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Backpack sizes

ColleenS

New Member
I am looking to buy a new backpack and was wanting to get a Gregory Jade large, but they only make them up to a medium. My measurements fall under: "Large/Tall: 20 inches and up (51 cm and up)". I would like to know if there are any tall women out there who have had the same problem and who could recommend a backpack to me.
 
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Deleted member 3000

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The Gregory medium packs go to torso length 20". If you do not get a proper fit at that length, you may have to choose a different brand. Their technical packs are not real light at nearly 4#, so there may be alternative ultralight packs with longer torso lengths. You could consider men's packs, which will come in longer lengths.

Good luck in finding and deciding!
 

CaminoGen

CF May-June 2011; Oloron to Fisterra Sept-Oct 2013
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances-SJPP. Santiago (2011); Oloron to Fisterra (Sept 5-Oct 23 2013)
On my camino last year, I took a M/L Osprey Kestrel 48 and it ripped so I need to get another one for my Camino next year. When I took my mom shopping for her pack, I tried this one on and it is really short! Women's backpack exist in longer torso length so keep looking because an ill-fitting pack will make you hate your camino.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
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Pieces

Veteran Member
I have the same as vagabondette just the 44 litre. I am using the s/m and am 178 cm (fairly long legged) but it should fit in one of the sizes the m/l is for over 19 inch so...

I tried the gregory jade and really liked it (a lot) only went for the osprey to save a pound in weight...
 

vagabondette

Active Member
Should have added that I have the Jade 60 and love it, though it's obviously WAY too big for the camino. I tried the Jade 28 but the way the frame bowed, the internal space would have been hard to pack even though I could have gotten away with the volume. I also prefer a pack with a lid.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Jade 50 here , don't know about conversion to european /american size...But I have a medium, short back but long legs ( am 1m 72 cm )...Thought medium would be too small also for me but it works. Go to a decent shop with a salesperson who can help you out. Noticed that one brand can be quite different in sizes than other brands.
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
another thing i like about both the jade and the osprey is that you can look up into the sky without bumping your head against the pack...
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Pieces said:
another thing i like about both the jade and the osprey is that you can look up into the sky without bumping your head against the pack...

absolutely true Pieces!

see pic...only look at backpack and not my exhausted face climbing up to O ' Cebreiro...
 

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ColleenS

New Member
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. While looking for a backpack I went on the following recommended sizes:

"TORSO MEASUREMENT FRAME SIZE
14 " – 16"/35-40 CM XS
16 " – 18"/40-46 CM S
18 " – 20"/46-51 CM M
20" – 22"/51-56 CM L
To get the correct size, measure from your iliac crest to your C7 vertebra"

I'm 55CM so it looks like I'll have to give up on the Jade and try out some of your suggestions. I'm keen to get a woman's backpack though because from all accounts, as they are made especially for women, they are much more comfortable.
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
SabineP said:
see pic...only look at backpack and not my exhausted face climbing up to O ' Cebreiro...

You were lucky, we had snow, drizzle & v. cold, the next day was lovely..... :D

ps only looking @ sunny ground :)
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
vagabondette said:
This is the pack I have: http://www.rei.com/product/808309/osprey-talon-33-pack The large looks like it might fit you. I have a large now but I think I'll be going down to a small/Med because even on the shortest setting I think it's too big for me. We'll see how it goes when I have my pack packed. :)

Hi there, Vagabondette! So, this seems to be a day hiker pack...but it held up as an expedition pack? Were you able to carry everything you needed inside or did you strap stuff on the front as well?

I love the look of it....but I was told, "you need and expedition pack!" and those are pretty big!

Thanks for the help!
 

vagabondette

Active Member
Lynnmcd said:
vagabondette said:
This is the pack I have: http://www.rei.com/product/808309/osprey-talon-33-pack The large looks like it might fit you. I have a large now but I think I'll be going down to a small/Med because even on the shortest setting I think it's too big for me. We'll see how it goes when I have my pack packed. :)

Hi there, Vagabondette! So, this seems to be a day hiker pack...but it held up as an expedition pack? Were you able to carry everything you needed inside or did you strap stuff on the front as well?

I love the look of it....but I was told, "you need and expedition pack!" and those are pretty big!

Thanks for the help!

Whoever told you you need an expedition pack is an idiot. You're not going on an expedition, you're going on what is essentially a long series of day hikes. You don't need expedition level gear, you need a change of clothes and toiletries.

