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Luggage Transfer Correos

Good backpack for small woman

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Alun26

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 April - May Camino de Frances
Hello!

My mother would like to do the Camino, but we can't find the perfect bag.
I had last year an Osprey Eja and I was more than happy with it so went together to the local shop to buy an Osprey for her, but none of them fit. All of them is too long in the back.
Only 1 was good on the back length one for small girls, but it was 50L and the waist strip was too short:(
I know we can buy extender, but maybe there is a complete good bag and I just don't know:)

She is 160 cm and 60 kg, I think this is not so extreme.

Thank you!
 

TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
Have you checked the Lowe Alpine website? They have a measuring tool. I have a small backpack of their AirZone Women range which I like very much and I found they could be a bit longer (although it's a 25L) considering I'm 170cm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September “2018”
Hello!

My mother would like to do the Camino, but we can't find the perfect bag.
I had last year an Osprey Eja and I was more than happy with it so went together to the local shop to buy an Osprey for her, but none of them fit. All of them is too long in the back.
Only 1 was good on the back length one for small girls, but it was 50L and the waist strip was too short:(
I know we can buy extender, but maybe there is a complete good bag and I just don't know:)

She is 160 cm and 60 kg, I think this is not so extreme.

Thank you!
I’m 158cm and 58kl and I used an osprey eja medium on 2 caminos and was very happy with it, but after trying an osprey eja small size in the shop, found that this was a slightly better fit for me so I am now using this one, I love the eja as it is lightweight and very comfortable, it’s really important to get someone with good knowledge to show her how it needs to fit. There are also some good YouTube videos which demonstrate correct fit. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

SterreO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 2016
Camino Ingles May 2019
I am 164 cm and use the Lowe Alpine AirZone Pro 35:45 and I'm very happy with it. The back length is adjustable to you hight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012, 2014, Norte June 2017, Primitivo July 2017, Portuguese May 2018, Salvador (2019)
I’m 152 cm and 49 kg...I have the Osprey Sirrus XS 34L and have used it on 2 caminos. It is adjustable down to a 34 cm spine length, has a mesh back support and comfortable waist belt.
 

TAF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019
I am only petite and the Osprey Tempest 30 fitted perfectly, and the back is adjustable. I would advise her to go to a good outdoor shop to be properly fitted with weight in it.
 

LindaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
bike ride Paplona to Santiago April-May 2015
Portuguese Coastal Sept 2019
Deuter is known for being good for small frames. I’m 53 kg and 157 cm. Love my Deuter Air Contact Lite
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Deuter is known for being good for small frames. I’m 53 kg and 157 cm. Love my Deuter Air Contact Lite
I agree. Deuter (womens adjustable)is a comfortable fit - back length is set for ‘your’ back length. Women’s version the ‘SL’ is narrower than the mens version too.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Did the store have a good selection of Osprey backpacks, and knowledgeable staff? Some of the Osprey packs come in different sizes (torso lengths) and have a number of adjustments to make. Yesterday I was in a store looking at a new version of the pack (I have had two) that I have used happily on every camino. I put it on, and it felt terrible. If I had been serious about buying a new one, I would have asked someone to help adjust it. It is difficult to figure out which combination of adjustments will work, but they are very important.

All of them is too long in the back.
I am 163 cm and 62 kg, with a somewhat short torso. I use the Osprey Talon 33, which is nominally a men's pack, but in the smaller size ("S/M") and with the right adjustments, it fits me perfectly.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019
Your height and weight have nothing to do with fitting a backpack!!!!

You need to measure your back from the bony nodule at the back of your neck to the top of your hips to get your spine length. Look online for videos on how to do this properly. Then, go online and research which bags fit this measurement. A good backpack will have the HIPbelt straddle the top of your hip bones, thereby transferring most of the weight to the part of the body that can support it best.

Small DAYpacks often aren’t long enough and the hipbelt actually ends up around your waist, putting most of the pack weight on your shoulders. = a smaller backpack can be less comfortable and “feel” heavier than a properly fitted backpack.

Yes, it can be quite a process to find a bag that works but there will be the perfect backpack out there somewhere!
 

