest but my mom liked her Exos so much she used it on day hikes.
7. ULA Circuit – they do some customization as I recall but start with a (returnable) standard pack to see how close it is first.
Good luck. Packs are easy for me but I’m cursed with wide toes and shoe shopping is where I get frustrated. I feel the pain.Dec 16, 2019 at 1:18 am #3623004Luke SchmidtBPL Member
I should add this. You won’t go sub 2 lbs without major expense or sacrifice in either comfort or durability. Trust me I tried and spent a lot of money on the quest. Sub 3 lbs is good, sub 2.5 is better. The one exception MIGHT be the Zpacks Arc Haul. Wouldn’t stand up be my use but people who don’t roll their packs over cliffs should be okayDec 16, 2019 at 4:50 am #3623033Murali CBPL Member
Try the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor – I carried the Bearikade Blazer vertically inside – which is probably comparable to BV500 on the JMT. It carries weight very well.Dec 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm #3623060Michael KBPL Member
My gf just moved from a Deva to ULA Circuit and loves it. She’s 5’ and ended up going with size XS and J straps after trying on several packs and various brands with 20+ pounds at Walasi Yi in GA. I have a circuit and ohm myself and love both of them so I’m bias. I could purchase a lighter pack and save ~8-16 ounces depending on pack brand and options but instead try to save everywhere else. I’m 47 and after many years of counting ounces I’ve learned comfort is key to my overall enjoyment. So I allow extra ounces for my pack and sleeping pad.
Typically use the circuit for any trips over 4+ days up to 10 without resupply. Really can’t go wrong with either but I would go with circuit for bear canister.Dec 17, 2019 at 9:02 pm #3623220Katherine .BPL Member
“Curious about the ULA Ohm.”
I have and like an Ohm, but it’s not a good choice for carrying a bear canister. I can fit my little Bearikade in it, and I know some folks can force a smaller BV in, but it’s not optimal choice. If you’re curious about ULA, better to check out the Circuit.
(also, if you’re the same person who posted on the PNWOW facebook group, I’m the same person who told you there to check out Elemental Horizons. Because I suspect what works well for Katt^^ would work for me!)Dec 17, 2019 at 10:37 pm #3623227Murali CBPL Member
Encourage you to try the Zpacks Arc Haul – it has 60+ liters, lesser than 2 lbs, more durable than cuben in general, has torso adjustability, can have different waist belts. They have good return policy and if you ever need to sell, its easy to sell. I could easily fit my Bearikade Blazer in it. Plus if you need more space, you can attach pockets to sides.Dec 20, 2019 at 7:28 am #3623612Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Look at the Osprey EXOS line of packs.
My larger EXOS 58 is the most comfortable 3 season pack I’ve ever owned. You might like an EXOS 45.Dec 21, 2019 at 4:06 am #3623727
@Katherine, yup, that was me!! Fancy meeting you here too (and nice to see another lady)…
So after abundant research and taking into consideration all the helpful feedback above I’m currently leaning strongly towards the ULA Ohm. But haven’t pulled the trigger yet so you all can yell at me if you think I’m about to make a big mistake…
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