I have not walked the camino yet, but I have no doubt that this pack will hold up just fine. It's a great brand with a good reputation. In fact, one of the reasons I even looked at it (I really want something smaller) was that a couple employees from the REI I purchased it from were using it for their camino so I figured with them having access to every pack in the store and still choosing this one it was worth checking out.

As far as having stuff hang off the outside, well that depends on how much stuff you're bringing. I figure my pack will be about 1/3 empty during the camino but I decided to go with an oversized (for me) pack because I will be traveling after the camino until the end of the year into some cold areas so I wanted to be able to have space for warmer clothes. I did a similar hike in 2002 and I carried a 19l camelback daypack. The only things hanging off the back were my sport sandals and my clothes that hadn't dried from the night before and I had plenty of room inside for lunch each day.

My recommendation would be to get the smallest pack that feels comfortable. Head to an outdoor store, load up a pack with 5-7 kilos of weight and fillers (so you can see what the pack will carry like when full) and walk around for a while. Personally, there's no way I'd go over 40l and if I were only doing the camino I'd stay in the 20l range but it depends on your comfort level and what you're bringing.

Good luck!
 
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Lynnmcd

New Member
vagabondette said:
Whoever told you you need an expedition pack is an idiot. You're not going on an expedition, you're going on what is essentially a long series of day hikes. You don't need expedition level gear, you need a change of clothes and toiletries.

Bwwahaha! :D Well, that is just Vulcan logic in all its splendor!

You are correct! The person who tried to get me to go with the expedition pack?....was from *cough* REI. They claimed to have done the Camino and that I really needed that to carry everything.

Thanks for the heads up!
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
The Talon 33 is frameless. The pack weight will be on your shoulders, not your hip belt. I personally think it is a bit small. I have used the very similar GoLite Jam at 35 liters, and it was too small. The pack weight is admirable -- the same as the Jam -- but if you load it above about 15# including food and water, I don't think you will find it comfortable. It is essentially a nicely shaped nylon sack! For about 8 oz. more, you can get a pack with a frame that will transfer the pack weight to your hips.
 

vagabondette

Active Member
My goal weight is 10 lbs so if I have it over 15 I'm doing something very very wrong. :) We'll see how it feels once I'm carrying my target weight for long hikes but I've had it stuffed with @20 lbs that I carried around for a couple hours and it was perfectly comfortable.

This is a bennie of buying from REI. You can try and return to your hearts content.
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
Such a great thread here!

So I went back to REI and actually got the right sales person to help me. No, he's never done the Camino, but he's done just about everything else :)

And everyone is correct in saying that you just don't know what to get til you actually try them on. I went in looking to get the Osprey Talon 33. I was measured at 17" and told I needed a S/M. Tried it, and it felt ok (the straps were great!) The Osprey Kestral was a bit more padded and nicer.

But then he moved me on over to the Gregory side of the force. The only Jade's they had were 50s so we passed on that for the moment and I put on a men's Z30......and the angels sang! The moment I felt the solidity of the hip landing like a velvet glove across my iliac crest I knew I'd found my muse. The back is fabulous as well with the extra ventilation being a must have for me. The only thing that was a little questionable were the shoulder straps - they felt a little wide. Maybe for an assumed broader shoulder width in men? Since I didn't try the Jade on I am not sure if the shoulders are narrower. Does anyone know?

The 30 is too small for sure. The store didn't have a Z40 in stock. There is also a Jade 38 which, given the specs I saw, is basically the same as the Z40 for the most part as far as the medium measurements go. Soooo...since I want to take advantage of the sale this weekend I have a dilemma...to order the Jade or the Z? Same price. I suppose I order one and, if I don't like it, I order the other :)

Anyone ever experience a real difference in men's vs women's designs?
 

vagabondette

Active Member
I would go with the Jade. I have the Jade 60 and it's great. I tried the 28 but it was too small with the arched frame and I like a lid. I'd probably like the 38 but there were none in stock when I was there. I do think the straps are different on mens and womens packs.

It's just a matter of trying on what you can until you fall in love. I personally would probably order both and return whichever I didn't like. :) Congrats on finding a pack you kinda like. :)
 
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Pieces

Veteran Member
vagabondette said:
I personally would probably order both and return whichever I didn't like. :) Congrats on finding a pack you kinda like. :)

I agree, get both, take them home and walk aound the house with them loaded, then keep the one you like best :p
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
Thanks Vagabondette and Pieces...I think I will just do that :)

What does REI do with all the packs the get used then turned in months later??? I've never seen them have a used pack sale.
 

Wolfmoms

New Member
Used packs end up in REI's quarterly garage sale, some stores may not have the garage sale, but those that do are loaded with gently used packs and the same salespeople to help fit them ... good deals to be had!

