Womens Hunting Packs?

droberds

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Nov 19, 2020
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So who has the best selection for small frame hikers ? My wife is like 120 soaking wet and we can nevr find things that actually fit . for example this year i had to buy her a youth treestand harness haha. Are their companies that make smaller womens framed packs or do i need to start looking in the kids section again?
 

Tradchef

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Kifaru makes smaller frames and I know that EXO is coming out with a new system for shorter framed people. Most of the companies can get you into something that works well. Lots of smaller people enjoy Stone Glacier as well. I’m a pretty small guy and I use the 24” frame from kifaru and it fits great. I’m 5’7 and 155lbs with an athletic build just for reference. I use the small belt. I think they can make a smaller size if you ask. They have a 22” frame that a lot of women use so you have some good options. All of them have great customer service so I’d call them and ask your questions. If you have access to anyone close by that can let her try on a pack that would be a huge bonus.
 

PNWGATOR

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Frame size isn’t the issue, it’s ladies curves that are often problematic for unisex designs. The shoulder straps and waist belt and the ability to find comfort and the ability to carry and distribute weight correctly is a problem. Sitka makes a woman’s daypack that my wife found comfortable, but it’s not the answer for heavy loads or multi day trips.
 
OP
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droberds

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Nov 19, 2020
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Frame size isn’t the issue, it’s ladies curves that are often problematic for unisex designs. The shoulder straps and waist belt and the ability to find comfort and the ability to carry and distribute weight correctly is a problem. Sitka makes a woman’s daypack that my wife found comfortable, but it’s not the answer for heavy loads or multi day trips.
Heavy load/multi day packs is what im looking for. thx for the info tho
 

hibernation

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Oregon
Mystery ranch makes a few women-specific packs as well, although the smallest sizes have been out of stock for awhile. Last time I called they said they were expecting more production Nov/Dec this year. Trying to find a good elk pack for my 5'1" wife, and frame size is a major issue. It's hard to find packs correctly sized for her torso so both the waistbelt and shoulder straps ride where they're supposed to, even with a lot of non-hunting backpacking gear.
 

PNWGATOR

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We tried to stop in at Mystery Ranch last week for my wife to look at and try their packs...showroom “closed indefinitely” posted on their front door.
 

Kevin_t

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Some women find our Seek Outside packs to do well, but it really depends on fit and doesnt seem so much to be size based other than torso. Lacie who used to work for us was barely 5 ft and 100 lbs and it worked well but she had a long 18 inch torso. I have seen some photos on Instagram of women with 100 lb loads. I would not recommend us unless the torso is 17 inches.

Kevin
 

Formidilosus

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As PNWGATOR wrote, it’s not just frame size that is the issue with women carrying weight. Moderate loads of 30-40lbs it’s not so noticeable, but when weight starts getting in the 60+ pound range the shape and of the shoulder straps and angle of the hip belt really matter especially if they have defined hips.

There are no packs built for a women’s shape that can carry weight. The women’s Sitka Mountain 2700 pack is designed well, but can not carry more than around 45 pounds.
 

Kevin_t

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There are some women that can carry big loads on the seek outside platform . It is more torso , hip reliant but some have packed 100 plus pound loads


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mtnridge girl

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Aug 1, 2020
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Since pack fit is unique to each person, this may or may not help, but here is my experience with packs. The women's specific mystery ranch pintler fit my female frame the best and carried moderate weight (under 40 lbs) just fine. However, as others have said most womens packs do not carry heavy loads well. I ended up selling the mystery ranch after one season and now use the exo k3 with a short frame and small belt. It fits and carries heavier loads well enough that I am no longer looking for a new pack.
 

Lionhound1975

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Virginia
Deuter makes good packs that are comfortable up to 50 or 60 lbs. They make women-specific packs that are very adjustable and have different shoulder straps and hip belt to fit women's bodies. My wife and I both have Deuters (around 4300 ci) for overseas backpacking trips where a tactical-looking pack like a Kifaru or Mystery Ranch attracts attention in the airports and bus stations. (I have been pulled into secondary inspections several times in South America for carrying "military equipment"). Deuter makes a solid pack, it won't carry 100 lbs like a Kifaru or Stone Glacier will but my wife will not be carrying 100 lbs anyway. Some online sales have Deuter packs for under $200 so they are a great value for what you are getting for the price. I own Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch and Kifaru packs and I still think Deuter makes a great pack.
 

bikinitoboots

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Montana
Heavy load/multi day packs is what im looking for. thx for the info tho
That’s the problem. Literally no one makes a pack designed specifically for women that is also designed to carry meat/lots of gear. You can make a frame smaller but that’s not what makes it designed for a woman. It’s designed for a small framed person.