Cbok82

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 18
I am 5ft exactly, size UK 8 in the waist, 10 on top and approx 55kg in weight. I carry a Montane Yarara 32litre ladies fitted backpack and it is perfect.
Maybe not too far off what you are looking for 😊
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Correct Sizing of a Backpack

The size of the pack is determined by the length of your spine, not by how much the pack can carry.

Measuring for a correct fit involves determining your spine's proper length. That measurement is done by using a tape measure and measuring from the protruding 'knob' on the back of your neck which is at the base of the cervical spine, to the place on your spine that is even with the top of the crest of your hips.
  1. Tilt your head forward and feel for the bony bump where the slope of your shoulders meets your neck. This is your 7th cervical (or C7) vertebra—and the top of your torso length.
  2. On each side of your body, slide your hands down the rib cage to the top of your hip bones (aka the iliac crest). With index fingers pointing forward and thumbs pointing backward, draw an imaginary line between your thumbs. This spot on your lumbar is the bottom of your torso measurement.
  3. Stand up straight and measure - or have your friend measure - the distance between the C7 and the imaginary line between your thumbs. That’s your torso length.

59589


(The above instruction set and picture courtesy of REI)


60881


Once you have that measurement in inches or centimeters, you can then look at the backpack manufacturer's sizing guide. This guide will be used to match your spine length, to their stated size range.

Sometimes the sizes are expressed as Small to Extra Large. Sometimes that size scale will combine the sizes like: S/M, M/L, L/XL. When the sizes are combined, it usually means that there is a good amount of adjustability to the frame of the pack to customize the fit. That will usually be in the shoulder harness and the hipbelt so that a fine tuned fit can be achieved.

Here is a good video which will help with fitting. Ignore the reference to the manufacturer as the method is pretty universal.


Fitting The Shoulder Harness

First, let me mention that there are differences in the shapes of shoulder straps. The standard shoulder strap shape has been what some manufacturers describe as a "J" shape. This shape tends to fit the chest shape of the male better than the female due to the lesser fullness of the chest. However, even with some men who have bigger chests, the J strap shape can be uncomfortable.

A few manufacturers, ULA and Six Moons Design are the most notable, have developed what is called an "S" shaped strap. This shape has solved many of the fit issues for women, allowing for the straps to properly sit on the shoulders without the uncomfortable compression and chafing due to breasts of larger chests. Here is a link which shows the difference between the two strap shapes:


The shoulder harness should wrap around over your shoulders and sit slightly below the top of the shoulder. The shoulder straps should sit comfortably toward the middle of the shoulder girdle, although that may vary a bit. It should not feel like they are going to slip off your shoulders or sit tight against the base of your neck.

The sternum strap should NOT be required to keep the shoulder straps in place. The sternum strap does connect the shoulder straps, but it is designed to help control where the straps sit on the shoulders with excess pack movement; it is not meant to overcome a poor fit and placement of the shoulder straps.

After fastening the sternum strap in place, pull the adjustment strap until you feel a bit of tension.

The sternum strap on a good pack can adjust up and down on the shoulder straps. The usual placement is somewhere just below the collar bone, but body types and builds will cause a variation of where the sternum strap placement feels best.

Hip Belt Adjustments

For the hip belt, the pad of the belt should sort of 'cradle' the crest of the hip bone: the top of the pad should be slightly above the top of the crest while the bottom of the pad should be slightly below the top. Again, the belt, when it is snugged down, should cradle. The belt should not entirely sit above your hips so that the pad compresses your waist, nor should the entire pad sit below the crest of your hips totally squeezing the hip bones.

There is a lot of misinformation about how a pack's load is distributed between shoulders and hips. It is NOT true that the waist/hip belt carries the entire load of the pack. It definitely CAN do that, but doing so is undesirable.

There are reasons which make it necessary to keep the shoulder harness unweighted with the full load weight on the hipbelt. These include damage or injury to the shoulder girdle. There are folks who prefer a total load on the hipbelt even though their shoulder girdle is healthy, but it is a practice which has potential complications associated with it. Even so, it is up to an individual to decide.