I just returned from the Camino and both my daughter and I used the Osprey Talon 33 (because it would fit as airline carry-on) and carried up to 20 lbs (with daily food and water) and had absolutely no support problems. Wonderful pack .... will use it again when I return to the Camino in 2016 for my 65th birthday.
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
Wolfmoms said:
I just returned from the Camino and both my daughter and I used the Osprey Talon 33 (because it would fit as airline carry-on) and carried up to 20 lbs (with daily food and water) and had absolutely no support problems. Wonderful pack .... will use it again when I return to the Camino in 2016 for my 65th birthday.

Oh...hadn't thought about the aspect of carry-on...just thought the 38 would be fine. So, what are the conditions that make packs meet the carry-on criteria?

And thanks for the info re the REI sale! I used to live in Eugene, OR and I remember that. Where I live now they just don't have such a thing. :(
 
S

Sojourner47

Guest
Unchecked - cabin baggage allowances vary depending on the airline. Their general conditions will usually state the limits.
For example, Ryanair have max 10 kilos, 55x40x20 cms
Whereas Easyjet have no weight limit, only max 56x45x25 cms.
 
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vagabondette

Active Member
If you end up ordering them both, try them on with all the tags still on and if possible, don't remove the tags until you've made your decision. That'll allow them to sell it as new rather than having to sell it as used at a deep discount. Also, I think this only applied to members so make sure you have a membership before you order.

Wolfmoms, great to hear you had a good experience with the Talon!
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
So...just to follow up with you all:

I received both the women's medium Jade 38 and the men's medium Z40 and took them for a bit of a tour. All in all I couldn't make heads or tails regarding the difference between them. In the end, I kept the Jade, returned the Z40. Why? Because the Jade I ordered was something loosely termed "Mauve Moonshadow" or some such. But it really isn't a color that most people are probably carrying which makes it unique, easy to spot as it jostles along the airport conveyor belt, and makes it a less attractive option for sticky fingers. ( I got the Z40 in a charcoal.)

All in all, I love this pack. The minimal amount of space you might loose in the main compartment (due to the frame) you regain with a generous top space under the hood, and a great space at the bottom for easily accessed items. The cushioning is heaven all the way around and the ventilated back frame feels great not just for air flow but to keep the items in your pack from bouncing on your back. Very easy to get good balance in weight.

Sooooo...thanks to everyone for your invaluable help!
 

Piccata

Pedestrian, at best
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012, Primitivo 2015, Via de la Plata 2022
Lynnmcd- I had the same "the angels sang" experience when I tried on the Gregory Sage 35 at REI. I thought it would be a bit small, plus I wanted a separate sleeping bag compartment, so I ordered the Jade 38 (they were sold out in my size). I'll know when it arrives and I try it if it's the right one for me, but I too ordered it in that moonshadow color for the same reasons you did! Oh, well. Also, I've got my gear down to 10 pounds so I think I'll be fine even though it's not an ultra-light. Hearing that you like it so much gives me great hope!
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
@Piccata: I'll be interested to know where you end up putting what. I'm not taking a tent or sleeping bag...are you? Also, just so you know, while the color online looked like a really light lavender with darker mauve accents it's WAY darker. I was a bit disappointed at first but, all in all, still love it and I think the color is still more unique than most others will have. Except you and me but I won't be going til 2014 (yes, I'm a type AAA+. I wanted two summers of good hiking, exquisite planning, playing around with equipment [REI will be able to have an entire garage sale based on my returns alone] and packing configurations.) Of course, I may just get a hair and go next May, what the heck!

@yogabanana: AWESOME!!! Are you finding it small or awkward with the bowed back? Do you have a bladder in it? Can you share some current advantages/disadvantages?
 
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Piccata

Pedestrian, at best
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012, Primitivo 2015, Via de la Plata 2022
Lynnmcd- I'm actually THRILLED that the pack is darker than the picture. I was a bit worried that it would be pink, because as I'm preparing for this trip it seems that when I've found the right thing it is pink! Pink socks, pink trimmed trail runners, and the discount wicking shirts I found are also trimmed with pink! Sigh. Good thing you can't get an Altus in pink or I'm sure I'd end up with one. I am taking a sleeping bag (mercifully green) because I'll still be on the trail in October and it just seems silly to risk not having one. Hence my desire for a sleeping bag compartment. I am wondering about the ventilated back too--another disadvantage of the Sage is that it doesn't have that. Or maybe it's an advantage? The Ospreys that I tried with the (although slightly different) ventilation were not nearly so comfortable.
 