One guy said he is a small framed, athletic built male and the stone glacier works well for him. Small framed athletic built male= narrow hips, broad/muscular shoulders. Exact opposite of most women. There are some women who are built like this, and packs designed for men work well for them.



There’s no issue for finding a pack for a small framed person to carry 40+ pounds. The issue is finding a pack that the hip belts curve and are angled to actually hug the hip bones. Or shoulder straps that also curve to not dig into the underarm.



I carry a stone glacier. I like parts of it. The hip belt is mostly vertical so I have to wear it around my waist. If I wear it “correctly” (hugging my hip bones) it slips down and compresses my spine. Ie the load doesn’t carry proper and my back/shoulders end up carrying the weight. The shoulder straps dig into my underarms. So I tighten the chest strap pretty freaking tight to pull the straps away from my underarms. All these manipulations I’ve done to try to make it fit better make it hard to breathe deep-my chest is restricted from expanding up and out, as with a deep breath. My stomach is restricted from also expanding during a deep breath. So it’s a bit challenging going up and down mountains.



I’ve used stone glacier, exo, hill people gear, and mystery ranch (including the women’s). They all have the same limitations. The only pack really designed for a woman was the Sitka women’s 2700. But as you said...you’re looking for a pack that carries gear/loads. And that pack won’t cut it for a long trip.

pack makers- if you are basing you’re pack frames/details off models who look more like marathoners you are excluding a vast segment of women. Think more of a sprinter body-hips/booty/legs and a small waist.

Long story short. The pack you are looking for doesn’t exist.
 

thinhorn_AK

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I got my wife a mystery ranch backpacking pack, it works great for her, I don’t expect her to haul that much meat anyways and couldn’t find a hunting pack that would fit her. Now that the initial ascent one is out we might need to give it a look.
 

Marbles

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Anchorage, AK
If she has a short torso, it might be worth looking at the Western Edge packs. https://www.westernedgegear.com/

I'm lucky in that most things that fit me also fit my wife as she is only a tad shorter than I am. The differences in shape are rarely an issue between the two of us.
 

douglasfir

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Dec 17, 2019
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After lots of backpacking with mixed groups of men and women, I tend to agree with the guys at Hill People Gear who say that most people have no business carrying over 80 lbs in a backpack. A 120 lb woman would have a significantly lower limit in most instances. I understand there are always exceptions, of course.

That means that while I agree that there are few or no good options in the 60+ lb range, I think that for the loads that most women ought to be carrying over any distance there are several good options. I know several women who guide backpacking groups who get good use out of their Osprey Aether packs. Perhaps they are ignorant of the joys of "alpha" packs, but they seem to have convinced themselves that they are satisfied with their Aethers for weeks of use with loads in the 30-50 lb range. I know a woman who loves her women's specific Mystery Ranch Glacier, and I take her word for it. I do not know any women who own a Mystery Ranch women's specific hunting pack.

My wife is fit and tough. For a short, and I mean short, hike back to the car with a load of meat, she could throw on a Kelty Cache Hauler and carry 60 lbs like a champ. It is not comfortable and not good for any real distance.

I know some female athletes who are immensely capable and can haul more than I can and for longer distances. But realistically, if it can't be carried in an Osprey Aether or even a ULA Catalyst, I'm not sure it is realistic to expect many women to haul it.
 
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nrbrandenburg

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Nov 25, 2020
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South Dakota
So who has the best selection for small frame hikers ? My wife is like 120 soaking wet and we can nevr find things that actually fit . for example this year i had to buy her a youth treestand harness haha. Are their companies that make smaller womens framed packs or do i need to start looking in the kids section again?
I know Exo is set to release a extra short frame\women's line in Q1 of 2021
 

MuleyFever

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My wife does well with the small KUIU frame. As mentioned women will generally carry less weight. I dont think a heavy hauler is needed for most women, or men for that matter.
 

PNWGATOR

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A heavy haul/multi day pack is what the OP is after...

A short frame pack branded and marketed to women will miss the mark without the necessary suspension modifications.

There are many women afield after a multi day hunting system capable of packing game in rough country. It’d be awesome if a manufacturer would step up and make the necessary design changes in order to properly fit women properly.
 
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