If the Hip/waist belt carries the entire weight of the pack
  1. it means the shoulder harness is unweighted and there can be significant pack movement which, during difficult walking terrain, can create problems with your center of gravity. I have seen people lose their balance and fall as a result.
  2. It also can result in your core muscles being overworked, stressed and fatigued trying to compensate from that extra movement.
  3. All of that weight on the pelvis can create significant compression forces by requiring the hipbelt to be over-tightened in order to prevent it from slipping down. This can cause numbness and pain as blood flow and nerve compression is experienced.
  4. All of the weight on the hipbelt will also place additional strain to the hip sockets and knees.
The load ratio will be about 5 to 15 percent for the shoulders and 85 to 95 percent on the hips. This will allow for the proper engagement of your core muscles to help carry the backpack.

Steps To Adjusting a Backpack Before Walking

I'll add a link to a video (ignore the manufacturer) that shows the best steps to follow when putting on a pack and adjusting it. The basic steps are these:
  1. Loosen all of the straps on the shoulder harness and hip belt.
  2. Put on the pack and very slightly tighten the shoulder straps so that the hip belt is slightly below the hips.
  3. Shrug your shoulders up, and then fasten the waist belt as you are getting it roughly into position.
  4. Slightly tighten the shoulder straps to assist with the hip belt adjustment.
  5. Position the hip belt padding to let the padding sit half above and half below the crest of the hips. The padding of the belt should never sit entirely above the hips. The padding should sort of wrap itself over the top of the hip bone and hug the hips.
  6. Tighten the belt just enough to keep it in position. At this point, nearly 100% of the packs weight is resting on the hips.
  7. Snug the shoulder straps to take up 5 to 15 percent of the packs weight. You will feel just a slight unloading of the weight off the hips.
  8. At the top of the shoulder straps and toward the pack, are smaller straps called 'load lifters'. Grasp them and pull to your front. You will feel the weight of the pack lift up slightly and pull more snugly toward your back. This helps with center of gravity and balance. You can experiment with how snug or how loose you want to pull on the straps. A properly adjusted load lifter strap will form a sort of 45 degree angle when viewed from the side.
  9. On some waist/hip belts there can be a small strap connected to each side of the belt. Again, pulling forward on those straps will bring the bottom of the pack closer to your back, helping with balance as you are walking.

It is important to remember that after you make the first pack adjustment before starting to walk, that you will frequently be changing those adjustments while walking: tightening, loosening, pulling, having the pack higher or lower....

Pack adjustments are a dynamic thing, not a static thing. As you walk, how the pack feels, pressure points, center of gravity, etc WILL change. This is why it is important to become so familiar with your pack that making adjustments becomes second nature as you walk, requiring no real thought or consideration.

A good pack, loaded and adjusted properly will be so integrated to your body while walking that you sometimes forget you are wearing it. Now, NOTHING will make a weighted load in a pack disappear, but it will help keep that load from becoming an agonizing exercise in torture :)
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I'm 162cm tall and about 62kg and after reading how so many people on here love Osprey bags, I tried every version available, but they all fitted me badly and were very uncomfortable. I finally found a Deuter stockist, who told me "You have an exceptionally short torso". Your mother may have a similar body type. I bought a Deuter 30 + 5 and its ability to be adjustable meant it was so comfortable and easy to carry.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Excellent post. This should be pinned somewhere for newbies.
Thanks, Annie. . . I do re-post this from time to time if I run across a new thread where there are discussions of backpacks and fitting to size, etc.

I really enjoy the fact that there are so many veteran Forum members, all with a wealth of practical knowledge to share, with the common goal of helping new pilgrims succeed. 😍
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Thanks, Annie. . . I do re-post this from time to time if I run across a new thread where there are discussions of backpacks and fitting to size, etc.

I really enjoy the fact that there are so many veteran Forum members, all with a wealth of practical knowledge to share, with the common goal of helping new pilgrims succeed. 😍
It's good for new pilgrims but good for us old pilgrims too!
I learned a lot, and I'm looking for a new pack so thanks!
 

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