Lynnmcd

New Member
Picatta - now that's just funny about the pink! Yes, if you'll be running into cooler weather you just may need that sleeping bag!

I wore the pack around with me while I did yard work last Thursday. I put about 4 pounds in it. I just planted, weeded, watered...BUT! It was 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity! Nightmare! But there was a small breeze and I can tell you that saved my butt! The only place that was sweaty when I came in (after about 2 hours) were the hip straps and the area right where the two comfy pads at the top of the sacrum land. I could really feel the breeze blow across my back and it absolutely kept me cool! Way, way, way worth every penny!

Also, just something I tried which worked great for sweat cleaning: put a couple of small drops of tea tree oil on a wet washcloth, rub it together to spread out the oil, then run it over the sweaty areas and let it air dry. Tea tree oil is antibactierial/microbial and smells very fresh. It really cleaned the pack very well! I will take a small bottle with me on the Camino because it's also superb for bug bites, cuts, scratches, bruises. (PS...learned this trick when cleaning my yoga mat as I do Bikram yoga [that's the one that crazy people do in 100 degree heated studios :-D] and it has always cleaned my mat beautifully.)
 
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Deleted member 56069

Guest
I have a 60L pack, my very petite wife has a 50L pack. The current trend is 35L packs or smaller, but our packs are super comfortable and we intend to use them for all future walks as they work perfectly for us.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
My pack is 50 litres but lightweight. I don't like having to shoe-horn stuff. It is also not comfortable for things to be swinging off the pack - why go to the trouble of a well designed pack only to spoil the dynamics?
 

Athena Atterdag

time&space traveller
Past OR future Camino
Invierno, Primitivo, Inglés+Fisterra/Muxía
@zrexer and @Kanga, a heartfelt thank you for your comments - I bought a 50-litre backpack and was absolutely happy with it until I read all those threads on Camino backpacks having to be 35, 40 litres at most :) I was still going to walk with this backpack, though - it's very comfortable, and I'd rather have some free space in my backpack than pack my stuff hard into it. But your comments have really reassured me :)
 
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Deleted member 56069

Guest
My pack is 50 litres but lightweight. I don't like having to shoe-horn stuff. It is also not comfortable for things to be swinging off the pack - why go to the trouble of a well designed pack only to spoil the dynamics?

Kanga, my observation as well is that many who favor the micro sized packs have a lot of stuff hanging on the out side of their packs, smaller bags, evening shoes, jackets or even waist mounted bags. I have everything inside my bag, nothing clipped on the outside and some room to spare for easy packing.
The comfort of your pack is the most important thing, not the size. My pack weight as well as well with water, I am at 28 to 30 lbs. I weigh around 195 lbs. My 120 lb wife carries 22 lbs with absolutely no issues. We are both in our late fifties.
 
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Deleted member 56069

Guest
Should have added that I have the Jade 60 and love it, though it's obviously WAY too big for the camino. I tried the Jade 28 but the way the frame bowed, the internal space would have been hard to pack even though I could have gotten away with the volume. I also prefer a pack with a lid.
Your 60L pack is fine, just don't over load it. Comfort is more important than size. I am not sure what the point is of a tiny back pack, but to each their own I guess. Have used my 60L on all 4 Camino's my very petite wife has a 50 and no issues with it.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I am looking to buy a new backpack and was wanting to get a Gregory Jade large, but they only make them up to a medium. My measurements fall under: "Large/Tall: 20 inches and up (51 cm and up)". I would like to know if there are any tall women out there who have had the same problem and who could recommend a backpack to me.
Hi Colleen,

You can buy a pack or, there may be an acceptable alternative. Here are three words to research on Youtube. I say this as there are a few very good ones on this topic;

Wool Blanket Backpack

For very little money, a wool blanket, a plastic tarp, some string or paracord and some webbing can provide ample capacity to carry everything you will need.

Hope this helps.
 

TD Justus

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF May/ June 2016
I’m one of the “tiny pack” people. For our CF in May 2016 I looked at Osprey Sirrus 24 & 36L. After hiking with both, I decided on the 24L, largely because I know my propensity to pack to capacity. My major concern was minimizing weight which I kept to <12 lbs. Also, I like to have everything in it’s place & don’t mind “precision packing”. I agree with this thread’s general distain for pack dangling. I did carry my sleeping bag in a small waterproof bag outside the bottom of pack.
Practice with pack loaded to various weights, walking at least 8-10 miles to find what feels best. Then do what is comfortable for YOU.
 
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