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Women's Daypack-any suggestions?


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Hi, I borrowed a hydration pack yesterday on a 14 mile hike and I think I need one now. I've been on just a couple of all day hikes and have suffered through with our crummy, normal backpacks, no sternum strap, no waist strap. Yesterday was much easier in the backpack department (terrain was a killer!). Suggestions? I don't want cheap and I don't want the "platinum" version.

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I just bought a couple for my daughter and me for a big hike we are doing this fall, and we've been using them on our training hikes. I got a small camelbak from backcountryoutlet.com and I love it! I also got us a couple of hydration compatible Vaude packs with the chest and waist straps for packing in our gear. I'd never heard of that brand, but I like what I got. There is a mesh back piece with a bracing that keeps the pack off your back. I use the small hydration pack for caching, going to the 4th of July parade, walking trails, whatever. I did get them on clearance from the online outlet.

 

I was looking for a hydration compatible pack, and I'd been researching and found lots of reviews from which I gleaned that the $15 ones from Wally world seem to have a leakage problem. But like you I didn't want to spend a car payment on two backpacks. After finding the packs I wanted, I discovered they didn't come with the hydration bladder and parts, which apparently START at $25. Then I found the camelbaks on clearance for $20, including the pack, the bladder, the mouthpiece. Deal! It is small, but has a zipper pocket big enough for keys and a cell phone. You may find a better deal if you just search online, or maybe ebay.

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My suggestion is to head on over to your local REI. They have extremely knowledgeable and helpful staff that can guide you in the right direction. You can try on different packs and they'll weight them for you so you can get a "real-life" feel. Plus, their return policy is awesome. Oh, and you can get some really good deals at their outlet, too.

 

How to Choose a Daypack

 

I have an Osprey and I absolutely love it. (The style I have has been discontinued, though. :rolleyes:) Their women's packs feature a shorter torso and a women-specific shaped shoulder harness and hipbelt which makes them extremely comfortable.

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My suggestion is to head on over to your local REI. They have extremely knowledgeable and helpful staff that can guide you in the right direction. You can try on different packs and they'll weight them for you so you can get a "real-life" feel. Plus, their return policy is awesome. Oh, and you can get some really good deals at their outlet, too.

 

How to Choose a Daypack

 

I have an Osprey and I absolutely love it. (The style I have has been discontinued, though. :sad:) Their women's packs feature a shorter torso and a women-specific shaped shoulder harness and hipbelt which makes them extremely comfortable.

 

I'm gonna have to agree with ...The Girl's recommendation.

 

The return policy alone is reason enough to shop at REI.

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The Mountainsmith Lily is the womans version of the Mountainsmith Approach that I often recommend. It's an excellent pack of you are looking for something spacious enough for long day hikes, winter hikes and any times where you'll be carrying more than just water and a sandwich. It has a hydration bladder sleeve and an exit port for the hose, as well as two water bottle pockets on the sides. One of my favorite features is the expandable "shovel pocket" on the front where you can stick wet rain gear, litter you pick up on the trail or anything you don't want to put inside with your lunch and clothing.

 

My wife, who has a bad back, loves her Lowe Aquila 35 (it also comes in a slightly smaller 25 model). The Aquila has a lightweight aluminum frame that lets the pack ride slightly away from her body which she finds comfortable when it's hot. The frame also distributes the weight on her hips instead of her back. Like the Lily, it has a sleeve for a hydration bladder and and an exit port for a hose, as well as side water bottle pockets.

 

Osprey and Gregory also make womens packs that get high marks from a lot of people and don't rule out LL Bean. Their packs are generally well thought out, durable and good buys. Their Celia has nothing but complimentary reviews.

Edited by briansnat
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I have a Gregory day pack with a frame, that I just love. I find having a frame really helps me stay more comfortable. This is the one I have: gregory z22. My only comment is to make sure you are accounting for the space a full hydration bladder takes up. I am thinking of bumping up to the z30 for that reason: the z30.

 

Also have to agree with shopping at REI if it is available to you. As someone said the return policy alone is worth the slightly higher prices. Plus if you can catch items on sale the prices can be pretty good. The pack fitting folks are also very helpful. Happy shopping!

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Well, I did it ... finally bought one. I tried on a Mountainsmith Trillium and LOVED IT.... but it was $179 and I wasn't quite sure I could invest that much. Then I looked at www.mountainsmith.com and saw that the Trillium's predecessor, the Laurel was in the "bargain bin" for $65 and INCLUDED a set of their trekking poles that sell for $50 by themselves! It is great. Lots of pockets, sturdy and made of recycled plastic bottles! Love it.

 

It does have a couple of downfalls (no pocket on the waistbelt to stash the chapstick in, top loader, no removable little daypack like the Trillium) but for the price and quality I still feel like I stole it!

 

Thanks for everyone's advice! I leave Friday for my first little overnighter! Woohoo!

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